Sandwiches

Lighter Sloppy Joes

My posts have been few and far between lately. I can’t explain it. I’m busy, I spend too much time on the computer already, I have other things I want to do, blah blah blah. The thing is, I still cook every weekend and make the food I plan on posting. I just don’t get around to writing up these posts. Honestly, my life is boring lately. I don’t really have anything to say. My life consists of work, cooking, eating and doing puzzles. Oh, and trying to get in a daily workout. But who wants to hear about all of that? It’s life after all and we all have one. Not to mention that I’ve been struggling with what to make lately. I’m trying to eat healthy and make food that is easy to portion out. Because I am one of those people who will have just one more bite, okay one more spoonful, okay one more helping. Portion control for me is key. These Lighter Sloppy Joes are a good dish to portion out so they make for a quick go-to lunch or dinner.

Ground turkey is cooked with onion and spices before settling into a smooth tomato sauce. Mashed up chickpeas are added to the mixture which gives an additional nutritious boost that blends right in. I’ve been pretty into sloppy joes lately and this unique kind is a new favorite. I’m a firm believer in the benefits of beans so this sandwich is a winner in my book. I topped this with some spicy banana peppers instead of pickles and now I’m hooked. I may never go back to regular pickles again. Especially on my sloppy joes.

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Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes or until almost tender.

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Add turkey; cook until browned and no longer pink, stirring to crumble. Stir in chili powder, sugar, and salt; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

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Add 1/4 cup water and tomato sauce; reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes or until thickened.

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Place chickpeas in a bowl; partially mash with a fork or potato masher. Stir chickpeas into turkey mixture.

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Spoon about 1/2 cup turkey mixture onto bottom half of each bun; top each with pickles or banana peppers and top half of bun.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Ground turkey
  • Banana peppers

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Sausage, Gravy, and Egg Breakfast Sandwiches

I’m so happy to be home. I was in Chicago two weeks ago for vacation, which was much needed, and in Atlanta last week for work. There is just something so nice about coming home to your own space, your own stuff, and your own bed. I went to bed so early last night that it’s embarrassing, especially since it was a Friday night. I woke up this morning feeling good (despite the fact I’m battling a head cold) and couldn’t wait to get back in my kitchen after two weeks away. Most people don’t think to spend their Saturday mornings cooking but it’s one of my favorite things to do. This morning I was so excited to make myself something new with these Sausage, Gravy, and Egg Breakfast Sandwiches.

English muffins are filled with turkey sausage, scrambled eggs, and a light gravy flavored with fresh thyme, garlic and onion powders, and cayenne pepper. This isn’t your ordinary breakfast sandwich. You aren’t going to find this at your local coffee drive-thru. I’m a bit of a sucker for turkey sausage breakfast sandwiches (Wawa Sizzlis are my FAVORITE!) so this was a nice healthier alternative. The best part in my opinion? The thyme in the gravy. The gravy makes this a bit of a messy sandwich but if you are eating them at home, who cares? Lick that gravy off your fingers because no one is watching. I’m heading to a tailgate tomorrow morning so I might just wrap one of these up and take it with me. No one at the tailgate will care if I lick my fingers either.

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Divide sausage into 6 equal portions; pat each portion into a 3-inch patty (about 1/4 inch thick). Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add patties; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Transfer patties to a plate. Reserve drippings in pan.

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 Combine milk, flour, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and cayenne pepper, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add mixture to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook 3 minutes or until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat.

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Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add eggs; cook 4 minutes, stirring until curds form.

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Divide eggs evenly over bottom halves of muffins. Top each with 3 tablespoons gravy. Place 1 sausage patty and top half of muffin on each sandwich.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Slim Turkey Reubens

Who knew there was such a thing as turkey pastrami? Had I known this, I might have been trying to make Reubens a long time ago! There used to be a restaurant near me that served Rachaels – basically a Reuben but with turkey and coleslaw instead of pastrami and sauerkraut. It was my favorite sandwich there. I saw this recipe for Slim Turkey Reubens and knew immediately I needed to try to make it. I was a little worried about the sauerkraut since I’m not a fan but figured I’d give it a go. You never know, right?

Turkey pastrami, reduced-fat Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut is sandwiched between rye bread which is slathered with whole-grain mustard on one side and a yogurt-based Russian dressing on the other. The Russian dressing, made with yogurt, ketchup, pickles, and capers, was so flavorful and not at all tangy as Greek yogurt can be. Not being a sauerkraut or capers fan, I was a little skeptical. But I have to say, this sandwich ROCKS! And who knew that cooking spray could create such a beautifully golden toasted goodness? There are so many different flavors going on with the rye, the mustard, the sauerkraut, the cheese, the pickles, and the capers but where one might overpower a regular sandwich, all of these marry so perfectly together that it’s a perfect storm of flavor. Forget about Rachaels – I’m sold on these Reubens.

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In a small bowl, mix the yogurt, pickles, ketchup and capers to make Russian dressing; season with salt and pepper.

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Spread mustard on 4 slices of bread; top with the cheese, pastrami and sauerkraut. Spread the Russian dressing on the other 4 slices of bread. Add to the sandwiches, dressing side down.

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Heat a large skillet or griddle pan over medium. Coat both sides of the sandwiches with cooking spray. Working in two batches, cook the sandwiches, covered, until the cheese melts and the bread is toasted, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

New England Turkey Burger

This summer has been a struggle for me to a keep up with my blog. If I’m not traveling for work, I’m working from home and sometimes just can’t stand to be in front of my computer any longer. So, thank you for those of you who are hanging on and checking in here for my periodic posts. The thing is, I still cook and still take pictures. I’m just bad and getting the blogs written up. Every time I think maybe I should just give this whole thing up, I remember why I did it in the first place. Because I enjoy cooking, I enjoy writing and I have to eat anyway, right? Well, my typical diet this summer has basically been burgers and pizza so here is yet another burger I made: this New England Turkey Burger.

This turkey burger is flavored with beer-infused caramelized onions which help to keep the meat juicy and vibrant. I used the seasonal beer Sam Adams Porch Rocker instead of Summer Ale but any beer can be used. A mayonnaise-mustard spread, cheese, tomato and lettuce top this burger – oh and another big dollop of caramelized onions. For someone who absolutely hated onions as a kid, I’ve found a newfound respect for this veggie, especially when it’s softened up with some beer! So, it’s summer and it’s another burger. But isn’t that what summer is for?

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Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil; swirl. Add onion; cook 7 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add beer; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat. Simmer 20 minutes or until onion is golden and liquid almost evaporates; stir occasionally. Cool.

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Preheat grill or pan to medium-high heat. Remove 1/4 cup onion mixture from pan; finely chop. Combine chopped onion mixture and turkey.

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Divide mixture into 4 equal portions; gently shape each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Press a nickel-sized indentation in center of each patty. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place patties on grill rack or pan coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes. Turn patties; grill 3 minutes.

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Top with cheese; grill 1 minute or until cheese melts and turkey is done.

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Combine mayonnaise and mustard. Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons mayonnaise mixture on bottom half of each bun; top each with 1 lettuce leaf, 1 tomato slice, and 1 patty. Divide onion mixture evenly among servings; top with top halves of buns.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Sharp cheddar
  • Seasonal beer
  • Spinach

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Egg Salad Sandwiches with Bacon and Sriracha

Got some hard-boiled eggs leftover from Easter and are kind of sick of deviled eggs? Is that even possible? To be sick of deviled eggs? Not in my world. Deviled eggs, egg salad, or hard-boiled eggs simply sliced over some avocado toast – I don’t care. I’ll take them hard-boiled any which way. I eat deviled eggs so often throughout the year but I rarely think to make egg salad anymore. Probably because I can eat an entire bowl of egg salad with a spoon. Portion control? Ha! But I couldn’t resist trying these Egg Salad Sandwiches with Bacon and Sriracha.

Hard-boiled eggs are mixed with a combination of a little mayonnaise, plain non-fat Greek yogurt, bacon (I used turkey bacon), scallions, and Sriracha. The mixture is plopped on top of some arugula which adds yet another layer of vibrant flavor. (Don’t like arugula? Use spinach). I’m not typically a big fan of using yogurt in place of mayonnaise in most cases but here, it works. With the Sriracha and light oniony bite of the scallions, you can’t even tell the yogurt is in there. And bacon? Who doesn’t love bacon? This egg salad is insane. Sriracha and eggs work so well together that it doesn’t even seem right to not put them together. I ate my egg salad on seeded Jewish rye bread which packs yet another punch so I was in heaven. Thank goodness for Easter. It’s just another reason to make hard-boiled eggs. As if we need a reason.

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 Cook bacon in a medium pan over medium-high heat 3 minutes, until crisp or microwave per package directions. Remove bacon from pan or microwave; crumble. Place bacon in a large bowl. Stir in onions, mayonnaise, yogurt, Sriracha, salt and pepper.

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Gently stir in eggs.

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Arrange 1/2 cup arugula on each of 4 bread slices. Top each serving with 1/3 cup egg mixture and 1 bread slice.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Turkey bacon

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Banana-Almond Butter French Toast Sandwiches

I was in Vegas two weeks ago and one morning my friends and I went to breakfast. (This doesn’t always happen). It was our first morning there and we hadn’t yet been sucked in to all the Vegas has. Not that I’m going to tell you anything that happened there – but I will tell you that I came thisclose to ordering French toast that morning. French toast is one of those things that I ate quite often when I was a kid but rarely do anymore. I always consider it when going out for breakfast but never order it. Thankfully, it’s easy to make at home. Got eggs and bread? You can make French toast. These Banana-Almond Butter French Toast Sandwiches are different twist that are a fun alternative to your standard breakfast. Maybe even your Easter breakfast.

Almond butter, maple syrup, and banana slices are spread between two pieces of break and then dunked in a mixture of eggs, almond milk (or regular milk), cinnamon and vanilla. Grilled until golden brown and slightly crispy, these sandwiches are packed with perfect salty-sweetness. Think of a peanut butter and banana sandwich marrying French toast. So yummy. Surprise your kids with these on Easter Sunday. They’ll be happy they are portable while they are off searching for eggs.

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Crack eggs into a shallow bowl. Add almond milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon; stir with a whisk to combine.

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Combine almond butter and maple syrup in a small bowl. Cut banana lengthwise into 4 thin slices; cut crosswise into halves. Spread almond butter mixture evenly across bread slices. Top 2 bread slices with 4 banana pieces. Place remaining 2 bread slices over banana, sandwiching almond butter and bananas inside.

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Heat a panini press to 425°F or grill pan at high heat. Dip sandwiches in egg mixture, and let excess drip off.

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Lightly coat grill plates of panini press or grill pan with cooking spray, if needed. Arrange sandwiches on press or grill. Push down gently to flatten.

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Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until sandwiches are browned on the outside and hot in the center.Place sandwiches on a cutting board. Cut in half diagonally. Serve hot.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Cajun Turkey Sliders with Spicy Remoulade

So the big game is this weekend. May you care. Maybe you don’t. I care only because I love football and hate to see the season end but don’t care because I could care less who wins. I won’t be attending any parties this weekend but if you are (or are hosting, you crazy person!), these Cajun Turkey Sliders with Spicy Remoulade are mighty tasty and who doesn’t love a slider for the big game?

Ground turkey is mixed with scallions and hot sauce and also spiced up with a little Cajun seasoning. After being sprinkled with even more seasoning before cooking, these sliders are cooked and topped with sautéed peppers and onion adding yet even more flavor. The remoulade, which is slathered onto the bun, packs its own punch with flavors from pickle relish, spicy mustard, parsley, hot sauce, and lemon. I used leftover remoulade on anything I could, that was how much I loved it. These sliders are packed with flavor and whether you make them for the game or not, they are sure to be a hit.

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In a very large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-low heat. Add sweet peppers and onion; cook about 10 minutes or until very soft and tender. Remove from skillet; keep warm.

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In a large bowl, combine turkey, green onions, Cajun seasoning, bottled hot pepper sauce, salt, and black pepper; mix well. Form into 12 patties slightly larger than the buns. Sprinkle both sides of each patty generously with Old Bay® seasoning. In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add patties; cook about 8 minutes or until done (165 degrees F), turning once halfway through cooking time.

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For the remoulade, combine mayonnaise, pickle relish, capers, mustard, parsley, bottled hot pepper sauce, and lemon juice in a medium bowl.

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Serve in buns with sweet pepper mixture and Spicy Remoulade. Makes 12 sliders.

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Additions: None

Omissions:

  • Onion
  • Capers

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Better Homes & Garden magazine

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