It occurred to me recently that if I’m writing a food blog, I should maybe include some recipes. So, here is a very customizable sandwich that I chose to make with tofu (why? because it’s tasty and healthy and soaks up flavor like a sponge!) but you can use lunch meat, a chicken breast, enough ground meat for a burger, whatever. Whatever you choose, we are marinating!
Serves 1, takes about 20 minutes from start to end, including prep time.
For the marinade you will need:
Whatever meat or tofu (sized to fit on the bread), granulated garlic, soy sauce (preferably low sodium), and balsamic vinegar
For the sandwich you will need:
Honey Wheat sandwich thins, kalamata olives, an avocado, lettuce (mixed bag works fine), 2 baby carrots, mayonnaise (or vegenaise for an egg-free alternative), and Veggie Straws (optional)
1. Mix 1/2 tsp (or a large shake) garlic, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp soy sauce together in a small bowl. If you are using garlic cloves, mince 1 clove in place of the granulated garlic. Stir together with a fork.
2. Take your meat (for tofu, it is about 1/3 block of extra firm, drained and pressed) and place it in the marinade. Let sit while you prepare half of the food. For ground beef or turkey, mix the marinade into the meat before you form your patty.
3. Take your sandwich thins and put it in the toaster. Do not separate before toasting. This allows the outside to become crunchy while the inside remains warm and soft.
4. When finished toasting, spread about 1 tsp mayonnaise on the top half of the bread, then place the pieces back together.
5. Cut both baby carrots into quarters lengthwise.
6. Slice four kalamata olives so they lay flat. At this point, you should flip over whatever you are marinating so that the juices seep into the other side.
7. Cut off a slice of avocado. For this, I ran my knife along the outside of one half of the avocado, then did it again, removing about 1/8 of the avocado, then peeled the skin. You can store the rest of it in a zip-lock bag with the air removed to prevent browning. Be sure to leave the skin on the unused portion of avocado to prevent additional browning. Put the unused portion of avocado back in the fridge, along with the jar of olives, mayonnaise and any additional baby carrots.
8. If you used tofu, lunch meat, or ground meat, this should have been enough time for marinating. Chicken may take a little longer. Remove your now perfectly marinated food and cook it.
Tofu: In a skillet heated to medium high, cook your tofu until it is browned. Remember to keep it in a patty form and not to let it crumble. For me, this took about 3 mins on each side.
Lunch meat: If cold is your thing, then just put it on the sandwich and you’re ready to go! If not, put it in a pan on low heat until it is the desirable temperature.
Ground meat: Form your patty, squeezing all of the remaining juices as you shape it, leaving an indentation in the center of one side. At this point, you may add some salt and pepper to the outsides of your patty. Then, in a skillet heated to medium high, place your patty and let it sit for 3 minutes. Do not touch for the entirety of those 3 minutes. After that, flip your patty and let it sit until you are ready to take it out of the pan. (11 minutes for well done, 9 for medium well, 7 for medium, etc.)
Chicken: Once finished marinating, place your chicken in a skillet set to medium high. Allow it to sit for 3 minutes in the pan before flipping it, then let it sit until the juices run clear.
9. Place your tofu/meat on the bottom of your sandwich, followed by the carrots, avocados, olives and lettuce. Garnish with some veggie straws and enjoy!
Please note: If you use tofu, this sandwich is vegetarian. It qualifies as vegan only if you use vegenaise instead of mayonnaise.
Low fat: To make this low fat, avoid using the ground meat options and go with either chicken or tofu, since lunch meat is typically very high in sodium. Also stick with the directions of using Honey Wheat thins instead of regular bread.
As always, thanks for reading.