Filled with maple-dijon marinated baked tempeh, melted cheese, creamy avocado, and tangy sauerkraut, this sandwich deserves a spot next to all the beer, sausages, and pretzels in your Oktoberfest celebrations!
Another name for this sandwich could be a California reuben thanks to the avocado and healthy ingredient swaps – but that name sounded way too summery for how this sandwich tastes. One of Bry’s favorite lunch foods is a classic reuben: salty corned beef, swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing all of which is place between two slices of rye bread and grilled. Clearly not the healthiest option on the menu.
The first, and in my opinion, the most obvious place to start when making food healthier is with the protein. Both the reuben classic of corned beef and the Oktoberfest staple sausages are loaded with sodium and saturated fat. So instead, I went with tempeh, which is an awesome plant-based protein source made from fermented soybeans (I know, it sounds strange but its so wonderfully chewy and nutty).
I would never mess around with cheese. The cheese stays. However, if you’re vegan, simply take the cheese out or sub in a vegan cheese alternative (make sure it melts well!). Mashed avocado (mixed with lemon juice) subs in for the Russian dressing as it provides the wonderful creaminess but with a healthy dose of monounsaturated fats.
The key to this sandwich is the sauerkraut. It brings a mouth-watering tanginess to the whole sandwich and makes this sandwich worthy of eating alongside a German beer. I was always wary of trying it as I hate pickles! But I found that sauerkraut provides all the wonderful vinegar flavor without the weird pickle texture.
Oh and I really wanted to use a dark, German bread but could not find a loaf in my nearest store. Instead, we used When Pigs Fly low carb whole wheat bread. I think it did a good job standing in as it was on the denser side and had a nice chew. But feel free to use any bread of choice 🙂
- For the tempeh: 16 oz (2 packages) tempeh
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 4 Tbs dijon mustard
- 2 Tbs brown sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- Pinch salt and pepper
- 1 avocado
- Juice from 1/4 of a lemon
- 1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese (could also use 4 slices instead)
- Bread of choice
- Cooking spray
- Slice tempeh into 8 “logs” and set aside. In a tupperware container, combine all of the marinade ingredients and stir well. Add in tempeh slices, cover with lid, and gently shake to cover the tempeh slices with he marinade. Let sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Once tempeh has marinated, preheat oven to 350 and cover a cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper. Place tempeh on prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, flip and cook an additional 10 minutes.
- While the tempeh cooks for the last 10 minutes, place skillet on stove and heat to medium. Combine avocado and lemon juice in a bowl. Mash well - option to add a sprinkle of black pepper to taste.
- Spray the bottom of two slices of bread with cooking spray and place spray-side-down on skillet. Top one slice with cheese and avocado and cook until cheese starts to melt. Once tempeh is done, add four tempeh slices and as much sauerkraut as desired onto of the cheese. Finally place the second slice of bread on top (the bottom of it should be grilled by now), press down on the sandwich and remove from the heat. Repeat with remaining sandwiches.