It’s Throwback Thursday, and Vegan MoFo day 25! For Throwback Thursday I want to take you all the way back to 2002 when I was just a young freshman at Binghamton University.
Back then I was a young impressionable girl all of 18 years old. I had just started dating a new guy and he took me out to try a Spiede. I had no idea what that was, so I joined him in a lunch out one Saturday afternoon.
If you’ve never heard of a Spiede, it’s a sandwich that is very popular in Upstate New York. Especially in the Binghamton area, where you could go to any local restaurant and get yourself a Spiede. They were known for this sandwich, and this boyfriend of mine thought that I really needed to try one.
Being the young stupid 18 year old that I was, I was afraid to tell my new boyfriend that I was a vegetarian. So that day I went out to lunch, and I tried a Spiede.
A Spiede is traditionally made with chicken, cubed up and marinated in a sauce that is made of apple cider vinegar, oil, and lots of Italian seasonings. Then the chicken is grilled and put on a roll with lettuce and tomato. To this day I still remember the taste of that sandwich. I’ve never liked chicken, but the Spiede sauce made it edible. I finally got the courage to tell that boyfriend that I didn’t eat meat, and that was the absolute last time I did.
When re-creating the Spiede to be vegan, I decided to make it with tempeh. Tofu might work well here, but I love cooking with tempeh and rarely get the chance to. So to start, I steamed the tempeh to remove the bitterness.
I love this electric steamer basket! After it’s been steamed I let it cool for a few minutes, then take it out to cut it up. Cubing it would have been more traditional, but I like to cut it this way:
I’ve only ever lived in Upstate New York, so I’m not sure if Spiede sauce is readily available everywhere. I can find it in my local grocery store. If you can’t find it already made, there are plenty of recipes on the internet to follow. Should be really easy to make!
I pour just enough sauce into a pan for it to cover the bottom.
Then heat it up, and put the tempeh in to cook.
It even almost looks like chicken while it’s cooking up. You want to cook it until the tempeh is browned. Then you put it on bread, with lettuce and tomato. For tonight, I used spinach as my green leaf. For my bread I used a hot dog roll. When I was shopping it just happened to be the right size for the sandwich I wanted to eat!
It’s really quick and easy to throw together. I wouldn’t call this meal low fat though, because the tempeh is pretty much fried in oil, but it is a nice treat every once in a while. The flavor and texture were just perfect, and really reminded me of that sandwich I had all those years ago (except without the gross chicken!).
Does the area you are from have a special food? If so, have you ever tried to veganize it? It’s really quite fun to do!
Until next time!