Thursday, June 20, 2013

Secrets to a Great Veggie Sandwich + a Side of Jessica

Howdy everyone!

One more day of the week until it's time for the weekend!!! WOO to the HOO :)

... Not that I should be the one to talk considering I have to take my midterm by tomorrow at 10
pm and am severely behind... Whoops... my procrastination skills have perplexed my very Type A, perfectionist personality...

We started our weekend celebration early with a much needed night out with my rib-cracking, commence the wheezing, "I can't breathe I'm laughing so hard" friend, Jessica who can always make the biggest frown turn into soulful smiling. While she's always accompanied with enjoyable stories and unmatchable flare, she was truly top notch in her story-telling this latest outing that has kept me laughing... even in my sleep I'm pretty sure...

Jessica: "My cat Fluffy is turning 18 soon, I'm thinking of bringing him into the convenience store with me"

.... Okay...

Jessica: (To said hypothetical store-person)"I'll need some lotto tickets, sir.  No, no, not for me, they're for my cat, he just turned 18 (pulls out redneck ID with age, eye and hair color....)

Yes, I realize this was a "you-had-to-be-there" kind of conversation, but oh Jessica, she's a true gem that never fails to bring a new and better 'monologue' to the table

We met for sushi at Alex and I's all time favorite place but scarfed it down and was immersed in her beloved stories that I forgot to catch a picture, but after inhaling our plates way too quickly, we decided to continue our night and were off to get drinks at Ale Emporium (which, by the way, I'm now dying to try their food after seeing the menu even after stuffed full of sushi)... Until next time! CHECK IT OUT LOCAL FOLKS!

 Beers comin' right up and seriously... Is that not the cutest menu design ever?! LOVE it!

I'm pretty sure the last time I had a picture with the one.and.only Jessica was at Alex and my wedding, so I insisted (despite both our coming from work and no effort in the neck up area)... Ain't she a beauty?!

Alex then demands.... Change things up!.... and somehow it turned into this (which is in fact completely characteristic of both our personalities)...
Love her

Now, onto other things....

People either look flustered when I bring or order a sandwich or say I'm craving a sandwich (knowing I'm vegetarian), or semi-pessimistically curious at what goes on a veggie sandwich that's tasty and DE-LISH, and I'm here to tell ya'!

First of all, I took my first stab at freshly baked herb bread and while I definitely need to refine my skills (never been a baker), this bread was a good 7-8/10 because I must have used too much flour with how dry it turned out... Plus, I advise you to kneed using something (ANYTHING) you have on hand that can save you from kneading the dough yourself.

Herb Loaf Bread
Slightly adapted from Ina Garten's Herb Bread Loaf

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 6 cups whole wheat flour


  1. Mix yeast, warm water, and white sugar together in a large bowl. Set aside for five minutes, or until mixture becomes foamy.
  2. Stir olive oil, salt, herbs, garlic powder, onion powder, cheese, and 3 cups flour into the yeast mixture. Gradually mix in the next three cups of flour. Dough will be stiff.
  3. Knead dough for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it is smooth and rubbery. Place in an oiled bowl, and turn to cover the surface of the dough with oil. Cover with a damp linen dish towel. Allow to rise for one hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  4. Punch dough down to release all the air. Shape into two loaves. Place loaves on a greased cookie sheet, or into two greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise until doubled in size, about a 30 minutes.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 minutes. Remove loaves from pan(s), and let cool on wire racks for at least 15 minutes before slicing
 Like I said, veggie sandwiches seem boring and odd without the usual deli meat but I have converted many a non-vegetarian to LOVE these. Many do not even realize they're meatless! The best part is that you can change up these sandwiches ALL the time, leave off some vegetables or use new vegetables from time to time.

Just to give you an idea of what I typically use for my sandwiches, here is a beauty I made. Beforehand, I roasted some sliced zucchini that I coated in extra virgin olive oil and added a dash of grill/steak seasoning. I roasted them at 400 degrees for about 5-10 minutes on each side and let cool down for about 5 minutes. 

Sliced up and cooked until they warm on the inside with a perfect crunch when you bit into the sandwich! 

In the line up:
Homemade whole wheat herb bread (but any whole wheat bread slices from the store will do), sliced thick
 Sliced Tomato
Roasted zucchini slices
Small handful of mixed greens/romaine/lettuce you have on hand
Sliced onions
1 slice Pepper Jack cheese
1 teaspoon light mayonnaise 
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 strips Morningstar Bacon Strips

... and don't skimp on this last, secret ingredient...

3 or 4 leaves of BASIL!
.... This is a MUST on every sandwich for me, adds such flavor and a perfect bite!

Assemble ingredients as you please, I always later both sides with whatever sauce(s) you're using and then build the ingredients to make sure the sandwich doesn't fall apart after your first bite (one of my biggest food pet peeves!) 

There you have it! A Veggie Sandwich that tastes like a nice twist on a Classic Club or BLT (... and the homemade bread, despite being slightly dry, totally put this over the top). 

You can even see the herbs inside the thick slices of bread.. Yummy goodness!
This sandwich was so yummy that even my meat loving hubby made himself one after I gave him a bite! I (sorta) promise that you won't miss the meat. However, for those of you who are craving that meaty flavor, you can always add some deli slices of your choosing to create the perfectly secret sandwich suited to your taste buds :)



Do you have a food pet peeve?

My biggest is definitely when sandwiches or burgers fall apart... I literally won't finish a burger if the last 2-3 bites are just mushy remnants of oddly left ingredients.... NO WAY HOSE ;)

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