We certainly hope so, because today we’re bringing you the final product of a trilogy of recipes, and we’re pretty excited about it!
So what do you get when you put Thousand Island Dressing and Creamy Brussel Sprout Salad together?
Ok so we realize you’re probably thinking What!?! All this build-up, and you give me a sandwich!?!
Yes. But just hear us out for a minute, and we promise you won’t leave disappointed. There is a bit of a background story as to how this sandwich came about.
There’s this delicious vegan restaurant here in London called Veg Out that we have been to several times now, because it’s so delicious! They have a seasonal menu, but some of the items are there year-round. Most of the time, we both end up ordering the special of the day, but occasionally we give the regulars a chance, because hey, they’re mainstays for a reason, right?
One of the items on the menu is a vegan tempeh rueben sandwich. We were both leery of trying this one for a long time, because neither of us have ever been particular fans of traditional ruebens. There’s just something about corned beef that grosses us out.
The other two main ingredients in a rueben sandwich are thousand island dressing and sauerkraut, both of which we are also not huge fans of. But the last time we went, for some reason we decided to order this sandwich, despite the fact that we don’t really like any of the main ingredients.
And we are so glad that we did!
And we knew instantly that we had to remake it at home.
Corned Beef? gross. Crispy tempeh? unbelievably delicious!
Of course, seeing as we do not keep bottles of thousand island dressing or jars of sauerkraut in our fridge and we have no interest in buying them, we knew we had to make our own. The dressing was easy, we just did a little snooping around on the internet to find out what the main ingredients are in Thousand Island Dressing, made a few healthy substitutions and BAM- healthy Thousand Island Dressing.
The sauerkraut was a little more difficult to figure out. We weren’t really interested in spending a week fermenting our own sauerkraut, and we didn’t have any cabbage anyways. We did, however, have a big bag of brussel sprouts, and since they are similar in texture to cabbage once they’re chopped finely enough, they seemed like the obvious choice. We wanted to achieve that sour taste that real sauerkraut has, which is why we came up with a tangy dressing to slather the sprouts in. Piled high with crispy tempeh bacon, this was a completely non-traditional yet just as delicious (or more-so in our opinions :)) Rueben sandwich!
So if you’re a die-hard classic rueben-lover, this may not be the sandwich for you, but if you’re not, you should make this sandwich. Immediately.
Seriously, after we ate this sandwich, we couldn’t stop thinking about it for the rest of the day. Are we the only people that happens to? Or are we just crazy?
This sandwich takes a little more prep than your average meat-and-cheese, but it’s 100% worth it! And of course, if you’ve already made your dressing and salad, it’ll be a snap 😉
Tempeh Rueben Sandwich
Prep Time: 40 min
Cook Time: 10 min
For the Tempeh
2/3 package of tempeh
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
7 tbsp water
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
5 drops liquid smoke
pinch of garlic powder
pinch of onion powder
dash of salt
For the sandwich:
Slice the tempeh into very thin slices. Steam on the stove-top for 5-10 minutes, or until slightly “puffed”. (this will open up the tempeh so it can soak up the marinade better. To save time you could also place the strips in a small amount of water in a microwave-safe dish and cook on high for 3-5 minutes) Pour all marinade ingredients into a container and stir to combine. Place tempeh strips into the container and allow to marinade for at least 30 minutes.
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. After the temepeh is finished marinading, remove from the marinade and place in a single layer on the pan. Sprinkle generously with smoked paprika. Allow to cook until browned and crispy (about 5 minutes) and then flip. Sprinkle this side with smoked paprika and allow to cook again for about 5 minutes, or until the other side is crispy.
Toast the bread and divide the tempeh between the two sandwiches. Top with brussel sprout salad and thousand island dressing and swiss cheese (if using).
As an optional final step, you can place the sandwich back on the hot pan for a couple of minutes on each side to heat everything through.
Have you ever had tempeh? Do you like traditional ruebens?