Cooking & Spirituality: Reuben Sandwiches

By Lucia Ferrara

I love Rueben sandwiches! The tanginess of the sour kraut and thousand island dressing and saltiness of the corned beef are perfectly pulled together on the toasted deli swirl pumpernickel and rye bread. Eating these hot, fresh out of the skillet with a robust soup like tomato-basil or a creamy broccoli or potato soup can’t be beat.

Reuben Sandwiches

  • Pumpernickel bread
  • Sliced swiss cheese
  • 1 lb sliced corned beef
  • 2 lbs sour kraut, heated
  • Thousand island dressing
  • ½ stick of butter, softened

Serves 6-8 people

Serve with

  • kettle chips
  • potato salad
  • creamy soup

Healthy Eating for our Spiritual Diet

Nutritionists tell us that adults should average about 2,000 to 2,500 calories a day depending on your gender, age and level of activity. Elementary-age children need around 1,600 to 2,000 calories and moderately active teenagers need up to 2,800.

Nutritionists also tell us that we should get most of our calories from well-balanced meals — breakfast, lunch and supper. Almost all nutrition plans, however, also include some in-between meal snacking (healthy snacks, of course), some as much as 400 calories a day.

So snacking can be included in a healthy diet plan, but according to an article I recently read, many people add up to 1,000 calories or more a day just through snacking. That’s when snacking becomes unhealthy.

Probably, we all have been guilty of that — especially now that we spend so much time at home. We taste and snack all day long and so when it comes to dinner time, we don’t want to eat because we are not hungry. We’ve filled up with cookies, chips and candy and don’t want the healthy food on the table before us.

There is an analogy here for our spiritual lives.

If prayer, bible study and community are the healthy meals of our spiritual diet, worry and fear are the unhealthy snacks. As easy as it is to sneak an extra piece of chocolate cake between meals, our spiritual selves can fill up on distractions and anxieties to the point that we don’t want to sit down to a hearty helping of healthy spiritual practice.

Just like physical snacks, we’re never going to rid ourselves completely of spiritual junk food, but with practice and patience, we can limit their harmful effects.

Just like having a healthy diet to nourish our body, we have to seek out a spiritual diet that will nourish our spiritual selves.

The first step to getting back to a healthy spiritual diet is to set aside time on a regular basis for spiritual practices like prayer, bible study and meditation. (This website has many resources on that can help you with this.) Just like having a healthy diet to nourish our body, we have to seek out a spiritual diet that will nourish our spiritual selves.

Let me share with you a couple of scriptures that I have been meditating on this week.

Seek the kingdom of God above all else and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

— Matthew 6:33

If we seek God out, God will provide and God will give us what we need.

Taste and see that the Lord is God.

— Psalm 34:8

I like that one because we can see good in each other. We can see good in all things around us and with that said, we can see God in all of us, in all things created, in all things around us.

Another spiritual exercise I recommend is taking the food we have created here and sharing it at table with our family and friends. I want you to enjoy it and have fun and fellowship with each other.

Until next time, God bless you and Ciao.

All the articles and videos in the Cooking and Spirituality Series can be found here.

[Lucia Ferrara, the Director of Hospitality at Precious Blood Renewal Center. Share your thoughts with Lucia or ask her questions using the form below or by sending an email to]


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