Tag Archives: sandwich

Apple Almond Butter French Toast

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, a day full of romance. Valentine’s Day food is generally fairly decadent – chocolate, candlelit steak dinners, cheesy pastas, etc. But you can always show someone you love them with a healthier option. Homemade breakfast feels fancy for a weekday, especially breakfast in bed.

This apple almond butter French toast is quick to put together but looks and tastes fancy. I love making sandwich French toasts with different flavors. The tart apple and creamy nut butter work really well together. Make it for someone you love soon, if not for Valentine’s Day!

Apple Almond Butter French Toast (Serves 2)

Apple Almond Butter French Toast

4 slices whole wheat bread
4 tablespoons almond butter
1 apple, sliced thin
1 egg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup skim milk
¼ cup syrup

1. Heat a nonstick griddle over medium-high heat, about 350 degrees F.
2. Spread almond butter evenly over slices of bread. Place 1/2 apple slices on two slices of the bread. Top with other slices to make sandwiches.
3. Whisk egg, cinnamon, and milk together in a shallow bowl or dish. Carefully dip sandwiches in egg mixture.
4. Spray griddle with cooking spray. Place sandwiches on griddle. Cook on each side until lightly browned and egg is cooked, about 2-3 minutes per side.
5. Serve warm with syrup.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 562
Protein: 19 g
Fat: 23 g
Saturated fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 94 mg
Carbohydrates: 76 g
Fiber: 10 g
Sodium: 418 mg

Recipe notes: I prefer almond butter to peanut butter in general. I especially like it here because of it’s cinnamony taste. Peanut butter also works if that is your preference or what you have available. I like a tart apple here, like a Granny Smith. The tartness works well with the sweetness of the syrup and nut butter. You also don’t need a ton of syrup for this – the nut butter really combines everything well on it’s own. If you can’t fit all of the apple slices in the sandwich, just serve it on the side.

Source: original recipe

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Apple Chicken Salad

Lunch is one of the hardest meals of the day for me. I want to eat healthy, preferably without cooking. I don’t want to use up my leftovers most of the time. I want something quick. And obviously, it has to be delicious.

Various types of chicken salad have become a bit of a go to for me. I can use it on crackers, as a sandwich, as lettuce wraps, or on a salad. It gives me several days of lunch with one day of effort. All wins. And it is tasty.

Apple Chicken Salad (Serves 4)

Apple Chicken Salad

1 can of chicken, drained well
1 apple, chopped small
¼ cup walnuts, chopped
2 tablespoons blue cheese
¼ cup mayo
2 tablespoons dijon mustard

1. Mix all ingredients until well combined.

Nutritional information (amount per serving):

Calories: 165
Protein: 11 g
Fat: 10 g
Saturated fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 19 mg
Carbohydrates: 8 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sodium: 335 mg

Recipe notes: There are lots of ways to serve this, as I mentioned above.

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Chicken Shawarma

As part of my schooling, I participated in several cultural sensitivity programs. Food and diet are a huge part of every culture, so it was important to try to understand different cultural groups before trying to treat them. However, I think the thing I learned most from these programs was how culturally insensitive we all are, on purpose and completely on accident.

Ethnic-inspired recipes on this site are an area where I verge on being culturally insensitive. I hesitate to even use the traditional name for dishes, since I know that I have made changes to each dish. So please be aware, dishes on my site are often inspired by flavors from around the globe. But I don’t feel restricted from adding my own personal flair to dishes.

Chicken shawarmas are no exception. I first ate shawarma in London and fell in love. Juicy meat, chewy bread, an assortment of vegetables I didn’t recognize, and some sort of sauce that leaked out purple on my hands came together in a beautiful harmony. I’ve tried a few at a variety of restaurants since, but none have lived up to the one in my memory. This recipe is more of an homage than trying to recreate what I had in London. But it makes for a delicious, hearty dinner. Enjoy!

Chicken Shawarma (Serves 4)

Chicken Shawarma

2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons olive oil
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into strips
4 whole grain pitas or flatbreads
1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cucumber
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ recipe of roasted red pepper hummus
2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
12 tomato slices
½ red onion, thinly sliced

1. Combine lemon juice, curry powder, oil, salt, pepper, cumin, and cloves in a large, resealable plastic bag. Add chicken. Toss to coat. Allow to marinate for at least an hour, up to 24 in the fridge.

2. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Grill chicken until cooked through, about 4-5 minutes per side. Once chicken is done, lightly grill pitas until just warmed through.

3. Combine yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, cucumber, and garlic in a food processor. Blend until combined.

4. To serve, spread about 1 tablespoon of hummus on flatbread. Top with chicken, lettuce, tomato, onion, and yogurt sauce.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 453
Protein: 43 g
Fat: 12 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 87 mg
Carbohydrates: 47 g
Fiber: 7 g
Sodium: 816 mg

Recipe Notes: You could marinate and grill the chicken breasts whole, and then slice when ready to serve. They will just take longer to cook that way. I was too lazy to make or buy pitas when I took this picture. This was some leftover naan bread I warmed up from the freezer. Not traditional in any way, but a decent substitute. You will not use all of the yogurt sauce. But it is delicious on salads, sandwiches, etc.

Source: adapted from Cooking Light


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BELT Sandwich

I like Wednesdays almost as much as the camel in the Geico commercials. The feeling of the week being half over makes me feel like I just might make it. My daughter loves going to the story time at our local library, which she talks about nonstop for the rest of the week. I grocery shop, which I honestly don’t love, but I get fresh produce which always makes me feel more alive. AND… we eat breakfast for dinner. I could honestly eat breakfast food just about every meal of the day and not be sad.

I recently fell in love with these sandwiches. So in love, we ate them three weeks in a row for breakfast for dinner. I can’t think of much not to love. They were fast, required only one pan, filled me up, included vegetables (which can be a trick at breakfast), were delicious, and my daughter ate it. Granted, on that last point, hers was deconstructed and sans vegetables. But we were all happy.


BELT Sandwich (Serves 1)

BELT sandwich

2 slices whole wheat bread
½ tablespoon Dijon or horseradish mustard
1 ½ slice bacon
2 eggs
2-4 tablespoons milk
black pepper, to taste
1 ounce slice of colby or cheddar cheese
1 roma tomato, sliced
1 cup mixed greens
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves

1. Toast bread. Spread mustard evenly on each piece. Set aside.

2. In a small skillet or pan, cook bacon until crisp. Let drain on paper towels.

3. Wipe out most of grease from skillet. Whisk together eggs, milk, and pepper. Pour into skillet and cook, keeping the eggs formed to about the shape of your bread. When eggs are almost set, place cheese on top of eggs until it begins to melt. Remove from pan.

4. Build sandwich with bacon, tomatoes, greens and cilantro, eggs with cheese, and top slice of bread. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 532
Protein: 36 g
Fat: 28 g
Saturated Fat: 11 g
Cholesterol: 419 mg
Carbohydrates: 34 g
Fiber: 6 g
Sodium: 839 mg

Recipe Notes: You could use three egg whites or 1 whole egg and 1-2 egg whites. I prefer whole eggs, and an egg or two a couple times a week isn’t going to kill me. Add as much milk as you like to your eggs. This is like scrambled eggs, where you really wouldn’t have to add milk. I just always do. You can really use whatever cheese you have on hand, but I prefer a yellow cheese with eggs. Don’t skip on the cilantro. It is what takes this sandwich from good to great. Promise.

Source: original recipe

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I once heard someone say, “I could be a vegetarian except for the occasional order of chicken fingers.”  I think I would modify that statement for steak, but possibly beef in general.  Don’t get me wrong, I love vegetarian dishes (as the significant number on this site will attest) as well as chicken, pork, and fish.  And I’m a big advocate for healthy food.  But a steak or a delicious burger just hits the spot sometimes, you know?

When I first moved to Chicago, I lived near Greektown.  My classmates and I occasionally got gyros.  They got them as great food for a hangover.  I got them because it hit all those wonderful notes of a great burger and then some.  But they were grease bombs, and we knew it.  Lots of napkins were required, and not in a good way.

This sandwich gives you that juicy, beefy flavor without a ton of grease or guilt.  I know traditional gyros are made with lamb, but I love this flank steak version.  And I could eat the condiments for this completely on their own.  Enjoy!

Gyros (Makes about 4 sandwiches)


1 pound flank steak
½ teaspoon salt, divided
½ teaspoon garlic powder, divided
½ teaspoon black pepper, divided
½ peeled cucumber, shredded (about ¾ cup)
1 (5 ounce) container nonfat, plain Greek yogurt
½ cup chopped fresh dill, divided
3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
⅓ cup thinly sliced red onion
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 whole wheat flatbreads or pitas
2 roma tomatoes, sliced ¼ inch thick

1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

2. Sprinkle steak with ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon garlic powered, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Let meat rest and come to room temperature before grilling. Place on grill and cook for about 10 minutes, turning after 6 minutes. For medium-rare to medium, cook to 145 degrees. Let meat rest for 5 minutes off of grill. Slice diagonally against the grain into thin slices.

3. While meat is cooking, squeeze shredded cucumber between towels to remove excess moisture. Combine cucumber, yogurt, remaining salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Stir in 2 tablespoons of fresh dill and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.

4. Toss onion, oil, remaining lemon juice, and remaining dill together. Let sit for at least 10 minutes.

5. Divide steak evenly between pitas, topping with cucumber sauce, onion, and sliced tomatoes.

Nutritional Information (Amount per Sandwich):

Calories: 313
Protein: 32 g
Fat: 12 g
Saturated Fat: 4 g
Cholesterol: 80 mg
Carbohydrates: 21 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 499 mg

Recipe Notes: I forgot to buy gas for my outdoor grill and do not own a grill pan. I cooked the steak on a griddle set at about 350-400. Even if you are normally a well-done kind of person with steak, flank steak is not the time for well done. A solid medium is as far as I would take it, otherwise it gets VERY tough and chewy. Don’t be afraid of the fresh dill. It is not my favorite herb, and I usually find it overpowering. In here, it is just delightful. Promise.

Recipe source: only slightly adapted from Cooking Light


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Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches

It’s National Vegetarian Week. While I’m not a vegetarian, I definitely see the health and financial benefits of following the diet. My family follows a flexitarian diet: mostly vegetarian meals but meat occasionally. We all know that fruits and veggies are good for us. But since drastically reducing our meat intake, our food budget has also been helped a lot.

However, this weekend is Memorial Day and the opening of grilling season. Hot of the grill burgers, ribs, steaks, and just about any other meat are delicious. But grilled veggies can be amazing, too. I loved this grilled eggplant sandwich. Very filling and satisfying, and I felt good after eating it. Even my carnivore husband was raving about the peanut butter sauce. If you are more of a carnivore, the toppings for this sandwich would be good on a burger, too.

Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches (serves 4-5)


1/2 cup white or rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups julienne carrots
1/3 cup chopped green onions, divided
1 medium eggplant
1 small onion, sliced
1 jalapeño pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
dash sriracha
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
1 loaf whole wheat French bread, cut in half horizontally
1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
1 cup fresh cilantro

1. Combine vinegar, sugar, salt, carrots, and about 2 tablespoons of green onions in a small bowl. Stir until sugar dissolves. Let stand for at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain liquid before using.

2. Heat a grill to medium-high heat. Cut eggplant lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices. Brush eggplant slices, onion slices, and jalapeno with canola oil. Grill eggplant and onions for 7 minutes, or until tender, turning once. Rotate jalapeno 4 times during grilling, turning when skin begins to char.

3. Combine peanut butter, remaining green onions, ginger, soy sauce, sriracha, garlic, and lime juice in a bowl. Stir well to combine.

4. Hollow out bottom half of bread. Place bread on grill, cooking until golden brown.

5. Spread peanut butter sauce over bottom half of bread. Arrange eggplant, grilled onions, cucumber, and carrots on bread. Slice grilled jalapeno. Sprinkle jalapeno slices and cilantro over top. Place top half of bread on sandwich. Cut into 4-5 equal pieces.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving with 4 servings):

Calories: 582
Protein: 17 g
Fat: 22 g
Saturated Fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 84 g
Fiber: 15 g
Sodium: 777 mg

Recipe Notes: I left my carrots in the vinegar mixture about 20 minutes. When I do it again, I will leave them a little longer. I would have preferred them a little softer and a little more “pickled”. If you want them super crunchy or not very acidic, then shorter is better. We like spicy food. If you are worried about heat, you could omit the sriracha or put less jalapeno on the sandwich. I made lengthwise slices of cucumber to mimic the eggplant slices, but regular slices would work, too.

Source: adapted from Cooking Light

Low-iodine adjustment:  Use non-iodized salt.  Use salt free peanut butter.  Eliminate the soy sauce and sriracha, adding water to thin out the peanut butter sauce as needed.

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Philly Cheesesteaks

Having never been to Philadelphia, I can’t vouch for the authenticity of these sandwiches.  But I can tell you they are delicious.  Even better, they are easy and fun to make.  My husband always helps me make these, because he thinks slicing the meat is pretty neat.

I usually buy whole-wheat hoagie rolls for these sandwiches.  I made some whole wheat french bread rolls this time.  They got a lot bigger than I expected in the second rise, so the sandwich looks huge in this picture.  The amount of filling is the right amount for four sandwiches, but there is a lot more bread than for a normal hoagie roll.

Philly Cheesesteaks (Serves 4)


1 lb top round steak
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 bell peppers, sliced
1 onion, sliced
6 ounces of provolone cheese, sliced
4 whole wheat sandwich rolls

1. Slice steak into 1 inch strips. Place in a freezer bag and put in freezer for at least 1 hour.

2. Place largest slicing disk on food processor. Feed frozen steak strips through food processor. You should have small slices and some shaved pieces of meat.

3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add sliced peppers, cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add sliced onion. Cook for about 5 minutes more, or until vegetables are mostly tender.

4. Add steak and cook until no longer pink, about 3 minutes or so. Place slices of cheese over the top of the meat/vegetable mixture to evenly distribute. Cover pan, and cook until cheese melts. Serve in sandwich rolls.

Nutritional Information (Amount per sandwich):

Calories: 501
Protein: 44 g
Fat: 20 g
Saturated Fat: 9 g
Cholesterol: 101 mg
Carbohydrates: 39 g
Fiber: 6 g
Sodium: 775 mg

Recipe Notes: If you can’t find top round steak, I have used flank steak as well. It isn’t as lean, so do try to find the top round. When freezing the meat, you want a good balance of being frozen but not rock solid. If it is too frozen, the slicing blade can have a hard time with it. If you don’t have a food processor, no problem– just try to slice the steak as thinly as possible before cooking it.  You’ll likely have to cook the meat a little longer, too.  When I buy provolone, it comes in 1.5 ounce slices, so I use 4 slices. If yours comes in 1 ounce slices, you could decrease the cheese to just 4 slices. This would save you calories, fat, and sodium. But, it is a cheesesteak, so don’t be too hard on yourself.

I know the nutrition facts don’t look that great for this sandwich. But here is a commercial cheesesteaks nutrition facts:

Calories: 760 calories
Protein: 57 g
Fat: 32 g
Saturated Fat: 17 g
Cholesterol: 145 mg
Carbohydrates: 65 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sodium: 2500 mg

Source:  Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

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