Tempeh Reuben


Becoming plant-based has its occasional challenges and my love of Reubens was no small sacrifice. Although I no longer remember when this recipe became part of my repertoire, I’ve made it often enough that I committed it to memory. I find it deeply satisfying, as did the vegetarian friends with whom I shared it.

Although I have given up bread in solidarity with my diabetic husband, you may choose to serve yours on real rye or pumpernickel bread. I make dosa “flatbread” (crepes) with fermented lentils and buckwheat (low-glycemic). My recipe normally requires two days but is delicious if you want to try it. Be sure to add the Fenugreek seeds which add a nice flavor and give the dosas their flexibility to be filled and folded.

If you’re making dosas, start the batter a day ahead. You may choose to add caraway seeds and cocoa after blending the ingredients. It gives them more a rye bread flavor.

We used vegan swiss cheese and in place of the 1000 Island dressing which normally finishes the sandwich, we’ve mixed mix equal parts of tomato paste and vegan mayo. However, in this photo we mixed vegan mayo with our own fermented Lemon Mint Kraut.


1 package of Tempeh Cut into 4 “patties”

1/4 C. Balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp. Olive oil
1/4 small read onion sliced
Sprinkle of Basil


In one jar:
1 C. brown lentils
2 C. filtered water
1/2 tsp. salt
In the 2nd jar:
1 C. buckwheat groats
1 1/2 C. filtered water
2 tsp. Fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp. salt
After blending, stir these in:
2 tsp. unsweetened baking cocoa
2 tsp caraway seeds

Kraut Slaw

1 C. kraut of your choice
3-4 tbsp. vegan mayo


Using two separate glass quart jars, combine buckwheat, water and salt in one jar, and lentils, water, salt and fenugreek seeds in another. Let soak over-night. Add a tablespoon or two of brine from your brine stash if you have it to speed the process.

Put together the ingredients for the marinade. Cut the tempeh in half, then split like a hamburger. This helps the marinade permeate. Let marinate for 1 hour or overnight flipping occasionally to get both sides. I leave mine on the counter during the day to remind me if I’m making dosa batter. Refrigerate tempeh overnight.

The next day, blend each jar of ingredients separately in a food processor and add to a bowl large enough to contain 2 quarts of batter. If it seems too thick, add filtered water. Stir together with cocoa powder and caraway seeds.

Measure out 1/4 -1/3 of a cup onto a hot, oiled, non-stick skillet. The batter should be justIMG_20181109_193953 thin enough to cover the bottom of a pan. You want to cover them so they cook through and for the top to look dry, 4-7 minutes. Watch for the edges to brown and curl slightly. Flip and finish frying uncovered. When they’re finished, they should slide out of the pan.
These can be stacked and served from a plate. Makes about 14 cup dosas.

After the dosas are cooked, fry the tempeh in the same skillet until browned.

Meanwhile, assemble the mayo and kraut and mix thoroughly. Spread a layer of kraut on one dosa and arrange 1/2 of the tempeh on it. Lay another dosa on top and serve with dill pickles.

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