Tempeh Avocado Reuben
By Terry Hope Romero author, Salad Samurai
Makes 4 sandwiches Time: 30 minutes
This is the new vegan sandwich classic, simplified and speedy, made naturally buttery with a healthy slab of ripe avocado. Using good quality sauerkraut is key! Put down that can of flavorless ‘kraut and look for chilled, fresh sauerkraut sold in jar or bags.
Lazy Reuben Sauce
½ cup vegan mayonnaise
3 tablespoons all natural ketchup
1 dill pickle, minced
1 ripe avocado, sliced thin
1 cup good quality sauerkraut, drained
Good quality whole grain bread
8 ounces tempeh
3 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup
½ teaspoon liquid smoke
A splash water
Olive oil or olive oil spray for grilling
1. Slice tempeh in half lengthwise, then slice both halves in half: you’ll now have 4 roughly square tempeh cutlets. Preheat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat.
2. In small bowl whisk together tamari, apple cider vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, and liquid smoke. Generously oil the skillet, add the tempeh in one layer (or fry only 2 cutlets if they all don’t fit at once), and fry on each side for about 2 minutes or until lightly browned.
3. After the tempeh has been browned on both sides, pour on the marinade. Fry on both sides for about 2 minutes; after you’ve flipped the tempeh once, add a splash of water (about 2 tablespoons) to the pan to keep the tempeh from drying out too much.
4. While tempeh is frying, whisk together the lazy reuben sauce. Drain and squeeze the sauerkraut to remove as much liquid as possible. Peel and slice avocado.
5. Transfer tempeh to a dish. Brush each side of the bread with olive oil, slap on the grill, and brown each side until crisp and hot. Assemble each sandwich with grilled bread, a slather of sauce, a heap of sauerkraut, a slice of tempeh, and avocado. If you need something green, add a handful of arugula or baby spinach leaves. Eat immediately!