Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Tempeh Reuben

Today for lunch, I've got one of my all-time favorite vegan dishes. I've wanted to bring this in the lunchbox for quite a while now, but I just never was sure exactly how to split it all up and package it into the lunchbox without ending up with a big soggy mess. Tempeh reubens, as most of you probably already know, are really delicious. The first one that I ever had was homemade, but I have since had them at a couple of vegetarian restaurants. The ones that I had in restaurants were good, but they were nowhere near as good as the ones that I enjoy at home. So after a little brainstorming, I think I finally came up with a way to transport this thing to work so that it would be just as yummy there as it is at home.

This tempeh reuben, the best one in the whole wide world as far as I am concerned, is made using the recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I assume that most people who read my blog already have this cookbook, but if you don't, you HAVE to go an get it right now. It was this cookbook that helped convince me that it was even possible for me to go vegan in the first place because all of the recipes are so delicious. And now here, a year and a half, and several vegan cookbooks later, it's still the cookbook that I go to the most often when I want to make something that I know will be delicious. Everything that I have made from that cookbook has been EXCELLENT.

The recipe's really not that hard. All you do is slice up some tempeh and then marinate it in a yummy mixture for an hour or so. Then fry it up in a skillet. There, the first part is done. Now just whip up your vegan Russian dressing in a small bowl. That takes all of 2 minutes. Then just spread some Earth Balance on some dark rye bread and grill it in a skillet (hey! that rhymes). Now just layer all of these things on your grilled bread; some grilled tempeh, big pickle slices, avocado, sauerkraut (sometimes I put it on cold, and sometimes I heat it up, just depends on what kind of mood I happen to be in, or how lazy I am), and then drown the whole thing with Russian Dressing. It's sooooo messy, but soooooo good.

The bread that I bought yesterday seems a little bit large, and the tempeh may look a little sparse there, but trust me, once I pile all of that sauerkraut on there and pour on the dressing, it will be a substantial sandwich.

Tempeh reubens really are one of my favorite vegan foods. I think I could live on these things. I actually brought one to work back when I wasn't blogging and I just assembled the whole sandwich at home the night before and put it in a plastic container. Needless to say, by the time lunchtime arrived, it was fairly soggy. It was still very tasty, but soggy. This time I put the bread, tempeh, pickle and avocado together on one side of the lunchbox, and packed the sauerkraut and the Russian dressing in separate containers. This way, I can heat up the bread & tempeh in the microwave at work and then pile on the sauerkraut and dressing right before I devour the sandwich. Soggy sandwich problem solved. Of course, there is another piece of bread that goes with this sandwich, but I left if out of the picture so you could see the tempeh & stuff. After I took the pic, I put the top piece of bread on and the lunchbox lid closed with no problem.

I should probably also mention that I have let an omnivore coworker taste this before, and they agreed that it was delicious. I plan on serving some to my family this Summer, at some point, to see what they think. They all like reubens, but they've never had a vegan one. My coworker liked it, so I'm hopeful. I can't imagine anyone, vegan or not, not liking this.

Well, with the big sandwich taking up so much room in the lunchbox, I only had enough room there up top to cram in a Banana Cookie Larabar. That's plenty though, because the Larabar weighs in at around 200 calories, and who know WHAT the reuben is. So this is more than enough to satisfy me for lunch.

If you haven't made tempeh reubens before, you must do so as quickly as possible. You don't know what you are missing. So messy! So yummy!

Well, I guess that just about does it for Wednesday.

Thanks for checking in today. See everybody tomorrow!


veggiegirl said...

as usual, your lunch looks great! on a side note, I was reading through the May/June 2007 issue of Vegetarian Times magazine, and there's an article (beginning on pg. 66) that features healthy vegetarian AND vegan (thank goodness) recipe-makeovers for Southern cuisine. The recipes for the Pulled "Pork" BBQ Sandwiches, Sautèed Squash and Onions, and Garlicky Collard Greens are vegan; the recipes for the Southern-Style Cornbread, Oven-Fried Okra, and Sweet Potato Pie are just vegetarian (but I'm sure they can be made vegan with proper substitutions). Sorry for the long comment; I just thought that I'd share the information for this article with you since you're from the South and are looking to try new and more recipes.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken,

I just wanted to say that even though I don't leave comments very often, I really enjoy reading your blog. Your enthusiasm for vegan cooking is very inspiring. Please keep up the good work.

An Aspiring Vegan

kennyboy said...

That sounds cool veggiegirl!

I need to check that out. I love trying new vegan recipes for southern food.

Thanks for the info!

And thanks for the nice comment Aspiring Vegan!


Sarah said...

I thought I'd add, I have a subscription to Vegetarian Times and the recipe for Pulled "pork" sandwiches looks fantastic. I can't wait to make it--it has a recipe for the BBQ sauce.

Also in this issue is an article called Slim, Trim + Vegan about a study that showed switching to a vegan diet can reverse type 2 diabetes and supports weight loss. It has a bunch of low-cal vegan recipes. About 3/4ths of the recipes in the issue are vegan.