Vrueban and Birthday

I hope everyone is having a marvelous week so far!  Things have been going better for me.  I've been getting a couple interviews and a job offer or two, but I'm waiting to see what I think will be the best fit for me.  Also... today happens to be my 22nd Birthday!  Yes, this is the first of many uneventful birthdays I will have after my 21st last year.  So far my day has gone pretty well, but the real fun will start tonight when I'm meeting a group of friends at a local restaurant for sushi (the sushi comes to you on a conveyor belt, which is awesome!), then going out for some free birthday drinks.  It should be a great time!

A birthday present to myself that I have made recently is.... drumroll!..... a Vegan Rueban!  Previous rueban lovers, you can thank me now!  Ruebans are one of the pre-nutritarian foods that I always used to love, and I had settled that I would never have again, until now.  Hope you enjoy as much as I do:

  • sliced rye bread
  • jar of sauerkraut
  • portobello mushrooms
  • fresh spinach
  • Vegan 1000 Island dressing (recipe)

  1. Remove the large stems from the portobello mushrooms and prepare a skillet, grill, or panini press for them to grill in.  Let them grill for ten minutes on each side (or ten minutes if you have a George Forman press like we have).  Two portobellos will provide enough for two to three vruebans.
  2. To prepare the sandwiches lay the bread out on a cutting board for as many sandwiches as you would like to make.
  3. On each slice of bread spread on generous amounts of Vegan 1000 Island dressing.
  4. On half of the slices layer on as much spinach as desired.
  5. On the other half of the slices, pile on as much sauerkraut as you desire.
  6. By this time the portobello should be grilled and tender. Cut the mushrooms at an angle into long slices and place onto the sandwiches.
  7. Spray your skillet, grill, or panini maker with non-stick spray and place whole sandwiches to cook.
  8. Allow to fry until the outer bread is browned and toasted.
  9. Cut in half and serve with extra 1000 island for dipping.
  10. Enjoy!
Amy's Notes: Like I said above, two large portobello mushrooms are enough to stretch for three sandwiches depending on how they are sliced.  Make sure to pile on as much spinach as you would like.  The greens will compress a lot as the vrueban is pressed and grilled.  Feel free to use tofu or any other substitute for the mushrooms that you would prefer.
What replacements for meat do you enjoy using in your cooking?


  1. Happy Birthday Amy!

    I love Portobellos - whoo doesn't?? Oh, that's right, my bf doesn't - therefore I don't get to enjoy them as often as I'd like. Lately I prefer to stay away from tofu, tempeh and I've never liked seitan, so I just amp up my recipes with extra beans/lentils (bf doesn't like those either so if I'm using them I have to "hide" them...note: he is not nutritarian or vegan!), brown rice, squash, etc. I find that in the summer I actually prefer tons and tons of salad though, and he does too, which makes eating healthy a lot easier. However, once fall/winter comes, salads don't seem to have enough oomph for me!

    Given you're on the six week challenge, I'm curious to know what you'll be eating at the sushi place. Hope you have fun tonight!

    1. Portobellos are one of my new favorites too! I'm not the biggest fan of tofu either, and I have actually never had the chance to try tempeh or seitan. I feel your pain with trying to hide things in foods when making them for your boyfriend. My fiance never usually likes anything I make, so it'll be quite a challenge when we first get married. At least Kevin likes beans and rice dishes... I can do a lot with that.

      It was difficult to eat at a sushi place, but I managed to order primarily vegan sushi (although it was some white rice, yuck!). I had a few helpings of their seaweed salad, which was delicious and the only real green thing that was available. I'm sure it had a ton of oil on it, unfortunately. To be honest, after eating there my stomach felt terrible and I had stomach cramps the rest of the night. I guess that's my body's way of saying "Don't even try to fudge-up, you're going to finish this next month strong!"

      Thanks for reading, Amy

  2. Happy Bday! Grilled portobello mushroom sandwiches are such a great meat replacement. For me, tofu is such a staple. I was never a big meat eater when I wasn't vegan, so I don't really miss any of that meat taste in food.

    1. I agree :) I was never a big meat eater before hand either, but ruebans was one bad thing I did miss. Glad that I found a way better (and I think tastier) replacement. Best, Amy

  3. Happy birthday - and this looks amazing , can't wait to try it!

  4. Yeah I agree about the eating out...our stomachs keep us in check!!

  5. Thank you for this recipe! I made it on St. Patrick's Day (the one time a year I usually make reubans) for myself and daughter, who recently went vegetarian. It was so delicious that I've been thinking about it ever since so I'm making it again today. Yum!