Categories
Sandwiches Vegetarian

Tempeh Reuben Sandwich

Are you a big fan of reuben sandwiches (or the fixins within), but not a big fan of meat? You can get the same sloppy, melty taste and feeling from this vegetarian version of the classic reuben. All of the good ‘ol traditional reuben ingredients are still in this sandwich, and the tempeh is so “meaty” and delicious that you might not miss the corned beef at all. 

I’m the first to admit that I am a big fan of the meaty version of the reuben, but this vegetarian version is so stick-to-your-ribs yummy minus the gut-bomb feeling that I get from eating too much meat. I crave this version so much more often because I enjoy this sandwich immensely and I feel good after eating it. Try it out and let me know what you think. 

Ingredients:

Tempeh/Marinade:

1 8 oz. package of tempeh, cut in long, thin strips

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 tsp. lemon juice 

1 tsp. liquid smoke

2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. cayenne

Salt and pepper

Sandwich:

4 slices of bread, your favorite kind!

1-2 Tbsp. butter

½ c. sauerkraut

2 slices of Swiss cheese

2 Tbsp. Thousand Island dressing

About an hour before cooking, combine the tempeh and all of the ingredients in the marinade. Mix together thoroughly with your hands, being careful not to rip apart the tempeh strips.  Let it sit at room temperature. 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the tempeh strips on a lined baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes. Flip over, and cook for 6 more minutes, or until the tempeh is firm but not burned. When you take it out the oven, taste and season with additional salt and pepper if you’d like. 

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Quickly heat the sauerkraut through and set aside. Wipe out the skillet and return to medium heat. Spread butter on all of the bread slices, like you would when you fix a grilled cheese sandwich. Place the tempeh, cheese, and sauerkraut on top of one slice of bread, butter side facing down, and place it in the skillet. Add Thousand Island dressing to the other slice of bread so that it faces the inside of the sandwich, butter side up. Cook the sandwich until each side is lightly browned and the cheese is melted and warm. 

Categories
Sandwiches Vegetarian

Simple Caprese Sandwich

Today the weather was spring-like, so I decided it was a good day to do some deep cleaning. It has been really cold here lately, so since it was sunny and (not really) warm,  I had all of the windows open. I was singing cheerfully and in a great mood. I’m just so excited that springtime will be upon us in just a few weeks. 

Anyway . . . all of that hard work made me hungry; and keeping with the faux-spring theme of the day, I decided that my lunch must also be in line with sunshine and warm weather dreams. Clearly, there’s nothing more sunshiny than tomatoes and basil, which I happened to have in the fridge, along with mozzarella and frozen baguettes. In under 15 minutes (including baking the bread), I had such a smile-inducing meal right in front of me. There’s nothing at all fancy about a caprese sandwich, but there is something mighty special about it anyway. 

Ingredients:

2 demi baguettes

2 roma tomatoes, sliced

Handful of basil leaves

6 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced

1 Tbsp. olive oil

4 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Slice the baguettes lengthwise. Drizzle olive oil on the inside of the bottom piece of bread and balsamic vinegar on the inside of the top piece. Place mozzarella on top of the oil, followed by the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper generously. Place the basil leaves on top of the tomatoes. Close the sandwich and enjoy!

Categories
Sandwiches Vegetarian

Mushroom Philly Cheese(not)steak Sandwich

This mushroom Philly cheese(non)steak sandwich satisfies your craving for a hearty, filling, meaty meal, but no meat is needed. The hot, melty cheese, crunchy, but soft baguette, and meaty, savory mushrooms will cause even the most ardent meat eaters to crave this meatless version of its meaty cousin, the Philly cheesesteak sandwich. This is, without question, one of the meatiest vegetarian meals out there. 

But it’s not just meat lovers who will love this sandwich. Vegetarians will also love this gooey, cheesy, nutrient-packed sandwich that is every bit as satisfying and lip-smacking as the meaty version. This meal comes together in about 20 minutes and is sure to please the whole crew. 

Ingredients:

2 demi baguettes

1 Tbsp. olive oil

½ onion, thinly sliced

1 8 oz. package of mushrooms, or 2 large portobello mushrooms, sliced

1 medium green or red pepper, thinly sliced

¼ c. vegetable broth

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

Dash of Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. Garlic powder

2 tsp. oregano

2 slices of provolone cheese

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add onions and peppers and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and the broth and cook for another 2 minutes. Add soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and oregano. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 

To assemble the sandwiches, split the baguettes lengthwise and fill with mushroom mixture. Top with cheese slices. Wrap tightly in foil and bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Unwrap and enjoy!

Categories
Sandwiches

Classic French Croque Madame Sandwich

If I had to have a cooking tagline, “everything is better with a fried egg on top” would definitely be in the running. Something about that jammy, but runny yolk that just takes even the most delicious dish over the top to become exquisitely divine.

The traditional french sandwich, the Croque Monsieur, is the eggless version of the Croque Madame. Think of the Croque Monsieur like a grilled cheese that is 10 times more delectable than normal because it includes a bechamel sauce, country ham, Dijon mustard, and gruyere cheese on two slices of a country loaf. Now imagine that topped with a fried egg. Mind. Blown.  

Just add a salad and a glass of Beaujolais and you can pretend you’re at a sidewalk cafe in Paris. Perfect.

Ingredients:

Bechamel sauce:

3 Tbsp. butter

3 Tbsp. flour

1.5 c. whole milk

½ c. grated gruyere cheese

Dash of nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste

Sandwich:

Country loaf, cut into slices

2 Tbsp. butter

½ lb. sliced cooked ham, Black Forest works great

4 thin slices of gruyere cheese

4 fresh eggs

Dijon mustard

To make the bechamel sauce, melt the butter. Whisk the flour in to create a roux. Whisk in milk, bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer, continuing to whisk, for 3 minutes. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add the grated gruyere and whisk until everything is melted and combined. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm. 

To make the sandwiches, spread Dijon mustard and one piece of bread and spread bechamel on the other piece of bread. Place the ham and slices of gruyere on top of the mustard. Close the sandwich. 

Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat and grill each sandwich for about 3 minutes per side, or until cheese is melted and bread is lightly browned on both sides. 

Transfer grilled sandwiches to a baking sheet lined with foil. Broil the sandwiches until the sauce is bubbly and light brown. Cover with extra bechamel sauce if desired. 

Fry the egg in butter over medium high heat until the egg whites are set and yolk is still runny. Place on top of the sandwich. Season with pepper and enjoy!

Categories
Sandwiches Vegan Vegetarian

Spicy Thai Peanut Collard Green Wrap

This. Sandwich. If you’re thinking about sandwiches right now and bread is the first obvious thing that comes to your mind, stop for just one second and consider the fact that some sandwiches are actually better without bread. Impossible, you say? 

Not at all. Try this one, and your bread-sandwich mind connection may be compromised just a little. The slightly crunchy, flavorful collard green wrap is like a hug around the peanut sauce hummus-covered veggies and salty-sweet tofu in the middle. Think of it like a messy Thai burrito packed with veggies. If you’re not actually commenting out loud about how good this wrap is when you’re eating it (yes, even if you’re alone), I just don’t get you. 

Ingredients: 

Collard greens, bottom stem removed

Carrots, cut into matchsticks

Cucumbers, cut into matchsticks

Radishes, cut into matchsticks

Jalapenos, finely chopped

Spicy Thai Peanut Hummus

Asian Baked Tofu

Salt to taste

Boil a large pot of water. Carefully drop in the collard green leaves into the hot water and blanch for 1 minute until the leaves are pliable. Drain immediately and dry the leaves. They are ready to be wrapped!

Spread out the collard green leaves on a flat surface. Spread the hummus all over the middle of the leaf. Top with veggies, tofu, and a little salt. Fold the ends in and roll from front to back (like they do at burrito joints).

Categories
Sandwiches

Piadina Romagnola (Italian Flatbread with Prosciutto, Cheese and Arugula)

Why is it that no matter where you are in the world, street food is so delicious? Once thought a poor man’s version of bread, this super yummy flatbread is enjoying vast popularity in Italy and growing popularity in other countries too. 

Piadina is the name for the flatbread itself, and you can really customize these little heavenly disks to include any ingredients you love. If you’re into sweets, you can fill them with butter and sugar, fruit compote, or Nutella. If you like savory things, you can fill with smoked salmon, salami, chicken, cheeses, and any veggies you like. My favorite way to eat them is filled with prosciutto, mozzarella, ricotta, and arugula. Yummy! Whatever you choose to fill your piadina with, you will surely enjoy it.

Ingredients:

3 c. flour

3 tsp. Salt

2 tsp. baking powder

3 Tbsp. shortening

¾ c. hot water

¼ warm milk

Place the flour, salt and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Mix together. Make a hollowed out well in the center and drop in the shortening. Use your fingers to mix the shortening in thoroughly. Add water and milk and mix together with your fingers until the dough is soft and not sticky. Knead the dough for a few minutes until it is very soft and pliable.

Divide the dough into 6-8 equal-sized balls. Place on a floured surface for 10 minutes. Using a rolling pin, flatten each dough ball into very thin (think tortilla thin), round shapes. Prick the flattened dough all over with a fork. This will help avoid bubbles forming during cooking.

To cook the dough, drop each flattened piece one at a time into a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Cook each side until lightly browned. If bubbles appear during cooking, you can just pop them with the tip of a knife. Set each fresh piadina aside. 

Fill the piadina with prosciutto, mozzarella, ricotta and arugula and fold in half. Cook quickly on each side on medium low heat until the cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Categories
Chicken/Turkey Sandwiches Uncategorized

Hot Pesto Chicken Sandwich with Arugula

This Italian-inspired hot sandwich is just the thing to get you through a cold winter day. While most of the ingredients in this sandwich would normally be associated with summer, this hot version is cozy and filling and just what your body needs on a frigid day. 

I prefer to serve the hot pesto chicken sandwich on a small country loaf filled with plenty of pesto chicken, red peppers, mozzarella and arugula. What takes this sandwich up a notch is definitely the last step of baking it in the oven so that all of the flavors meld together perfectly.  

Ingredients:

2 small country loaf buns

½ c. shredded chicken

¼ c. pesto

¼ red pepper, thinly sliced

2 tsp. olive oil

2 slices mozzarella

Handful of baby arugula

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425. 

Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the red pepper and cook until slightly browned. Add the chicken and pesto and cook quickly until hot. 

Cut the buns lengthwise and place mozzarella slice on the bottom half and drizzle a bit of olive oil on the top half. Season the olive oil side with salt and pepper. Place the chicken, red pepper and pesto mixture on top of the mozzarella. Top with a handful of fresh arugula. Wrap tightly with foil and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and arugula is wilted.

Enjoy immediately! 

Categories
Sandwiches Uncategorized Vegan Vegetarian

Vegan Tofu Banh Mi Sandwich

This meatless version of the Vietnamese banh mi sandwich is blow-your-socks-off good. The banh mi sandwich is nearly the perfect food because it marries together foods from two very different culinary empires: Vietnam and France. Rumor has it that the French introduced Vietnam to the baguette long ago when Vietnam was part of French colonial territories. Over the years, the Vietnamese embraced the baguette and eventually, these sandwiches were created and became very popular street food. This amazing sandwich later landed here, where we now know and love them. 

While traditional banh mi sandwiches are packed with pork, this version showcases marinated tofu. And it’s delicious. It might even be better than the original version. Try it for yourself, and let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

Tofu:

½ block extra firm tofu

1 inch knob of ginger, minced

1 clove of garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

2 tsp lemongrass paste

Pickled veggies:

2 carrots, julienned or thinly sliced

1 cucumber, julienned or thinly sliced

½ c. apple cider vinegar

½ c. rice wine vinegar

½ c. water

1 Tbsp. sugar

2 tsp. sesame seeds

Salt and pepper

Sandwich:

2 demi baguettes

1 jalapeno, thinly sliced

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

2 green onions, sliced

Vegan mayo (or regular if you’re not vegan)

Sriracha (optional)

Mix all of the ingredients for the pickled veggies together and let them marinate for at least 30 minutes (or even for several days). 

About 30 minutes before cooking, drain the tofu, wrap it in a kitchen towel and press it. You can do this by placing a plate on top of the tofu, and then a heavy item, like a stock pot, on top of the plate for about 10 minutes. This will help remove excess water from the tofu. 

Slice the tofu into ½ thin inch pieces that are long and flat. Mix together all of the other ingredients for the tofu in a bowl. Add the tofu carefully and let it marinate for 15 minutes. Place it on a foil-lined baking sheet. 

Turn the oven to broil (low) and broil for 8-10 minutes. Flip over and broil the other side for 8-10 minutes, or until browned and crispy on both sides. Set the tofu aside to cool. 

To assemble the sandwich, split the baguettes lengthwise. Spread one half with vegan mayo and the other half with sriracha (if you like it). Add the tofu, topped by the pickled veggies. Place the jalapenos, cilantro, and green onions on top. Close the sandwich and tear into it!

Categories
Fish/Seafood Sandwiches Uncategorized

Pan Bagnat (Salade Nicoise Sandwich)

I have so many happy memories of spending time in the south of France with my daughters when they were little. Every summer, we would take our annual trip to Provence to visit family. While we were there, we would skip around all of the beach towns in southern France soaking up the sun and sampling the amazing food unique to each village. 

My favorite place to visit was always Nice. It’s not only stunningly beautiful, it’s rich with culture and absolutely full of amazing foods from across many cultures. Its central and ideal location on the Mediterranean and ancient Roman roots made the town a cultural melting pot of people who have, for centuries, immigrated from locations all around the world. As a result, the food in Nice is unique, colorful, and features a mix of culinary delights created in France, Italy, Greece, the Middle East, and beyond.

Many of my most magical memories were made at the beach or playgrounds in Nice with a pan bagnat in one hand and my daughters’ hands in the other. This salade nicoise in a roll is full of flavor and feels like happiness on a warm summer day. Every time I eat one of these sandwiches, it takes me instantly back to a simpler, sunny time in my life. If I close my eyes, I can just imagine being there on that pebbly beach in the warm sun. 

Ingredients (makes 2 sandwiches):

2 crusty loaf rolls or baguettes

1 7 oz. can of high-quality tuna

4 anchovy filets

3 Tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. shallots, minced

1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

½ c. Nicoise or Kalamata olives, halved

2 roma tomatoes, sliced

½ cucumber, sliced

½ red bell pepper, sliced

2 hard boiled eggs, sliced

Handful of basil leaves

Salt and pepper

Cut the rolls or baguettes in half lengthwise. Dig out some of the bread from the center of the bottom so that you can drop your tuna filling in. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

To make the filling, combine 2 Tbsp. olive oil, red wine vinegar, shallots, olives, salt and pepper. Mix together and add tuna. Mix again thoroughly to combine. 

Fill the hollowed out side of the bread with the tuna mixture. Top with anchovies, followed by hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, red bell peppers and basil.

Wrap the sandwiches tightly in plastic wrap or foil. Place something heavy on top of the sandwiches (such as a heavy pot) for about 10 minutes. This helps to infuse all of the oil and ingredients together. Unwrap and enjoy! 

Categories
Sandwiches Uncategorized Vegetarian

Warm Baguette Sandwich with Pesto, Mozzarella, Tomato and Avocado

Warm avocado is a hotly debated topic. Some people find it repulsive. Recently, I read an opinion piece on how disgusting and unacceptable it is to ever serve an avocado warm. Well, you know something? Those people are wrong. Dead wrong. There’s no denying that a warm pesto, mozzarella, and tomato sandwich is great. It’s a standard favorite. But if you add a warm avocado to the mix, it’s straight up heavenly. Sorry, haters. Warm avocado is here to stay.

Ingredients:

2 demi baguettes

2 Tbsp. pesto (recipe below)

2 roma tomatoes, sliced

1 avocado, sliced

½ c. shredded mozzarella

Salt and pepper

Pesto: 

1 bunch of basil, about 3 cups

2 cloves of garlic

½ c. pine nuts

½ c. Parmesan cheese

⅔ c. olive oil

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

To make the pesto, combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. 

Cut the baguettes in half lengthwise. Spread pesto evenly onto one side of the baguette and sprinkle mozzarella evenly along the other side. Place the tomato slices on top of the mozzarella and the avocado slices on top of the tomato. Season with salt and pepper. 

Carefully place the pesto side on top of each baguette. Roll the sandwiches tightly in foil. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.