I was sick last week.
I hate admitting when that happens. I hate being sick. I hate feeling useless, not being able to work out, not sleeping well because I can’t breathe, taking half or full sick days and feeling useless at work. The whole thing is just dumb and inconvenient.
I had not been sick since before the wedding. That would be early 2011 – maybe earlier. Remember how I used to travel every two weeks for work and I would be gone for two weeks? Airplanes are the best place for your immune system when you travel a lot. My immune system was amazing and I think now that I’m not traveling as frequently it finally caught up with me and was all, “Trololol. I’m gonna stop working!”
My immune system was a hag.
No amount of medicine, daily vitamins and water I drank could prevent the nast when coworkers and everyone else don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom.
So I’ll get to the point of this post. I made tempeh reubens right before I got sick, but knew my being sick was inevitable. I had a feeling I would lose my sense of taste, smell and lose my appetite.
But on the up side, it was another Meatless Monday success, that’s for sure.
I loosely followed a recipe from meatlessmondays.com and it was more work than it should have been, but overall they tasted good. You can definitely make necessary shortcuts if you’re pressed on time, because there’s a lot of “combine and chill for 2 hours” crap happening in this recipe.
And when I’m sick, patience is the last thing I have.
I will say this: I have a small issue with tempeh. I realize this was probably the best vegetarian protein to use, but it really is not my favorite or top choice. It’s the taste. I kind of dislike the taste of it. The texture is weird, it looks weird and it has a weird after taste. I might try making these with portobello mushroom caps or something next time just so they taste more meaty than…weird.
Man, I’m making this recipe sound like a whole lot of win, aren’t I? :P
At least REB liked them. In the end, that’s what mattered.
- RUSSIAN DRESSING:
- ¼ cup Vegenaise (I used this because I don’t like mayo. Never have, never will. You can use mayo if you’d prefer though. Or, use Greek yogurt as a great substitute)
- 1 tablespoons ketchup
- 1½ tablespoons capers, drained and finely minced
- 2 tablespoons sweet whole pickles, finely chopped
- ½ whole lemon, juiced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- FOR THE SLAW:
- 2 cups shredded red cabbage
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- *Note: you can buy prepared coleslaw or sauerkraut if you prefer
- FOR THE TEMPEH MARINADE
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup water
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- FOR THE SANDWICHES:
- 8 oz. tempeh (I used Lightlife brand in the Soy variety), sliced in ½ inch thick slices
- 8 slices Rye bread (2 slices per sandwich)
- Nonstick spray
- ADDITIONAL OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS:
- 4 slices Provolone or Swiss cheese (or vegan cheese of your choice)
- Vegan butter (or regular if you prefer) to help brown sandwiches
- combine the vinegar, cabbage and salt. Stir, cover bowl and chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours (this will help break down the cabbage)
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, cover and chill for at least 2 hours
- Slice the tempeh into ½ inch thick slices
- Bring 8 cups of water to boil on stove. Add a pinch of salt when boiling then add tempeh and boil for 10 minutes.
- While the tempeh is boiling, combine all spices (coriander, cumin, red pepper flakes, allspice, cinnamon, garlic salt, ground ginger) in a freezer bag or large bag. Zip close, and shake to combine. Add water and oil to bag. Once tempeh is done boiling, add to marinade, shake to coat each slice then chill in refrigerator for 2 hours.
- TO MAKE THE SANDWICHES:
- Heat your stove top grill or pan with nonstick spray over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the tempeh and cook 3-4 minutes on each side until browned and warmed through. Transfer to plate and set aside.
- ASSEMBLING SANDWICHES:
- Layer a slice of bread with dressing, slaw, cheese (optional), cooked tempeh. Take another slice of bread, spread some of the dressing and close sandwich together. Heat pan again with nonstick spray, or vegan butter. Place sandwich in pan and grill until browned. Or, if you have added cheese, until the cheese is melted. Repeat with the other three sandwiches until all are made.
- Additional notes:
- You can make the slaw and dressing the night before or well ahead of time and keep in the fridge to keep cool. You can also marinade the tempeh a day in advance to help speed up the process when you want to prepare your sandwiches.