Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Kitchen Therapy

If I'm stressed out over something, I go to the kitchen. If I'm sad, if I'm anxious, if I'm cranky or mad, I do the same thing: I go to the kitchen. The easiest way to guage my mood is to come into my kitchen and see how many different recipes I have laid out on the counter. My moodiness greatly contributes to the happiness of my husband, my son and my mother, all of whom are required to eat up so that I can make room in the fridge for more leftovers.

We have been slapped with some heavy financial burdens recently, and I nearly fell apart last night when the latest disaster exploded in the form of our tax return. The day started off badly enough with an email that my friend's father had died. By the time I added together our monthly budget shortfall (which has #*%&^ increased lately), I had completely lost my appetite, so much so that I couldn't even eat my nightly square of espresso dark chocolate (and thats saying a lot).

Early this morning, I gave up and went to the kitchen. There aren't very many recipes that are conducive to being worked on at seven in the morning, but I have been carrying around a recipe for a veggie sandwich for a few weeks and I have been dying to try it. My Carnivorous husband is very open to eating vegetarian dishes, but this particular sandwich seemed too light to suffice for a filling-enough supper.

I've had a fun time recently bringing leftovers to my mother, so I decided this morning to prep the ingredients for this sandwich so that I could bring everything to my mother's house to assemble for our lunch. I pulled the recipe from a recent AJC Food Section, where it was included in an article on the now-defunct Good Ole Days restaurant in Atlanta, somewhere I never had the pleasure of eating. Actually, considering I only eat out around 3 or 4 times a year, my restaurant repertoire is fairly limited.

Happily, my sister Cristy was over at lunchtime as well, so I had the pleasure of serving the sandwiches for the three of us. Out of my vast collection of siblings, Cristy is probably the most culinarily adventurous (and the only one besides me who doesn't eat red meat or chicken). The praise I received for this meal did a lot to improve my mood.

GOOD OLE DAYS SANDWICH, adapted by Sarah of course (makes 3 sandwiches)
  • 1/4 cup shredded sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/4 cup shredded sweet potato
  • 6 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 oz shredded swiss cheese
  • 6 slices whole wheat bread
  • shredded lettuce
  • 1/2 can mung bean sprouts
  1. Combine the onion, carrot and sweet potato in a freezer-proof container and freeze for an hour or more. Remove from freezer and thaw completely.
  2. Divide the thawed vegetables over three slices of bread.
  3. Top with cheddar and then swiss.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 3 to 5 minutes (also bake remaining three pieces of bread at same time).
  5. Top melted cheese with lettuce and bean sprouts, and top with remaining bread.
  6. Serve warm.
I busted my food processor this weekend and thus found it to be a mongo pain in my butt to shred the vegetables on a hand-held cheese grater (especially the carrot - ever tried to shred a skinny little carrot without shredding your hand with it?). 'Twas worth the trouble.

The brilliance of this recipe is that you can make a big batch of the veggies ahead of time and pull them from the freezer as needed. As a matter of fact, the ingredients all travel well, enough so that everything could be thrown into sandwich bags and taken to work, where the sandwich could be assembled and popped into a small toaster oven for a few minutes. The fiber and protein combo make for a great midday energy boost.

1 comment:

LisaBW said...

Hi there! I am new to you blog but find it fascinating! I am enjoying your stories and your recipes. This one sounds good and different. It's going on my list. Have a wonderful weekend!