Over the past few months, I’ve had the pleasure of dining out at some of Philadelphia’s best vegan restaurants. At a couple of these places in particular, I have yet to ever find myself disappointed with the food. Fresh, meat-free ingredients are cooked up in a way that makes vegan gourmet, creating dishes that are palatable to even the pickiest of eaters. It’s restaurants like Horizons, turning seitan into the most juicy, succulent, meaty form of meatless protein possible, that are capable of changing the minds of those that lament vegetarian food. One of Philadelphia’s newest, Blackbird Pizzeria, also does a mighty fine job at creating vegan comfort food, enabling those who would normally turn their nose up at tofu to go home raving about their meatless meal. The chefs in restaurants such as these have inspired me in my own cooking, leading me to occasionally whip up my own epicurean vegan food. And with that, I leave you with my latest kitchen creation, a gourmet vegan, tempeh-based sandwich that really hits the spot.
Tempeh Bacon Reuben
-12 slices tempeh bacon, see recipe below
-8 slices pumpernickel bread
-2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
-1 cup sauerkraut
-1 cup Daiya “cheese”
-Vegenaise (or mayo, if preferred)
-Red onion, thinly sliced
-Peanut oil, for greasing
Lightly toast bread. Spread each slice generously with Vegenaise/Mayo. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper. Layer 4 slices of bread with 1/4 cup sauerkraut, 3 slices of tempeh, and 1/4 cup Diaya cheese.
Line broiler pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease with peanut oil. Place sandwiches in oven under broil for one minute, un
til cheese melts. Top with two slices tomato, onion, and lettuce. Place remaining pieces of bread on top. Serve.
- -8 oz. tempeh, thinly cut into 12 slices
- -1 Tbsp. vegan Worcestershire Sauce
- -3 Tbsp. soy sauce
- -1/3 cup apple cider
- -2 cloves garlic, minced
- -1 Tbsp. peanut oil
- -2 tsp. molasses
- -1/2 tsp. cumin
- -1/4 tsp. cayenne
- -1/2 tsp. smoked paprika, optional
In small boil, whisk all ingredients, excluding tempeh. In baking dish, spread tempeh in single layer. Cover w
ith marinade and let sit at least 3 hours, or overnight.
Preheat oven 325F. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Carefully transfer tempeh slices to prepared baking sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway, until tempeh is brown and crispy. Remove from oven.