Saturday, October 11, 2008
Becoming a vegetarian at 39 years old is quite a life changing experience. For me it happened by accident to be honest with you. My girlfriend at the time and I decided that we were going to really downsize. Cut all of our bills down to the bare essentials. We moved closer to where I was working at the time, moved into a small guest house, paid off the car and she quit work. It was the best times in my life. We were working to live, not living to work you might say.
It didn't take long to figure out that the most expensive thing in our budget was meat! So we started our journey of learning to eat well without eating meat. And regardless of what people say, the first thing that happened to me [as I think happens to many people] was that I got fat! The abuse of pasta, breads and carbs in general took it's toll. But something else happened. I was experiencing a variety of health issues at the time [I won't get into details, this is a recipe blog] and within a couple of months they disappeared, gone. I am not the same person today and my reasons for being a vegetarian are now many and varied. But I have not been to a doctor since that time and have not had the flu since then either. Remember those flu's you get once a year when they come around? Call me Mr. Immunity System! Sounds like a great name for a super hero, heh.
So after trying to live off of salads, potatoes, broccoli and beans I decided it was time that I learned to make real food for my new life. And I don't have any idea where I found this one but wherever it came from I owe them big.
Uncle Ray's Vegetarian Rueban Sandwich"s
For the Rye bread the best and most popular with guest and family seems to be Russian Rye. If I am cooking for myself I will use my favorite Trader Joe's flourless bread. This diabetic avoids the white poison [white flour] every chance I get. But I know friends and family should not be put through that.
For SauerKraut any of the name brand SauerKraut in a jar will do fine. But here is a tip I learned from a German lady that had the best SauerKraut in the neighborhood when I was growing up. We thought she had this great secret family recipe, but no. She was just carefully rinsing store bought SauerKraut in cool water. Make sure to drain it off as good as you can.
Use your favorite tomatoes. I am so picky about this sandwich that I don't use any of the moist parts of the tomato. The sandwich will just end up a wet mess if you do.
The original recipe called for Swiss Cheese but I prefer Provolone. Once again I am lucky to have a Trader Joe's a couple of hundred yards from my house so I use their sliced Provolone.
I only have Brown Mustard in my refrigerator so I don't know how it would taste with other Mustard's. Be my guest to experiment.
First, toast the bread. Make sure it's toasted but not over done since we'll be putting it in the oven. Spread mustard on one side of bread the lay dry side down, on a oven grill that is resting on a cookie sheet [See the picture]. Since the sandwich wants to slip and slide around I like to add the ingredients in small alternating portions. First a couple small pieces of cheese. Then a little bit of SauerKraut. The a few more pieces of cheese. Then a few small slices of tomato. Then a few small pieces of cheese. Then a little more SauerKraut. You get the picture.
Now place the second pieces of bread, mustard side down of course, on top. Place them in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes.
You know what's next, See ya next time!