Think you have to eat meat in order to enjoy a BLT? Think again! The 'Sexy Vegan', vegan chef and cookbook author Brian L. Patton, has dedicated a good bulk of his career to proving you can still pig out on a plant-based diet. I think his point is proven with his smoky, crispy tempeh bacon recipe, a pretty vital building block to a majority of vegan recipes. Never tried tempeh? Tempeh is a flat brick of fermented soybeans that can be cut up and prepared in a number of ways to work as a perfect protein source in vegan and vegetarian diets. It's extremely popular in macrobiotic diets, a way of eating that puts emphasis on the nutritive properties of fermented soy products. Personally, I love cutting tempeh up, giving it a bit of a stir-fry, and using them as crutons in a salad. However, tempeh bacon is extremely popular among vegans and vegetarians AND you get to eat bacon that is actually beneficial to your health! (This bacon actually fights cancer! How cool is that!) -------------------------------------------------- Tempeh Bacon 1/2 cup low-sodium tamari (You could also use low-sodium soy sauce if you want, but tamari will give it a much nicer smoky flavor.) 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon paprika 2 teaspoons molasses 2 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce (Annie's Naturals brand is perhaps the easiest to find in local supermarkets.) 1 drop liquid smoke Pepper 1 8-ounce package tempeh, sliced into 1/8-inch-thick strips Extra-virgin olive oil for frying, optional 1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the tamari, vinegar, garlic powder, paprika, molasses, Worcestershire, liquid smoke, and a couple grinds of pepper. Pour the marinade into a ziplock bag, add the tempeh slices, and gently slosh them around so they get coated. Squeeze the bag to suck out as much air as possible, and zip it closed. Put the bag in the fridge to let the tempeh marinade for at least 8 hours (24 is ideal). 2. To cook the bacon, remove the tempeh from the marinade, letting the excess marinade fall away from the strips, and either bake at 375F for about 10 minutes or fry in a pan with a little oil over medium heat for about 3 minutes per side, until browned. 3. If you don't use all the strips right away, store the remaining ones in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.