California Dreaming Veggie Sandwich (Vegan)

California Dreaming Veggie Sandwich (Vegan)

Sometimes it’s the simplest recipes that end up being among your favorites. Take this sandwich for instance. It doesn’t look that special, but after your first bite you realize that it has so much going on: it’s creamy, crunchy, tangy, savory, filling, and healthy. Plus, with the bright, eye-catching colors, this sandwich will have you dreaming of being in the warm California sun 🙂 

Open faced

This sandwich was born out of my desire to find a use for leftover carrots that didn’t involve roasting them – because whether or not the weather decides to cooperate, I will at least eat like it is finally springtime. After browsing through countless spriralzied carrot pastas and chilled carrot soups, I finally found the recipe my stomach was craving: pickled carrots. If you know me, then you might find that strange as I HATE pickles, but that’s more of a texture issue than taste. Bry on the other hand loves pickles (he even will drink the juice. . .somethings I will just never understand), so I figured that even if I didn’t like the carrots, I knew he would be more than happy to polish them off.   


And trust me, making the carrots is very straight forward! Start by cutting your carrots into matchsticks and place them in a glass jar with any other veggies you’d like – I had some leftover cabbage to throw in, but peppers, onions, or cucumbers (after all, we are pickling) would work great as well.  Add in some red pepper flakes if you want a little extra heat. In a small saucepan, bring water, sugar, salt, vinegar, and harissa seasoning to a boil (if you don’t have harissa, make your own using paprika, garlic powder, coriander, cumin, caraway, and red pepper flakes; or play around with your own flavor combinations!). Dissolve the sugar, then pour the mixture over the carrots and let it sit in the fridge overnight.

The next day, simply drain and press your tofu. If you like your tofu to be a little crispy (definitely my preference), simply heat olive oil in a skillet and pan fry the tofu so it is golden brown on each side. If you like raw tofu, then no need to do anything more than drain, press, and cut into strips. Toast your bread, smother with hummus and smashed avocado, then top with tofu and pickled carrots.

I do want to warn you, this is not a dainty sandwich. You will likely get hummus and/or avocado all over your fingers and it’s a struggle to keep the pickled veggies in place. But I loved every messy minute of it and I hope you will too! So here’s a toast to not underestimating the deliciousness of crunchy veggie sandwiches!

California Dreaming Veggie Sandwich (Vegan)

Creamy, savory avocado and hummus provide the perfect contrast to the crunchy, tangy pickled veggies in this vegan-friendly sandwich.
Prep Time15 mins
Chilling time1 d
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Healthy, Lunch, Sandwich, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Author: The Healthy Toast


For the Pickled Carrots

  • 1/2 pound carrots peeled
  • 1/2 cup diced red cabbage or vegetable of your choice
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Harissa seasoning mix or spices of your choice

For the Sandwiches

  • 1 batch of pickled veggies
  • 1 package of tofu drained and pressed
  • 1 avocado
  • 4-8 tablespoons hummus I love Trader Joe's Garlic Hummus, but feel free to sub in your favorite or even homemade!
  • 4-8 slices of multi-grain sourdough bread the sourdough I buy has huge slices, so one slice of bread cut in half is perfect for one sandwich, but it will depend on the brand you buy


For the Carrots

  • Cut carrots into matchsticks and dice the cabbage. Place in glass jar along with red pepper flakes.
  • In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together water, vinegar, sugar, salt, and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Continue to boil until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved.
  • Pour water mixture over veggies and let cool. Place in fridge for at least 24 hr.

For the Sandwiches

  • Drain and press your tofu. Cut into four slices. If you want to cook your tofu, place 1 Tbs olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add tofu and brown each side.
  • Toast bread so it's just slightly brown. Mash avocado (or cut into slices if you prefer). Place 1/4 of avocado and 1-2 tablespoons of hummus on one slice of toast. Top with 1 slice of tofu and as much of the pickled veggies as you'd like. Top with another slice of toast. Repeat for remaining 3 sandwiches.
  • Enjoy!


Nutrition for 1 sandwich (using 1 tablespoon of humus and 2 slices of sourdough bread): 360 Calories, 11 g Fat, 2 g Saturated Fat, 48 g Carbohydrate, 6 g Fiber, 11 g Sugar, 17 g Protein
Adapted from Naturally Ella

Add a comment


  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine AvatarRebecca @ Strength and Sunshine7 years ago

    What a lovely combo of flavors! I would totally do the harissa on mine 😉

    • The Healthy Toast AvatarThe Healthy Toast7 years ago

      Thank you! Harissa is for sure the way to go 🙂

  • Vivian @vivanttang AvatarVivian @vivanttang7 years ago

    This sandwich looks amazing! Love tofu in sandwiches. And those pickled veg.

    • The Healthy Toast AvatarThe Healthy Toast7 years ago

      Thanks! Yes, the pickled veggies definitely make it a keeper!

  • Donna VB AvatarDonna VB7 years ago

    Wow! What a classic this will have great flavor

    • The Healthy Toast AvatarThe Healthy Toast7 years ago

      Thank you 🙂 Yes, it definitely shows that vegetarian food can pack a serious flavor-punch!

  • Melanie AvatarMelanie7 years ago

    This looks amazing! I love non-dainty sandwiches that are brimming with flavor!

    • The Healthy Toast AvatarThe Healthy Toast7 years ago

      Thank you! Hope you give it a try 🙂

  • About Kelli McGrane Headshot

    I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!

    About Kelli McGrane Headshot

    Welcome to The Healthy Toast!

    Here you’ll find realistic healthy recipes designed by a registered dietitian with your busy lifestyle in mind.

    Whether you’re a busy professional or new mom, the goal of The Healthy Toast is to provide you with the recipes and nutrition info you need to live your healthiest life, even when life gets crazy. As I’m a firm believer in a whole-foods, non-diet approach, I hope my website shows that good nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. 

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