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Vegetarian Sausage Roll with Avocado and Roasted Beets

If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m a fan of vegetarian sausage.  (Rather than insert a joke here, sausage recipe inserted instead).  Seriously though, it’s the one faux meat product that, in general, is consistently tasty.  It must be all the herbs/spices they pump in there, which renders it free of too many needed adjustments.  All you really have to do is finish it off with a few quality toppings, and vegetarian sausage suffices as a rather satisfying and easy meal.  And that’s without nearly the grease content of the meat-filled links.

For this meal, I called on roasted beets and avocado to spruce up the veg. links I had.  Beets are in full throttle at my CSA job, and I figured if I’m going to get my hands all red for the customers, I might as well continue tie-dying them for my own dinner.  The red roots make great sandwich toppers.  They add a soft, yet steaky component to the bread, with a sweet flavor that pairs perfectly with the savory sausage.  And I can never get enough avocado.  It’s a creamy addition that lends itself well to almost everything.  For an extra hit of flavor, whip up some cilantro guacamole to spread on the bread.  Serve with a side of salsa or hot sauce, and enjoy!

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Roasted Veggie Sandwich

I’ve never been eggplant’s biggest fan.  That’s not to say I haven’t eaten a lot of it because my mom loves the purple schnoz.  But eggplant’s one veggie I could never fully stand behind.  And that’s rare because more and more as I get older, I like my vegetables (with the exception of parsnips…eww). From my experience, eggplant’s either undercooked, which makes me cringe when eating.  Or it’s always being forced to walk the plank and jump ship, left forever drowning in oil.  Neither have made eggplant become a stand out veggie for me.

That is, until I decided to throw it in with some veggies I was roasting.  As I said, my mom loves eggplant, so it always takes a spot in our garden.  Come summer time, we always have an abundance of it.  So when I was thinking up something to prepare for my lunch the next day, I decided on roasted veggies and thought I’d give eggplant another chance.

To my surprise the eggplant turned out to be my favorite part of this roasted veggie combo!  It’s takes on a sweetness from the olive oil, alongside the caramelized onions, without being overly saturated in grease.  I actually found myself picking out all the eggplant…not to say the other veggies weren’t good, but finally I found a way for eggplant to stand out for me.  I’ll definitely be making this again soon!

Click here for recipe…

Chickpea Salad Sandwich

I love rediscovering childhood recipes. You know, those ones you ate so frequently as a kid that you seem to have temporarily blocked them from your memory. But then one day they somehow uncover themselves from the depths of your mind, and suddenly it’s like a breath of nostalgic fresh-air. Well, for me, this is one of those recipes. It’s a simple combination of ingredients that my mom could whip up in no time. Mom’s know to keep lots of these types of recipes on hand so they can quickly cure their children’s impatient, growling stomachs.

I too like to keep a lot of these kinds of recipes under my belt as I parent my own body. Which is one of the reasons I find myself so happily re-embracing this chickpea salad recipe today. High speed prep. times keep me from reaching for inferior snack foods when my stomach’s screaming to be fed. Always a plus. Also, this chickpea salad keeps well, perfect for when I need a quick lunch idea. Serve on whole grain bread, adding avocado for a touch of effortless decadence.

Click here for recipe…

Cilantro Hummus Pita Sandwiches

I’ve been whipping up quite a few batches of hummus since my last Classic Hummus post. My high school jam might just be moving on its way to becoming my college regular. When I stop in to pick up my lunch every Tuesday morning at Grace’s Kitchen, the cashiers (moi) don’t even have to take my order. They already know it’s going to be hummus on wheat. And the chef (moi as well) knows that she can make some small, creative changes to the order and I’ll still be happy.

This time, I decided to throw in some cilantro, adding a bit more of a pungent boost of freshness to the spread than traditional parsley would. I went with a classic whole wheat pita rather than my standard Ezekiel bread, and added roasted red peppers for a slightly sweet and smoky touch. I swapped lettuce with nutrient-rich spinach to finish off a colorful pallete of flavor bound for my paper-bag lunch. Yum.

Cilantro Hummus Pita Sandwiches

(Serves 6)

-2 cloves garlic
-1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 15 oz. can, rinsed and drained)
-2 Tbsp. sesame tahini
-2 Tbsp. lemon juice
-1/2 tsp. paprika
-1/2 tsp. cumin
-1/2 tsp. salt
-2 Tbsp. water
-1/4 cup cilantro leaves, packed
-4 jarred roasted red peppers, sliced
-Pita bread

Process garlic in a food processor. Add chick peas, tahini, lemon juice, water, and spices, and puree until smooth. Toss in cilantro, and pulse until combined.

Spread a generous layer of hummus on pita. Top with sliced peppers and spinach. Serve.