Mormon Moms for Vegetarian, Vegan and Raw Cooking!

This blog is intended to be a support for anyone who desires to make the vegetarian, vegan {and or} raw food diet change. Whether you want to drastically change to a completely raw diet or just add a few more vegetarian meals to your weekly menu, we are here for you! It doesn't matter who you are or why you want to make the change. We want to share our love, support, tips, testimonies and - recipes - to make your life easier, happier and healthier!

Friday, May 6, 2011

To-Die-For-Grilled-Sandwhiches with Pesto {Vegan}

I recently shared a recipe with my mom from one of my fav. vegan cookbooks, The Vegan Table (get it!) and she loved it! She said my little brother who is anti-vegetarian meals picked up the sandwich she made for herself and reluctantly took a bite and then finished the whole sandwich. I love the recipe and so does Ronda. The recipe is very simple and very adaptable so you can make it how you want it.

Here's what you need:

Pesto - an awesome and flavorful mayo and cheese substitute for sandwiches.

Pesto can be made using lots of different kinds of greens, seasonings, nuts and seeds and oil. I think the most popular pestos are basil pestos. You can buy jarred pestos at the store but if you have a food processor or blender they are easy to make at home yourself.

Most basil pesto recipes I've read call for pine nuts. I'm sure pine nuts are amazing, but I have yet to even try one because they are SO DARN EXPENSIVE. I cannot bring myself to spend that much money on a nut when there are much cheaper substitutions. My favorite substitution for a pine nut is the sunflower seed. Sunflower seeds are really good for you, have a creamy texture when blended (which is very similar to the pine nut) and they are MUCH more affordable.

Here is the recipe I use for my pesto:

Homemade Pesto
2-3 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
2-4 tsp garlic, minced (I LOVE GARLIC)
salt, to taste
1/4 sunflower seeds

Put everything in the food processor and blend until pretty smooth (sometimes I need to wipe down the edges of the work bowl and pulse a few times). Then add:

1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1-2 tsp lemon juice

Process a little more until its formed a smooth paste.

(I often double this recipe when I make these grilled sandwiches because I LOVE pesto and always end up using a lot. I also like to use pesto on crackers with a fresh tomato slice or in pasta sauces and things like that)

Roasted or Grilled Vegetables

1-2 zucchini squash, thinly sliced
1-2 yellow summer squash, thinly sliced
1 bunch of asparagus, halved lengthwise
2-3 red peppers, thick slices
4 Artichoke hearts, halved

Fresh Vegetables

Red Onion slices
Tomato slices
Avocado slices
Cucumber slices

Choose your favorites

Choose a whole wheat ciabatta or other Italian bread. Slice into sandwich thick pieces.

Oil and Vinegar (optional)
Olive oil for brushing the bread before grilling
Balsamic vinegar for drizzling on vegetables when assembling the sandwich (just before grilling)

1. Roast the vegetables in a hot oven with a little oil, salt and pepper OR grill them. Which ever you prefer.

2. While vegetables are roasting or grilling. Make the pesto in food processor, if making it at home, if not then you can now prepare the fresh vegetables.

3. Brush one side of slices of bread with oil and spread pesto on the other side (make sure you don't run out of pesto before you run out of sandwiches). Assemble toppings how ever you like and then drizzle with the tiniest bit of balsamic vinegar. Top it all off with another piece of the oiled and pesto-ed bread.

4. Grill sandwiches on the stove either in a hot pan or on a grill pan, applying pressure, on the grill (VERY CAREFULLY), in a panini maker or in a George Foreman.

Serve with fresh fruit, a salad and your favorite refreshing summer beverage!

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