Sandwiches_WrapsIf you haven’t noticed I have back to school fever. All week I have been talking about it and celebrating. Anyone else? From our Fish & Grilled Rosemary Chips dinner celebration, to Natural Back to School Lunch and Snack Ideas with Chef Rachel Zierzow, to my happy dance with Cucumber Mint Wine Slushies it’s been a fun foodie bus ride. Today though, I am getting to the heart of lunch and talking sandwich and wrap ideas. There is nothing more exceptional than a fresh-made sandwich and I am not sure what it is but they always seem to taste better when someone else makes them. If you are that person, you know the one that has to make all of those delicious and not sad lunch sandwiches, here is a great list of things to put between that sliced bread or roll-up. Some for the kiddos, some for the adults, and some for the one in charge of sandwich duty. Happy Lunch-ing!

Sandwiches: 

Portobello Mushroom Sandwich

Peanut Butter Tofu Salad Sandwich via Fifteen Spatulas

Fig Relish Panini via Lisa is Cooking

Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches via Pioneer Woman

Beet BLT via Hilah Cooking

Mini Lobster Rolls via Caramelized

Banh Mi via Mary Makes Dinner

Tex Mex Sabich via What Jew Wanna Eat 

Bacon and Sriracha Chicken Sandwich via Aida Mollenkamp

Grilled Veggie Sandwich with Romesco via Love & Lemons

Texas Egg Salad Sandwich

Meatball Sub via Bakes In Slippers

Vegan Veggie Buns via Weelicious

Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Salad Sandwich via Two Peas and Their Pod

Fried Green Tomato Sandwich With Spicy Texas Remoulade

Chipotle Steak with Avocado & Honey Mustard via The Food Goob

Fancy Grilled Cheese via Hilah Cooking

Baked Breaded Eggplant Sandwich via Get Lista

Chicken Ranch Sammies via The Lazy Mom Cooks

Pimento Cheese Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato

Greek Chicken Stuffed Pita via What’s Gaby Cooking

Marathon Chicken Salad Sandwich via by: The Common Cook

Pear and Brie via The Food Goob

Tex-Mex Sloppy Joe via Homesick Texan

Bacon and Cheddar Egg Salad Sandwiches via Tastes of Lizzy T

Prosciutto Quince and Pear Grilled Sandwich via Milk and Honey

Italian Beef Sandwich via Eat it and Say Yum

Shrimp & Avocado Sandwich with Sriracha Mayonnaise

sandwiches

Wraps:

Heavenly Hummus Wrap via Pioneer Woman

Stir Fry Chicken in Lettuce Cups via Weelicious

Mushroom & Quinoa Lettuce Wraps via Love & Lemons

Peanut Patty Wraps with Spicy Peanut Sauce via Fork & Forage

Mango Chicken & Lettuce Wraps via Full and Content

Crunch Fish & Creamy Coleslaw Wraps via Bite Me More on Food52

**BONUS**

Here are some Paleo Sandwich ideas from Three Diets, One Dinner.

Portobello Mushroom Sandwiches
Servings Prep Time
4servings 10-15minutes
Cook Time
5-7minutes
Servings Prep Time
4servings 10-15minutes
Cook Time
5-7minutes
Portobello Mushroom Sandwiches
Servings Prep Time
4servings 10-15minutes
Cook Time
5-7minutes
Servings Prep Time
4servings 10-15minutes
Cook Time
5-7minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Simply chop portobello mushrooms, place into your sauté pan with 2 Tbs of olive oil and garlic. Sauté on medium heat for 3-4 minutes, until mushrooms begin to soften and garlic begins to turn slightly golden. Turn heat off and place mozzarella on top mushrooms and cover pan with a lid. This will allow the mushrooms to stay warm and melt the cheese.
  2. In a small bowl combine arugula, basil, 1 Tablespoon olive oil, balsamic, and salt, and gently toss together. Slice bread in half longways –– toast (if desired) until crust is slightly crispy.
  3. Place arugula mix and mushroom mix on top of one side of the bread, drizzle remaining olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place the other side of bread on top to form your sandwich. Slice loaf into 4 pieces and serve.
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3 Cheers: Cucumber Mint Wine Slushies

by evh on August 21, 2014

Cucumber_Mint_Wine_Slushies

Rest easy Cucumber Mint Wine Slushies are here. I have been thinking about wine slushies since April when I had one, ok maybe a few, at The Austin Food & Wine Festival. I mean, what’s not to love? A slushie with wine! The one I had at the festival was pink and fruity so I decided to make a cool and minty one. Why? 1.) Because it’s back to school! And I want to help celebrate all of the moms, dads, grandparents and caregivers (it takes a village)! Getting those kids dressed and ready, checking homework, extra laundry, buying all of those school supplies ($!), packing lunches, making snacks, organizing book bags –– it’s work. 2.) Because it’s hot out and an icy cool beverage can sure help relieve some of that. AND 3.) Because wine + slushie = good. Cheers!

 

Cucumber Mint Wine Slushies2 Cucumber_Mint_Wine_Slushies1

Cucumber Mint Wine Slushies
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 5-10mintes
Cook Time
5-8minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 5-10mintes
Cook Time
5-8minutes
Cucumber Mint Wine Slushies
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 5-10mintes
Cook Time
5-8minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 5-10mintes
Cook Time
5-8minutes
Ingredients
Servings: -6 servings
Instructions
  1. Make the syrup first: add water, sugar and mint into a small pan and place over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and let cook until reduced by half, while stirring the mixture frequently about 5-8 minutes. Once reduced, remove from heat and let cool completely.
  2. Place cucumber, mint, ice, mint syrup and wine into a blender. Mix until well combined and serve immediately. Cheers!
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chickpeasThis week I am talking a lot about back to school because well, it’s that time of year again folks. Parents across the land are singing in the aisles of school supplies at their local stores and rejoicing in the thought of back to a routine for their kids. Recently, I was invited to the Natural Epicurean Academy to take a class on healthy and natural back to school eating taught by the lovely Chef Rachel Zierzow. The majority of the class was made up of parents looking to expand their lunch box packing repertoire but there were also a few wanting to learn just how to pack a good, healthy, not sad or boring lunch for themselves. Chef Rachel talked about ways to add more flavor into dishes but not over power them, so they can be crowd-pleasing aka kid-friendly in this case. We were exposed to using things like; Wakame Flakes, Nori, Kanten, Agar Flakes, Dulse, and Kombu –– all varieties of sea vegetables with healthy properties. We also got the chance to taste and use coconut palm sugar and brown rice syrup for sweetening up a few dishes, yum.

Together the class, along with Chef Rachel and her wonderful crew, made a wide variety of dishes from main course items to snacks to even a dessert. I loved the thought of adding in natural sea vegetables to most of these dish ideas for more flavor and health benefits.

Our menu  consisted of:

carrot_hummus

Roasted Carrot & White Bean Hummus with Vegetables –– Carrots IN the hummus –– Yes!

kale_chips

Dulse Flake Kale Chips –– I have never used Dulse Flakes before, have you? They added a lot of flavor, are high in iodine and B12.

spring_rollsSpring Rolls with Almond Butter Dipping Sauce –– we learned a great tip: instead of soaking the rice papers, simply run them under warm water for a few seconds. They will continue to soften as you piece the roll together. This Almond Butter Dipping Sauce was addicting-ly good.

sweet_potatoes

Roasted Sweet Potato Fries –– always a winner in our house.

Sesame_Wakame_Crunch_bars

Sesame Wakame Crunch Bars –– sweet, gooey and crunchy.

chickpeas

These are so delicious and I think I could eat this whole bowl by myself.

berry_jello

Mixed Berry Kanten –– this was one of my favorite things to learn about. The fruits can change seasonally and the Kanten is a natural sea vegetable (aka agar flakes) that works like gelatin only quicker and healthier. My kids LOVED this one!

Tamari Roasted Chickpeas by Chef Rachel Zierzow
Servings Prep Time
2cups 5minutes
Cook Time
25-40minutes
Servings Prep Time
2cups 5minutes
Cook Time
25-40minutes
Tamari Roasted Chickpeas by Chef Rachel Zierzow
Servings Prep Time
2cups 5minutes
Cook Time
25-40minutes
Servings Prep Time
2cups 5minutes
Cook Time
25-40minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cups
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On the baking sheet add all of the ingredients and toss together to combine.
  2. Bake for 25 minutes, tossing the chickpeas once or twice during the process. Bake until the lemon juice and the tamari are absorbed. Chickpeas will be tender, not crunchy. For crunchy bake for another 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool and serve.
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Mixed Berry Kanten by Chef Rachel Zierzow
Servings Prep Time
8servings 10-15minutes
Cook Time
15-20minutes
Servings Prep Time
8servings 10-15minutes
Cook Time
15-20minutes
Mixed Berry Kanten by Chef Rachel Zierzow
Servings Prep Time
8servings 10-15minutes
Cook Time
15-20minutes
Servings Prep Time
8servings 10-15minutes
Cook Time
15-20minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Place apple juice, salt and agar flakes into a pot. Give a gentle stir and let stand for 5-10 minutes. Place over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently for 5-10 minutes. Reduce flame and let simmer until all of the agar flakes are dissolved.
  2. Place berries and grapes into a mold. Pour liquid over berries. Refrigerate until jellied -- about 1 hour. When Kanten is firm, serve.
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Chef Rachel also recommend simply blanching a bunch of vegetables to have on hand during the week. Sprinkle them with some brown rice vinegar and pack them into everyone’s lunch sack.

The Natural Epicurean offers classes to the general public as well as a full professional culinary academy experience.

Natural Epicurean

1700 South Lamar

Austin, TX 78704

512-476-2276

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fish_and_chips

This back to school stuff is hard. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE having a routine again but boy the last few days have been exhausting. Part of it is from the early mornings, no more summer slumbers of lazy sleeping in days. The other part of it is these are long, stimulating days for the kiddos so their exhaustion becomes well … explosive at the end of the day … this kids stuff is challenging. We eat healthy for the most part, sure there are special treats sprinkled throughout the week, but most dinners consist of the good stuff. Now that we have been in school for a few weeks, the carpool is back on, and we’ve hit our groove, we decided to celebrate with some Fish + Grilled Rosemary Chips –– I know it’s not cake, but it’s a dang good way to have dinner once in a while. Black drum is an easy to cook, fairly mild, and low oil fish that’s gentle on the pocketbook. Wrapped up in a light and airy batter and served alongside some grilled rosemary wedges –– let the celebratory gobbling begin.

fish Rosemary_chips

Fish + Grilled Rosemary Chips
Servings Prep Time
4servings 10-15minutes
Cook Time
20-25minutes
Servings Prep Time
4servings 10-15minutes
Cook Time
20-25minutes
Fish + Grilled Rosemary Chips
Servings Prep Time
4servings 10-15minutes
Cook Time
20-25minutes
Servings Prep Time
4servings 10-15minutes
Cook Time
20-25minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
for fish
  1. In a large bowl, combine flours, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Next, slowly add in the sparkling water, a 1/4 cup at a time, while gently stirring together. Add enough water to get a smooth pancake like batter consistency and set aside.
  2. Place a heavy duty pan over medium high heat. Add in oil that equals one inch in the pan. Allow oil to heat up for about 1-2 minutes or until a drop of batter sizzles in the pan upon entering. Once hot, drag strips of fish through the batter, one at a time and place into the hot pan gently. Continue the process until the pan is full, yet there's enough room for the fish to move around a bit. Let cook on one side until lightly golden about 3-4 minutes. Then flip to the other side until lightly golden. Remove fish from oil and place onto a layer of paper towels to drain off excess oil. Repeat the process until all of the fish is cooked.
  3. Once all of the fish is cooked and on the paper towels. Pat one more time with the towels and serve with the rosemary chips along side some fresh lemon wedges and malt vinegar (if desired).
for potatoes
  1. Place 4 cups of water into a large pan over high heat, add potatoes and one rosemary sprig's leaves, and bring to a boil. Let boil for 10 minutes then drain out water. Add olive oil, salt and remaining rosemary leaves and gently toss together. Preheat grill or grill pan to a medium high heat.
  2. Place wedges onto a hot grill pan or grill. Cook both sides until lightly golden - about 3-4 minutes a side. Remove from heat then serve.
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Summertime Ease: Peach Salsa Crostini

by evh on August 14, 2014

Peach_Salsa_Crostini_1

I had a challenge a few weeks ago, to make something delicious, seasonal, and camera-friendly, on a new local show for one of their practice run throughs. It had to be bite-worthy, oven and cook-free but also, bring a bit of wow (!) and of course, flavor. My wheels were turing and since I adore peaches, and right now the tomatoes are begging to be played with I got to work. Combine that with some fresh farmers market goats cheese, over a slice of baguette and Peach Salsa Crostini hits the table. Who knows if the shoot will ever make it the interweb airwaves? If it does you’ll be the first to know –– but in the mean time, leave the oven off and whip-up a batch of these for an easy appetizer, side dish, or for some afternoon snacking.

Peaches

+

Tomatoes

=

Peach_Salsa

Peach_salsa_Crostini

Peach Salsa Crostini
Servings Prep Time
8servings 10-15minutes
Servings Prep Time
8servings 10-15minutes
Peach Salsa Crostini
Servings Prep Time
8servings 10-15minutes
Servings Prep Time
8servings 10-15minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Place peaches, tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeño (if using), shallots, olive oil, and salt into a large bowl and gently mix together until well incorporated.
  2. Next, spread 1 Tablespoon of goat cheese onto a piece of the sliced baguette, then, top with a heaping Tablespoon of peach salsa. Continue the process until all of the crostini are made. Serve.
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Hotty: Kale and Jalapeño Chicken Bowls

by evh on August 12, 2014

jalapeno_chicken_bowls1

For some reason, this year, I didn’t plant any jalapeño peppers in our garden. I really can not remember if there’s a reason as to why? Or if I was just making room for something else to try in our garden? or just my forgetful brain? One of the beauties of planting peppers is that they are fairly easy to grow during the high heat wave of the summer months, especially, when you really don’t want to do a lot of outdoor activities such as gardening. Thank goodness, a lot of farmers around town have grown a hearty batch of them. Toss them in with some freshly picked kale and tangy chicken over some earthy brown rice and you’ve got a bowl of spicy dinner delights –– Kale and Jalapeño Chicken Bowls.

jalapenos

Gorgeous jalapeños.

Kale

Crunchy kale.

jalapeno_chicken_bowls

 

Kale and Jalapeño Chicken Bowls
Servings Prep Time
4servings 10-15minutes
Cook Time
8-12minutes
Servings Prep Time
4servings 10-15minutes
Cook Time
8-12minutes
Kale and Jalapeño Chicken Bowls
Servings Prep Time
4servings 10-15minutes
Cook Time
8-12minutes
Servings Prep Time
4servings 10-15minutes
Cook Time
8-12minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine soy sauce, water, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, onion powder and black pepper and whisk together well. Next add in sliced chicken and stir to coat the chicken and let sit for 10 minutes before stirring once more.
  2. Place a large heavy duty pan over medium high heat. Add chicken mixture to the pan. Saute the chicken for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next add the jalapeno slices and continue to stir until well incorporated. Finally add the chopped kale and continue to stir and cook until the kale begins to soften and the chicken is cooked through -- about 1-2 minutes more. Portion brown rice out into 4 bowls evenly. Top with kale and jalapeno mixture and serve.
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A Summer Slice: Roasted Eggplant, Tomato & Mozzarella Cheese Galette

by evh August 7, 2014
Thumbnail image for A Summer Slice: Roasted Eggplant, Tomato & Mozzarella Cheese Galette

Galette is a fancy word for lazy (wo)man’s pie. It’s essentially an open-faced, pie pan free dish –– a slab pie if you will. The free form gives you a bit more, well … freedom … to tuck and gather goods into the soft and flaky crust shape. Roasted Eggplant, Tomato & Mozzarella Cheese Galette brings […]

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Studio 512: Healthy Texas Peach & Oatmeal Crumble Cups

by evh August 5, 2014
Thumbnail image for Studio 512: Healthy Texas Peach & Oatmeal Crumble Cups

Meal planning is not something everybody enjoys but one way to stay healthy and eat right is to have foods on hand that can be easily grabbed for those on-the-go days and those night-time-sweet-treat-craving moments. You know the ones, right? Yesterday, I had the pleasure of demonstrating my Healthy Texas Peach & Oatmeal Crumble Cups […]

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Linner-time: Summer Squash, Leek & Goat Cheese Frittata

by evh August 1, 2014
Thumbnail image for Linner-time: Summer Squash, Leek & Goat Cheese Frittata

Ok, it’s hot. I mean it IS summer after all, and as much as I do enjoy a good hearty salad, I also have days where I want to do a bit more with my fruits and vegetables. Summer squash is in full swing at the markets as are these photogenic leeks, making it a […]

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Sweet & Savory: 30 Cast Iron Skillet Recipes

by evh July 31, 2014
Thumbnail image for Sweet & Savory: 30 Cast Iron Skillet Recipes

I love my cast iron skillets and I use them almost everyday. I love the solid sturdiness and feel of the pan as well as the versatility of taking it from the stovetop to the oven to the table –– they are kind of a big deal and almost celebrity-like in my kitchen. I adore the […]

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