► Makes 4 Servings
FOR THE SAUCE:
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil, divided
⅓ cup (53 g) chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can (15 ounces, or 425 g) tomato sauce 1 can (6 ounces, or 170 g) tomato paste
⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon (90 g) packed brown sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons (40 to 60 g) molasses
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegan
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (20 ml) liquid smoke
1 tablespoon (8 g) chili powder
1 tablespoon (15 g) Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
FOR THE SANDWICHES:
4 seitan cutlets or tempeh, (store bought)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
½ of a small onion, thinly sliced
½ of a small bell pepper (any colour), thinly sliced
4 burger buns or crusty rolls, split and toasted
2 tablespoons (28 g) vegan mayonnaise, optional
To make the sauce: Heat 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of oil in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce through the cayenne pepper, stirring well to combine. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce should be thick enough to leave trails in the surface. For a thicker sauce, cook longer. Transfer the sauce to a blender and process until smooth.
To make the sandwiches: Slice the cutlets into thin strips. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the seitan for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes, so the pepper remains slightly crisp. Reduce the heat to low and add the sauce, as desired.
Cook for 3 minutes to combine and heat throughout. Spread the mayonnaise evenly on the bottom buns. Divide the mixture on the buns and put the tops on. Extra sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months.