Make Healthy Lunches Exciting with These Chickpea Sandwiches

Hello Lovely,

I've never been one to carry sandwiches or brown bag it for lunch. I always carried leftover dinners or something really heavy like pasta with fish or other veggies. This was usually because I never thought a sandwich would fill me (nevermind the occasional run to McDonalds for their McFish). But these easy chickpea salad sandwiches will definitely shake things up a bit and keep you full all day long! This creamy chickpea salad can be made in advance and stored in the fridge, so its ready to go whenever you need to pack a quick lunch. This really came in handy on Saturday because I never seem to have enough time to make something to eat before heading out to Praise and Worship practice at my church.

The salad is also really easy to customise so feel free to use whatever veggies you have in the fridge and add fresh herbs, spices, cheese and whatever else you need to see you through the work week.

Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

Ingredients

·                  1 can chickpeas (I used Progresso gluten-free)

·                  1 tablespoon mayonnaise or vegan alternative

·                  3 tablespoons corn kernels

·        1 tablespoon diced green onions

·                  8 slices bread

·                  Other sandwich fillings (I used garlic and pepper seasoning, white cheddar cheese, tomatoes, and green onions)

Directions

1. Roughly mash the chickpeas (I used my food processor and almost made hummus by accident). Add the mayonnaise and a pinch of your seasoning.

2. Chop the vegetables fairly small and add them to the chickpea mixture. Mix well to combine. I added my tomatoes and green onions at this point.

3. Serve the chickpea salad in between slices of bread with additional sandwich fillings if desired.

And that's all there is to it! A delicious, healthy sandwich filling in just a few minutes. And remember, you can adapt the ingredients however you choose so every batch feels different. No more boring lunches here!

What's your favourite sandwich filing? Share your ideas below and with me on Twitter @lifebyolivia!

IF YOU LIKE THIS, YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS THESE APPETIZERS AND LIGHT MEALS

Vegan Spinach & Mushroom Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Asian-Inspired CousCous Nugggets

Crab Rangoons

Apple Orchard Panini

Hello Lovely,

Every now and then I need a change of scenery with my meals. I recently gave up rice, and while I fell off the wagon a few times, (I really don’t care for rice, but I wasn't about to starve) I am determined to eat better as much as possible. After all, with my vacation coming up in two weeks, my six pack won’t grow itself (but it would be so cool if it would).

So this morning, I made this awesome sandwich for lunch in less than thirty minutes. I even had time to throw in some kale chips to go along with it, which I’m sure is a better alternative to fries. I don’t have a Panini maker, so I used my waffle iron, which gives it the same effect more or less, so don’t feel as if you can’t make this sandwich if you lack the equipment. I made so many substitutions but included the original recipe from Iowa Girl Eats for you.

Apple Orchard Panini


Ingredients

·         Italian bread or Ciabatta buns (I used regular bread)

·         Extra virgin olive oil

·         Apple butter (I used peanut butter)

·         Roasted deli turkey

·         Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced

·         Brie cheese, sliced (I used white cheddar)

Directions

1.      Preheat panini maker to medium-high (I used my waffle iron; gives you the same effect more or less). Brush one side of 2 slices of bread with extra virgin olive oil. Turn slices over then spread apple butter generously on both slices. Layer on turkey, apple slices, and Brie cheese then place other side of bread on top. Place in panini maker (alternatively, cook the sandwich in a skillet on the stove-top) until golden brown and crispy. Allow to rest for 2 minutes then slice with a serrated knife. I served mine with kale chips that I made in the microwave, which is super easy to make. Simple drizzle handfuls of kale leaves with olive oil and salt on a plate so that they're not overlapping, and microwave on high for 2 1/2 minutes so it's nice and crunchy!

Enjoy!

How do you like to enjoy your deli sandwiches? What are your must have ingredients? Share with us in the comment section below!

XoX,

 

 

 

Thug Kitchen: BBQ Bean Burritos with Grilled Peach Salsa

Recovering  from a slight flu/cold left me with not much energy or appetite. But today I decided that even if I had to force myself to eat, I would eat well. And that meant trying a new recipe from my Thug Kitchen cookbook.

If you still don't know what Thug Kitchen is all about, Thug’s foul-mouthed food lovers want you to talk dirty, eat clean. No more microwave and no more processed crap. Just healthy, simple, affordable food, made from scratch. It's all meant to be vegan (something I didn't know when I made that Morrocan Spiced Couscous with Honey Glazed Chicken. The added chicken really was more for my boyfriend who will probably be a meat eater until he dies (no further comment). So after that I went through the cookbook and bookmarked all of the other recipes that I would eventually give a try.

I had this one bookmarked for awhile and completely forgot about it. (I actually forgot about the book entirely). I was happy to see that I had all (or at least most) of the ingredients needed. I substituted for whatever I didn't feel like using (like the peppers, cause I'm deathly allergic). I also used less ingredients because I only wanted to make enough for me. So I used two super tiny peaches, for the peach salsa and probably only about 1/3 cup of beans. I also accidentally pureed the beans with everything else, but either way, I'm still gonna be eating it! I didn't get a chance to take a picture of mine, so I just used the photo from the Thug Kitchen cookbook. I assure you, mine looked exactly the same, except for the lack of visible beans, the avocado (because they're not quite in season yet) and my rice was white rice, not Spanish (but I swear I'm not racist, LOL).

BBQ BEAN BURRITOS WITH

GRILLED PEACH SALSA 

Makes 6 big-ass burritos

From: Thug Kitchen


INGREDIENTS


BBQ Beans

  • ½ yellow or white onion, chopped

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce* plus 1 tablespoon of the sauce

  • ¼ cup vegetable broth or water

  • 2 tablespoons orange juice

  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon molasses

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari

  • 3 cups cooked pinto beans**

Burrito Stuff

  • 6 burrito-size flour tortillas

  • Spanish Rice

  • Shredded lettuce

  • Grilled Peach Salsa (see below)

  • Sliced avocado


INSTRUCTIONS

  • First, make the BBQ beans: Throw the onion, tomato paste, garlic, chipotle peppers and sauce, broth, OJ, brown sugar, molasses, and soy sauce in a food processor or blender and run that fucker until a smooth sauce forms. Pour that into a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, fold in the beans, and simmer until everything is warm and the beans absorb all that flavor, 5 to 10 minutes.

  • To make the burritos: Grab your tortilla and pile in a scoop of the beans, some rice, and a handful of lettuce and top with the peach salsa and some avocado. (Using foil paper when rolling your burrito actually helps to keep the shape and keep all of the ingreients inside). Serve right away because burritos wait for no motherfucker. (Seriously, it'll get soggy, if left for too long).

* These smoked peppers come packed in sauce and are sold in a tiny can at most stores near the salsa and beans. 

** Two 15-ounce cans if you aren't cooking this shit yourself


GRILLED PEACH SALSA

This salsa lets people know you aren’t fucking around with your snack spread. The perfect combo between savory and sweet, this is one salsa that makes it hard to not double-dip.
Makes enough for 4 to 6, about 3 1⁄2 cups

From: Thug Kitchen

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 peaches (about 3 pounds)

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon oil*

  • 1 to 2 serrano peppers, minced

  • 1⁄2 medium red onion, chopped (about 2⁄3 cup)

  • 1 medium tomato, chopped

  • Juice of 2 limes (about 1⁄4 cup)

  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt

  • Handful of cilantro

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Cut the peaches into wedges no thicker than an inch. You can leave the skin on because everybody needs more fiber in their motherfucking diet. You should get around 12 wedges out of each peach. Throw the cut-up peaches in a large bowl with the oil and mix them all together.

  • Bring your grill to a medium-high heat. Place the peaches on there for 45 seconds or so on each side. You don’t need to cook them; you just want some char marks on there because that looks pro as fuck. Grilling the peaches also caramelizes their natural sugars, making them sweeter.

  • When the all peaches are grilled, let them cool for a couple minutes while you chop everything else up. When the peaches have cooled enough to handle, chop them up into salsa-appropriate-size pieces and then mix everything together. Let this all chill together for at least 30 minutes and then serve.

Breakfast Patty Melt

Hola! Qué Pasa? Adivina qué?

 

Hoy es Cinco de Mayo! And while I am a little sad that I won't have one of my regular drinking buddies with me, I will find someone to go with me and have a few drinks after work today!

So it's Tuesday and it's STILL RAINING! My boyfriend in Miami says it's still raining there as well so at least it's not just us. It was actually him who reminded me that yesterday was Star Wars day. Between that and his motivation, yesterday turned out to be a pretty good day for me, as I was motivated to get back into the kitchen. That's where this beast of a breakfast sandwich comes in!

(No it's not McDonalds. It's better! Say hello to the beautiful love child of a breakfast sandwich and a patty melt)

(No it's not McDonalds. It's better! Say hello to the beautiful love child of a breakfast sandwich and a patty melt)

Now I may be lactose intolerant....but if there is one thing I cannot live without, it's CHEESE! I have been known to say in the past, that it is not a sandwich, unless there's cheese on it. And boy does this sandwich have cheese on it. Three slices to be exact. Three slices of cholesterol filled, stomach upsetting, cheesey goodness! And I used cheddar, so imagine if I had other types of cheese at my disposal. I think I might actually stop the world if I do. I can't handle that much power! If you think you can, stick around for this mouth-watering recipe after the jump!

 

Breakfast Patty Melt

Ingredients:

  • 1 English Muffin

  • 1 Veggie Burger

  • 3 slices cheddar cheese (doesn't have to be pre-sliced cheese)

  • 1 slice eggplant

  • 1 egg white fried

  • Seasoning for taste

  • Fruit for decoration (optional)

Directions

  1. Start by frying your egg white on low heat in a lightly greased skillet (I used cooking spray). Season lightly for flavour (I used garlic and pepper and italian seasonings). While this cooks, heat up a frozen veggie patty in the microwave (I used Morning Star Farms Garden Veggie Patty).

  2. You can assemble the sandwich as you fry, so place one slice on cheese on the bottom bun of the English muffin, then place the veggie patty on top. Then place a slightly smaller slice of cheese on top of that (this is gonna get cheesey). 

  3. While assembling, fry your eggplant slice in the skillet and season to your taste (I used the same seasonings). Add the egg whites and eggplant followed by (you guess it) your last slice of cheese. Top with top bun.

  4. But wait, there's more! On low heat, grease your skillet with about 2 tablespoons of butter. That's right, butter. This stopped being healthy around the second slice of cheese. Before the butter completely melts in the skillet place the entire sandwich in the skillet. Let it absorb that butterey goodness! When the bottom is golden, crispy brown, flip the sandwich carefully (adding more butter to the pan for the top bun) and continue to cook until the cheese is melted and perilously close to running out of the sandwich and into the next county.

  5. Serve with your favourite juice and a side of fruit if you're feeling guilty about all of that butter.

Rise and shine, it's breakfast time folks!

XoX,

Olivia

Vegan Spinach & Mushroom Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Hi friends!

Today marks the beginning of an exercise journey that I can't guarantee will last, but I will definitely try my best, given my television schedule. I mean Bates Motel is now back on Mondays, Pretty Little Liars and Switched at Birth are almost done on Tuesdays, Empire is almost done on Wednesdays and Amazing Race returned on Fridays. Let's not forget the blazing heat that has already returned and spring hasn't officially sprung yet!

So as a light snack, I decided to make one of my personal favourites, a grilled cheese sandwich. I guess you can say I'm getting a head start on National Grilled Cheese Month, which is next month. Can you believe that grilled cheese is so awesome, it gets its own month?! But even better, than a traditional girlled cheese, I added a cool, filling twist. Trust me, this is not your mama's grilled cheese! It's fresh, fun and cheesy! It's a great combination of flavours. Imagine a spinach dip between two buttery slices of bread. Absolute bliss!

So I'm celebrating the start of my workout regimen with a sandwich. Grilled. With cheese. A lot of cheese.

SPINACH & MUSHROOM GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices whole wheat bread

  • 2 slices veggie mozzarella cheese

  • 2 medium mushrooms, diced

  • 1 tbsp margarine

  • 1 tbsp hollandaise sauce

  • 1 tsp garlic and pepper seasoning

  • 1 handful fresh spinach

Directions:

  1. Spray skillet with non-stick spray. Sautee mushrooms in non-stick skillet with garlic and pepper seasoning.

  2. Assemble sandwich (bottom layer cheese, then spinach, then the other slice of cheese, topped with mushrooms and drizzle hollandaise sauce over the inside of the sandwich).

  3. Cut the amount of margarine in half and coat the pan with half.

  4. Place the sandwich in the pan over the last bit of margarine before it completely melts.

  5. With the fire on medium, cover the pan and allow the cheese to melt.

  6. Cook and flip the sandwich until golden.

  7. Remove from heat and serve immediately.  

Grilled Mushroom Eggplant and Tilapia Pressed Picnic Sandwich with Seasoned Squash Fries

Okay people. I've had a revelation. 

I love myself. And because I love myself, I should treat myself. So I did. With this recipe. As you know, my family isn't as health concious as I am. This is both good and bad. It's good because when I make super cool recipes like this, I only have to make enough servings for myself. The bad part is, the groceries required for the recipes lands completely on me and I don't really have anyone to share it with. Except you guys! I know you can't taste it, but at least you get to look at the pretty pictures right?

On Sunday, while both Skyping with a college friend and strolling through Tumblr, I was inspired to try three new recipes, of which I hope to conquer this week! So I hit up the grocery store yesterday, and when I got home last night I got busy!

This weather is perfect for cooking and baking. 

*Little secret* I sometimes get flustered when in the kitchen* So now that the weather is cool, I'm not "losing my cool" so to speak, when cooking. And that's great for everyone within throwing distance! (I'm kidding, I don't throw anything).

Oh right, back to the recipe!

So today, I present to you a super easy, healthy and delicious new recipe! This sandwich is filled with nutrition and lots of hidden flavour. Because the secret ingredient, is Pesto! Feel free to play around with the other seasonings, and if you can, swap out some items to make this recipe completely vegan! The best part about this recipe is that it's also a make ahead recipe. You can make this the night before to avoid the rush in the morning. Store it in a zip tight freezer bag in your fridge until morning, and just heat up when it's time for lunch!

 

Grilled Mushroom Eggplant and Tilapia Pressed Picnic Sandwich with Seasoned Squash Fries

 

(Serves 1)

Ingredients:

1 Hoagie pre-sliced bread bun

2 Tilapia fillets (defrosted)

1 slice vegan mozarella cheese

2 slices tomato

2 slices grilled eggplant

1/3 cup grilled mushrooms

1 small yellow squash (sliced into thin strips)

1/2 cup mixed greens

2 tablespoons pesto

1 tablespoon lime juice

 

Directions:

  1. Season the Tilapia. This is where you can get creative. I used fine herbs seasoning. What that is a mixture of, is beyond me, but it's pretty useful when you don't want to search for the perfect blend.

  2. Coat the skillet in an even layer of non-stick spray.

  3. On medium heat, grill the fish (one at a time), cooking evenly on both sides. When cooking the last fillet, throw in the mushrooms and let them cook at the same time. Toss the mushrooms regualrly to avoid burning. Pour the lime juice over the fish when it's almost done cooking.

  4. To season your "fries", again you can get creative. I used parmesan bread crumbs mixed with Italian Seasoning. Once your fries are seasoned, lightly fry them just as you did the fish and mushrooms.

  5. Assemble your sandwich with the fries on the side. Lightly drizzle the pesto on top and serve!