Who doesn’t love a good reuben?!? I prefer corned beef over pastrami, but let’s be honest, both are tasty when there is sauerkraut and some Russian dressing involved! I enjoy the deli meets on occasion, but it gets a bit heavy for me, which brings me to the lighter version of a meaty reuben: the Tempeh Reuben.
I first had a tempeh reuben when I was upstate visiting my Uncle. We ended up at a cute cafe called Outdated: An Antique Cafe. It’s a great spot to check out if you’re in the area! Since my uncle doesn’t really eat meat anymore, we ordered two vegetarian dishes to share…one of which was the Tempeh Reuben. This is my quick/simple take on the tasty sandwich.
**One quick note about tempeh: it can have a slightly bitter taste, so I suggest marinating overnight or steaming the tempeh for about 10 minutes.**
1 package Light Life Three Grain tempeh
1/2 c + 2 tbsp beet juice or liquid from canned beets
1/3 c apple cider vinegar
1-2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp pickling spice
2 tsp mustard seed
dash of vegan worcestishire sauce
swiss cheese (optional)
• Using a sharp knife, cut thin slices of tempeh at an angle. Put them in a glass container large enough for your to fit the tempeh and marinade.
• Heat a dry pan over medium heat. Add your pickling spice and mustard seed and toast until just fragrant, about 3 or 4 minutes. Keep the spices moving in the pan the entire time to prevent burning! Let the spices cool.
• Meanwhile, combine the rest of your ingredients in a medium bowl. Add your slightly cooled spices to the bowl and mix well.
Pour the marinade mixture over the sliced tempeh, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Pan Searing the Tempeh
•Bring a large skillet to a medium high heat. Add some tempeh slices, not crowding the pan too much. Add about 4 or 5 tbsp of the marinade. If the pan gets dry you can add a little water or a little more marinade. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for a couple minutes.
•Take the lid off, flip the tempeh and continue to sear.
•Saute over medium-high heat till the liquid reduces and the tempeh slices are browned on both sides.
Building Your Reuben
Two pieces toasted bread
1/4 c (+ more because I’m obsessed) saurkraut
1 tbsp mustard and/or mayo (Russian dressing works great as well)
1 slice swiss cheese
Lightly coat both pieces of toast with mustard and mayo.
Top one piece of toast with 4 slices of tempeh, then the sauerkraut, then the cheese.
At this point you can top with the other piece of toast and enjoy OR you can broil quickly to get the cheese melted. Both ways are delicious!
Hawthorne Valley Farm Saurkraut - its simply delicious and very good for you!
Hampton Creek's Just Mayo - this is a vegan mayo that has a great consistency and flavor
Ezekiel 4:9 - sprouted grain bread lots of nutrients without the bulk
LightLife Tempeh - low calorie and a good source of protein