Thursday, January 7, 2010

My three food groups

Three of my favorite things:



(What are grapes doing in my veggie shot?!?!?! I'm ticked.)

Any combination of those three items are guaranteed to be a hit on my list.

So if you're like me and loooove bread, cheese and veggies - here are a few of my favorite things to do with them:

1. Veggie Pizza.

Go buy yourself a plain, ready to be baked, cheese pizza at your local grocery store. Do not buy a frozen pizza - because they suck. Now, go saute some onions and mushrooms until they're nice and golden brown. Add them to the top of the pizza along with lots of fresh spinach (no worries, it will wilt when you bake it), slices of tomatoes, some artichokes (if you have 'em), some olives (if you have 'em), and then crumble some feta cheese on top. Or subsititute the feta with a couple scoops of ricotta. I prefer feta for veggie pizzas, but understand feta is not everyone's bff.

Now that is some good pizza!

2. Veggie sandwich.

I make a mean, mean veggie sandwich. I've never ordered one from a deli or restaurant that is good as the one I make myself. Start with some high quality multigrain bread - preferably the kind where you can taste the texture of different types of grain. And since I'm not a big mayo fan - and don't think mustard is that great on veggie sandwiches - I make my own avocado spread since you still want something on the sandwich that keeps it from being dry. I do mine by mashing up some avocado, lime/lemon juice and a bit of salt and fresh cracked pepper until it makes a chunky paste. Smear that all over the bread. Then add havarti cheese, sliced tomatoes, sliced cucumber (I slice mine the long way so it fits better on the sandwich), thinly sliced red onion, some crisp lettuce (I like romaine for this application), and finally - and a must in my opinion - alfalfa sprouts. They give the sandwich a nice bite.

Poor alfalfa sprouts get such a bad rep.

Seriously, go make this sandwich pronto. You will freak because you'll end up spending $15 on ingredients - because let's face it, fresh veggies are expensive - but MAN is it good.And don't be a sissy and say... "Ew. I don't like red onion." or "Ew. I don't like sprouts." I hate when people do that because first off, they probably haven't even tried them, and secondly, different foods taste different in different combinations... and in different preparations. I PROMISE you'll like this sandwich. I risk my blogging credibility on it.

3. Grilled Pimento Cheese with Spinach and Tomato.

If you live in Raleigh and have been to Rockford, you probably know what I'm talking about. To my readers outside the south - you might not be familiar with pimento cheese.

First lesson - what you buy at the grocery store is NOT good pimento cheese - minus Fresh Market's version... which is wicked good. I might get hate mail for this - since I know it has some fans - but I think Stan's pimento cheese is sub-par, at best. Too much mayo. Beside, why buy half-good pimento cheese when it's so easy to make your own. You can look up tons of different recipes online, but my favorite combination includes sharp cheddar (either white or regular), red wine vinegar, a tiny tiny bit of mayo (just enough to bind the cheese), jarred pimentos, a tiny bit of celery salt, and a tiny bit of dry mustard. This is Molly's family recipe - and it is by far the best homemade pimento I've ever had. But by all means, find one that works for you.

So make you some pimento cheese. Then buy some rye bread (don't you know that different breads are better in certain applications?), add in the pimento cheese, a few thin slices of tomato, and lots of fresh spinach (you can saute it ahead of time, but usually once you grill it, it will wilt anyway). Or if you have a panini press, use that. Assemble your sandwich. Throw some butter in the pan and grill both sides until the cheese has started to melt a bit and the spinach is nice and wilty.

So there - that's like three recipes in one blog post! Please try at least one and report back to me.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this is amazing. I love your blog and am now a loyal follower. One of these days, when you have a minute, stop by my blog. I'd be honored to have you as a friend and/or follower! Keri (aka Sam)