Sunday, August 14, 2011

Another top-five recipe: Vegan Reubens!

My top 5 favorite list is getting crowded. I think in the end my top five list will be many more than five recipes. This one is definitely worthy. I got the recipe from, "Vegetarian Reubens," but they no longer have it up. It's easily veganized, and I'll just type up my vegan version for you. The picture is not completely accurate since normally I have more than 5 baby spinach leaves to throw in. But you get the idea.

   the orignal foodtv recipe said this made two sandwiches which is ridiculously false, unless you make the sandwiches 5 inches tall... Even if you follow the recipe for the most part, maybe adding only a little more sauer kraut, you get easily 4 sandwiches.

Russian Dressing
(if you stretch the recipe like me to make 6-7 sammies, add 50% more of each ingredient)

--2 TBL veganaise (Veganaise brand "mayo" is truly superior to other vegan mayos, and for recipes like this and a few others, you really should spend the extra $1 and buy it)
--2 tsp ketchup
--2 tsp chopped capers (I usually skimp a little on this one, but it does need them to make it taste the best it can be. I was out one time, and I truly missed the little weird alien eggs.)
--1 tsp chopped pickle, or relish.


--about 2 tsp olive oil for your veggie pan--an oil mister for the sandwich pan, though it could be skipped probably if you have a good nonstick pan
--Vegan margarine, or oil mister, for the bread slices. Do yourself a favor and make sure there's no hydrogenated oils/trans fat in the vegan butter you buy. Trans fats are SOLID at your internal body's temperature...
--one small red onion, thinly sliced (I usually get a medium/large sized one to stretch the recipe)
--1 cup sliced mushrooms (again, I use more than that. Usually I'll get about 8 oz of mushrooms, white or baby bellas, or crimini, whatever look and feel fresher)
--5 cups baby spinach (I never measure this one, I just add as much as the pan can fit and I doubt it adds up to 5 cups)
--Rye bread (I usually get about 6-7 sandwiches when I stretch the recipe, so that's pretty much the whole loaf.)
--about 1/2 a block of follow your heart cheese (Usually I get FYH mozzarella because at Giant, the only other choice is cheddar. Last night I used the Monterrey Jack I got from Wegmans and it's REALLY gooood. Obviously, just use whatever white vegan cheese you can get. The original recipe calls for swiss)
--Sauerkraut. (Buy whatever is more economical: large or small, jar or can. Freeze whatever you don't use in maybe 1.5 cup ?? containers for next time.)
--I've taken to buying the light life baked ham veggie lunch meat for this recipe. You can skip it all together, as the original recipe does, or I've also done a marinated & pan cooked  tempeh for these. I think that recipe is from Vegan With a Vengeance ... can't remember.


whisk the dressing ingredients in a bowl until smooth and set aside in the fridge.

Preheat your oven to 150 F or so, so you can keep the finished ones warm til they're all ready.

In a small pot, put about 1.5 to 2 cups of sauerkraut with some liquid (it doesn't have to cover, just a little bit in the bottom) over medium-lowish heat. You want to just warm it through, basically. Get a little slooow simmer going on by the time you need it.

Get your bread ready. Butter, or mist one side of each slice with oil, like you would for grilled cheeses.

Shred your cheese. set aside.

Heat up the 2 tsp olive oil a large pan (I use a 10 in cast iron pan) over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and onions and cook, stirring often, until onions are soft (about 4 minutes). Add the spinach and stir/toss until it's wilted. Transfer to a plate, or just set it off the heat on an unused burner, if you have the oven space. I do not. my kitchen is tiny and has a mini stove.

I switch pans here so I don't have to clean the first one right away. Get a good non sticking pan and heat it to medium. You can spray with the oil mister if you think your pan needs a little help with the non-stickage. Once it's ready, put two slices of rye, butter side down of course, into the pan. Put a little shredded cheese on each slice, maybe 1 TBL at most on each. Add one slice veggie lunch meat to each slice of bread, on top of the cheese. I spread a tsp or so of the russian dressing on the veggie meat- it just seems less messy. On one piece of bread, put a few TBL of the mushroom/onion mix. On the other piece, put a few TBL of the warm sauer kraut, just try drain it before hand so it doesn't make your bread all soggy. I use tongs and just squeeze tight til it doesn't drip so much before putting it on the bread slice, though draining it all at once would probably be a fantastic idea! At this point, the bread should be golden and ready to come out of the pan. Get a plate, use a spatula to lift the mushroom side onto the plate first. Then, use your spatula to gently press the sauerkraut slice down, so hopefully the kraut will stick together as you lift it from the pan and flip it onto the mushroom slice. Place the finished sandwich onto a plate in the oven. Repeat making sandwiches til you're done. Enjoy!!!

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