Last week, while vacationing in Tennessee we found the nicest vegan restaurant in all of Nashville, The Wild Cow. While we had fun enjoying a full menu full of animal free choices it also made the decision of what to eat a little more difficult than it usually is in restaurants. We asked our server, Ryan, what he liked on the menu. He indicated that everything was delicious but that he had recently been “addicted” to the reuben. Enough said, Vincent ordered the Reuben! There were four of us at the table and we each ordered something different. Ryan was right, everything was very delicious! I told Ryan about The kitchen twist and he told me about how to download some of his original music for free at ryansilver.bandcamp.com be sure to visit and enjoy his tunes! You can also find him on youtube or his website at ryansilvermusic.com his music is very chill with a bit of whimsey, I liked it! Upon arriving home I wanted to create something in honor of The Wild Cow and Ryan, our talented server, who is sure to break into the music scene and become a famous musician. Under these circumstances I decided that nothing could be better than to create a satisfying and addicting reuben sandwich!
Apart from its deliciously tangy flavor, sauerkraut offers remarkable health benefits. The fiber and lactic acid bacteria improve digestion and promote the growth of healthy bowel flora, protecting against many diseases of the digestive tract. It’s low in calories, enzyme-rich and high in vitamin C. The fermentation of cabbage produces compounds called isothiocyanates which are protective against cancer.
Tofu is a rich source of protein that is cholesterol free. It can help lower the LDL (bad) cholesterol without lowering HDL (good) cholesterol which leads to a reduced risk of heart disease. Being high in protein, it satisfies body’s hunger for a long time. Also, its low-calorie nature doesn’t add any excess calories to your diet.
Tofu is a very good source of iron. Iron helps in the transport of release of oxygen throughout the body promoting energy production. Tofu also provides copper, an important mineral without which iron cannot be properly utilized in red blood cells. Copper is also helpful in reducing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
A study done on men with type 2 diabetes, all of whom had a diagnosis of diabetes-related kidney disease, found that men who added tofu to their diet significantly reduced the stress on their kidneys. Those receiving the animal protein, however, experienced an increase in kidney disease.
The juniper berries in the marinate help to prevent gas and heartburn. They also help treat bladder and kidney infections.
Rye bread may be a better choice than wheat bread for persons with diabetes. One study found that bread made from wheat triggers a greater insulin response than rye bread does. Results of the study showed that after women had eaten rye bread, their insulin responses were significantly lower than after they ate wheat bread. Researchers felt this lower after-meal insulin response could be due to the fact that the starch granules in rye bread form a less porous and mechanically firmer matrix than in wheat bread. This would translate into a much greater particle size being swallowed when rye bread is eaten compared to wheat, which would slow the rate at which the starch could be digested into sugar.
For the tofu:
2 (1 lb.) blocks extra-firm tofu, frozen, thawed and water squeezed out (or fresh, drained and pressed)
1/2 cup water
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 T grated ginger
2 juniper berries,* crushed
2 t dry mustard
1 t sesame oil
1/4 t Cayenne pepper
1/8 t cinnamon
1/8 t allspice
Place the tofu in a gallon sized ziplock bag. Stir together all remaining ingredients and pour over tofu, coating all sides. Press the air out and zip closed. Marinate for 30 minutes while preparing the remaining ingredients.
For the reuben sauce:
3/4 cup vegan mayonnaise (Vegenaise)
6 T ketchup
2 T minced dill pickle
4 t horseradish sauce
2 t Bragg’s amino acids
Mix all ingredients together. Use to spread on the reuben sandwiches.
16 slices rye bread cut from 2 loaves
1 (8 oz.) pkg. Diaya Mozzarella shreds
2 1/2 cups fresh sauerkraut
Non-hydrogenated margarine (Earth Balance)
Preheat a large skillet on medium low heat. Place the slices of rye bread together preparatory to assembling the sandwiches. Evenly spread the reuben sauce across each slice of bread. Slice each block of tofu into 4 thin pieces and place on half of the bread slices. Top the tofu with a generous amount of sauerkraut, then evenly spread the Diaya Mozzarella shreds on the opposite bread slices. Quickly put the bread slices together to form sandwiches. Spread the top of each sandwich with a very thin layer of non-hydrgenated margarine and carefully lay in heated pan, margarine side down. While in pan spread a very thin layer of non-hydrogenated margarine on the second side of each sandwich. Flip sandwiches when the first side is browned and brown the second side. Remove from pan and continue until all sandwiches are grilled. Makes 8 sandwiches. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com