This sandwich was created to satisfy Kelly’s husband’s love of the classic deli favourite. He missed this comfort food sandwich when he went to an entirely plant-based diet. It was Kelly’s mission to try to recreate this sandwich without any meat or dairy. Mission accomplished!
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
For the marinade:
1/8 cup beet juice
¼ cup pickling or sauerkraut juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon minced garlic
½ lemon, juiced
For the Russian dressing:
½ cup Vegenaise or Mayo
¼ cup organic ketchup
2 tablespoons finely diced dill pickles
1 teaspoon finely diced red onion
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon organic brown mustard
1 (8 ounce) package tempeh
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 slices GF bread
1 cup sauerkraut, drained
½ cup non-dairy shredded cheddar
- Make the marinade: Place the beet juice, pickling juice, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl and whisk. You could also put it into a small food processor and process until combined (about 5 seconds). Pour the marinade into a non-reactive baking dish large enough to hold the tempeh slices in one layer.
- Make the dressing: In a small mixing bowl, combine the Vegenaise, ketchup, dill pickles, red onion, garlic powder and mustard.
- Heat a steamer pot. Once hot, steam the tempeh for about 5 minutes, or until you see it swell and plump up slightly. We steam our tempeh to open it up and allow it to absorb more flavor from the marinade.
- Take the tempeh out of the steamer, place it on a cutting board and let it cool. Cut the cooled tempeh in half so you have two rectangular blocks. Slice each rectangular block through the middle so that you have 4 thin rectangles.
- Place the tempeh in the marinade and marinate the pieces on each side for at least 15 minutes or up to overnight. Store the marinated tempeh for up to 2 days.
- Heat a heavy skillet on medium heat and add olive oil. Sear the tempeh slices for about 4 minutes per side until slightly browned. Sprinkle non-dairy cheddar shreds on each slice then cover on the skillet for 3-4 minutes to melt the cheese.
- Toast the bread while the tempeh is cooking. Keep the toast warm.
- Put 4 slices of toast on a flat surface, then top each slice with 2 tablespoons of dressing, 3 tablespoons of sauerkraut, 1 tempeh slice, another tablespoon of sauerkraut and a drizzle of dressing. The more gooey the better! Top with the remaining slices of toast and serve – with plenty of napkins within reach.
Makes 4 servings
Note: Try to use non-pasteurized sauerkraut for a healthier fermented option.