Picture
Today's featured recipe is a hearty and delicious sandwich for two.  It is packed with so many great flavors within the crisp, grilled vegetables that even a meat lover won't miss the meat.  

Grilled Vegetable Sandwich
Total Time: 20 minutes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes


What you'll need
1 red bell pepper, halved, stems and seeds removed
1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick strips
1 yellow squash, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thich-strips
1/4 red onion, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
3/4 fresh multi grain bread loaf, sliced in half lengthwise 
1/2 cup basil pesto
2 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, pressed with a garlic press
salt and pepper

Directions
1. Brush grill grate with oil.  Preheat grill to medium-high heat. 
2. Combine oil, garlic and a little bit of salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl. 
3. Brush peppers, zucchini, squash, onions and cut sides of bread with seasoned oil.

4. Grill vegetables until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
5. Grill bread until toasted, about 1-2 minutes on each side. 
6. Spread pesto on one cut side of the bread.  Apply onion rings over the pesto. 
7. Continue to stack the sandwich with squash, zucchini, red pepper and mozzarella. 
8. Top with the remaining side of the bread loaf. Cut loaf in half.  Serve and enjoy!
*Note -- this sandwich is bread heavy.  Therefore, I'd recommend either using a less dense bread loaf, such as ciabatta, or if you want to use whole grain bread only using one half and making it an open faced sandwich.  

Recipe adapted from Cuisine Tonight Quick & Easy Italian Magazine
Picture
The leftovers
I used the leftover bread loaf to create a bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich the next morning.

What you'll need
1/4 bread loaf, sliced in half lengthwise
2 eggs
3 slices bacon
1 slice of cheese
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper

Directions
1. In a medium skillet, cook bacon according to package directions. 
2. In a separate large skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  
3. Crack open eggs and pour into skillet. Be careful not to let the eggs run together. Let eggs fry until the inner egg white is no longer runny. 

4. Flip eggs over.  If you want the egg yolk to remain runny, only fry for 1 to 2 minutes.  If you like the egg yolk fully cooked, let it fry for about 5 minutes. 
5. While the eggs and bacon are cooking, place cheese slice on one half of the bread loaf.  Broil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted. 
6. Add eggs and bacon over the melted cheese.  Season with salt and pepper. 
7. Add the top layer of bread.  Slice in half.  Serve and enjoy!
 
 
Just saying the name Sloppy Joe reminds me of being a kid.  And while I haven't had a Sloppy Joe Sandwich since I was a kid, when I took my first bite, it was like we had never parted ways.  It seems that whether you enjoy a Sloppy Joe as  a child surrounded by friends or as an adult with your plus one, you'll never be disappointed by this family classic. 

Sloppy Joes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes

What you'll need
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
7 ounces ketchup 
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup water
2 hamburger buns

Directions
1. Brown meat, green pepper and onion in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. 
2. Add ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and water.  Mix well.  Let simmer for at least 30 minutes. 
3. Scoop sloppy joe mixture onto a hamburger bun.  I like to serve them with baked ruffles, as the ruffles make a great dipper for any leftover sloppy joe mixture.  Enjoy!
 
 
Picture
Is it a salad, is it a sandwich or is it a burger?  Well, it's kind of all three.  Today's recipe for two has the flavor of a Caprese salad, the bread of a burger and the orientation of a sandwich.  And all together these elements create one delicious Open Faced Chicken Caprese Sandwich. 

*Note -- if you don't mind the extra calories or carbohydrates feel free to close this sandwich up and put a bun on top too.  Whether it's open or closed, you'll love this sandwich!  


Open Faced Chicken Caprese Sandwich
Total Time: 50 minutes 
Prep: 35 minutes (30 minutes to marinate)
Cook: 15-20 minutes

What you'll need
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tomato slices
2 slices fresh mozzarella 
1 hamburger bun 
2 fresh basil leaves 
salt and pepper

Marinade
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, pressed with a garlic press
salt and pepper

Directions
1. Mix together the ingredients for the marinade.  Coat the chicken cutlets in the marinade.  Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. 
2. Cook chicken in a skillet or on the grill. 
3. Cut open the hamburger bun and place each half on a baking sheet covered in foil.  Layer the chicken, tomato and mozzarella over each bun half.  Season with salt and pepper. 

4. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes (I'd recommend keeping a careful eye on the sandwich as it broils, as it will cook quickly).  As soon as the cheese is melted and the bun is lightly toasted, carefully remove the sandwiches from the oven. 
5. Garnish with a fresh basil leaf.  Serve and enjoy!
 
 
Picture
Today's featured recipe for two literally offers layers upon layers of  intense flavors.  And I'm not sure which flavor I love more, the taste of the spiced chicken, the fresh guacamole or the crunch from the crisp bacon.  All I know is together these elements create one fantastic sandwich!

I'll be serving the Mexican Club Sandwich with a side of Guacamole and Chips.  It's a simple side dish, but it works well with the complex sandwich.

I start making tonight's dinner by mixing together the guacamole. 

What you’ll need
 1 avocado, halved, seeded and peeled
 1/2 tomato, diced
 2 tablespoons sweet onion, diced
 2 cloves garlic, chopped
 1/4 lime, juiced
 salt and pepper
tortilla chips (for dipping later)

Directions
  1. Scoop avocado into a small mixing bowl.  Be sure to set the seed aside.
  2. Using a fork or potato masher firmly mash the avocado until you reach your desired consistency.
  3. Add in tomato, garlic and onion.  Mix well. 
  4. Squeeze lime juice over guacamole mixture.  Season with salt and pepper. 
  5. Put the avocado seed in the center of the bowl to prevent the guacamole from turning brown.  Cover the bowl with saran wrap and place in the refridgerator to chill until you are ready to serve.  

* Tip -- if you’d like to spice up your guacamole you can mix in half of a chopped jalapeño pepper.  If you do add in the jalapeño, I'd then replace the lime juice with orange juice.
Now, it's time to get started on the sandwich!

Mexican Club Sandwich
Total Time: 30 minutes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes

What you'll need
3 flour tortilla shells
3 strips bacon
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
1 chicken breast
3 tablespoons taco seasoning 
3 slices pepper Jack cheese
1/2 tomato, sliced
1/2 bell pepper, diced (I used 3 mini sweet peppers instead, since I will be using more mini sweet peppers later in the week)
4 tablespoons salsa
2 tablespoons guacamole
1 tablespoon olive oil 

Directions
1. Preheat broiler to high. 
2. Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Remove bacon from skillet and set bacon aside. 
3. Season chicken with taco seasoning and cook over medium heat in a greased skillet, about 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  Let chicken cool slightly.  Cut into strips. 
4. Brush both sides of the tortillas with a little bit of olive oil.  Transfer shells to a baking sheet.  Broil until they begin to brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Flip shells over and broil until crisp, about 1 to 2 minutes more. 
5. For the first layer, top tortilla shell with 2 tablespoons of salsa, lettuce, cheese and chicken.
6. For the second layer, top the tortilla with guacamole, lettuce, peppers, bacon and tomato.
7. Spread 2 tablespoons of salsa over the third tortilla and place on top of the bacon and tomato layer, creating the top of the sandwich. 
8. Poke 4 toothpicks into the sandwich.  Cut into quarters between the toothpicks. 
9. Serve with a side of guacamole and chips.  Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Cuisine Tonight For Two Magazine
 
 
Picture
I can't say enough good things about grilled cheese sandwiches.  What's not to love about melted cheese pressed between crisp, buttery bread?  And what's even better than that, with a little creative thinking you'll find there is a lot more to a grilled cheese than, well, just cheese. 

With this in mind, I'm going to share my top 3 favorite grilled cheese recipes.  One is a bit more traditional, while the other two push the boundaries on the conventional cheesy sandwich many of us have grown up with. 

I'll start with the standard route. 

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Number 1: Classic Ham, Tomato and Cheddar Cheese
Total Time: 10 minutes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes

What you'll need
4 thick slices of fresh bread (your choice -- sourdough, french, tuscan etc.)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tomato diced
1 cup diced ham
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper

Directions
1. In a medium skillet melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter over medium heat.
2. Top bread with tomato, cheese and ham.  Season with salt and pepper.

Picture
3. Place the top of the bread loaf over the tomato, cheese and ham.  
4. Add both sandwiches to the skillet.  Turn heat down to low and cover. 
5. After about 2-3 minutes lift the sandwiches up with a spatula and check to see if the bottom side of the bread is golden brown.  Remove sandwiches from the pan when one side of the bread appears toasted and place on a side plate.  Add 1/2 tablespoon of butter to the skillet; melt.
6. Add sandwiches back to the skillet and brown the other side.  Remove from pan when the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted. 
7.  Slice and enjoy!
Picture
Grilled Cheese Sandwich Number 2: Mexi-cheese Sandwich
Total Time: 10 minutes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes

What you'll need
4 thick slices of fresh bread (your choice -- sourdough, french, etc.)
1 avocado, diced
3-4 tablespoons salsa
jack cheese, sliced
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper

Directions:
1. In a medium skillet melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter over medium heat.
2. Top bread with avocado, jack cheese and salsa.  Season with salt and pepper.
Picture
3. Place the top of the bread loaf over the avocado and jack cheese.  
4. Add both sandwiches to the skillet.  Turn heat down to low and cover. 
5. After about 2-3 minutes lift the sandwiches up with a spatula and check to see if the bottom side of the bread is golden brown.  Remove sandwiches from the pan when one side of the bread appears toasted and place on a side plate.  Add 1/2 tablespoon of butter to skillet; melt.
6. Add sandwiches back to the skillet and brown the other side.  Remove from pan when the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted. 
7.  Slice and enjoy!
Grilled Cheese Sandwich Number 3: "Capre-chessy" Sandwich 
Total Time: 10 minutes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes

What you'll need
4 thick slices of fresh bread (your choice -- sourdough, french, etc.)
1 cup fresh mozzarella, shredded or sliced
2-3 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper

Directions:
1. In a medium skillet melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter over medium heat.
2. Top bread with tomato, cheese and basil.  Season with salt and pepper.
Picture
3. Place the top of the bread loaf over the tomato, cheese and basil.  
4. Add both sandwiches to the skillet.  Turn heat down to low and cover. 
5. After about 2-3 minutes lift the sandwiches up with a spatula and check to see if the bottom side of the bread is golden brown.  Remove sandwiches from the pan when one side of the bread appears toasted and place on a side plate.  Add 1/2 tablespoon of butter to skillet; melt.
6. Add sandwiches back to the skillet and brown the other side.  Remove from pan when the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted. 
7.  Slice and enjoy!
Picture
Be sure to check back on Sunday for next week's complete dinner menu plan, which will include a grocery list of everything you'll need to cook along with me.  Have a great weekend everyone!