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living on the veg

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I didn’t always like vegetables.  My tastes have definitely changed in the last several years.  Some of my favorites—peppers, squash, mushrooms—those would have never passed my lips back in the day.  But when I discovered, hey, I actually like veggies, it was like a new world had opened to me.  And thank God, because without them, this life-changing sandwich wouldn’t exist.DSC07912

Ok, maybe it’s not life-changing, but it’s pretty damn good.  And even better—on Weight Watchers, it’s about 8 points!  I had a ton of broccoli on the side and was even able to have a small glass of a delicious dark beer.

This whole sandwich came to be when I discovered these foccacia rolls at Sam’s Club for a really good price.  They make up the bulk of this sandwich as far as points go, but the bread is really amazing.  In addition to some sort of roll, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Goat cheese
  • Pesto

You can really use any veggies of your choosing, but this is a combination I find to work pretty well.  As for the cheese, you can also use feta, but goat cheese is pretty spreadable so it tends to hold together a little better.

I start by slice the squash and zucchini on the bias, making them all about the same size.  Toss them together with the balsamic vinegar (about a quarter to a half cup?  It depends on how many sandwiches you were making; we had one each for the three of us).  Spray a large skillet and heat over med-high heat.  Pour the veggies and the vinegar in and cook until al dente—you want them to have a little bit of a bite—adding the mushrooms right at the end.

Spread about 1/8 cup (1/2 ounce) of goat cheese over the top half of a sliced roll, then layer on about 1/2-1 tbsp pesto on top.  Layer the marinated veggies on the bottom half of the roll, topping with jarred roasted red peppers (like in the top picture).  Carefully close the sandwich.

I used a George Foreman grill for the next part, but you could easy smush the sandwich by toasting it in a large pan, weighting it down with a cast-iron skillet.

And then you’re done!  Cut the sandwich on a diagonal and enjoy!DSC07921

I had half a glass of this rich and delicious treat:

DSC07920Do you make homemade panini?  What’s your favorite combination?  Up next, I want to do a tomato/mozzarella like they have at Panera Bread—my favorite!


2 responses »

  1. Tom yum paste + grated emmental = best panini ever! The paste is spicy and sour, while the cheese is sweet and nutty.

  2. Roasted red peppers are my faaaavorite. Actually, everything on that sandwich looks good to me, which is saying a lot since I didn’t used to like veggies so much either. I’m going to have to hit up Sam’s for those foccacia rolls!


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