Since it is March and all, Costco is full of food to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. One of the most iconic foods for the day is Corned Beef. I have to be honest, I can’t remember the last time I tried corned beef. I knew I wanted to eat it this year for one thing: Reuben sandwiches! They are so satisfying, and I think this lighter and more macro-friendly sandwich will have you feeling all sorts of luck.
What is a Reuben Sandwich?
If you’ve never had it before, a Reuben is a pretty classic sandwich in the United States. It’s actually made with quite a few ingredients that you don’t hear of every day. Let’s break them down a bit.
- Corned Beef. The cut of beef used to make this iconic St. Patrick’s Day dish is a brisket. Brisket is a pretty tough (but leaner) cut of meat usually, but it becomes quite tender thanks to being cooked for a long time with a bunch of salt. When you’re eating corned beef, as strange as it might sounds, you are basically eating pickled beef.
- Rye Bread. This type of bread is made, at least in part, from a specific type of grain: rye. Rye bread is usually denser and higher in fiber than other types of bread. Often it also has a darker, richer color.
- Sauerkraut: Sauerkraut is the second “pickled” ingredient to this sandwich. This time, the pickled item is cabbage. This is a readily available condiment (I picked mine up from Target), and a lot of people also enjoy this on their hot dogs. This is a very macro-friendly ingredient, so feel free to pile it on if you love it.
- Swiss Cheese. This isn’t such a different ingredient, but it helps make the sandwich melty and gooey. Yum!
- Russian Dressing. Maybe you’re like me and assume that Russian Dressing is the same as Thousand Island. However, this isn’t the case. They are similar, but Thousand Island contains sweet pickle relish, which gives it a sweeter profile. Russian dressing contains horseradish, which gives it a spicier flair. If you do not want it to be too spicy, feel free to leave out or adjust the amount of horseradish.
To make a lighter Reuben sandwich, I made the following swaps.
- Lavash Wrap. Although this may take a traditional element out of the dish, it’s hard to argue with the carbs you can save from using a lavash wrap. If you do choose a lavash wrap, remember that too many moist ingredients can make it soggy, so you may want to add the dressing and sauerkraut sparingly. You can always add more after it comes off the pan or on the side. Another option would be to thinly slice your rye bread or serve your sandwich open face. If you wanted to really save some carbs, you could just make a Reuben salad, which I’m sure would be delicious!
- Lite Swiss Cheese. I buy the Jarlsberg lite swiss cheese from Costco. It was excellent macros at 50 calories and 2.5F/1C/7P per slice. If you can’t find this brand of cheese at your store, another option is just to use less overall cheese for your sandwich.
- Lighter Russian Dressing. This saves SO MUCH fat. Instead of using mayo for the base, I decided to use greek yogurt. There is so much flavor from the horseradish that I don’t miss the extra fat grams. This dressing is definitely spicier. If you are looking for a milder or sweeter dressing, you can omit the horseradish and hot sauce. Or, I’d recommend checking out my lighter “spread” recipe.
The macros for this dip are rounded to 0F/4C/3P and 27 calories for 30 grams or about 2 tablespoons. Feel free to add it on thick! Or, dunk your sandwich into a little extra dressing. With macros like that, no need to use this dressing too sparingly!
Lighter Russian Dressing
- 10 g onion, finely minced (1 tablespoon)
- 85 g Non-Fat Greek Yogurt (1/2 cup)
- 34 G Ketchup (2 Tablespoons)
- 1 tsp horseradish, or more or less to taste
- 5 ml Frank's Red Hot Sauce (1 tsp)
- 5 m Worchesershire sauce (1 tsp)
- 1/8 tsp Paprika
- salt, to taste
- Combine all ingredients well and enjoy!