Archive

Sandwiches

After I posted last week about making Lentil Walnut Burgers, Kier mentioned Lentil Sloppy Joes. Um, brilliant! I love Sloppy Joes! In fact, I am a huge fan of most anything that is sweet but spicy and tomato-y and I have been craving tomatoes like crazy lately.

My mom has this theory that eating tomato-based foods makes you happy. Maybe that’s the case, then again, maybe it is just the breads, pastas, and cheeses that often go with them that make us happy? Either way, I decided that this was a go.

After sorting through dozens of real and fake Sloppy Joe recipes, I decided to base mine on Meatless Mama‘s version, it sounded wonderful; I can’t believe that I hadn’t thought to make these before!

These faux Sloppy Joes totally hit the spot. Upon tasting them, I immediately knew that they would be in permanent rotation on the Duke’s House menu. They were quick, easy, and even got meat-loving Chris’ seal of approval.* Huge win!

*Chris did note that I failed to include his favorite ingredient, Sriracha, and recommends adding a few squirts if you are so inclined.

Adapted from Meatless Mama.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minded
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1.75 cups diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp mustard (yellow or spicy brown)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Directions:

  • Combine lentils, water, onion, garlic, green pepper, and bay leaf in a large pot.
  • Simmer for 20 minutes until lentils begin to soften, then drain water from pot and remove bay leaf.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer for approximately 10 minutes longer.
  • Serve on hamburger buns or sandwich thins as a sandwich, as a burrito, or over rice or quinoa.

Servings ~ 6
Calories (for Sloppy Joe mixture) ~ 93, Fat ~ 0.3 g, Carbohydrates ~ 17.5 g, Protein ~ 5.6 g

Advertisements

Have your feelings about a particular food ever done a complete 180? I feel kind of weird about this, and I don’t want to gross anyone out since so much of this blog is about food, but I don’t think I can eat eggs ever again. Or at least not for a very long time.

No, I didn’t read some crazy book about eggs being evil. I just had a traumatic egg experience.

One night last week I was making one of my favorite and most frequently eaten weekday dinners which consists of five egg whites scrambled with spinach and cheese and a huge mound of steamed broccoli topped with hummus and barbecue sauce. [Don’t judge.] I had separated four eggs and was working on the fifth when I noticed that it was super runny. Like not normal runny. Like water running through my fingers.

Gross.

I had already contaminated the first four egg whites, so I tossed them all and started over. I was sure that it was happening again, more runny egg white, but I convinced myself that my mind was just playing tricks on me.  

I scrambled away trying not to think about the runny egg thing. When I finally had my dinner plated and ready to go, Chris, also acustomed to eating scrambled egg whites, took one look at it and said “Those eggs just don’t look right.”

I agreed. I had been trying to tell myself that I was just paranoid, but after two bites I just couldn’t do it. Runny or not, one of my favorite dinners, the incredible, (in?)edible egg was ruined. I’m sure that I’ll come around eventually, but for now, no can do.

I’m not usually a picky eater or even the least bit squeemish about food. After all, I was the girl that happily ate silk worm in China.

In fact, I would eat the silk worm again, but I will not eat an egg.

Ok, that is a weird story about a weird dinner, but what’s the point?

When I decided that I wanted lentil burgers for dinner on Sunday night, I realized that my go-to binder was egg. I still couldn’t fathom eating egg in any form, so my experimentation with flax egg began. I’ll call this one a win! No egg required. I may try it with some diced onion in the mix next time for an extra bit of flavor.

A Duke’s House Original.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (dry) lentils, cooked
  • 4 tbsp ground flax
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Prepare lentils according to instructions on package.
  • While the lentils are cooking, mix 4 tbsp ground flax with 3/4 cup water to make a flax binder for the patties. Refrigerate the flax while the lentils are cooking to set it into a thicker consistency.
  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Use a spoon to combine lentils, flax binder, crushed walnuts, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, crushing the lentils slightly as they are mixed.
  • Add bread crumbs, stirring by hand, until the mixture stiffens.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray.
  • Hand form eight hamburger sized patties and place on baking sheet.
  • Bake for ~25 minutes or until patties are set and lightly browned.

Servings ~ 8
Calories ~ 118, Fat ~ 3.0 g, Carbohydrates ~ 17.5 g, Protein ~ 5.8 g

Unlike Shelby, I am a huge fan of meat-alternative burgers. So much so, that I have made my own on a few occasions. Friday night, I was feeling a little crazy so decided to branch out from bean burgers to lentil burgers. I can’t believe that I had never tried them before. Pure awesomeness.

If you think you don’t like meat-alternative burgers. Try these. Even if you are a diehard carnivore, give these “burgers” a chance.

After polishing off our first half-batch of Lentil Burgers on Friday night, I hadn’t had enough so I made another half-batch on Saturday night. That still wasn’t enough, but I was out of lentils so I branched into Split Pea Burgers on Sunday, which were equally amazing and a pretty shade of green to boot.

In retrospect, all of these meat-free burgers may not have been as awesome for Chris as they were for me. It was pretty poor judgement on my part to feed him legume burgers all weekend. I failed to remember that he was headed to India on Monday where his carnivorous self will probably have the pleasure of eating more than enough meat-free meals. Sorry Chris! If you mention that you read this I promise meat on Saturday night!

One final proclamation for the gloriousness of the Lentil Burger: These things area really easy to make. As in I had the energy to make a batch after our 18-mile run on Saturday. Yes. That easy. There is a chance that we will be eating these nightly until marathon training is over.

From 101 Cookbooks.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked lentils
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup toasted fine (whole-grain) bread crumbs
  • olive oil spray

Directions:

  • Chop onion in food processor.
  • Add lentils, eggs and salt to food processor, then purée until fully combined. It is ok to have whole lentils.
  • Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in the breadcrumbs, then let sit for a couple of minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture.
  • Adjust the dough texture by adding bread crumbs, water, or more egg as needed.
  • Form the mixture into twelve patties.
  • Heat a heavy skillet over medium low, spray with olive oil, add 4 patties, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms begin to brown. Turn up the heat if there is no browning after 10 minutes.
  • Flip the patties and cook the second side for 7 minutes, or until golden.
  • Remove from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties.

Servings ~ 12 burgers
Calories ~ 137, Fat ~ 2 g, Carbohydrates ~ 21 g, Protein ~ 8 g

After a failed attempt at hobak-jeon, a.k.a. Korean squash pancakes, I needed to come up with an alternate plan for breakfast.

I pestered Chris some hoping that he would volunteer to take on the breakfast re-do. “Chris, what do you want to make for breakfast?”

“I made you cornbread for dinner last night. I’ll just have a bagel for breakfast.”

That wasn’t going to work. While Chris is content with his two bagel a day habit, I wanted real breakfast.

“Do you want a croque monsieur? Do you think I can make one with the rest of this cornbread?”

So that is how we ended up with Corny Croque Madames for breakfast. We actually split a Corny Croque Monsieur and a Corny Croque Madame, but the Madame with the egg on top tasted so much better than the plain version that Monsieur did not make the cut.

Ingredients (per sandwich):

  • 1 slice corn bread
  • 1 slice cheese (I used 1 oz of reduced fat Swiss)
  • 3 oz thinly sliced ham
  • 2 tbsp sauce (Someone please tell me what kind of sauce this is.)
  • 1 egg, over-medium

Ingredients (The sauce…Is it a béchamel? A Mornay? Something else entirely? It is tasty, that’s for sure!):

  • 2 tbsp yogurt butter
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup shredded swiss
  • nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste

Directions (The sauce):

  • Melt the butter in a small sauce pan.
  • Whisk in the flour until the mixture is smooth.
  • Add the almond milk and bring to a simmer.
  • Simmer for another 10 minutes or so, stirring regularly, before adding the cheeses.
  • Stir in the cheeses until they are fully melted.
  • Season to taste with nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
  • An idea to use up the extra sauce: Butternut Squash Gratin

Directions (The Madame):

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Slice a piece of corn bread horizontally to form the top and bottom of the sandwich.
  • Layer ham and cheese on the bottom of the sandwich, then top with the top piece of cornbread.
  • Place the sandwich on a baking sheet and heat until the cheese begins to melt. (If you use reduced fat cheese like I did, use your best judgement as it may not be as melty as full-fat cheeses.)
  • After the cheese has melted, add a few spoonfuls of sauce to the top of the sandwich, then return it to the oven for several more minutes.
  • While the sandwich is in the oven, cook your eggs, over-medium.
  • Plate the sandwich with an egg balanced on top.

Servings (The Madame w/sauce) ~ 1
Calories ~ 410, Fat ~ 15 g, Carbohydrates ~ 32 g, Protein ~ 35 g

Servings (Sauce) ~ 24
Calories (per serving) ~ 19, Fat ~ 1 g, Carbohydrates ~ 1 g, Protein ~ 1 g
Calories (total batch) ~ 454, Fat ~ 29 g, Carbohydrates ~ 16 g, Protein ~ 31 g

When I saw this recipe on Back to Her Roots, I knew that it would hit the spot. I really enjoy Portobella mushrooms and I really like cheesesteaks, but until now I never found a cheesesteak that I felt good about eating on a regular basis. This will become a regular rotation on the menu at Duke’s house.

Something not in the regular rotation at our house is full-size candy bars en masse.

We decided to try to become the “cool family” on the street by giving out big candy bars for Halloween. Fortunately, we don’t live in a particularly trick or treat friendly neighborhood, so becoming the “cool family” isn’t too cost prohibitive. I wonder if we will get any trick or treaters? This is the first year that we will be home for Halloween, so we’ll see!

Inspired by Back to Her Roots.

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole grain pitas
  • 1/2 lb sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 small red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • olive oil spray
  • 2 oz reduced fat swiss cheese, shredded
  • For marinade
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 tsp garlic, minced
    • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 tbsp of your favorite steak seasoning
    • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Slice up veggies.
  • Combine marinade ingredients and pour into a sealable container with the mushroom slices. Thoroughly combine the mushrooms and the marinade and allow to sit for about 30 minutes.
  • Spray a bit of olive oil in the bottom of a skillet and sauté the peppers and onions until they soften.
  • As the peppers and onions are cooking, begin cooking the mushrooms in a separate skillet at a low temperature.
  • Heat pitas in a warm oven for several minutes until they are pliable.
  • Cut the pitas in half and carefully stuff them with a mixture of peppers, onions, mushrooms, and shredded cheese.
  • Set the oven to broil.
  • Place the pitas on a baking sheet and return them to the oven for several minutes until they are lightly toasted.

Servings ~ 2
Calories ~ 259, Fat ~ 14 g, Carbohydrates ~ 22 g, Protein ~ 17 g

During my last “real” summer, my dad decided to take my family to Australia for a month. Our typical vacation style was in a station wagon, an SUV when I got older, à la Griswold, so it was no surprise that his game plan was to rent a motor home and go for a month-long drive Down Under.

We had many adventures on that trip, like off-roading in the motor home which resulted in getting it stuck in a river, crashing the motor home into a giant eagle, and having more flat tires than one should expect to repair over 30 days. Thankfully, we survived the trip, learned a lot, and had a great time.

Some of the things I learned in Australia:

  • You can use the “grey water” hose from your RV as a snorkel for the tail pipe when you are trying to get the RV unstuck from a river.
  • Road trains are real and can be six trailers long – move over!
  • Those “towns” on the map of the Outback…yeah, those are just roadhouses.
  • Hitting an eagle (his fault, not ours) will bust up your windshield big time.
  • The longest fence in the world resides in the Outback, a 3488 mile long dingo fence to help keep the dingoes away from the free range sheep.
  • When you are calling around in the middle of the night looking for someone to fix your windshield, it is helpful to know that they will have no clue what you are talking about unless you refer to it as a wind screen.
  • One spare tire is never enough.
  • The roadhouses serve awesome burgers. See below.

 The Aussie “Outback” Burger…Brittany-fied.

Ingredients (per burger):

  • 4 oz extra lean ground beef
  • 1 thin slice, Canadian bacon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice reduced fat Swiss cheese
  • 1 sandwich thin
  • 2 leaves romaine
  • 3 slices tomato
  • 3 slices pickled beet
  • 2 slices red onion
  • 1 ring pineapple
  • 1 tbsp fat-free mayo

Directions:

  • Before you get started, stage your fruits and veggies.
  • Slice the tomato and onion. Drain the pickled beet and pineapple so you don’t make your bread soggy.
  • Ok, now get ready to multi-task. As the burgers are cooking, you will brown one slice of Canadian bacon per burger, cook one egg over-medium per burger, toast the buns, and top the burgers with cheese.
  • Get the burgers started first. Grill or stove top, your choice. (I recommend the stove top because it is easier to cook the egg and the bacon if you aren’t running in and out of your house to your grill at the same time.)
  • After starting the burgers, begin cooking the eggs.
  • When you have your eggs started, move on to the Canadian bacon. You want it lightly browned on both sides.  
  • Set your oven to broil and begin to toast the sandwich thins.
  • Continue juggling the eggs, buns, bacon, and burgers until you are ready to assemble your sandwich.
  • Take a deep breath, this was hectic, but we’re almost there!
  • Spread mayo on the top side of each bun.
  • Building your sandwich from the bottom up, I recommend this order for maximum flavor and minimum tipping: bottom bun, romaine, onion, tomato, bacon, beets, pineapple, burger, egg, top bun. At the very least, make sure that the egg is on top so that the yolk will soak into the top bun when you bite into it.
  • Your burger now looks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I recommend wrapping it in wax paper (Taylor Ham and Cheese style if you’re from New Jersey) and cutting it in half through the paper.
  • Finally, a manageable looking sandwich!

*Egg left off of this burger for the sake of the picture. Runny egg yolk would not exactly have enhanced this photo!

Servings ~ 1
Calories ~ 466, Fat ~ 16 g, Carbohydrates ~ 39 g, Protein ~ 43 g

When I saw a guy on TV (It was Tyler Florence on The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Nutty, thank you Mary) raving about a grilled peanut butter and brie sandwich, I immediately felt an impulse to go make one.

Why? Well how could I resist? It all goes back to the sandwich hierarchy.

For a long time, PB, honey, and banana reined king in my book, but here was this man on TV saying that grilled PB and brie was the best sandwich he had ever eaten. That’s quite a bold statement.

Naturally, I had to Brittany-fy it some. The original concoction was based on a pan-fried sandwich. While I’m sure that is fabulous, I couldn’t bring myself to eat a fried peanut butter and cheese sandwich. Hmmm…maybe I should…

When I first attempted it, the PB&B did not quite live up to the hype. It was good, but maybe a tad bland. It needed something…Dijon dipping sauce.

After having my fifth PB&B in a week, it is safe to say that I’m hooked. Chris still thinks it is a bit weird. You be the judge.

Ingredients (per sandwich):

  • 1 sandwich thin (or your favorite bread)
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 oz brie, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp cider vinegar

Directions:

  • Set oven to broil.
  • Toast one side of each piece of bread. (If using a sandwich thin, toast the inside.)
  • Spread peanut butter on the toasted side of one slice of bread.
  • Place brie slices on top of peanut butter.
  • Put the second piece of bread, toasted side down, onto the sandwich.
  • Return the sandwich to the oven toasting one side, then the other until the cheese is melted and both sides of the sandwich are golden brown.
  • While the sandwich is toasting, combine Dijon mustard and cider vinegar in a small ramekin for dipping.

Servings ~ 1
Calories ~ 306, Fat ~ 17 g, Carbohydrates ~ 26, Protein ~ 15 g