Recipe: Tempeh Reubens

February 19, 2013 February 19, 2013/ Morgan

I asked for any food requests on the Fo Reals Life facebook page and was met with only one response: Reubens.

Heck yeah, I thought! I love the flavors of a reuben! I am a huge sauerkraut fan, I love rye bread, and I love the Russian dressing. While this looks crazy bad for you, it’s really not that bad. It’s not an every day food, for sure. While you’re eating it though you will swear that you are downing at least 1000 calories. Nope, more like 350. Not bad for a crazy filling and delicious sandwich if you ask me!

I also threw in a little innovation of my own in here. (I can’t help myself!) The tempeh is marinated in a really yummy coriander and beer mixture. Then I added a bit of chipotle powder to the Russian dressing – for you know, kicks!

How do I make all of this plant-strong without mayo, oil, margarine, etc? It took some thinking, some playing around and some (if I do say so myself) good ideas.

See how toasty crusty the bread is? Yeah.. that. Mmmm… 

First I made some tofu spread with Mori-nu silken tofu, soy milk, salt and lemon juice. Easy, right? I was going to just use that as the base of my Russian dressing but then I became inspired. I spread some on the bread and put it spread side down onto a hot nonstick pan. Wait for it.. wait.. and boom! Toasty, brown, crusty, moist and yummy bread. 

Once you have the sauce and the tempeh made assembly is easy. Just toast up you bread real quick (or you can toast the whole sandwich if you prefer!) and then spread your bread with the dressing. Both sides if you’re feeling indulgent.

Add the Coriander – Beer Tempeh…

And some drained sauerkraut – I like a LOT on my sandwiches. 

serves 4

  • 8 oz tempeh, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 cup beer (not an IPA)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar

Tofu Mayo

 Russian Dressing

  • 1/3 cup tofu mayo (see recipe below!)
  • 2 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons pickle relish (or chopped pickles)
  • 1 Tablespoon minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon horseradish (the grated kind, not the prepared one with other ingredients) – optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder – optional


  • 2 cups sauerkraut, drained 
  • 8 slices rye bread

To make the tempeh:

Toast the coriander seeds in a dry pan over medium high heat for a minute or two, or until fragrant.  Add in the beer, sugar and salt and stir until the salt and sugar are disolved. Add the tempeh. 

You can marinate that mixture in a sealed container for several hours if you wish or you can go ahead and cook from here. Just take the mixture out of the container and place all of it back into the pan (marinade and all) when you are ready to cook it. 

Turn the heat up to high and start cooking down the liquid. You want to cook this until the tempeh has absorbed all of the liquid and starts to brown. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. You may want to adjust the heat down so that it does not burn.

Set aside.

To make the Russian Dressing:

First make the tofu mayo: Blend together the silken tofu, soy milk, salt and lemon juice. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for about a week. 

Next: mix together 1/3 cup of the tofu mayo you just made, pickles, ketchup, onion, horseradish and chipotle powder. Check for seasoning and add more salt if desired. 

To make the toasted bread: 

Spread one side of each slice of bread with about a tablespoon of the tofu mayo you just made. You want a very thin and even coating of it.

Toast in a hot nonstick skillet until nice and browned.

Assemble your sandwiches as you desire them (using the above photos as a guide if you wish.) Enjoy!  

Nutritional information per serving : Serving size:    1 sandwich

9 WWPointsPlus, 350 calories, 9.4g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 44.3g carbohydrates, 6g fiber, 2.7g sugar, 22.1g protein 

February 19, 2013/ Morgan/