The Veggie Rueben Sandwich

 

 

This year I decided after meeting with Dr. Joel Kahn (America's Heart Healthy Doctor) in Detroit, to focus on a substantially vegetarian diet. I will still eat meat, but try to limit that to 2-3 meals a week with mostly fish. Ok, I do love to grill chicken...

The impact on my food budget has been dramatic. I have not been tracking my grocery budget very closely but I bet this change is saving me $100/month. I use recipes in Dr. Kahn's book "The Plant Based Solution" and from another great book  by Dr. Valter Longo called " The Longevity Diet". It is entertaining that this new diet lets me create a lot of interesting flavors in the kitchen- some of them surprisingly good. 

One of Dr. Kahn's recipes came to my attention and I wanted to modify it to enable the use of toasted, “slicered” bread with the ingredients. It took some experimentation, but I think I finally made the modifications necessary so you can enjoy a Veggie Reuben with the Nicer Slicer's toasted and perfectly thin bread. 

I have always loved reubens since I was a freshman at Hamilton College. They  had an almost mythical standing in my sandwich kingdom. On the first day of my college career, after we had all signed in, we moved on to lunch where we sat at great long tables facing one another in a kind mythical dining hall with high vaulted ceilings and maybe a big black chandelier or two.

I bit into my reuben and immediately realized that my standard 18 year old freshman jaw would not be able to conquer the over stuffed corned beef sandwich. I advised my two new roommate friends to pause from consuming their sandwiches and observe the culinary nightmare about to unfold as our classmates commenced eating. The nervous energy of the moment prevailed. We had fun watching the results as small slabs of corned beef remained in the young squires' mouths as they pulled the grilled sandwiches away from their faces. All of our table manners and rapport were improved from that moment on. The scene exploded in laughter and revelry. We all profited from the experience even if it was a bit messy!

 To make this sandwich with the Nicer Slicer, the challenge involves the idea of reducing water content and humidity so the thin bread holds up on the grill.  

To be successful, drain enough sauerkraut for a thin layer for each sandwich.  I let mine dry in the refrigerator after pressing water out of it for 3-4 hours. The next morning I made the cashew cheese in a blender (without the water Dr. Kahn suggests in his book) and refrigerated that for 3-4 hours more. After several attempts, I decided to line each piece of bread with spinach and basil leaves. I loaded up the two sides of the slicered bread- one with the sauerkraut and the other with the Cashew Cheese and assembled the sandwich. On the grill I used some olive oil and a little butter on each side of the sandwich and I cooked over medium heat for about 2 minutes a side.

 Cashew Cheese
3/4 cup raw cashews
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tspn garlic powder
2 tspn tahini
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp lemon juice

 Veggie Reuben Sandwich
2 pieces slicered bread 
enough drained sauerkraut for 1 sandwich
Basil leaves
Spinach leaves

 

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