Carrot & Cilantro Sandwich Spread

Carrot Cilantro Sandwich Spread

Recently I saw a restaurant menu that offered a carrot sandwich. It included grated carrots, cheese and maple syrup. I was reluctant to try it because I think carrots are very sweet on their own, but it got me thinking about what I might like on a sandwich. This is what I came up with.

  • 1/2 cup of grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tsp of seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp mayonnaise
  • Cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste

I grated a medium carrot on the second to finest side of a box grater. I chopped a small handful of cilantro, including the stems. I added mayo, rice vinegar, and spices and stirred.

You should use this right away. It does not improve by sitting overnight as water is drawn out of the carrots, making it more watery.

Carrot Cilantro Sandwich Spread`

I added some roast pork, but it would be great with turkey, chicken, and even beef. It also works on its own without meat if you want a vegetarian sandwich. I used enough cayenne that it does not work as a salad, it’s grated too finely and is too spicy. It needs the bread to balance the spiciness.

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Kale, Red Peppers and Onions with Bacon and Cream Cheese on an Everything Bagel

Kale, Bacon and Red Pepper with Cream Cheese on a Bagel

For a fulfilling, but easy, breakfast bagel, I fried one slice of bacon. When it was nicely crisped, I removed it and let it rest. While it cooked, I chopped 2 tbsp of yellow onion, 2 tbsp of fresh red pepper and 2 stalks of fresh kale. I chopped everything to about 1.4 inch size. After I removed the bacon slice, I tossed the onions in the bacon fat along with a pinch of anise seed. I let the onions get tender and added the red pepper. When the red peppers softened just a bit, I tossed in the kale.

As soon as I added the kale, I put an Everything bagel in the toaster to toast. When it popped up, I spread some cream cheese on each half. I then spread the kale and red peppers on top of the cream cheese. I sliced the bacon into 4 pieces and put two pieces on bagel half. This made two servings, or two half bagels.

You could make a vegetarian version without the bacon because the kale was delicious with the cream cheese and bagel on its own.

Simple Turkey Wrap

Turkey Wrap

Fast and easy comfort food you can eat with your hands!

In a small pan, add 1/2 tsp of olive oil and sautee 1 tbsp of chopped onion, add 3 ounces of ground turkey, salt and pepper and a dash of garlic powder and let it brown, breaking it into small pieces as it browns. Add 2 TBSP of green salsa and 1 TBSP of ranch-style dressing and stir. This makes two wraps.

Heat flat, ungreased griddle on medium.

Place half of the mix in the middle of a large flour tortilla, add a handful of chopped romaine lettuce and about an ounce of shredded pepper jack to each tortilla. Squeeze fresh lime juice all over the lettuce and cheese. !/2 of a fresh lime will do both wraps. Roll into packet and repeat for the other tortilla. Place on the griddle and heat until browned on each side.

This has such a tasty blend of creamy and spicy flavors from the ranch-salsa sauce. The lettuce stays firm and adds a pleasant crisp freshness to it.

Not a BLT Sandwich

Bacon, Roasted Pepper and Basil sandwich with Wheatberry Salad

So a friend posted this fabulous looking Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich the other day that made me want one so much. However, I only eat tomatoes when they are cooked or in an acidic dressing that breaks down whatever protein in raw tomatoes that I am allergic to, so BLTs are never on the menu. I decided, though, to try to make something that looked like a BLT.

So, for the red, I used a roasted red pepper. Now, if you have a bunch of red peppers, it’s easiest to roast them in the oven. But for just one, or in this case, just one slice of red pepper, it’s easier to roast it using your stove top burners. And yes, you can do it with an electric burner. Think of it as a game show and the smoke alarm is the buzzer, you want to turn your exhaust up on high. Using tongs, place the pepper directly on the burner turned up to high. It will begin to char and then the trick is to turn before it bursts into flame – kind of like roasting marshmallows. If it does burst into flame, just pull it off the burner and blow it out. It’s a good idea to remove any towels or paper towels from the counter by the stove before cooking the peppers just in case you are are easily startled and drop the pepper on the counter. If you keep a keen eye on the roasting, though, it won’t flame up, but even if it does, it’s simple to blow it out. The trick is to simply be calm, this is easier than roasting marshmallows since there’s no gummy, drippy stuff to drip onto the burner. Let it cool and peel the charred outer skin off. It should remove easily.

Then I cut three pieces of bacon in half. Two might have been enough, but I was making a generous sandwich. I put them in an iron skillet on med high to fry. Meanwhile, I cut a ciabatta bun in half and toasted it.

I took 1 small clove of garlic and minced it and stirred it into some mayo to spread on the bun. I washed and dried some fresh basil leaves and spread them on one side of the bun and placed the roasted red pepper on the other. I let the finished bacon drip dry on some paper towel and placed it on the bun.

I served with the wheatberry salad I like to make. I used a small bowl for the salad because I hate when salad dressing seeps over onto my bun.

Okay, this sandwich is dangerously delicious. Basil and garlic mayonnaise? Roasted red pepper? Honestly, it almost does not need the bacon! Almost!

Chicken Melt Sandwich & Cuban Bean Salad

Chicken Melt Sandwich and Cuban Bean Salad

This is a slightly modified version of the vegan Cuban Bean Salad I make quite often. First I opened a can of black beans, kidney beans and chickpeas and rinsed and drained them. I then chopped up a yellow onion, two red peppers, three roma tomatoes, three stalks of celery, a bunch of cilantro and about 10 small baby dill pickles and mixed them altogether. In another bowl, I mixed a small can of diced jalapeños (I usually use 2 fresh ones but forgot to buy them when I went grocery shopping) with juice from 3 squeezed lemons, and 1/4 cup of olive oil, 2 tsp of cumin, 1 tsp of oregano and salt and pepper. I mixed all that together and dressed the salad and let marinate for a day before serving.

For the sandwich, I heated 2 tsp of olive oil in a small saute pan. I cut off a 1/4 inch slice from a medium onion and chopped it fine and minced on small garlic clove and sauteed them until brown. I cut off 1/4 of a red pepper and 1/2 of a large crimini mushroom and chopped them up and added them and let them cook until nearly done. Then I added some cold chicken that I had reserved from making chicken soup, chopped into small pieces (about 4 oz) and about 2 oz of pepper jack cheese shredded up. I just heated them long enough for the cheese to melt. Meanwhile I toasted a ciabatta bun and spread it with a little sandwich spread I make ahead that is 2 parts mayo, 1 part, mustard and 1 part chopped dill with a dash of garlic powder, salt and pepper all mixed together.

The sandwich was rich with a hearty umami flavor that was beautifully balanced with heat from the pepper jack and garlic.  The salad is a luscious, fresh tasting mix of tart, spice and veggie freshness.

Three Minute Beef Pita Sandwich

Beef & Feta Sandwiches

I cooked a beef roast the other night so I have lots of lovely roast beef for sandwiches and other quick meals. For this pita sandwich, I sliced off a few slices from the roast and cut them into smaller bite size pieces. I heated my saute pan and put about 1 TBSP of the jus from the roast in the pan and added a pinch of cardamom and sumac, salt and pepper. I added the meat and heated, turning a few times while it cooked. Just before serving I added a bit of yogurt and some feta cheese and stirred and removed from heat to cool for a minute. Meanwhile i heated a pita bread in the microwave for about 20 seconds to make it flexible. I cut it in half and stuffed with a meat mixture and a chopped up romaine leaf.

It has a savory flavor with that wonderful spice profile of middle eastern meats. The feta gave it some tang as did the yogurt and the lettuce added a fresh crunch.