Category: sandwiches

Vegetable Sandwich at Castle Island

My cooking club had a picnic at Castle Island this weekend. Every couple of years we like to plan one of our events outdoors, something very casual with no real theme. Castle Island is one of our favorite spots with a large public space right by the water.

Although this has been the most excellent and sunny summer in Boston, it was cloudy for our picnic. But here are a few scenic shots of our surroundings.

We started our meal with wine, which was a little risky, being that it is a public place and we all look underage (you better be laughing!)

I brought all the fixings for a vegetable sandwich: baguette, sauteed zucchini and eggplant, caramelized onions, sliced Mozzarella, and Amore Herb Paste. Unfortunately, this picture is the best I have! The sandwiches were good, although the bread was a little ‘too’ chewy! We also had chicken salad, lentil salad, and fresh strawberries. It was the perfect outdoor meal, enjoyed sitting by the ocean with friends.

Grass Fed Beef Hamburgers

After going Meatless for May, I wanted to explore alternatives to factory farmed meat. At the Farmer’s Market this weekend, I spotted Treaty Rock Farm, which was selling grass fed beef from cattle raised locally in Rhode Island. The animals eat grass as nature intended, and as a result the land is less polluted and the meat ultimately has a lower content of saturated fat. But it still comes down to taste, right? The farmer had samples of a roast, and even though it was only 10am, I took a bite. Mmmm, it was good!

My Mom and I decided to get some ground beef to make hamburgers for the family. I shaped the meat into patties and set my Dad to work on the grill. I ate my burger plain, but my Mom dressed hers up with lettuce, tomato, and mayo.

The verdict? Unfortunately, the burgers were somewhat dry. The fact that the meat has a lower fat content makes it easier to overcook, and grills don’t offer a lot of control. Please don’t blame the farm for this one; I appreciate their efforts to create a supply of sustainable meat. After doing some additional research, I would opt for a different cut of meat next time, and use a wet cooking method such as braising. As always, I’ll keep you posted!

Basil Egg Salad

Egg salad is a lunch classic, especially at the end of the week when the pantry is sometimes bare. To close out a week full of basil recipes, I made egg salad and added chopped basil to the mix. Nothing fancy, but the fresh herb made a nice upgrade.

Sunflower Tomato Basil Spread

I hope your basil plant is growing like crazy or you have a big bunch on hand, because you are going to need it for most of the recipes this week! I was inspired by this recipe, and the bag of sunflower seeds lurking in my cabinet. The spread made the perfect lunch, served on a whole wheat baguette with plenty of lettuce for crunch.

2/3 c. raw sunflower seeds, soaked for 2 hours
1/4 c. chopped sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained
1 large handful fresh basil
1 t olive oil
1 t balsamic vinegar
1 t lemon juice
Salt & Pepper

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until a smooth consistency is reached. Add more balsamic vinegar if needed, and add salt and pepper to taste.

White Bean & Basil Spread

I’ve posted plenty of bean dips and spreads in the past – black beans with avocado, white beans with avocado, white beans with walnuts, and white beans and sun dried tomatoes. I am a fan of these because they are fast and easy to make, and you can either scoop them up with crackers or vegetables, or use them on a sandwich or wrap. So here is one more to add to the list, inspired by the basil which seems to be just about everywhere right now! The photo is from a wrap I made very early one morning, and I looked forward to lunch all day.

1 (15 oz.) can white beans, rinsed and drained
1 T olive oil
1 T lemon juice
Large handful fresh basil leaves, washed
Salt and Pepper

Blend all ingredients in a food processor.

Sunshine Burgers

I couldn’t resist trying another veggie burger recipe. This one is from Gena at Choosing Raw. One of things I really enjoy about Gena’s site is that she is always encouraging her readers to make the choices that work for them. And in this case, she offers both a raw and cooked version of the recipe. (Scroll down a bit from the link provided to see both!)

I went with the cooked version, which contains sunflower seeds, brown rice, carrots, celery, flax, and seasoning. I needed to add more water because my food processor was groaning, so the end product was very wet. I spooned it onto a baking sheet, and the burgers crisped up beautifully as promised, but I should have baked them another 10-15 minutes or so because the insides were still a bit moist. I still think I prefer bean-based vegetable burgers, but this was a nice alternative.