The Veggie | Sunflower Seed Tzatziki + Golden Beets w/ Sumac + Avocado + Sprouts

March 25, 2015

The Veggie Sandwich | Sunflower Seed Tzatziki + Golden Beets w/ Sumac + Avocado + Sprouts | Faring Well | #vegan #recipeThe Veggie Sandwich | Sunflower Seed Tzatziki + Golden Beets w/ Sumac + Avocado + Sprouts | Faring Well | #vegan #recipeThe Veggie Sandwich | Sunflower Seed Tzatziki + Golden Beets w/ Sumac + Avocado + Sprouts | Faring Well | #vegan #recipeThe Veggie Sandwich | Sunflower Seed Tzatziki + Golden Beets w/ Sumac + Avocado + Sprouts | Faring Well | #vegan #recipeThe Veggie Sandwich | Sunflower Seed Tzatziki + Golden Beets w/ Sumac + Avocado + Sprouts | Faring Well | #vegan #recipe

Two weekends spent traveling and several side projects has left me distant from this space for a week or two, but never fear, it t’was only temporary! The first weekend was spent back home in Phoenix with our families (I shared more about this in my last post). Warm, sunny, nostalgic days filled our trip and it felt very needed. This past weekend we were lucky enough to tag along with our friends Maggie and Joel (of Joel Bear Studios) to do some adventure modeling for a few new outdoor pieces they had received to shoot. Um, yeah, best kind of modeling I could imagine. Getting to road trip down to the Great Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado and climb all over huge sand dunes that were at the base of snowy mountain peaks with a river running between them – PINCH ME.

We searched for a place to camp in and around the park with no luck, but then stumbled upon this little lodge right outside the park. It was a thin strip of a building with only a small handful of rooms. Each room opened up to a patio that faced the dunes. It was simple, rustic yet neat, and perfectly matched it’s surroundings. Even though all four of us were itching to set up camp in our tents, this was the best thing that could have happened. I will never forget my morning waking up to that view. It felt odd climbing around on huge sand dunes in the sunshine with jeans and a jacket on, but it was only 50F with a cool breeze. You never got warm, maybe chilly at times, and it was just perfect. The cold river felt so good on your feet when crossing from the mountain side to the dunes side. Then the sun-beaten sand warmed them immediately as you began to hike. I’m not going to lie, I straight up laid down on the sand at times to feel it’s warmth and soak up the rays between climbing it’s peaks. The vastness of the dunes and mountains next to open plains where you could see for miles reminded me of Death Valley. There is a type of peace you feel in the presence of these places that cannot be expressed in words or pictures. You have to be in their midst. I’m excited to share more about our adventure, as well as one of my go-to traveling recipes, over on Herban Journal next month.¬†Definitely give them a follow, I love what they are all about. I also have a few photos from the trip up on our “Adventures by Us” board if you want to see more.

The Veggie Sandwich | Sunflower Seed Tzatziki + Golden Beets w/ Sumac + Avocado + Sprouts | Faring Well | #vegan #recipeThe Veggie Sandwich | Sunflower Seed Tzatziki + Golden Beets w/ Sumac + Avocado + Sprouts | Faring Well | #vegan #recipeThe Veggie Sandwich | Sunflower Seed Tzatziki + Golden Beets w/ Sumac + Avocado + Sprouts | Faring Well | #vegan #recipeThe Veggie Sandwich | Sunflower Seed Tzatziki + Golden Beets w/ Sumac + Avocado + Sprouts | Faring Well | #vegan #recipeThe Veggie Sandwich | Sunflower Seed Tzatziki + Golden Beets w/ Sumac + Avocado + Sprouts | Faring Well | #vegan #recipe

Now onto this crazy deliciousness melting your face as you stare at the screen right now. I teased you with this picture on Instagram a few weeks back, and now I am finally bringing it to you here! This is one of those recipes that was not planned, but craved. I was on my morning long distance run (where most of my recipe ideas come to me, ironically) and I began to crave the flavors in this sandwich. I wanted bread, the rustic spelt kind that my body can handle. A tangy tzatziki filled with fresh cucumber and dill. Roasted golden beets covered in sumac. Plus no veggie sandwich is complete without sprouts and avocado slices. Together, the layers of flavor in this sandwich nearly knocked Scott and I out of our chairs. I have to give a huge shout out to Jodi over at Happy Hearted Kitchen for saving the day when it came to the tzatziki sauce. After my run I continued running all over our neighborhood to the different markets in search of a plane, unsweetened, vegan greek yogurt with zero success. About to throw in the towel on my craving for the day, I began to think… (I should probably start with thinking next time, eh?) What other whole foods, vegan based sauce could I use for the tzatziki in place of the greek yogurt? Then Jodi’s sunflower seed based aioli popped in my head – and hot damn am I glad I never found that yogurt. This sauce is out of this world. I want to bathe in this sauce (metaphorically). I used her sunflower seed + lemon juice + olive oil base and then added some salt, pepper, fresh dill, and diced cucumber to change it from an aioli to a mediterranean tzatziki. Authentic? Heck no. Delicious? You bet. The rest all came together, I layered this baby up, and dug into THE best veggie sandwich I have ever had in my life. No exaggeration. Now it’s your turn to experience this hearty, tasty, veggie magic.

The Veggie Sandwich | Sunflower Seed Tzatziki + Golden Beets w/ Sumac + Avocado + Sprouts | Faring Well | #vegan #recipeThe Veggie Sandwich | Sunflower Seed Tzatziki + Golden Beets w/ Sumac + Avocado + Sprouts | Faring Well | #vegan #recipeThe Veggie Sandwich | Sunflower Seed Tzatziki + Golden Beets w/ Sumac + Avocado + Sprouts | Faring Well | #vegan #recipe

Be sure to follow me on Instagram and tag photos you post of my recipes with #FWmakers so I can see!

Serves 4 hungry persons.

One loaf of rustic spelt bread (recipe here).

Sunflower Seed Tzatziki
Adapted from Jodi’s Aioli
1/2 cup sunflower seeds*
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt to taste
few dashes of pepper
2 heaping tablespoons fresh dill
1/4 to 1/3 cup diced cucumber

Roasted Golden Beets
2 golden beets
light drizzle of olive oil
salt & pepper
sumac for dusting

2 medium avocados
broccoli sprouts

*I have made this tzatziki with the raw sunflower seeds soaked (in water for four hours) and not soaked. Both turned out great. However, when I did not soak the seeds I did have to add 2 tablespoons of water to the sauce when blending to get the right consistency.

Preheat the oven to 400F to roast the beets. Wash the beets, scrubbing well to ensure any dirt gets removed, and slice off the top and bottom and discard. Slice the beets into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Lightly toss the slices in a drizzle of olive oil and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Lay on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and roast in the oven for about 25 minutes (or until they reach your desired level of crispiness).

While the beets are roasting, make the sunflower tzatziki. Combine the sunflower seeds, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a high speed blender and puree until smooth (I used my stick blender to puree the ingredients in a small mixing bowl). If you did not soak your seeds (see note above) add 2 tablespoons of water at this time. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed. Slice 1 small julienne cucumber (or 1/3 of a large cucumber) in half and scrape out the seeds using your finger or a spoon. Press the inside of the cucumber with a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture. Slice the cucumber halves into 1/4 inch thick strips. Cut those strips into 1/4 inch cubes. Place cubes on a paper towel and roll up and squeeze to remove any remaining liquid. Add the diced cucumber, and fresh dill, to the sunflower seed sauce and fold in until combined. The sauce can be made ahead and stored in an airtight glass jar in the refrigerator until ready to use. Best if consumed within 3 days.

When the beets are finished roasting and your tzatziki is made, its time to assemble the sandwiches! Lay down a slice of bread and spread with a few tablespoons of the sunflower tzatziki. Layer a few roasted golden beet rounds on top next and sprinkle with sumac. Add a few avocado slices, and top with a good handful of broccoli sprouts. Top with another slice of bread, slice the sandwich in half, and dig in. Known side effects include mouth watering and excessive happiness.


  • Reply Abby @ The Frosted Vegan March 25, 2015 at 7:10 am

    GIRL, this looks like the sandwich of my dreams!! I love hearing about other people’s travels and yours sound absolutely wonderful. Doesn’t it feel awesome to just break out of a routine and see new sights sometimes? The more I read about how hearty and nourishing this sandwich is, the more I want it!

    • Reply Faring Well March 25, 2015 at 9:41 am

      Abby! Thank you! So cool. And yes, escape is so needed to places like these. Especially if you have a hearty sandwich like this packed away to fuel the adventure (need to pack these next time!). Hope you get to enjoy this sammie and get off the grid soon!

  • Reply Amy | Sobremesa March 25, 2015 at 9:12 am

    HI! I saw your sand dune pics start popping up on Pinterest last night and immediately got the travel bug. So so beautiful! I’m glad I’m not the only one that thinks about food and recipe ideas while running, it’s usually where I think up my favorite dishes. This sandwich has so many of my favorite flavors, I can’t wait to try it. I made Jodi’s aioli for her beet burgers and it was so good, can’t wait to try this tzatzikified version. Big hugs to you!

    • Reply Faring Well March 25, 2015 at 9:40 am

      Aw thank you Amy! Glad it got that travel bug planted inside you – one of the very few bugs I am a fan of ;). And isn’t that funny! Glad to know we both are thinking of how we can consume calories while we burn them, haha! Thanks so much for the sandwich love, Jodi is amazing – this sauce would not be what it is without her!

  • Reply Caitlin March 25, 2015 at 9:26 am

    this is the most beautiful sandwich i have ever seen. and that bread- holy cow.

    • Reply Faring Well March 25, 2015 at 9:38 am

      Caitlin, thank you!! And I know right… I sliced it warm and fresh right out of the oven to build this sammie and nearly died.

  • Reply Lane | Green Spirit Adventures March 25, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Oh. My. Gosh. That sandwich looks way too good to be real! I want one right now – I’m definitely going to have to get all the ingredients to make this soon! And your life sounds like a wonderful dream, I’m so jealous of all the traveling you get to do. :)

    • Reply Faring Well March 25, 2015 at 9:43 am

      This is one of the few times I will command you to make a recipe! Haha. This one is definitely a must! And these past two weeks have been huge gifts, usually we are trapped in our downtown apartment with no car dreaming up future escapes. They just finally have manifested a bit lately and I am oh so grateful! Anything is possible <3

  • Reply Amanda | Pickles & Honey March 25, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Now THAT is a sandwich! With gorgeous photos, as per usual. <3 The sand dunes are on our (epic) list of places to visit. Your instagram photos make me that much more excited!

    • Reply Faring Well March 25, 2015 at 11:02 am

      Ah thank you so much Amanda! And – GET EXCITED. Holy wow. Cannot wait to go back there, so incredible. You guys are going to have the best time letting your eyes and souls feast on that crazy beauty!

  • Reply renee (will frolic for food) March 25, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    this sandwich… is magic. i want it in my face RIGHT NOW. mouthwatering photos!!!! this is going on my lunch rotation.

    • Reply Faring Well March 25, 2015 at 6:57 pm

      Eeeee thank you Renee! You will not regret this addition to your rotation – its our favorite EVER!

  • Reply Anna March 25, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    I need you in my kitchen seriously!!!! Yummyyy

    • Reply Faring Well March 27, 2015 at 8:02 am

      Thanks Anna! And I’m sure you can whip this up no prob! ;)

  • Reply Maikki / Maikin mokomin March 25, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    That sunflower seed tzatziki is brilliant idea! I have made sunflower seed sour cream for savory waffles but I never thought I could use them to tzatziki too :)

    • Reply Faring Well March 25, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      Ooooo sour cream! Brilliant! Now you have me thinking of how to use it that way, thanks for the inspo! I super recommend the tzatziki version too, it changed my life.

  • Reply Berta March 25, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    What a sandwich! So many different flavours, at least for the person who rarely ventures beyond lettuce + tomato + cucumber + cheese! :)
    Oh and don’t even get me started on your travels! My list of places that I would like to visit is becoming too long ;)

    • Reply Faring Well March 25, 2015 at 7:00 pm

      Thank you so much Berta! I know, I tend not to venture as well, but this time it was so worth it! And ahhh the travels, I hope you get to go on some too! <3

  • Reply Sus @ March 25, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    WOAH, serious sandwich game going ON here Jessie! The flavours look amazing. So glad Jodi’s recipe gave you some inspo for the tzatziki, that aioli she did was mega! I’m a massive fan of dill instead of mint in it too! Another corker of a recipe girl! x

    • Reply Faring Well March 25, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      Thank you so much Sus! I’m so glad too, she totally saved me and opened me up to a whole world of sauce potential I didn’t know existed! And can I please steal “corker” from you!? Haha that word is brilliant. Thank you!

  • Reply Sophie March 25, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Wow! I didn’t know I could be blown away by a sandwich but I think it just happened!
    This looks AMAZING! And your photos are simply stunning, as always.

    • Reply Faring Well March 27, 2015 at 8:02 am

      Aw thanks Sophie! So glad you love. Thank you for your kind words!

  • Reply cynthia March 25, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    OK, this sandwich is EVERYTHING I want. Everything! So much texture, the perfectly complimentary flavors, it’s making me so hungry right now. And love hearing about your travels, too — this post is perfection :)

    • Reply Faring Well March 25, 2015 at 7:04 pm

      Thank you so crazy much Cynthia! You are the sweetest! Hope you get to get your grub on soon. And that makes me happy to know someone is enjoying the tails of our travels :) hope you are having just the best week!

  • Reply Jodi March 26, 2015 at 1:14 am

    There is so much to love about this post, Jessie, I just don’t know where to start! First, thank you for the shout outs and for pimping out my aioli into this sandwich. It’s MEGA. Love what you’ve done with those golden beets + sumac and that loaf! I’ll have to bake some up soon here, its looks so soft! Your weekend away sounds like a dream, those pictures are beautiful so thank you for sharing a little bit of that with us. I get my ideas for recipes on my runs too! What is it about running and getting hungry for good food? Haha! Sounds like you’re busy doing a few little side projects these days, congratulations little lady, so well deserved + can’t wait to see where this takes you! Big hugs to you my friend. xo

    • Reply Faring Well March 26, 2015 at 11:23 am

      Thank you so so much Jodi! I’m so glad you approve. And thank you for letting me use your sauce base for this post! Super stoked you love all the different elements/flavor combos, as well as our adventure pics :). I cannot wait to see all of yours during your travels this summer! Speaking of running and getting hungry, I’ve already had two breakfasts and need to go for my run before I have a third (bottomless pit this morning!). Thanks for all of your sweet words and support, you rule. Have the best day ever! <3

  • Reply lynsey | March 26, 2015 at 6:04 am

    i have to just reiterate what everyone else said … this sandwich is an absolute thing of beauty!!! Totally killed it. Love hearing your adventure too. Sounds absolutely amazing. xo

    • Reply Faring Well March 26, 2015 at 11:24 am

      Thanks so so much Lynsey! Super stoked you love the sammie and adventure tails <3

  • Reply Ingrid March 26, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Hey Jessie!

    I had to laugh so hard out loud at the part where you wrote you kept running even after your run. I so recognize this haha! This vegan sauce sounds really good, and also super healthy. Sunflower seeds ftw! I also love your photography in this post again. De step by step assembling ones especially. Very original! <3

    • Reply Faring Well March 26, 2015 at 11:26 am

      Haha! Thanks so much Ingrid! Not having a car means my legs are my constant source of transportation, so I usually try to coordinate my runs to go by places I need to run errands, makes me feel like my body is the car! Haha. Usually makes me reeeeeally hungry. So glad you love the recipe and the photos! Thank you for your sweet compliments!!

  • Reply Chris March 26, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Great recipe! Off to forage for the ingredients. For those not familiar with tzatziki, they should know to include yoghurt. Photos fab!

    • Reply Faring Well March 27, 2015 at 8:04 am

      Thanks Chris! Yes, I mention in my paragraph about this recipe that because I could not find vegan greek yogurt that day I made the sunflower seed base to substitute for it – although not authentic, it blew my mind! I would not recommend adding yogurt to this recipe, but using another tzatziki recipe instead! Thanks for the recipe and photo love + your kind words!

  • Reply The Holistic Herbivore March 26, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    This is perfection! I cant wait to make this! And I am always blown away by your beautiful photos!

    • Reply Faring Well March 27, 2015 at 7:57 am

      Oh my goodness thank you so much! Making my morning! Hope you get to make it soon, and have a lovely weekend!

  • Reply Kathryn March 27, 2015 at 3:44 am

    I’m pretty convinced that there is no greater food than the sandwich. Especially when it’s packed full of good stuff like this beauty is. Loved following your travel pics on instagram and excited to read your piece in Herban Journal next month.

    • Reply Faring Well March 27, 2015 at 7:59 am

      Agreed! The sandwich has such a brilliant design. Thanks for loving my sammie! Stoked you enjoyed the pics on Instagram, cannot wait to read your piece/recipe for Herban next month too – going to be such a great issue!

  • Reply Parker - my euro moments March 27, 2015 at 5:10 am

    This looks AMAZING!

  • Reply genevieve @ gratitude & greens March 27, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    These sandwiches look out of this world! Everything about this is perfect. I can’t wait to make this for lunch one day!!

    • Reply Faring Well March 28, 2015 at 8:11 am

      Thanks so much Genevieve! Super stoked for when you get to make them, we cannot get enough.

  • Reply Sini March 29, 2015 at 7:30 am

    “BOOM” was all I could think of when I saw this sandwich – what a stunner! I love how it’s loaded with all that good stuff. Totally need to make this soon. Also, your adventure in the Great Sand Dunes National Park sounded awesome – I bet I would love it there as well, as I totally fell in love with the beauty of Death Valley a few years back.

    • Reply Faring Well March 29, 2015 at 8:41 am

      Haha! Love it – BOOM. That is kind of what it felt like when I took my first bite. And that is so rad that you’ve been to Death Valley! Ah what a wonderful, majestic, peaceful, intense place.

  • Reply Heather Mason @Nutty Nutrition March 31, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    oh my goodness, this sandwich looks amazing! I love a good aioli or taziki! I just never know how to spell it correctly :(

    • Reply Faring Well April 1, 2015 at 8:04 am

      Thanks so much Heather! And haha that made me laugh – cause I struggle with the same thing! #spellingproblems ;)

  • Reply Richa {} March 31, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    such gorgeous photos and that sandwich looks fabulous! also congrats on the saveur nom!

    • Reply Faring Well April 1, 2015 at 8:05 am

      Goodness thank you so much Richa! So sweet of you to write me! <3

  • Reply Susan April 5, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    Oh my! Looks divine. I can’t wait to try the Sunflower Seed Tzatziki!

    • Reply Faring Well April 6, 2015 at 8:00 am

      Yay I cannot wait for you to try it too! It is Scott and I’s new favorite go-to sammie spread :)

  • Reply Leigha @ The Yooper Girl April 5, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    Soooo… I am STOKED to find your blog. You have the most beautiful pictures and I love reading your stories. :) keep it up girl! I’ll be here supporting you!

    • Reply Faring Well April 6, 2015 at 7:59 am

      That whole comment made me smile so big and gave me the little boost I needed to get working this morning, thank you so so much for your kind words Leigha!

  • Reply Ingredient1 April 8, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Wow – this sandwich looks INSANE!! We cannot wait to try this Sunflower Seed Tzatziki – brilliant!

    • Reply Faring Well April 8, 2015 at 9:48 pm

      Aw thanks so much! It is our FAVE. Excited for you to try it too!

  • Reply Sophie April 20, 2015 at 11:32 am

    Wow what a gorgeous sandwich! I’ve got a quick question I’m hoping you can answer. I know in the bread recipe, it calls for both whole spelt flour and light spelt flour–if I’m substituting the spelt flour for a 100% gf flour, do you suggest using two different kinds of flour, the same way two different spelt flours were used? I’m hoping you can answer as this sandwich recipe looks delish!! xx

    • Reply Faring Well April 21, 2015 at 8:18 am

      Thanks so much Sophie! I sadly would not recommend using a gluten free flour for this bread recipe. I’ve never tested it and therefore cannot guarantee it will come out anything like the spelt version you see here. However, if you’d like to give it a try, one type of gluten free flour should be fine – bet me know if you do, curious how it would turn out! <3

  • Reply Rachel June 28, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    I’m not sure if you know about this, but Jessica Murnane’s podcast and her guest (Dana from Minimalist Baker) mentioned your blog and this gorgeous, yummy sandwich on the most recent episode :) It’s towards the end of the episode (a little after the 15 minute mark).

    • Reply Faring Well June 29, 2015 at 11:10 am

      I did see that! Thanks so much for letting me know, though, in case I had missed it! I totally flipped. Was so crazy honored! <3

    • Reply krystal July 1, 2015 at 9:15 am

      This is what led me to your site and this recipe as well! I made it last night for dinner and it was AH-MAZ-ING! I’m eating leftovers, literally, right now. I’m so excited to find another plant-based blog now that I’ve cut dairy from my diet (my tummy decided we didn’t like it anymore). I’m really enjoying all the vegan recipes I’ve been trying lately. It is a whole other world of food that I’m stoked about exploring.

      My husband, after one bite – that he was still chewing mind you – said “PUT THIS ON THE LIST!” so we could add it to our meal rotation. :D

      • Reply Faring Well July 1, 2015 at 5:45 pm

        Your comment made my day! YAY! That is so so awesome Krystal. I’m so stoked you and your husband loved this recipe! My man is crazy about it too. I love that you thought to write me (as your eating leftovers – even better!). Thank you thank you! Super excited for your plant-based (or just dairy free) transition! So much yumminess to discover out there, it IS a whole new world. Glad to have been able to contribute a new recipe to your rotation :)

  • Reply Rad November 3, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    ZOMG. Looks so good. I’m not really a fan of beets, but this looks really epic! Maybe I’ll make a lentil patty.

  • Reply Evelina April 1, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    I didn’t find any golden beets at the store yesterday so Im going to use sweet potatoes.

  • Reply Lydia May 13, 2016 at 6:51 am

    How could I decrease/replace the oil?

    • Reply Faring Well May 13, 2016 at 3:54 pm

      Hi there Lydia! So the oil is pretty essential to this recipe, however, you only use a very small amount of the spread on the sandwich so it isn’t too overwhelming. But you can substitute the oil + water + sunflower seeds with 2 cups of plain, unsweetened dairy free yogurt if you’d like too!

      • Reply Lydia May 15, 2016 at 3:06 pm

        Thank you for taking the time to respond to me. That is a good point. I don’t have a problem with some oil from a health perspective, just tend to not like oily tastes. Considering the small amount in this, I guess it shouldn’t be a problem. :)

  • Reply Janine August 16, 2016 at 7:02 am

    Hello Jessie, what a great and lovely written post. I really feel your Passion for this Sandwiches. I printed it out to try it out on my friday dinner I will have with my hubby. xoxo Janine

    • Reply Faring Well August 17, 2016 at 3:05 pm

      Aw yay! I’m so glad Janine, thank you for your sweet comment. I hope you and your man enjoy these this week! xx

  • Reply Lacey July 18, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    This sandwich is ah-mazing. Used our homemade sourdough rye bread and it was perfect. Oh, and alfalfa sprouts instead of broccoli. YUM.

    • Reply Faring Well July 19, 2017 at 2:07 pm

      So, so happy to hear Lacey! Thank you for taking the time to let me know you enjoyed the recipe <3.

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