Food for the Heart - Recipes from the Soul: Vegan Bacon 3 Ways

Who Doesn’t Love “Bacon”?

Per a fellow yogi request of the need for the rice paper bacon recipe. This recipe is a nice way to add that salty, crunchy flavor everyone loves from bacon to any dish. But how do you decipher when to use which bacon recipe? Well other than what is already available in your fridge, I have times when I prefer to make one over the other.

Tempeh Bacon: For anyone who isn’t familiar with tempeh, tempeh is a soybean product that is made by fermenting soy bean with microogranism and then making a compact block post fermentation. The final product differs from regular tofu because it has a more meaty, chewy, and nutty flavor. Tempeh bacon is high in protein, a good source of iron, and other nutrients. I love to make tempeh bacon to add a salty, crunchy addition to meals but with also adding protein, hence in the situation of making a BLT, the tempeh still allows for me to have protein on my sandwich.

Rice Paper Bacon: This is the crunchiest option for bacon and honestly my favorite of the three recipes. Rice paper and the marinate lack in nutrients, but if you’re just looking to add some serious crunch to a sandwich, salad, etc. I highly recommend making this one.

Carrot Bacon: I love making carrot bacon because the flavor is the best out of all three options. There is just something magical that happens with the sugar from the carrot and the smokiness/saltiness from the marinate that work wonders together. But carrot bacon does not get as crispy as I prefer my bacon to be.

Bacon Marinade

Vegan, Gluten-free, Nut-free

Makes 20 pieces of desired bacon choice: tempeh, rice paper, or carrot

What you need:

1/4 cup olive oil

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

1 Tbsp garlic powder 

3 Tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp black pepper

3 Tbsp soy sauce (or to make gluten free use liquid aminos or Tamari)

3 Tbsp liquid smoke

This marinate can also be placed in the fridge for up to a week. This way if you dont need 20 pieces of bacon in one sitting you can make some throughout the week.

Tempeh Bacon

What you need:

      1 block of tempeh cut into 20 thin slices

Rice Paper Bacon

What you need:

4 sheets of rice paper cut into 5 equal strips *easier if using scissors rather than a knife

Carrot Bacon

What you need:

2 medium carrots each cut into 10 thin slices *easier if using a Mandoline

What to do:

Combine all marinate ingredients into one bowl

Marinate each strip of desired bacon choice by taking ~1 Tbsp of marinate, brush on with a pastry brush on both sides (or you can dip directly into the marinate, just ensure both sides gets a nice even layer).

Optional for the tempeh bacon, option to marinate overnight so that the marinate can sink into the middle of the tempeh and be more consistent throughout.

Bake at 425° until crispy. The marinate will burn around the edges of the bacon, but just make sure the bacon itself is not burnt but crispy.

Rice paper Bacon: ~3 minutes (watch closely, if you step away from the oven it will burn)

Carrot bacon: ~20 minutes

Tempeh bacon: ~20 minutes

-Namaste, Melissa P.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MELISSA POINDEXTER

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Melissa Poindexter, RDN, LD

A vegan registered dietitian nutritionist who doubles as a local Denton yogi. Melissa started her yoga journey with Karma Yoga three years ago. Melissa has a passion for working with individuals with special diets by giving education through evidence-based research. When off her mat and out of the kitchen, Melissa also enjoys outdoor activities, scuba diving, and gardening.