These gluten free tempeh Reuben bowls are made with quinoa topped with savory marinated tempeh, sautéed sauerkraut and spicy cashew cream sauce.
Apparently I went a bit too far this time. I’m told that this dish does not taste like a Reuben. My short relationship with the classic Reuben sandwich has gone through some stages. A few years ago I created my first meatless version. Then I created a vegan Reuben, which ditched the cheese and Russian dressing. This time I said “to hell with bread!” and “let’s make it with tempeh!” which is apparently less corned-beefy than seitan.
I’ve never had a regular Reuben, so I’ve relied on my husband to gauge my accuracy in each of my vegetarian versions. This time I missed the mark. Well, I missed the Reuben mark. “Putting sauerkraut in something doesn’t make it a Reuben. And this is spicy. Reubens don’t have hot sauce. It’s delicious though.” Delicious is good enough for me!
I guess my though was that the quinoa could stand in for bread, tempeh for meat (which you totally can’t blame me for, because bunches of other food bloggers did it first) and that the cashew sauce would be a super special spicy hybrid between the dressing and cheese. I threw some onions and carrots in for flavor and crunch.
An added bonus to making a Reuben this was is that it’s gluten free. Funny, considering the filling in my last Reuben was made mainly from seitan. I didn’t plan it this way, but I’m glad this one turned out to be a more accessible version for my gluten free readers.
Rebuen in bowl form also seems more appropriate for this time of year. Something about a steaming hot bowl of food that you eat by the forkful just says happiness when it’s freezing cold outside.
Tempeh Reuben Bowls
For the Marinated Tempeh
For the Quinoa Base
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup quinoa
For the Sautéed Veggies and Sauerkraut
- 1 tsp. vegetable oil
- 1 onion sliced and separated into strips
- 3 carrots sliced
- 3 cups sauerkraut
For the Cashew Cream Sauce
- 1/2 cup raw cashews soaked in water 4-8 hours and drained
- 1/4 cup unflavored soy or almond milk
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. sriracha
Make the Tempeh
- Whisk together water, worchester sauce, garlic, maple syrup and liquid smoke. Add tempeh and stir to coat. Allow to marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
- Coat medium skillet with oil and place over medium-high heat. Add tempeh and marinade. Cook about 5 minutes, flipping twice during cooking, until pieces are browned on several sides.
Make the Quinoa Base
- While tempeh marinades, bring broth to a boil in medium saucepan. Add quinoa, lower heat, and cover. Allow to simmer, covered, until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
Sauté the Veggies and Sauerkraut
- Coat medium skillet with oil and place over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrots. Sauté until carrots are tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Add sauerkraut and continue sautéeing just until heated throughout, about 1 minute.
Make the Cashew Cream Sauce
- Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
Assemble the Tempeh Reuben Bowls
- Divide quinoa among bowls. Top with sauerkraut mixture, tempeh and then cashew cream sauce.