When you think of a sandwich, do pastrami or turkey come to your mind first? Or is it the gooey cheese? Most people I know have no idea how to make a vegan sandwich, let alone how to make one that tastes good.

Here are some pointers:

1. Pick good bread. Spelt tortillas, whole wheat slices, sprouted rolls – try to go as whole grain as possible.

2. Pick your spread. Hummus, pesto, sun-dried tomato paste, avocado, avocado or vegan mayonnaise with a bit of curry, nuts, processed to a paste with some parsley and garlic added to the mix… The list is quite long. Even sweet purees, like mashed dates or bananas work, especially if combined with bitter veggies or barbecued or marinated tofu or tempeh. I also like miso paste, combined with tahini paste. Pure tahini paste and nut butters work, too. Carrot butter is awesome: puree some cooked carrots and add some olive oil and a bit of miso. Applesauce is ok for certain combinations. To make a good vegan sandwich, you must be generous with the spread, otherwise the whole thing would turn out dry. In a regular sandwich, meat and cheese are the things that keep it moist and delicious. While making a vegan sandwich, put the spread on both sliced of the bread used.

3. Pick your veggies. Make sure you put a lot of vegetables in your sandwich. Avocado is almost a must and so are the greens and the tomatoes. You can also put cucumber slices, grated carrots, celery and onions. Sauerkraut works in some cases, too.

4. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the veggies. You can also sprinkle some basil or parsley or even curry. Some balsamic vinegar works sometimes.

5. Pick your protein. Surprisingly, a scoop of cooked quinoa works well. Tofu or tempeh work better. Pumpkin seeds are fine and so are pecans of walnuts. I don’t like processed soy products, like soy burgers, but they definitely work, taste-wise.

6. Add something fun, like tobasco sauce or  coconut or raisins or dried cranberries. This is not mandatory.

What’s your favorite vegan sandwich?