Friday, June 24, 2011

Tempting Tempeh Reuben

Chicago has become one of my favorite foodie haunts.  Besides being the birthplace of the deep dish pizza,  it is also home to a wonderful vegetarian dive: The Chicago Diner. This hipster hangout cranks out some of the best vegetarian comfort food I’ve ever tasted. My last trip to the unpretentious little diner left me stuffed and inspired.  I’ve tweaked The Chicago Diner recipe for their Radical Reuben sandwich just a smidge.

Tempeh - Protein packed meat substitute made from fermented soy beans and grains.
* The tempeh has to be prepared a day ahead or at least six hours before mealtime.
What You Need:
  • 1 lb. of Tempeh (sliced thinly)
  • 1 cup of Pickle juice
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of Beet juice (Borscht will work here)
  • 1 tsp. of crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp. Pickling Spice
  • 1/8 tsp. of ground black pepper
  • 6 drops of liquid smoke (optional)
  • Thousand Island Dressing  (or you can mix up a vegan version below)
  • 8 slice of Rye or Pumpernickel Bread
  • 4 slices of Gruy√®re or Swiss cheese (Galaxy Nutritional Foods makes good soy cheeses)
  • Sauerkraut (to garnish)
What you need to do:
- In a medium saucepan combine the water, pickle & beet juices, garlic, pickling spice, black pepper, and liquid smoke.
- Bring liquids to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium. Let simmer for 15 minutes.
- Put tempeh slices in a baking dish.
- Strain and pour the beet mixture over the tempeh, cover the dish and refrigerate overnight (or at least 6 hours to marinate thoroughly).
** Okay, so you have to wait…it’s worth it!
What you do the next day (or 6 hours later):
-       Preheat your oven to broil.
-       Drain the tempeh slices, and set aside.
-       On a baking sheet, arrange 8 slices of bread, broil till lightly toasted (you can skip this step but I’m not a fan of soggy bread)
-       Top 4 of the toasted bread slices with the tempeh and cheese. (Setting the other slices of bread aside.)
-        Broil for about 5 to 7 minutes (watch carefully to avoid making this dish a blackened Reuben sandwich)
-       Transfer Seitan-topped bread slices to serving plates, and garnish with sauerkraut.
-        Spread remaining 4 bread slices with the Thousand Island dressing ( or Vegan Reuben Sauce), and place on top of Sandwiches.


                                                                   Life is Delicious...Go Taste it!

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