Tempeh reubens are my favorite thing at my favorite hippie restaurant that is (sniff) closing for the summer but (yay) apparently reopening in the fall. I hope these are still on the new menu.
When I saw the recipe in Vegetarian Times, I knew I had to try it -- it's a fair amount of work for a sandwich, but this makes tons of leftovers and it's sort of different and good.
4 Tbs. eggless mayonnaise [yeah, no. I used light mayo.]
1 Tbs. tomato paste [I used ketchup, which maybe wasn't ideal, but I wasn't going to open a can for 1 T.]
1/4 cup minced dill pickle [I used sweet pickle relish. there is only so much effort one can expend on making a condiment, and buying and mincing a dill pickle is way beyond however much effort that is.]
2 Tbs. minced red onion
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 8-oz. pkg. tempeh
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs. tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbs. black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
1 Tbs. caraway seeds
2 1/2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
4 cups thinly sliced onions
Salt to taste
1 1/2 cups sauerkraut, drained and rinsed (I omitted but I'm sure it would be good if you liked saurkraut)
4 to 6 slices hearty whole grain bread (we had sesame rolls)
1 bunch arugula, stemmed, rinsed and dried
1. To make Russian dressing: Mix all ingredients in bowl until thoroughly combined. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
2. To make Tempeh Reubens: Using sharp knife, cut tempeh crosswise at 45-degree angle into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Combine 1 1/2 cups water, vinegar, tamari, peppercorns and caraway seeds in large saucepan. Add tempeh, spooning mixture over it. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
3. Meanwhile, heat 1 1/2 Tbs. oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onions and salt, and cook, stirring often, over medium-low heat about 10 minutes, or until juicy. Increase heat to medium, and cook 5 minutes more, stirring often, until well browned. Remove pan from heat.
4. Heat remaining 1 Tbs. oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and add tempeh slices, in batches if necessary. Cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
5. Warm sauerkraut in saucepan over medium-low heat.
6. To assemble sandwiches, spread each bread slice with 1 heaping Tbs. of Russian dressing. Layer bread with arugula, tempeh, sauerkraut and onions. Serve warm, either open-faced or topped with another slice of bread.