This recipe appeared in a newsletter I receive from the Vegetarian Times and was just too bizarre not to try. I loves me a Reuben, but Lisa’s not the biggest fan, so I wondered if a vegetarian version would be any more appealing. I think I won her over in the end… This recipe won for best vegetarian sandwich in a Vegetarian Times poll.
Wow. Um, would you be offended if I didn’t eat this?
Only if you didn’t at least try it — if you hate it, we’ll make you something else.
Okay, but I’m warning you… um, you know I don’t like real reubens, right?
Yeah, but this is made with seitan instead of corned beef!
You know I don’t like seitan, either, right?
Oh. Really? Well, uh… just try it anyway.
Alright, but I’m expecting to make my own dinner in about five minutes.
So? How is it? I think overall it’s a pretty good impersonation of a real one.
Hmmm…. this is weird, how’d it get that color?
It’s got beet juice in it to dye the seitan the color of corned beef.
This is just bizarre. But… not bad…
Stop right there! Given your position coming to the table, I’ll take that!
1 lb seitan, thinly sliced
1 cup pickle juice
1/2 cup beet juice (puree a 15-oz can of beets if not available)
1 tsp pickling spice
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
For the dressing:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp finely chopped pickles
8 slices rye bread
4 slices Swiss or Provolone cheese
Sauerkraut, for garnish
Place seitan in baking dish. Bring pickle juice, beet juice, pickling spice, garlic powder, pepper, and 1 cup water to a boil in saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes. Strain marinade, and pour over sliced seitan. Cover and cool. Chill overnight.
To make dressing, combine all ingredients in bowl.
To assemble the sandwiches, preheat oven to broil. Set bread slices on baking sheet. Top 4 bread slices with drained Seitan and cheese. Broil 5 to 7 minutes, or until Seitan is hot and cheese is melted. Transfer Seitan-topped bread slices to serving plates, and garnish with sauerkraut. Spread remaining 4 bread slices with dressing, and place on top.