Thursday, May 20, 2010


I'm not the biggest fan of tempeh. It has a strong flavor which makes it not as versatile as tofu, my soy-product of choice. However, I can't get enough of tempeh that is marinated and baked. After pulling a batch out of the oven, it dawned on me to make a tempeh Ruben. I threw some sweet potato fries in the oven as a side and had myself a really happy lunch.

adapted from Clean Food

One reason I often don't like tempeh is because it is too dry. Steaming tempeh makes it more moist and allows it to absorb more flavors. I thought the original recipe in my Clean Foods cookbook was too sweet and the marinade was not liquidy enough. When I made it again I added a little less maple syrup, a little more tamari, and some water to stretch the marinade. This tempeh is perfect by itself, maybe served with some brown rice and sauteed greens. But if you want to make it specifically for a Ruben sandwich, consider adding 1/2 a teaspoon of caraway seeds or peppercorns or whatever spices you'd associate with corned beef. Serves 4.

2 8-oz packages tempeh
1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons prepared mustard (Dijon or stone-ground)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce)
2 tablespoons water

1. Slice tempeh across into 1/2-in strips and steam for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 425.
2. In a shallow baking dish, whisk together oil, garlic, mustard, maple syrup, lemon juice, and tamari. Place steamed tempeh in marinade, flip to coat each side, and marinate for at least 30 minutes (I recommend marinating overnight if you have the time).
3. Place tempeh with marinade in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, flip each piece, and bake for 10 more minutes.


3 tbs vegan mayonnaise (Vegenaise is my favorite)
3 tbs ketchup
3 tbs minced pickles
1/4 tsp lemon juice

For the sandwich, add 4-5 slices of the tempeh, warmed sauerkraut, dressing, tomato, and lettuce to rye bread.


2 sweet potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/4 inch fries
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 425. In a large bowl, coat sweet potatoes with oil and salt.
2. Arrange in a single layer on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
3. Bake for 15 minutes, flip, and bake for another 10-15 minutes.

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