Try This— Reuben Inspired Vegetarian Sauerkraut Sandwich

My health crazes come in waves. I make secret promises to myself every now and again that I’ll juice everyday and incorporate at least one raw ingredient at every meal. Sigh. Then that ‘sort your life out’ urgency surrounding New Years, or most recently back-to-school, wears off and I’m back to quick hunger fixes that are not always the healthiest choices. So here we are. School is in full swing. Days are long and hectic. Weeknights are way too short, and weekends are lightning fast. My menu goals have once again degenerated from lofty meal plans filled with raw foods and special recipes to the quickest grab and go recipe I can make, usually with whatever hodgepodge of ingredients I still have on hand. But sometimes, in the midst of all of the work week chaos and the lazy girl meals I resort to, I find a happy place. A place where my lazy girl, work week meal is actually super healthy. Enter the sauerkraut sandwich.

So putting sauerkraut on a sandwich is as American as, well, it’s as American as a hot Reuben. When I was a kid, my parents used to drive us over the Williamsburg Bridge and head up to Madison Ave. in Midtown. There was this deli there that was famous for their Reuben sandwiches. In fact, I think the place might have been called Reuben’s Delicatessan. Whatever the place was called, they seriously had some bangin’ reubens. Corned Beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing on rye bread. A beautiful representation of the diversity of America, totally unlike this recent wave of venomous xenophobia we’ve seen infecting the headlines. #NoFascistUSA. Ahem, I digress.

Anyway, Reubens were one of my favorite sandwiches when I was still a meat eater, and as a vegetarian, I’ve often used those favorite, childhood recipes to inspire the recipes I create today. This sauerkraut sandwich recipe is totally inspired by those classic Reubens I loved as a kid.

 

Okay. So I’m gonna tell you what this sandwich is all about, but you gotta promise you’ll at least try it. Pinky swear, because this right here might be a giant leap of faith. On paper these ingredients listed together won’t sound all that tasty, but I just need you to let me guide you through this. The two main ingredients are sauerkraut and almond butter. Seriously, you guys! Keep reading! I promise it works. For those of you that don’t really like sauerkraut, let me try to set your mind at ease just a little bit. I don’t go crazy for sauerkraut either. I mean, it’s okay, but honestly I could do without it. I’m not all that into almond butter either. Again, it’s good, but not to die for. You have to trust me when I say this though… the two combined make for one of the most divine, yet healthy sandwiches you’ll ever have. Leap of faith for sure. You must try this!!!

Reuben Inspired Vegetarian Sauerkraut Sandwich

ingredients

  • 2 slices of bread, toasted
  • sauerkraut, drained
  • 2-3 tbsp almond butter
  • Bragg’s Liquid Amino (we’re talking less than a teaspoon)
  • garlic powder, pinch

Directions

  • drain your sauerkraut by placing it between some paper towels
  • try to get as much of the liquid off as possible
  • on toasted bread, spread an even layer of almond butter on both slices
  • place your drained sauerkraut on top of the almond butter
  • sprinkle the sauerkraut with a pinch of garlic powder, then drizzle a little Bragg’s over top (again, be careful not to soak your sandwich, a very little bit of Bragg’s goes a long way)
  • close your sandwich and dig in!

Optional add-ons which are fun:

Swiss Cheese—if you want it melted, don’t be afraid to pop the whole sandwich in the oven, it won’t hurt it

Alfafa Sproutshealth benefits galore

Roasted Garlic Paste—only if you’re surrounded by people that love you for you no matter how bad your breath smells

Tempeh—mostly for the texture, but remember tempeh has a very nutty flavor. Keep that in mind when you’re spreading your almond butter

Try This— Cheesy Savory Oatmeal

Confession: there’s people out here that put sugar in their grits and I know this because I am one of those people. My argument is this. Grits are a type of cereal and cereal NEEDS to be sweetened— end of story…drops mic. I can admit when I’m wrong though and with all the time I spend sweetening foods that are traditionally savory, or spicing foods up that are traditionally sweet, I have to say, I should totally abandon my stance on grits. You know why? Because I’ve developed a new obsession. Say what?! Savory oatmeal!!!

Last fall I was addicted to grain bowls for breakfast. Seriously. I couldn’t start my day without that hearty, stick to your ribs breakfast. When the weather starts to get colder, breakfast smoothies no longer work for me. I need hot meals that are filling and delicious. So when I came across this savory oatmeal recipe on Healthy Nibbles and Bits, I knew I just had to try it. Guess what?! It’s amazing. Just what the doctor ordered for those chilly Autumn mornings. You must try this!

Cheesy Savory Oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup dry quick-cooking steel cut oats
  • 3/4 cup water
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp shredded white cheddar cheese (or more, because how can you really measure cheesy goodness?)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup diced red peppers
  • 2 TBS finely chopped onions
  • 1 large egg

Directions

  1. Stove Top Method: Bring water to boil. Add oatmeal, reduce heat a little and let it cook for about 3 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat and stir in cheese, a small pinch of salt, and pepper
  2. Microwave Method*: Place oats and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Line microwave dish with paper towels to catch any spills. Microwave at a high setting (but not the highest, about 8/10 power setting) at one-minute intervals for a total of 3 minutes. If you want a softer texture, continue microwaving at 30-second intervals. Give the oats a little stir between intervals. When the oatmeal is done, stir in shredded cheese, a small pinch of salt, and pepper.
  3. Heat a nonstick pan with 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add vegetables and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until they soften. Spoon vegetables over cooked oats. Reduce heat to medium.
  4. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon of oil and fry egg. Cook until the whites are no longer translucent and serve over oatmeal.
  5. Top with chopped walnuts, green onions, and za’atar

Try This—Jicama!!!

I should probably admit that I’m kind of a picky eater. I’m almost always certain to pass on funny looking veggies I’ve never heard of at the farmer’s market. Seriously, no matter how many rave reviews jackfruit, or whatever, gets on cooking sites, just looking at that thing gives me the shivers. I’m the one at the kitchen table using the prongs of my fork to separate that unidentified ingredient from the rest of the meal, holding it up to the light, crinkling my nose, and asking, “what is this?” I’ll even go so far as to do a ton of research on the superfood du jour, but not even a stellar report card of health benefits can convince me to take the plunge.

Anyway, as with most of the new foods I end up trying, the story starts with a stir fry. I love stir fry. No other meal can trick me into putting fermented whatever-the-hell into a dish I’m about to consume, no questions asked. It is stir fry that got me to try mung bean sprouts, bok choy, water chestnuts and countless varieties of mushrooms. So on my latest run to the Asian food store, I got my hands on jicama.

I’d been hearing a lot of good things about jicama. I decided to just bite my bottom lip and add it to my weekend stir fry.  Omigod! Probably the best decision I’ve made in a long time… My decision to pack tank tops when flying to England was decidedly the worst decision I’ve made recently because cold. Anyway, jicama is the truth, y’all. It’s like a mix between an apple, a russet potato, and a turnip. I mean, who knew? Okay, so maybe I’m a little late to the party, as I’ve seen a ton of recipes floating around Pinterest, but still, better late than never!

For the rundown on jicama, check out these useful infographics below, courtesy of draxe.com, then keep scrolling for some serving suggestions courtesy of thekitchn.

Jicama (HEE—KAH—MAH)

Serving Suggestions

  • First, know that a jicama stick can stand up to a carrot stick any day — excellent on its own, or with a dip or vinaigrette.
  • Jicama makes an excellent salsa — a perfect match for a tortilla chip or to top a taco. Cut jicama into slim sticks, then dice it finely. Combine the jicama with corn or diced tomato, black beans, a little red onion or scallion, minced jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice.
  • Cut jicama into thin strips or matchsticks and make a slaw with shredded red cabbage, carrots, and avocado.
  • Tuck jicama matchsticks into fresh spring rolls.
  • Stir-fry jicama; its flesh stays crisp when cooked briefly, adding a refreshing crunch to any strir-fry. Try it with broccoli, garlic, ginger, scallions, and toasted sesame seeds or cashews.