Where’s the meat?
Not here…not this time!
This is a big deal because there once was a time when sandwich meat was the be-all for me; maybe I’d have some lettuce, but that was the extent of me eating vegetables on sandwiches. The year I lived in Res at U of A, I ate a lot (a lot!!) of Subway but after my third or fourth Cold-Cut Combo in a row, it was getting old, so I slowly added more vegetables…some tomatoes, some cucumbers, etc. Nothing really that adventurous but it was the beginning of a scrumptious turning point…
The first time I tried spicy banana peppers, it rocked my world - who knew??
Red peppers – so sweet, fresh and crunchy!
Avocados - just like tree-butter – brilliant!
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper on a thick, juicy tomato slice – where had it been all my life?!
An abundance of vegetables on sandwiches adds beautiful colour, texture and flavor. They can be chopped and added as-is, or grilled, spiced, or sautéed, depending on the sandwich’s needs and your own desires. And finally, they are just plain good for you! The Canada Food Guide recommends that women between the ages of 19 - 50 consume 7-8 servings of fruit and vegetables a day; men are recommended to consume 8-10 servings a day, so packing your sandwiches full of vegetables can help you get in some of those servings. For more info, check out the Canada Food Guide website.
Eating enough vegetables is still something I’m working on because at my core, I am truly a carnivore and my go-to strategy when sandwich pondering is to choose a meat and build the rest around it. It’s a good tactic that’s worked well for me for a long time, but in keeping with my New Year’s goals to experiment, create and write about new, interesting and appetizing sandwiches (not just the same old meat and standard lettuce/tomato combos) and to eat more vegetables, I’m very excited to share one of my favorite all-vegetable sandwiches, the Portobello Mushroom, Veggie and Feta Bunwich.
You will need:
2-3 Portobello Mushroom caps, sliced
1 tbsp Minced Garlic
1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
Calabrese Dinner Rolls, split
3 Large Carrots, grated
2 Red Peppers, sliced
A handful of sliced Grape Tomatoes
Big handfuls of Baby Spinach per bun
Crumbled Feta Cheese, a large spoonful per bun
Fresh Ground Pepper
Recommended condiments: lime mint jelly, spicy red pepper jelly, dill mayo, mustard, baba ghanoush, tzatziki
|Portobello or Portabella? Spelling doesn't count!|
1- Sautée the mushrooms in the garlic and vinegar over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.
2-Slice and grate the peppers, tomatoes and carrots, respectively.
3-Spread your chosen condiment on the bun and pile on the mushrooms and peppers.
4-Sprinkle a spoonful of feta and top with the grated carrot to keep the cheese in place.
5-Top with tomatoes, fresh ground pepper and spinach.
6-For a slightly tidier eating experience, I recommend slicing the entire bunwich in half. Or if you like it messy, just give’r!
|Portobello packed and stacked just like a burger!|
This extremely filling bunwich can please all sizes of appetites – hence how I ate one and my husband ate three. The great thing about Portobello mushrooms is their meaty texture and taste, which is no surprise since they are commonly used as a substitute for meat. Even The Works Gourment Burger Bistro of a few posts ago offers a Portobello cap as one of its many patty options. The trick with sautéing mushrooms is not to go overboard with the vinegar so that they still retain some of their original earthy, mushroom flavor. The feta also gives a tangy, salty flavor to the overall bunwich and the piled-on veggies adds satisfying crunch and vibrant color.
The possibilities of different condiment combos are also very exciting. I tried the Lime Mint jelly for something slightly sweet and different and I want to keep changing it up the next few times. I have a sneaking feeling that baba ghanoush and tzatziki will be excellent…
Here’s to many more healthy and exciting sandwich creations in 2014!
Happy experimenting and leave me a comment on how yours progresses!