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Sep

2017

Jillian Harris

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The Guide to Bacon Alternatives

Today’s blog is all about bacon alternatives and this blog is coming from a girl who ate bacon probably 4 times a week … I LITERALLY used to keep a jar of bacon grease on my kitchen counter and used to add it to my recipes, from Thanksgiving stuffing, pasta sauce, and my eggs. I remember at one point, someone once asked me what food I couldn’t live without and I literally said bacon. However, in the effort to eat less meat and also learning just HOW smart pigs are, I made the decision to cut down on my bacon consumption and while we’ve REALLY cut back, I DO treat our household to the real thing about twice a year. When I purchase real bacon I make sure I get it from a local farm, I tend to get ours from Wild Moon Organics!

But for all of those other times throughout the year when we are craving a recipe with that bacon flavour, I like to swap it out with a bacon alternative! This, like many other things, when it comes to vegan alternatives, can be a bit of a process and takes quite a bit of trial and error to find the alternative that makes your taste buds do a little dance, so here are some of my favourite alternatives along with some suggestions that I have yet to try!!

My Favourites:

Smoky Tofu Bacon

First up, I don’t know about you but I LOVE a good caesar salad, such as Captain’s Plant-Based Kale Ceaser Salad topped with smoky tofu bacon!! This “bacon” is soooo easy to make and it’s JUST as tasty!

Jillian Harris Guide to Bacon Alternatives

Before we take a look at the recipe for the tofu bacon let’s just clear the air and put it out there that if you want bacon, it’s going to be fattening, there really isn’t such thing as GOOD bacon that’s going to be HEALTHY … however, if there is, LET A GIRL KNOW!! LOL! While the recipes and alternatives below are animal free, they ARE more than likely going to be fried in oil!!

Alright, let’s get to it!

Smoky Tofu Bacon

  • 1 block smoked extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp tamari
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

Method:

1. Slice tofu into long, 1/4 inch slices and set aside.

2. Combine smoked paprika, maple syrup, vinegar, tamari, liquid smoke and olive oil in a shallow dish.

3. Add tofu to the marinade and lay each slice down on the bottom, ensuring each piece is thoroughly covered with marinade. Place in the fridge and marinate for at least half and hour.

4. Heat cast-iron or large skillet over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add each slice of marinated tofu. Cook for 3-4 minutes on medium-high heat, and then flip each piece and repeat. In the final minutes of cooking tofu, add any remaining marinade leftover to the hot pan.

5. Remove from heat, let slightly cool and chop into smaller, bite-sized pieces.

6. Serve tofu bacon atop Captain’s Plant-Based Caesar Salad.

*If you’re running short on time, skip the marinade and simply fry smoked tofu using method above. The marinade adds a rich, smoky flavour to the tofu that really enhances its bacon flavour, but it’s not crucial!!!

Jillian Harris Guide to Bacon Alternatives

Vegan Bacon from The Very Good Butchers

If you’re like me and love a good BLT, I found the BEST bacon alternative for a badass Vegan BLT!! It’s actually the vegan bacon from The Very Good Butchers!! It gets nice and crunchy and has such a good flavour to it! I highly suggest giving this a try … I mean, who can resist a sandwich that looks this damn good?!?! Here is my Vegan BLT recipe if you’d like to give it a try!

What you’ll need: 
  • White Bread
  • Vegan Mayo
  • Vegan Bacon
  • Lettuce
  • Sliced tomato
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pickles (optional side)
  • Olives (optional side)
  • Chips (optional side)

Directions:

  1. Toast your bread.
  2. Add a generous amount of vegan mayo to toasted bread.
  3. Add sliced tomatoes and lettuce to your sandwich.
  4. Top with cooked vegan bacon. I fry mine in a pan until crispy!
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve with a side of pickles, olives, and chips!

I also like to serve up my BLT with a pickle and/or olives on the side and of course, some chips!!! Hey, I never said this was a healthy meal … I just said it was vegan!! LOL!!!!

Jillian Harris Guide to Bacon Alternatives

YVES Meatless Canadian Bacon

I’ve also used YVES Meatless Canadian Bacon, in my BLT before and it’s also really tasty, I like to fry mine up in oil!! Mmmmm!!

Coconut Bacon

I really like coconut bacon … I mean, it sort of combines the best of both worlds, doesn’t it?! LOL! It’s another really easy recipe and you can even use this on the Kale Caesar Salad I shared above in replace of the tofu bacon!!

What you’ll need: 
  • 3/4 unsweetened large flake coconut
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut aminos or low-sodium tamari
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pure maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon of liquid smoke
  • 1/8 teaspoon of fine-grain sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • pinch cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325F.
  2. Mix all of your ingredients together.
  3. Spread everything out on a baking pan.
  4. Bake at 325F for 10 minutes. (Turn on the range fan and open a window while it bakes as the smoked aroma is powerful.)
  5. Let cool and enjoy!

Jillian Harris Guide to Bacon Alternatives

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Bacon Alternatives I Want To Try:

Below are some additional bacon alternatives I’ve come across which I haven’t yet tried but they are my list to give a whirl when I find some spare time!!

Carrot Bacon

I am SO CURIOUS to know what it would taste like! Have any of you made it before??

Jillian Harris Guide to Bacon Alternatives

Eggplant Bacon

I HAVE tried eggplant bacon before and I have to say I wasn’t SUPER impressed with it, I think the trick to mastering this one is frying it or else it turns out soggy!

Jillian Harris Guide to Bacon Alternatives

Portobello Mushroom Bacon

I’m not sure how I feel about mushroom bacon … but I’m intrigued!

Jillian Harris Guide to Bacon Alternatives

Have you tried any of the bacon alternatives above?? If so, which one is your favourite? Do you have a fave that isn’t listed above at all?? If so, SHARE AWAY! LOL!

xo

Jilly

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  1. Linda from Veganosity

    September 1st, 2017 at 11:57 am

    I love that you’re cutting back on bacon! Thanks for sharing our Portobello mushroom “bacon” recipe. Please do try it, it’s one of the most popular recipes on our site, and well received by meat eaters. 🙂

  2. Jillian Harris

    September 1st, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Yum!!! I can’t wait!!! Do you have any other suggestions?? XOXO

  3. Amanda W

    September 6th, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    I have also tried breakfast “BLT’s” from a local restaurant in Victoria, BC. They make it with zucchini bacon and it’s amazing (this was before I was cutting down meat, and I still loved it!). The place is called Be Love, if you ever make it to Vancouver Island, you have got to try it.

  4. Emilie

    September 7th, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    I HAVE to try making that coconut bacon! I’ve tried it before in Penticton and it was AWESOME!

  5. Nico / yumsome

    October 2nd, 2017 at 7:10 am

    Thanks so much for including my carrot bacon – have you tried it yet?

    Love your pics, BTW, so gorgeous! xx

  6. Drooling Foodies

    January 1st, 2018 at 6:17 am

    Can’t wait to try carrot bacon. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  7. Samantha St. Paul

    March 9th, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Ok so I just have to say that I am not a tofu kinda girl, ive tried it many time throughout the past 10 years and never cared for it, but after reading this guide to bacon alternatives I decided I would give it another go and I’m so glad I did.
    This recipe is a 10 out of 10 in my books and tastes just as good as the pictures look. Now to get the hubbys approval!
    Thanks for sharing your creative ideas with us all, its very much appreciated!

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