Faux chicken salad is a favorite around here, especially for lunches and picnics in the summer. But sometimes, we want to mix it up. This recipe is delicious and easy – and exotic. We took familiar flavors and twisted them into eclectic combinations to end up with a new Beyond Chicken salad sandwich that tastes new and different.
Start with the pesto: watercress is in season and is best eaten raw to retain the active phytochemicals known as isothiocyanates, the same disease fighting components found in broccoli and cabbage. Mix up the watercress with a spicy jalapeno, add the feremented, umami goodness of miso, and sunflower seeds for protein and iron. The flavor is lively and robust. But we don’t stop there ~ you’ve got to try the marinade, too.
With garlic, tomato and scallions, you may think we’re going to an Italian theme. Until the mirin, ginger, and rice vinegar come into the mix. The resulting marinade is robust and complex, with the kind of taste that makes you keep asking “What is in that? It’s so good!”
Yes, this recipe is unusual. But we promise, it’s worth the gamble. Give it a try as a sandwich or try the option to make it as a hot dinner, below. Your Beyond Chicken experience will never be the same!
Tomato-Ginger Beyond Chicken Sandwiches with Watercress Pesto
2/3 cup sunflower seeds, shelled
1 fresh jalapeno, seeded (or less, to taste)
3 cups fresh watercress
2 Tbl. white miso
pinch red pepper flakes
2 cloves fresh garlic
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled
1 Tbl. mirin
1 Tbl. rice vinegar
1 whole fresh tomato (about 1 to 1 1/2 cups)
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 Tbl. brown sugar
4 whole scallions
2 packs Lightly Seasoned Beyond Chicken Strips, torn into shreds
Eight rolls or long baguette, to serve as sandwich
Your favorite sandwich fixins’, such as lettuce, sprouts, cucumbers, vegan mayo etc.
First, make the marinade by adding garlic, fresh ginger, mirin, rice vinegar, fresh tomato, lemon zest and brown sugar to a food processor or powerful blender. Process until liquid and all pieces of veggies are broken down. Add scallions and pulse a few times so you can still see chunks of green.
Add all shredded Beyond Chicken to a large bowl and pour tomato-ginger marinade over top. Fold together, coating shreds completely. Allow to sit in fridge for 20 minutes to overnight to absorb flavors.
When ready to serve, make the watercress pesto: add sunflower seeds, jalapeno, watercress, white miso and red pepper flakes to a food processor or powerful blender. Mix until a paste forms, scraping sides down to make sure all ingredients are incorporated.
To assemble sandwiches, spread bread with a thin layer of watercress pesto. Stack with lettuce or other sandwich veggies. (We like ours with lots of lettuce and a little vegan mayo.) Top with marinaded Beyond Chicken and serve immediately.
Chef’s Note: This recipe would also work as a hot dinner preparation ~ Simply marinade shreds and make pesto, then stir pesto into your favorite cooked pasta or rice, and top with Beyond Chicken and garnish with chopped scallions.