Are you a big fan of reuben sandwiches (or the fixins within), but not a big fan of meat? You can get the same sloppy, melty taste and feeling from this vegetarian version of the classic reuben. All of the good ‘ol traditional reuben ingredients are still in this sandwich, and the tempeh is so “meaty” and delicious that you might not miss the corned beef at all.
I’m the first to admit that I am a big fan of the meaty version of the reuben, but this vegetarian version is so stick-to-your-ribs yummy minus the gut-bomb feeling that I get from eating too much meat. I crave this version so much more often because I enjoy this sandwich immensely and I feel good after eating it. Try it out and let me know what you think.
1 8 oz. package of tempeh, cut in long, thin strips
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. liquid smoke
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cayenne
Salt and pepper
4 slices of bread, your favorite kind!
1-2 Tbsp. butter
½ c. sauerkraut
2 slices of Swiss cheese
2 Tbsp. Thousand Island dressing
About an hour before cooking, combine the tempeh and all of the ingredients in the marinade. Mix together thoroughly with your hands, being careful not to rip apart the tempeh strips. Let it sit at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the tempeh strips on a lined baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes. Flip over, and cook for 6 more minutes, or until the tempeh is firm but not burned. When you take it out the oven, taste and season with additional salt and pepper if you’d like.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Quickly heat the sauerkraut through and set aside. Wipe out the skillet and return to medium heat. Spread butter on all of the bread slices, like you would when you fix a grilled cheese sandwich. Place the tempeh, cheese, and sauerkraut on top of one slice of bread, butter side facing down, and place it in the skillet. Add Thousand Island dressing to the other slice of bread so that it faces the inside of the sandwich, butter side up. Cook the sandwich until each side is lightly browned and the cheese is melted and warm.