Bold. I know. But, I stand by my blog title. The Tempeh Reuben has changed my life. It has rocked my world. I hope that by sharing my recipe with you, friends, it will also rock yours (in a good way).
First, some background: I met this sandwich at a vegetarian restaurant in Harrisonburg, VA called The Little Grill. It was 9pm and we were heading back to Charlottesville after a long day of cross-country skiing and I was a little hangry (hungry + angry). Being a vegetarian, restaurants don’t always have a lot to offer me. But, I’d heard that the little grill had fine veggie fare. So, I was excited. When we got there, though, there wasn’t really anything on the menu that stood out to me. One of my friends encouraged me to give the Tempeh Reuben a try. I was skeptical. I don’t like swiss cheese. I’m not a huge fan of sauerkraut. And, at that time, I wasn’t sold on tempeh. (For those of you who haven’t been formerly introduced to tempeh, it’s a block of fermented soybeans and it’s delicious. Meet soon!) But from the moment that Reuben first hit my tongue, I was smitten. I still don’t know how I love this sandwich, when its singular components aren’t my faves. The flavors, when melded, however, are next to Godly. And, the best part is that it is a super quick fix after a long day at work.
So, what are you going to need to create your masterpiece? These:
Here is the recipe. I made two sandwiches at a time, but you can increase the measurements for the sauce to make as many as you need.
- 4 slices of Rye Bread
- 1/2 package of Three Grain Tempeh
- 1 can of Bavarian style sauerkraut
- 2 slices of Swiss cheese
- 2 T of Mayo (I use mayo made with olive oil to cut down on fat)
- 1 1/2 T of ketchup
- 2 T of dill relish
- 1 t of cumin
- 1 t of chili powder
- 1 1/2 T of olive oil
First, you want to get your tempeh ready. I cut the block in half and then butterfly each half into two pieces.
Those two pieces go into a frying pan and the rest goes back into my fridge for next week. Next, add the olive oil to the pan and then sprinkle the tempeh pieces with 1/2 of the two spices and then flip them over into the oil and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 of the spices on the other side.
Cook the tempeh over medium heat, flipping occasionally, until they are nice and golden brown. This will take 5-10 minutes. When they are finished cooking, take them out of the pan and set them aside.
As your tempeh is cooking, you can go ahead and make the spread. Combine the mayo, ketchup, and dill relish in a small bowl and mix well.
Next, put your rye bread slices in the toaster. While they are browning, you want to heat up the sauerkraut and melt the swiss cheese on it. I use the same pan that I cooked the tempeh in. Partly because I am lazy and hate doing dishes and partly because the rest of the spice then gets incorporated into the kraut. Yum!
The only thing you have left to do is assemble! Spread the sauce on each slice of rye bread. Then, the tempeh goes on one side and the kraut/cheese on the other. Smoosh.
Voila! Easy peasey. You now have your tempeh reubens! (I usually eat these with a salad so it’s a healthy and well-balanced meal.) We never get tired of eating these because they are SO GOOD. I challenge you to try these lil’ babies and then tell me if it doesn’t change your life, too.