Archive for ‘Sandwiches’

August 28, 2010

Lunch Bunch – Sandwiches

Spicy Pastrami

(above is my Spicy Pastrami

With kids returning to school comes the pressure of packed lunch ideas. Maybe you’re not a parent but need ideas for your own packed lunch. Besides, bringing your own lunch to work is a much healthier option than going out to eat everyday, and it saves money. If you are like me, if my weekly lunch menu is not planned, I end up making more PB&Js and plain cheese and turkey sandwiches then I would like. Things get boring!

Below is a chart of my most favorite sandwich ingredients. This way everything is laid out in front of me and I don’t have to think up ingredients off the top of my head. It even helps me get a little more creative with flavor combos. Walk around your produce section to come up with your own list, or add to mine. Think about your leftovers – grilled steak, chicken, pork, grilled fish, slice those up and make a sandwich the next day.  

Having a chart can help remind kids of options they may not otherwise think up. Let them add their favorites to the list. At the beginning of each week make sure to choose a few sandwiches for the week and make sure you have the ingredients for those. I use lists for everything at home and work, so it only made sense to come up with a list for lunches! (Another idea is to also keep a list of items kids can chose from for sides and snacks to complete their lunch).

Bread Meat cheese Veggies Spreads/Toppings
Whole Wheat Cibatta Rolls
Pumpernickel Artisan
smoked cheddar
smoked gouda
goat cheese
blue cheese
bell peppers
broccoli slaw
Pesto Mayo
Sun-dried tomato spread
Goat cheese spread
olive tapenade
stone ground mustard
red wine vinegar
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
parmesan cheese
fresh or dried herbs

peanut butter
marshmallow creme

My daughter’s favorite is peanut butter, marshmallow cream, and strawberry on whole wheat bread.

As for the spreads here are a few really easy and great tasting spreads for your sandwiches:  

Pesto Mayo 

½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup prepared or homemade pesto

Mix ingredients together in a bowl.   

Jalapeno Aioli 

1 whole jalapeno, stem cut off
½ cup mayo
¼ cup sour cream
½ bunch cilantro
salt and pepper 

Place jalapenos in a food processor or blender until coarsely chopped. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until all combined. 

Sun-dried Tomato Spread 

½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup goat cheese (goat cheese can be substituted with cream cheese or another soft cheese)
¼ cup Sun-dried tomatoes 

Place ingredients in a food processor (or blender) and process until smooth.

Goat Cheese Spread

½ cup soft goat cheese (Chevre)
3 mint leaves
¼ c parsley
½ lemon jucied
1/8 tsp honey

In a food processor (or blender) mix all ingredients together until the mixture is smooth.

August 5, 2010

Meatloaf Burger

By request I have made a burger version of my meatloaf, just for my Shawnee.  It’s really yum!


2lbs ground beef (ground chuck is good because it has some fat, which is good for tender juicy burgers)

1/2c. bread crumbs

1/2 packet of onion soup mix

1T Worchestershire sauce

1T ketchup

1 onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 egg

salt and pepper

sauteed red onion

avocado (optional)

Toss first 7 ingredients together, don’t mash it all together just toss it so everything is incorporated throughout. Once it’s incorporated, beat the egg in a bowl then incorporate into the meat. Work the meat just a little. The more you handle the meat the tougher it will be so handle it minimally.

Form into patties and generously sprinkle salt and pepper on each side of the patties.  Grill on medium-high heat until cooked to your liking.

Sauteed Red Onions

Thinly slice a red onion. On medium-low heat, melt butter in a saucepan, add onions and cook stirring occasionally until the onions caramelize. salt and pepper at the end.

Serve burger on a toasted ciabatta roll with mayonnaise, ketchup, and sauteed onions. MMMMMMM….good! It’s like a cozy winter meal, fit for a hot summer weekenight!

April 10, 2010

Spicy Pastrami

I am not a big fan of just plain sanwiches, they are sometimes a little boring to me. But Paninis are a whole other story! They are my favorite of all sandwiches, gooey cheese, warm toasty bread and warm inside. I’m playing around a bit with some combinations – part of creating “the Menu.” Here is a really good one.

Spicy Pastrami Panini

 I made this sandwich with the 12-grain bread I had, but I’m going to make a batch of ciabatta and try it with that bread (you could also buy some ciabatta)

2 slices bread (preferrable artisan type – ciabatta or foccacia)
generous portion of thin sliced pastrami
handful of sliced pepperocinis
handful of sliced roasted red peppers*
2 slices of cheddar cheese
2T. Sundried tomato spread (see recipe below)

Take one slice of bread and place the cheese, pastrami and the peppers.

Now to make the Tomato Spread!

The grocery store near me has an olive bar which consists of really good sundried tomatoes in oil (the ones in oil are soft and easier to use than in a dry package). Or you could take 3-4 roma tomatoes, slice them in half and roast them in your oven @ 450 for 30 minutes or until they are shriveled a bit.

Mix half a stick of cream cheese (4 oz.) and enough sundried tomatoes to equal about 3-4 small roma tomatoes.

spread should look like this

Now place the spread on the remaining slice of bread and place it on top of the pastrami side. Now I don’t have a fancy panini grill but if you do, heat it up. Instead I use the small George Foreman grill I have and it comes out just the same. You could also cook the panini in a skillet or cast iron skillet and use a brick wrapped in foil to place on top of your sandwich, part way through flip the sandwich so both sides are toasty and everything is melty. Notice I don’t use oil or butter but you can if you’d like.

And now you can dig in!!!

*I like to roast peppers slice them and put them in the fridge for a week or freezer if I won’t use them right away, this way I always have fresh roasted peppers.

April 8, 2010

Strawberry, Fluff and PB Sandwiches


Your kids will love this sandwich! I never knew of any use for fluff other than in a fudge recipe I love. Then I saw Kate (Jon and Kate Plus 8 – back when that show was good) making it for her kids and thought gross. Then I found a recipe for homemade fluff and thought – ok I’ll try it. It seems I have seen a lot about the Fluff sandwich since then. I believe it originated in Pennsylvania – my home state! Lots of things come from PA I’m finding!

3 large egg whites
2 cups light corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla extract

NOTE: The fluff expands a lot, use at least a 5-quart (or larger) mixing bowl.

In large mixer bowl, use a whisk attachment to combine egg whites, corn syrup, and salt. Beat for 10 minutes until thick. (After only a minute or so, the fluff turns white and gooey)

Add powdered sugar at a low speed to thoroughly incorporate. Add vanilla extract and beat until well blended.

Store the fluff in a glass jar for easy access a ziploc gets all sticky and messy on your hands. Refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to a month. The fluff is very easy to use right out of the freezer, actually I think it may be easier to use frozen. Since this is not very healthy and we don’t use it very fast, freezing it allows me to store it longer.

Two slices of whole grain bread
3 large strawberries thinly sliced
Peanut butter

January 28, 2010

Turkey Patty Melt

I saw this recipe in the Food Network magazine Jan/Feb issue. Melty cheese and mushrooms and onions sounded so good – and it was! This recipe is comfort food, but a little healthier than a patty melt you would get at a restraunt.

3T olive oil (I used butter because I used my cast iron skillet)
1 red onion (yellow onion would be good too)
8oz crimini mushrooms (baby bellas), sliced
salt and ground pepper
2tsp balsamic vinegar
2T plus 2t Worcestershire sauce
10oz ground turkey
6oz ground beef sirloin
8 slices rye bread
8 slices swiss cheese

MELT butter in pan. Slice onions and mushrooms.

Sautee onions and mushrooms. Start by sauteeing the onions, then push onion to the edges of the pan then add mushrooms and a little more butter. Cook until mushrooms start to brown. Then mix mushrooms and onions together and add vinegar and 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce.

 Cook a bit longer until any liquid is absorbed. Add salt and pepper.

Mix turkey, sirloin, salt, pepper, and 2 tsp worcestershire sauce.

Shape into equal sized oval-shaped patties. Cook until browned about 4 minutes, flip and cook another 2-3 minutes.

Assemble the sandwiches, one slice of cheese per side.

Add patty to one side and divide onion and mushroom mixture among the sandwiches. Grill the sandwiches in batches, on each side until the bread is brown and cheese is melty.


December 7, 2009

Roasted Veggie Wrap w/Baba Ghanouj

The other day while grocery shopping at Trader Joes I was hungry so I decided to grab one of their sandwiches. I grabbed a roasted veggie wrap with baba ghanouj it was colorful and sounded healthy and filling. It was so so good! It had roasted peppers and zucchini. It seemed so simple and something that could be made on the weekend and supply a few weekday lunches! So I decided to make my own version. My baba ghanouj recipe is an altered version of one on Epicurious, since I didn’t have tahini paste (sesame paste). I think my sandwich rivals the TJs version…maybe I can sell my version to them…ha ha ha.

1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 small eggplant
1 zucchini
1 c. Shredded cabbage
¼ c. olive oil
½ can chickpeas
1t sesame seed oil
1 clove garlic
3T lemon juice
Lavash bread, spinach wrap, or other favorite wrap

PREHEAT oven to 425 degrees.

SLICE zucchini lengthwise in thick strips. Cut eggplant in half.

DRIZZLE peppers, eggplant, and zucchini with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place eggplant cut side down with whole peppers. Cook about 20 minutes then add thin sliced zucchini on a cookie sheet. Roast for another 10 minutes.

COOL the veggies – place the peppers in a bag to steam to peal the skin easier, scoop out the pulp from the eggplant and let sit in strainer for 30 minutes.

BABA GHANOUJ: In a processor add eggplant, chickpeas, sesame oil, garlic, and lemon juice, salt and pepper until smooth. (or a blender). With the processor running add the oil slowly. (for a chunkier spread add the eggplant at the end and just pulse 2 or 3 times to incorporate the eggplant).

PEEL the peppers, then slice peppers into thin strips. Spread the Baba Ghanouj over the wrap, lay peppers and  zucchini, then add the cabbage. Wrap up and Enjoy! You can also dip the sandwich in the Baba Ghanouj.