Garden Fresh Pinwheel Sandwiches

At LJB we love a good healthy lunch.  As I’ve said before, I usually eat a small breakfast and a small dinner, but lunch… lunch is my main meal of the day, so it better be a good one.  This is one of my favorite things to have for lunch.  So many yummy veggies, a good dose of protein, and of course the cute packaging just makes me happy when I’m eating it.

GARDEN FRESH PINWHEEL SANDWICHES

  • 2 slices Lavash Bread (can be found at most super markets, I got mine at Trader Joes)
  • 1/2 cup shredded or juilenned carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup diced avocado
  • 1/2 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onion
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons greek seasoning
  • 6 slices deli style turkey breast meat
To assemble the sandwiches, lay out your lavash bread on a clean work surface.  Spread each slice with 1/4 cup cream cheese.  Be sure to spread the cream chesese as cloae to the top and bottom edge as you can get it.  It is the binding ingredient that seals the sandwich.  Sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon greek seasoning.

Add 3 turkey slices to each bread slice about 1 inch from the top.  Then add a sprinkling of each of the veggies below the turkey.

Then start rolling.  Start at the top and roll as tightly as the ingredients will allow.  The ingredients may slip around a little as you roll, which is ok, as long as you have enough empty space to seal the ends. Finish the rolling, and poke 4 toothpicks into equal sections of the sandwich.  Cut between the toothpicks, creating 4 smaller pinwheel sandwiches.

Serves 2.

 

Scrumptious Baked Beans

One of my husband’s favorite meals is a plate loaded with my sweet cornbread and these scrumptious baked beans.  He can practically down the entire thing himself, and be perfectly happy.  Now, as for myself and my other 3 boys, we need a little something more.  So, I’ll usually throw on some grilled flank steak and a nice fruit salad to round it out.

SCRUMPTIOUS BAKED BEANS

 

  • 3 (16.5 ounce) cans baked beans or pork n’ beans
  • 1 pound thick cut bacon
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • ¾ cup barbecue sauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

 

Cut 8 slices of the bacon into 2 inch pieces.  In a large cast iron skillet, over medium low heat, fry the bacon just until fat is rendered, but not turning brown.  Do not crisp the bacon, as we will need it to do that in the oven. Remove the bacon onto a paper towel to drain.  Reserve a coating of  the fat in the skillet to brown the onion.  Add onion and cook over medium heat, until tender.  Stir in the 3 cans of baked beans and warm through.

 

In a small bowl, mix the barbecue sauce, brown sugar, vinegar and mustard.  Add this mixture to the skillet, and bring to a simmer.

 

Pour beans into a 9×13 casserole pan or a large dutch oven.  Top with bacon slices.  (Since you’ve already rendered the fat, they will crisp up nice and brown without leaving a layer of grease)

 

Bake for 2 hours, until the beans are cooked and soft, the bacon is brown and crispy, and there is no soupiness to the dish.

Skinny Spaghetti Bake

My husband and I were at a dinner party the other night, and one of the topic that came up around the table was; “If you had to choose only 3 types of cuisine to live on for the rest of your life, to the exclusion of all others, what 3 would you choose?”   It was so interesting to hear that choices everyone would make, and why they loved that particular cuisine.  Indian, because of the curry and bountiful spices.  Chinese for the stir frys, dumplings and mixes of protein and veggies.  Island food for the lovely marinades, fruit and fresh seafood.  Italian for the pasta, sauces and crusty breads.  French for the sauces… no one makes a sauce like the french…, pomme frites and profitteroles.  I could go on and on.  It was such a lovely conversation about food.  But, in the end, what it boiled down to, was that everyone there inevitably chose their home countries cuisine first.  Venezuelan, Italian, Indian, American.  Each country represented thought their countries cuisine was best.  Fascinating how our palates are formed and grow with us as we grow, but it always comes back to our own comfort food, right?  My choices were, of course, #1, American.  To me, American is all-encompassing.  You’ve got the farm fresh California cuisine, the BBQ of the midwest and south, the fresh seafood of the coasts, and in most big american cities you kind find authentic Chinese cuisine in Chinatown, authentic Italian in little italy (North beach in San Francisco), the south’s Southern comfort foods… need I go on?  American cuisine takes care of it all!!!  Then my next two choices were Italian and Mexican.  I think between those three cuisines I could live happy as a clam for ever and ever!

So, what led me to share all of that with you, is that I love Italian food.  But as we all know, Italian food involves a lot of pasta and a lot of carbs.  This recipe is a low carb way to enjoy an Italian meal, with all the flavor, texture and goodness.  Give it a try and let me know if you don’t just love it.

SPAGHETTI SQUASH BAKE

 

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 medium zucchini, julienned
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ cup cream cheese
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the spaghetti squash length wise into 2 halves.  Using a large spoon, scoop out the seeds and guts from the squash.  Brush the sides of the squash with olive oil and place it face side down in a microwavable dish that has a fitted lid.  Microwave on high 10-12 minutes, until the squash has softened.  Remove from microwave and using a fork, shred squash insides into a large casserole dish or 9×13 pan.  Add zuchini.

In a large saucepan, heat the marinara sauce, oregano, basil, cream cheese and parmesan cheese over medium heat until the cheese has melted and can be incorporated into the sauce.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add sauce mixture to casserole pan and toss to coat.  Top with mozzarella cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes until cheese is bubbly.

Garnish with extra shredded parmesan and fresh basil.

Oven Roasted Bacon

I know this seems simple enough, but surprisingly, many people don’t know about this method for cooking bacon.  Oven roasting the bacon is quick, easy, and produces a nice crunchy evenly cooked bacon slice everytime.  I promise you that once you do this, you’ll never scorch your poor little hands frying bacon in a pan ever again!   And best of all, there’s no greasy messy stove top to clean when you’re done.

Oven Roasted Bacon

  • 1 pound thick cut bacon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper or aluminmum foil.  Lay out strips of bacon on pan side by side.  Bake in oven for about 15 – 20 minutes until the bacon is nice and crispy.  Remove from oven, and drain bacon on paper towels to remove excess grease.  Serve.

So, you can probably guess from the picture above where I’m going with this… crispy bacon = BLT!  I don’t eat this sandwich a lot, but something about smelling that bacon cooking and knowing that I had some wonderful ripe pearl tomatoes in my fridge made me start thinking about how good a BLT would taste.

I like mine that plain, old fashioned way.  Just 2 slices of lightly toasted white bread, laid out open faced, each with a dollop of Best Foods mayonaise spread on it.  Then I line each slice with 3 slices of bacon.  Put some tomatoes on one side, some lettuce on the other and press the 2 together.  Delish!

Just try to tell me you don’t want one of these right now!  Go ahead, make yourself one… it’s easy!

Cranberry Wild Rice Salad

We have this wonderful deli downtown.  It serves the best sandwiches I’ve ever had, hands down.  But what makes them truly unique is the beautiful salads displayed in their cold case.  I always have to get one on the side.  They are all so yummy!  This is one of my favorites, recreated by me… try it, it’s a  winner!

Cranberry Wild Rice Salad

  • 3 cups cooked wild rice
  • 1 box  (1 lb) orzo pasta, cooked as directed
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup whole pecans
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½  cup chopped green onion
  • 1 cup blush wine vinaigrette, more or less to taste

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients.  Serve cold.  Serves 14.

Linking up at Stuff and Nonsense, It’s a Keeper Thursday, Somewhat Simple, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, The Shabby Creek Cottage

Butter Roasted Lemon Shrimp

Butter Roasted Lemon Shrimp

This recipe is adapted from one that is floating around on Pinterest right now.  It’s super easy to make and my family LOVED it.  The butter melds with the shrimp and the lemony Italian hues are just right, not over powering.

  • One stick butter
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (I use Emeril’s Italian Essence)
  • 2 lbs raw shrimp

In a 9×13 pan, and a 350 degree oven.  Melt a stick of butter in the pan. Remove pan from oven and put sliced lemons on top of butter.  Then layer the shrimp.  Sprinkle with the Italian seasoning and bake for 15 minutes.  Stir halfway through to coat shrimp with butter and seasoning.

Serve over rice with your favorite veggie.

Margie’s Energy Bars

MARGIE’S ENERGY BARS

 

My friend Margie brings these to our tennis matches for a quick pick me up, or an after match refresher.  They are simple to make and simply delicious to eat!  An added bonus, my kids LOVE them.

 

  • 2 ½ cups crisped rice cereal
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup raisins
  • ½ cup unsalted nuts (peanuts, sliced almonds, pecans, or use your favorite)
  • 1 bag mini marshmallows
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter

 

On a jelly roll pan, in a 250 degree oven, warm the cereal, oats and raisins for 10 minutes.

 

Meanwhile in a large pot over low heat, melt the butter, peanut butter and marshmallows.  Heat through and stir until well combined.

 

Add the warm dry ingredients to the marshmallow mixture, and stir to thoroughly coat.

 

Pour into a buttered 9×13 pan and press down to condense mixture.  Cut into squares and serve.