The Radical Reuben Recipe + The New Chicago Diner Cookbook

The New Chicago Diner Cookbook + recipe for Radical ReubenMy first stop in Chicago tends to be to the same place – Chicago Diner. With a 31 year history and two locations, it is a mainstay of the Windy City. Their menu is loaded with cozy comfort foods, hearty breakfasts, and one of my all-time favorite sandwiches, the Radical Reuben. Loaded with chewy seitan, crisp sauerkraut, and creamy Thousand Island dressing, it ticks all of my must haves for that classic diner sandwich. (And I’m going to be sharing that recipe with you today! But more on that in just a bit…)

I was so excited when I heard that the folks at the Chicago Diner were coming out with a new cookbook with lots of color photos and enticing recipes. The New Chicago Diner Cookbook by Jo A. Kaucher with Kat Barry celebrates so much of what makes the Chicago Diner great.  (This new cookbook is completely different from the Chicago Diner Cookbook that was released in 2002.)

There are recipes for vegan proteins and fillings, brunch, entertaining, salads, dressings, and condiments, soups and sandwiches, entrees, vegetables and side dishes, and desserts. While the Chicago Diner is a vegetarian restaurant, all of the recipes in the cookbook are vegan.

Here are a few things I’ve made from the cookbook:

Creamy Pesto Dip from the New Chicago Diner CookbookCreamy Pesto Dip from the New Chicago Diner CookbookThis Creamy Cashew Pesto Dip is in the entertaining section. I served it with crackers and crudités for an easy, summer nibbly night. This spread is cashew-based and filled with mounds and mounds of fresh basil.  For 2 cups of raw cashews, you combine it with 9 ½ cups of basil. That’s a lot of basil! In the variations, they offer the idea of substituting half of the basil for spinach for a less pronounced basil flavor. For dip purposes, I will probably do that next time. However, I used the remaining spread as a sauce for hot pasta, and it was wonderfully creamy and fragrant.

Eggless Salad from the New Chicago Diner CookbookEggless Salad Wrap from the New Chicago Diner CookbookThis summer I have been gravitating towards a lot of quick, no fuss lunches. One that I’ve been coming back to again and again is eggless (tofu) salad. I usually make it with just a few ingredients – tofu, Vegenaise, and kala namak. So I was interested in trying the Chicago Diner version with this Eggless Salad Wrap.

Their version includes everything that I put in mine plus celery, parsley, green onion, dill pickles, mustard, turmeric, and sunflower seeds. I’d never added toasted sunflower seeds to a tofu salad before, and it added a wonderfully nutty crunch that I really liked. I reduced the amount of Vegenaise in the recipe by about half, because I prefer a less mayo-heavy sandwich.  It took less than ten minutes to make, and it was absolutely delicious. This will definitely be my preferred recipe from now on.

Radical Reuben - vegan reuben from the famed Chicago DinerFinally, the crème de la crème – The Radical Reuben. This was the reason I was most excited for this cookbook, and it did not disappoint. Even though veggie reubens can be made with any number of toothsome fillings like tofu, tempeh, or Portobello mushrooms, it is chewy seitan that makes a reuben irresistible to me. This is a sandwich that doesn’t need any sides. It is super filling, and it has it all – sautéed onions, bell peppers, a layer of sauerkraut, and their signature corned beef-style seitan. (The recipe also calls for vegan mozzarella, but I left that out.)

There is a recipe for seitan in the book, but it requires a stand mixer with paddle attachment, which I don’t have. So I used the white seitan recipe from Viva Vegan, which is my go-to, never fail seitan recipe. (When you make the recipe below, use your own preferred seitan with the listed marinade.)  I then marinated a pound of the seitan in the Corned “Beef” Marinade. It’s the marinade that really brings the seitan to life. With a base of pickle juice, beet juice, and seasonings, the tart, salty flavor pops. It’s the beet juice that gives the seitan its vibrant, hot pink color.  The reuben rivals the one I’ve had many times at Chicago Diner, and you don’t even have to find parking!

I am the only reuben lover in our house, and so after eating a couple of sandwiches, I froze the rest of the marinated seitan in individual portions. Bread also freezes well, and so I froze the rest of the rye bread too. This has been kind of magical, because now whenever I have a reuben emergency, I have everything at hand. I just quickly thaw the seitan in the microwave, sauté it, toast the bread, and pull out my favorite sauerkraut. I can have a reuben in less than 15 minutes. It’s a beautiful thing.

I am so excited that the folks at Agate Publishing have kindly offered for me to share the recipe for the Radical Reuben with you today! I hope you’re hungry. You are going to love this sandwich.

Radical Reuben recipe from the New Chicago Diner Cookbook - all vegan and AMAZING

The Radical Reuben

Serving Size: 4 sandwiches

The Radical Reuben is our most popular dish. It took home the Vegetarian Times Magazine Readers' Choice Award for Best Recipe in the Midwest in June 2008 and was also featured on TLC's "Best Food Ever: Darn Good Diners" show. Basically, this sandwich rocks, and now you can make it right in your own kitchen!

Ingredients

    For the Corned "Beef" Marinade:
  • 1 cup (237 mL) pickle juice
  • 3/4 cup (178 mL) beet juice (Juice from a jar of pickled beets works fine)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seed
  • Dash dry ground mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound seitan
  • For the Thousand Island Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup (56 g) vegan mayonnaise (Vegenaise)
  • 3 Tablespoons (45 mL) organic ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped dill pickles
  • For the Reubens:
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup (75 g) sliced yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup (38 g) sliced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup (38 g) sliced green bell pepper
  • 1 1/3 cups (303 g) sauerkraut
  • 8 slices marble rye bread
  • 1 pound (454 g) Seitan Corned "Beef" (See marinade recipe above)
  • 1 cup (112 g) shredded vegan mozzarella cheese (Chicago Diner uses Daiya brand for this sandwich)

Instructions

    To make the marinade:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix all of the ingredients together until fully combined.
  2. Slice 1 pound of seitan thinly. Place it in a large, shallow baking dish. Pour the marinade over the seitan and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.
  3. To make the Sauce:
  4. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients. Set aside.
  5. To make the Reubens:
  6. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and peppers and sauté for 7 to 9 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Remove from the heat and transfer the onion and peppers to a medium covered bowl. Set aside.
  7. Place the sauerkraut in the skillet and return it to the heat. Warm it in the skillet for 5 minutes, until it is warmed through. Remove from the heat and transfer the sauerkraut to a medium bowl. Cover the bowl and set aside.
  8. Toast the bread. Place the Seitan Corned "Beef" in the skillet and return it to the heat. Warm it in the skillet for 5 to 7 minutes, until it is warmed through and a little brown on the edges. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  9. Place 4 of the toasted bread slices on a serving platter. Divide the Seitan Corned "Beef" evenly among the 4 slices.
  10. Atop each pile of Seitan Corned "Beef," layer 1/4 of the sauerkraut, the pepper-onion mix, the vegan mozzarella cheese, and the Thousand Island Sauce. Top each sandwich half with the remaining 4 slices of bread. Slice each sandwich in half and serve immediately.

Notes

Reprinted with permission from The New Chicago Diner Cookbook by Jo A. Kaucher, Agate Surrey December 2013.

http://cadryskitchen.com/2014/08/06/reuben-sandwich-chicago-diner/

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links.  I received this cookbook for review from Agate Publishing. The thoughts and opinions are totally my own.

Pesto Cauliflower & Potato Salad and Salad Samurai Giveaway

Backyard Buffalo Ranch Caesar Salad - Salad SamuraiIf I was exiled to a desert island and was only allowed to bring cookbooks from two or three authors, the books of Terry Hope Romero would definitely be on my list. You may be asking yourself – why are you being exiled and what sort of strange punishment would involve cookbook requirements? Let’s not quibble about the who-did-whats and why-on-earths… The point here is that when it comes to cookbook authors, Terry Hope Romero is well loved in my household.

To name a few, I’ve raved about Veganomicon, Vegan Eats World, and Viva Vegan (which is probably still my all-time favorite). So when I heard Terry was releasing a book devoted to salads, I could hardly wait to get my greedy fingers on it.

Salad Samurai - Terry Hope RomeroSalad Samurai includes 100 meal-worthy salads. These aren’t the kind of salads that leave you hungry an hour later. These are stick-to-your-ribs dinnertime salads that include dishes like Tempeh Reubenesque Salad, Coconut Samosa Potato Salad, and Asparagus Pad Thai Salad. Plus, there are all kinds of dressings and add-ons like Roasted Hemp Seed Parmesan and Coconut Bacony Bits.

This book came at just the right time. With a farmers market exploding with summer’s riches, I’m going to be very busy. I’ve only just begun with Salad Samurai, but here are a few of the things I’ve made so far:

Grilled Kale Salad - Salad SamuraiI made this Grilled Kale Salad with Spicy Lentils, which uses kale that has been marinated in coconut milk and lime juice. It’s topped with lentils, onions, and tomatoes for a warm take on kale salad. (This recipe is available on Chic Vegan.)

Lentil Pate Banh Mi Salad Rolls  - Salad SamuraiI never would have considered using a lentil pâté for rice paper rolls, but these Lentil Pâté Banh Mi Salad Rolls showed me the error of my ways. The black lentil and walnut pâté gives savory depth while cucumber, carrots, lettuce, cilantro, radish, and scallions balance it. I especially liked the added vinegary crunch of pickle. I made these for lunches for a couple of days, and they are surprisingly filling! David is not a fan of rice paper, and so I packed his lunch with the black lentil pâté and crackers for a snack, which he really enjoyed.

Backyard Buffalo Ranch Caesar Salad - Salad SamuraiMy very favorite thing I’ve made is this Backyard Buffalo Ranch Caesar Salad. It involves several steps – making Back at the Ranch Dressing, Red-Hot Saucy Tofu, and Classic Croutons – along with chopping lettuce, celery, carrots, and cabbage. However, the results are totally worth it. Every bite gives you something new to mmm over. The hot-out-of-the-oven croutons are tinged with the flavors of lemon and garlic while the tofu is tossed in Frank’s Red Hot Sauce.

I made the full recipe – enough for two meals for two – and found myself on Day 3 sad that it was gone. So after eating it for two meals in a row, I made it again! It is one craveable salad. (You can find the recipe over at The Sweet Life, where Sarah is also offering a copy of the book for a giveaway!)

Pesto Cauliflower & Potato SaladI had a chance to pull out the grill pan for this Pesto Cauliflower & Potato Salad. Grilled cauliflower along with fresh green peas and boiled potatoes are tossed in a basil pesto. This fresh salad would be wonderful for a summer potluck or even served warm for a main course-style salad. I like that the pine nuts are toasted and added on top, as opposed to blending in the pesto itself. Since pine nuts are on the pricey side, I like really being able to see them and taste them, as opposed to them just falling into the background of the dish.

The publisher of Salad Samurai, Da Capo Press, is letting me share the recipe for the Pesto Cauliflower & Potato Salad with you today, along with one of the photos from the book (shown below). The photos in Salad Samurai were taken by V.K. Rees, the same person who shot the photographs for Isa Does It. I love her style and the way her photos have an action-shot quality as you can see for yourself.

Pesto Cauliflower & Potato Salad - Salad Samurai

Pesto Cauliflower & Potato Salad

45 minutes

Serving Size: 3 to 4

This classic combination of pesto and potatoes is lightened up with irresistible grilled cauliflower. For a more substantial pesto entree, replace half or all of the cauliflower with pasta, preferably those tight little twists called gemelli.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound cauliflower
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound waxy yellow or white potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts or toasted pine nuts
  • Basil Pesto Dressing
  • 1 1/2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Remove the thick inner stem from the cauliflower, slice into thick 1-inch slabs. Preheat a cast-iron grill pan over high heat. Rub the cauliflower with olive oil and arrange the pieces in a single layer in the preheated pan. Grill the cauliflower until charred on the outside and crisp-tender inside, about 4 to 5 minutes, flipping halfway through. Transfer the cauliflower to a cutting board, chop into bite-size pieces, and place in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Peel and dice the potato into 1/2 inch pieces, transfer to a large saucepan, cover with 4 inches of cold water, and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Reduce th heat to medium and cook the potatoes for 6 to 8 minutes, or until almost tender. Stir in the peas and cook another minute. Reserve 1/4 cup of cooking water, then drain the potatoes and peas and rinse with cold water. Add these vegetables to the cauliflower.
  3. For the Basil Pesto Dressing
  4. In a food processor, pulse together the pesto ingredients plus 2 Tablespoons of the potato cooking water until smooth. Spoon onto the vegetables, add the nuts, and combine thoroughly. Cover and chill for ten minutes to blend flavors. Serve the salad slightly chilled or at room temperature. Garnish each serving with a few nuts.

Notes

From Salad Samurai by Terry Hope Romero. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2014

http://cadryskitchen.com/2014/07/02/potato-salad-samurai/

The folks at Da Capo Press are also offering one copy of Salad Samurai for a giveaway. The giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada. The winner will be chosen at random. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a complimentary copy of Salad Samurai from the publisher, but the thoughts and opinions are totally my own.  This post contains Amazon affiliate links.