Friday, September 9, 2011

Vegetarian Sandwich with Portabello Mushroom, Squash and Avocado

So delicious and good for you! 
Wouldn't you know some of the best ideas come when I get my crazy ass OUT of the kitchen. A few nights ago I asked healthy boyfriend to make dinner, because as much as I love to cook for him, sometimes I just want to sit down, read some YA fiction and drink a beer after work.

This particular evening I went running, which I'm very half-assedily trying to get back into, and I knew after my first run in months I would have cranky sore britches when I was done. So healthy boyfriend offered to prepare dinner, and I happily agreed.

Often when he makes dinner it's very simple and vegetable heavy. Which can be refreshing, but I do complain about the blandness of flavor. Of course when all I want is food, I try to keep my mouth shut about the particulars because someone making me food is always appreciated.
This time healthy boyfriend knocked my apron right off! Not literally, that was later. Me. Ooow.  Fa reals though; The ingredients and preparation was easy. The taste: SO. FREAKIN. YUMMY!

Sandwiches are one of my big weakness when trying to eat vegetarian. When I see club sandwich on a menu, my mouth begins to water. Turkey, ham, salami, OH the meats that make me forget the environment, animal cruelty, all my morals just for a delicious smoked turkey and havarti with a homemade aioli. Hopefully I can use this creation and others to curb the insatiable appetite I have for meat sandwiches. Huh huh....meat sandwiches.....dirty.... AND focus.

I tried not to add much additional flavor/spices to the vegetables, wanting to let their innate flavor shine. A little garlic for the zucchini and just a splash of balsamic to the mushrooms. I don't like when balsamic vinaigrette overpowers the flavor of a vegetable which is why I did not marinate the mushrooms, just splashed a little on to add a brightness to the already delicious taste of portobello mushrooms.

In the pictures, I cut the squash all wrong. Mind farts happen in the kitchen, so I just cooked them anyway. Cut the squash in thin strips because they lay better on the sandwich that way. Also be creative with your vegetables, these are suggestions, but use what you have. I do think the combo is dyNAmite, so if you can try this way first before tinkering with other ingredients. Obviously this doesn't really keep, so serve immediately.

Vegetarian Sandwich with Portobello Mushroom, Squash and Avocado

The Goods: Makes 2 sandwiches
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter or Earth balance
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2-3 small garlic cloves, minced
1 ripe haas avocado, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
1 medium onion, diced
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 small yellow squash, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 portobello mushroom, cut into half inch slices
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Mayonnaise or Vegennaise
4 slices whole wheat bread
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)

The Deal: 
1. Caramelize ya onions. Place butter in a medium saute pan on medium high heat. Once butter is melted, add onions and stir to evenly coat. Saute stirring frequently until the onions begin to lightly brown 8-10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and saute, stirring occasionally, reducing heat if they begin to burn.

2. Once your onions are close to being done, begin cooking the rest of the ingredients. On medium heat place 1 tablespoon of olive oil and garlic in a medium saute pan. Cook until garlic starts to smell delicious, about one minute, then add your squash, green and yellow. Saute on each side, stirring frequently, until browed about 6-8 minutes.
wrong cut, right colors :)
3. At the same time heat the remaining olive oil on medium heat in a small saute pan and add the mushrooms. Coat in oil then add a splash of balsamic vinaigrette and stir to coat. Saute, stirring frequently until a fork is easily inserted, about 6-8 minutes.

4. While your vegetables are cooking, toast your bread and spread mayo on the hot bread. If using sesame seeds sprinkle on squash a minute before you remove from heat.

5. Once all your vegetables are cooked, assemble your sandwich in this order: squash, avocados, portabello mushrooms, caramelized onions, and feta. Top it off with the second slice of bread and enjoy a healthy vegetarian sandwich that even meat eaters would love.

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