Monthly Archives: January 2013

Turkey Panini with Citrus Aioli

I have to admit, I’m not the biggest sandwich person.  Aside from the occasional Wawa junior hoagie, I don’t desire a sandwich very often.  At lunchtime, I usually get so cold in my office that I need something warm and cold sandwiches don’t usually cut it.  Sometimes, however, a warm panini with gooey cheese can be the perfect solution.  Since sandwiches are paired so perfectly with soup I thought this Turkey Panini with Citrus Aioli would be a great complement to the Winter Tomato Soup I posted on Monday.

Smoked turkey slices and provolone cheese are the base to this sandwich which I topped with baby spinach instead of watercress (because I had a huge tub of spinach on hand).  Adding a fresh and citrusy touch, an aioli made simply with mayonnaise, lemon and lime zests, garlic and lemon juice is lightly layered on the bread before topping it with the turkey and cheese.  This panini, which can be grilled on either a grill pan or a panini maker, is a great twist on the standard turkey sandwich.  If you have turkey and cheese in your fridge and you just don’t want another plain old sandwich, consider this.  It doesn’t matter what kind of turkey or cheese you use or even if you don’t have any leafy greens.  If you love mayonnaise like me, grab a lemon and a lime and whip up some of this citrus aioli for a yummy condiment to any sandwich.

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The ingredients:

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Combine mayonnaise, lemon, lime, pepper and garlic and spread evenly over half the bread slices.

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Top evenly with turkey, watercress (or spinach), cheese, and remaining bread slices.

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Coat a grill pan or panini maker heated to medium-high heat with cooking spray.  Arrange 2 sandwiches in pan.  If using a grill pan, place a cast-iron or heavy skillet on top of sandwiches and press gently to flatten.  Cook 2 minutes on each side (leave cast-iron skillet on sandwiches while they cook).

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Repeat procedure with remaining sandwiches.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Baby spinach
  • Light mayonnaise
  • Reduced-fat provolone cheese
  • Whole-wheat bread

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

Winter Tomato Soup

It’s been frigid in the Philadelphia area the last several days and on Friday we got a blanket of snow to boot.  Since we can’t survive off of mug after mug of hot cocoa, why not make a big pot of warm, comfortable soup?  This Winter Tomato Soup just seemed like the perfect dish to make when I just couldn’t seem to warm up.

Made with canned diced tomatoes and tomato paste, this simple soup also has a little milk and non-fat Greek yogurt which gives it a slightly creamy, velvety touch.  If you are expecting a taste similar to Campbell’s Tomato Soup out of the can, you will be disappointed.  No matter how great that canned stuff is, this vegetarian soup is a much lighter and more fresh option (only 76 calories a serving too!).  I’ve never attempted tomato soup before now because honestly I grew up on that Campbell’s soup and love it.  But this was a nice bowl of soup that paired perfectly with a sandwich (which I’ll have for you later this week).

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The ingredients:

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Heat olive oil in medium saucepan. Cook onion and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes.

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Add tomato paste, sugar, thyme, bay leaf, tomatoes, and 2 cups water. Stir together and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes.

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Remove bay leaf. Use a handheld blender to puree the soup in the saucepan, or transfer soup to a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth. (If you’re using a standard blender, allow the mixture to cool first; hot liquid may cause the blender to squirt out contents. Depending on the size of your blender, you may have to do this in batches.)

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Heat milk in microwave for 30 seconds to warm, and then stir it into the pureed soup along with yogurt. Mix well.

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Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Women’s Health Magazine

Garlicky Asparagus

It’s January so that typically means that we have all made some resolutions which as this point we are still sticking to or already caved on already days ago.  I made a deal with myself (again) to eat more fruits and vegetables which really shouldn’t be as hard as it has been.  I bought a box of clementines and ate about 4 before I saw one get slightly molding so I threw the rest away.  Last night I ate leftover blackened chicken and boxed macaroni and cheese with nary a veggie in sight while a bag of unopened broccoli I bought last weekend still sights comfortably tucked away in my refridgerator’s produce drawer.  This is the problem with resolutions:  the intent is good but the reality is a struggle.  At least once this week though I did make one simple vegetable side dish: Garlicky Asparagus.

Crisp asparagus is steamed until perfectly bright green before being simply sauteed with sliced garlic and olive oil.  Seasoned with nothing else but salt and pepper, this flavorful side dish is perfect as a side to chicken, steak or added into a little pasta or on top of a healthy salad.  Asparagus doesn’t just have to be eaten in the spring so if you see it on sale this winter, grab some.  If you are like me, sometimes you need something green other than broccoli.

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The ingredients:

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Steam asparagus 4 minutes or until crisp-tender.

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While asparagus steams, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic; cook 2 minutes or until fragrant, stirring frequently.

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Add asparagus, salt, and pepper; toss to combine.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

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