What I’ve learned – – Reuben’s are not exactly photogenic. It’s actually pretty hard to find a good lookin’ Reuben Sandwich! That’s the beauty of it though, it’s a damn mess – with tangy clumps of sourcrout and 1000 island dressing dripping down the sides of toasted bread. Drool. I have been craving a vegan Reuben for quite some time now. How I was going to get my hands on one anytime soon, I was not sure. So I decided to experiment with tempeh a little bit and also indulge in a healthy competition of ‘who can make the best Reuben Sandwich’ with my boyfriend Justin.
What we found is that tempeh makes for a perfect filling for any type of sandwich and always left us shamelessly craving another one the next day.
Tempeh, a fermented soy product that serves as an excellent protein source has about 40 grams of protein per 8 ounces. I’m not going to lie, the first time I had tempeh I wasn’t impressed. I thought you could toss it in a skillet, add a little olive oil and put it on top of a salad. Nope. Tempeh is generally an acquired taste, unless you dress it up with a little love – seasonings or a marinade of some type. Which I’ve done in this Reuben, there is nothing maple syrup and an IPA can’t fix.
In this Reuben recipe, I used tempeh cooked in a delicious Fresh Squeezed IPA from the Oregonian Deschutes Brewery and gave it a nice maple glaze with pure organic maple syrup. (I know… maple again) I threw some of Bubbies’ sourcrout on the pan to warm it up, while I lathered two slices of Rye Bread with generous amounts of Anne’s Vegan 1000 island dressing. Then to top it off, I added some creamy avocado. Justin added sautéed bell peppers and onions for some extra veggies and crunch in his Reuben, so I definitely recommend adding that to your Rueben as well!
Hope you enjoy this sandwich recipe as much as I did!
8 ounces of tempeh
4 slices of pumpernickel or rye bread
⅔ cup sourcrout
⅓ cup of beer of your choice (I used a Deschutes Brewery IPA)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce or liquid aminos
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of onion powder
Anne's Vegan 1000 island dressing to taste
cracked pepper to taste
Prepare marinade by whisking together maple syrup, beer of your choice, olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder and liquid aminos. Cut tempeh into ¼ inch slices, Let tempeh slices marinate for 10 - 20 minutes.
Splash some extra virgin olive oil in a pan, add tempeh at med-high heat. Drizzle on a little more maple syrup and cracked pepper on the top of tempeh and cook at medium heat until golden brown. It usually takes about 3-4 minutes each side. Flip.
Toast bread and cook sourcrout on the pan to warm it.
Assemble the sandwich by adding heaps of 1000 island dressing and sourcrout, slices of avocado, tempeh and any extra toppings like sautéed red peppers and onions you’d like to add. Enjoy!
Notes: I just recently learned that simmering tempeh for 10-15 minutes before cooking it helps reduce some of the unique but slightly bitter taste of the tempeh that some people are wary of. This also makes the tempeh absorb marinades and seasonings much easier!
I was being lazy and just grabbed Anne’s Vegan 1000 island dressing at a local Whole Foods Market. If you have time to make a simple vegan 1000 island dressing: a combination of veganaise, ketchup, sweet pickle relish, garlic powder and paprika should do the trick!
happy cooking & belated halloween (and my mother’s birthday!)