Category: Sandwiches and Wraps

Lemon Thyme Tuna Burgers

Sometimes I end up running around on weekend days, grabbing snacks here and there, and never really sitting down to an actual meal.  These Lemon Thyme Tuna Burgers from Green Lite Bites took less than 15 minutes to make, and made a balanced meal with some whole grain crackers and grapes.

I modified the original recipe just a bit, adding some diced carrot and using a whole egg instead of just the egg white.  I may have added a little too much lemon juice because the mixture was quite wet.  The burgers fell apart a little in the pan, but still tasted great.  And after a good meal, I was ready to tackle the rest of my day.

 

 

 

Lemon Thyme Tuna Burgers

2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 (5 oz.) can tuna
1/3 c. oats
1 egg
1 T lemon juice
1 t thyme

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Form into 2 patties, and place on a pan coated with cooking spray.  Cook on medium heat for 5-6 minutes.  Flip burger carefully, and cook for 2-3 minutes on the other side.

-Lightly adapated from Green Lite Bites

Muffuletta

Our cooking club theme this month was Mardi Gras, and we had quite the feast!  Our party was scheduled just ahead of actual Mardi Gras, which gives me time to share the recipes with you.  The table was colorful, and filled with gumbo, Mardi Gras slaw, and muffuletta of course.

My friend Susan made this muffaletta sandwich which was awesome.  First, you make an olive salad with black and green olives, peppers, celery, onion, and capers in a vinaigrette. Then, you assemble the sandwich with salami, ham, capicola, Provolone, and the olive salad.

 

 

 

I never would have made this on my own, or ordered it off a menu, mostly because I am not a fan of olives or peppers.  But somehow when the sandwich was all together, it tasted great.  That’s one of the things I like best about our cooking club, it pushes me to try new things sometimes, and usually I end up really liking them.

Egg and Eggplant Sandwich

Last week, I finally got a chance to eat at Clover, which has a restaurant in Harvard Square and food trucks around the city.  Their menu is as permanent as a whiteboard, but I liked all of the unique vegetarian options.  I decided to try the Egg and Eggplant Sandwich: hummus, fried eggplant, sliced hard boiled egg, and cucumber and tomato salad all stuffed into a warm pita and topped with tahini sauce.  It tasted great, although it was quite messy.  I could have never eaten this while strolling down a city street, but with the help of a fork I really enjoyed it!  Yes, it’s an unusual combination of flavors and textures, but it works.

I immediately thought 2 things.  First, when can I get back to Clover to try their signature falafel?  Second, how can I make this Egg and Eggplant Sandwich at home?  A little Internet research revealed this the sandwich is known as ‘Sabich’, and served in many places in Israel.  It originated with the Iraqi Jews as a meal which could be easily prepared on the Sabbath.  I found this recipe which seems fairly authentic, although I simplified a few things when I made it for myself.

 

For both photo purposes and easier eating, I made the sandwich open face, but you could easily stuff the mixture into the pita.  This wasn’t quite as good as Clover’s, but it was still a good lunch.  I think something is missing – perhaps some fresh herbs (the original recipe calls for parsley) or maybe just some salt and pepper.  And of course, the recipe is more appropriate for late summer when eggplant is locally abundant.  But I am not sure I can wait that long to try this again!

 

Egg and Eggplant Sandwich

1 large eggplant, thinly sliced
Canola oil
1 cucumber, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, diced
1/4 c. + splash lemon juice, divided
Salt and Pepper
1/4 c. tahini
4 hard boiled eggs, sliced
1/2 c. hummus

1. Fry eggplant slices in oil, and drain on paper towels.
2. While eggplant is cooking, toss cucumbers and tomatoes with a splash of lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, mix tahini with 1/4 lemon juice.  Add more lemon juice until the sauce is thin.
4. Place each pita on a plate.  Spread 2 T of hummus on each pita.  Top with eggplant slices, sliced egg, and cucumber and tomato salad.  Drizzle with tahini sauce.

-Adapted from Herbivoracious

 

Not Boring Chicken Salad

Raise your hand if you think chicken salad can be really boring….   Yeah, me too!  Although I did like the Celery Leaf Chicken Salad I made earlier this summer.  So when I graciously accepted leftover Beer Can Chicken, I decided to make chicken salad that was anything but boring.  With celery from the vegetable drawer, an apple from the fruit basket, and sage that was tucked away in my freezer, this ended up quite tasty.  There was enough chicken salad for 2 wraps plus a snack.

 

 

Apple Sage Chicken Salad

1 c. chopped cooked chicken breast
3 stalks celery, diced
1 apple, chopped
1 T chopped sage
1-2 T light mayonnaise
2 c. baby spinach
2 Joseph’s Whole Wheat, Flax, and Bran lavash

Combine chicken, celery, apple, and sage in a bowl.  Mix in mayonnaise and add salt and pepper to taste.  Divide spinach between the two wraps.  Add chicken salad and roll up.

Falafel with Tahini Sauce

I am back!  And your patience is rewarded with a new recipe for falafel.  Sure, I made these falafel burgers a while ago, but they didn’t come with a tahini sauce.  I adapted a recipe from Eating Well, which was promoted as being a cheap meal.  I cut back on the oil and salt, and made things a little simpler by eliminating the fresh herbs.  Now, I like fresh herbs as much as the next person, but they are only cheap if you grow them yourself or get them from family and friends.

Despite cutting back on the seasoning, these falafel still had plenty of flavor.  The picture below is from the first falafel meal, featuring a real plate.  The subsequent falafel patties were good for lunch, but the tahini sauce and cucumber slices didn’t travel very well.  So I’d recommend that this recipe be enjoyed at home, hopefully in the company of a few friends who like Middle Eastern food. 

 

 

Falafel with Tahini Sauce

1 (15 oz.) can chick peas, rinsed and drained
1 bunch scallions, sliced, white and light green parts only
1 egg
2 T whole wheat flour
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t Italian seasoning
1 T olive oil
1 (6 oz.) container plain Greek yogurt
2 T tahini
Juice of one lemon
Cucumber slices
Whole wheat pita

Place beans, scallions, egg, flour, cumin, and Italian seasoning in a food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Mixture will be very moist.  Form into 4-5 patties.

Heat olive oil in a frying pan.  Cook patties for 5-7 minutes on each side, until golden brown. 

Mix yogurt, tahini, and lemon juice in a small bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve falafel in whole wheat pita with cucumber slices, and garnish with tahini sauce.

-Recipe adapted from Eating Well

Grilled Balsamic Eggplant

While I was at the Brookline Farmer’s Market, I also picked up 2 enormous eggplants for just $1 each.  Now that’s a deal!  Last year I made Grilled Pesto Eggplant, but this time I wanted to let the eggplant marinate before bringing it to the BBQ to grill.  Later that night, the eggplant slices went on the grill with many other delicious items including chicken, sausages, and steak.

 

The eggplant got nicely charred on the outside and soft on the inside, and picked up the balsamic flavor.  But something was missing.  Cheese!  The next day, I created another sandwich using two pieces of eggplant and a slice of provolone cheese on a whole wheat bun.  With very little effort, you can have a great vegetarian double cheeseburger.

 

Grilled Balsamic Eggplant

1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into 1″ slices
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1 t minced garlic
Salt & Pepper

Mix oil, vinegar, and garlic in a shallow dish.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place eggplant slices in the dish one at at time, making sure to dip both sides in the marinade.  Cover the dish and place in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours.

Cook on a grill until the eggplant slices are fork tender.

 

Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

When I eat a burger at home, I usually just grab a piece of whole wheat bread from the freezer and pop it in the toaster.  But you know, when you’re serving burgers to other people, they generally expect a more traditional bun. 

And so late one night, I found myself in the bread aisle of the grocery store looking at all the hamburger rolls.  I know that’s not the best time to shop for fresh bread, but I was not pleased with my choices.  There were very few buns that were 100% whole wheat, and most of those contained high fructose corn syrup.  One roll even had partially hydrogenated oil (i.e. trans fat)!  It’s not that I have sworn off HFCS entirely, but is it too much to expect to find one brand that uses more natural ingredients?

And that’s why I decided to make my own, using this recipe from Heavenly Homemakers.  The ingredients are simple: whole wheat flour, water, yeast, honey, milk, butter, and salt.  Like many bread recipes, there are a lot of steps but you have plenty of free time in between.  I halved the recipe, and made 8 rolls which I baked in a 13″x9″ glass dish.  And isn’t this towel lined basket a whole lot nicer than the plastic bag from the grocery store?

The rolls had a fairly light texture, and they tasted great!  The real test though was how they held up when used for an actual burger.  The rolls were thin, and could be overwhelmed by heavy burger toppings, so they are best suited to those who like more burger than bun.  (Count me in!)

At the end of the day, I was really happy I made these.  I realize that it won’t always be practical to make your own buns, and your cooking time might be better spent on other aspects of the meal.  But if you were to make a couple batches of these in the spring and then freeze them, you’d have homemade hamburger rolls ready for an impromptu BBQ!