Tempeh Ruebens
January 10, 2010, 1:43 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

One of my husband’s favorite things to order in restaurants that have them, are tempeh ruebens.  They always look delicious, yet I’ve never ordered one along with him.  For a while now I’ve been thinking about trying to perfect one at home so we can have them whenever the urge strikes and tonight, I think I got it right.  They turned out absolutely delicious…warm and filling on a cold Minnesota night.  

Tempeh Ruebens

8 oz. tempeh (I used 5-grain, but plan on experimenting further with wild rice, etc.)

3 T. light miracle whip (you could use vegan mayo and make this vegan)

1 1/2 T. ketchup

1 T. sweet pickle relish

2-3 T. peanut oil

salt and pepper

1 1/2 T. butter or margarine

4 slices bread (rye or pumpernickel would make it more traditional, but I used whole grain)

1 c. sauerkraut, drained


In a medium saucepan, simmer enough water to cover tempeh.  Simmer for about 30 minutes.  Remove tempeh from water and drain on paper towels, patting dry.  Slice into as thin of slices as you can without crumbling it.

In a small bowl, combine miracle whip, ketchup and relish and set aside.

In a medium skillet, heat peanut oil over medium heat.  Add sliced tempeh and fry on all sides until golden brown.  Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Wipe out skillet and set aside. 

Butter each slice of bread on one side.  Return skillet to stove over med to low heat.  Add one slice of bread, butter side down.  Spread slice of bread with dressing mixture, then top with tempeh slices and sauerkraut.  Take additional slice of bread, spreading with dressing on non-buttered side and laying slice, dressing side down, on top of sauerkraut. 

Cook sandwich until brown on bottom side, then flip carefully and brown on second side.  Remove from skillet and slice. 

Repeat all steps for second sammie and then dig in!

**For those of you not familiar with tempeh, it is a soybean product sort of like tofu, but made from the whole soybean.  It has a high content of protein, dietary fiber and vitamins, and once fried, it gets nice and crisp on the outside, while still staying soft on the inside.  The flavor is nutty and more apparent than a tofu.**


Back in the Game & Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
January 6, 2010, 12:44 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Over the holidays there was the usual baking of Christmas cookies and other various treats, but I also found myself in a slump of “easy food”.  Things that are not usually staples in our home became far too common.  Things like veggie chicken nuggets, fish sticks, and lots and lots of grilled cheese sammies.

Granted my pregnancy took me from extreme nausea in the fall months, to exhaustion as I now enter my 3rd trimester.  Throw in a bout with pinkeye for both my son and I, and well, I guess I had some valid excuses, but still….yuck.

Double yuck after I finally got a chance to watch Food Inc. the other night.  Wow.  I mean, I had a good idea as to what was going to be covered, but boy…it was the motivation I needed to hit the organic section of the store today and plan our meals for the week to get back in the healthier choices swing o’ things.

First on our list today was for my 3 year old and I to bake a “healthier” version of one of my faves…banana bread!  With the added bonus of a little chocolate…well, ya can’t go wrong.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (based on recipe from 1000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson, but mine wasn’t vegan)

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

2 large ripe bananas

1/3 c. apple juice

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3 T. canola oil

3/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips (I used the really tiny ones)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly oil loaf pan and set aside. (make sure this is done well because it will definitely stick). 

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and then set aside.

In separate mixing bowl, combine bananas, apple juice, vanilla and oil and mix with hand mixer until well blended. 

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and fold in chocolate chips, stirring gently until the flour is just moistened.  Do not over mix.

Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake approximately 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in to center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes before slicing.