What I ate: BBQ Leftovers

Have you wondered what I eat when I’m not blogging? Sometimes it is very run of the meal mill. Sometimes it’s not blog-worthy. Sometimes it is just leftovers. I’m starting this ‘What I Ate’ series so you can amuse yourself while you’re just waiting for the weekend. Hopefully it’ll inspire something quick and easy for you with something I wouldn’t do a whole post about normally.

Leftovers from a bbq? I put them together for a post-bbq lunch.

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pita pocket with:
grilled chicken
cucumbers
feta
spinach and artichoke dip

All leftover goodies. Score!

Grilled Turkey Rachel

Here’s a quickie for today. I got back from Chicago on Monday and I’m leaving for San Fran tomorrow. Don’t pity me though. As much as I’d like to be home this weekend I love the event I’m working and I love my job. After this I’m home for a few weeks and have lots to cook!

I’ve been more into sandwiches lately than usual. I think any sandwich is better when toasted or panini-fied. I made a simplified Turkey Rachel. You don’t necessarily need a recipe for this one.
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Ingredients:

2 slices wheat bread
4 slices cracked pepper turkey
2 slices swiss cheese (or 1 cup shredded)
1 tbs mayo
1 tbs ketchup
1 tbs relish

Directions:

Mix mayo, ketchup, and relish.
Assemble the sandwich by spreading the thousand island dressing on the bread then topping with the cheese on the bottom, then turkey, then remaining cheese.
Grill, press, or toast until warmed and melted.
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This was really good despite the fact that a) I didn’t plan on making it so I just used what was around, b) stronger bread would have held up better than my light wheat bread, c) I needed a quick dinner.
I didn’t have any slaw so that would be fun next time. Rye bread would have really made a stronger sandwich. Look how squished it got in the press!

Roxy’s Grilled Cheese Food Truck Fun

In honor of my Momma’s birthday I thought I should be sure to post something she’d think was fun and festive. Happy birthday Momma R!

Good thing we’re up on our social media at work because otherwise we wouldn’t have known Roxy’s Grilled Cheese food truck was in the neighborhood at work! It was a few weeks ago during that almost-spring not-really-still-winter and a walk down the street for a freshly made grilled cheese was JUST what was in order.

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I’ve watched the Great American Food Truck Race and loved the boys of Roxy’s Grilled Cheese from Boston. I really wanted them to win! I get faux-star struck and thought it was fun to see them in action.

I got the Mac & Chorizo. Grilled cheese with mac & cheese and chorizo…how can you go wrong? I was tempted by the truffle fries but abstained. I was glad I did once I saw the size and heft to my sandwich.
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It was really good, very gooey, and buttery. I think I would have liked more varied textures. The bread really held up to the fillings but it was too soft and gooey.
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I should have gotten the Rookie Melt with cheddar and tomato. I just couldn’t go to the truck and not get the mac & cheese one. Now, I’ve tried it and can move on.

Happy Birthday to my Mum!

 

Thanksgiving Sandwich

I have a quick post for today. I have a super long weekend and I’m psyched to get ready for our visiting family!

If we can see Christmas in July, why can’t we have Thanksgiving more often? I randomly thought of Thanksgiving sandwiches one night for dinner when it was rainy and gross out. It was a fun one and super fast. I know nobody needs a recipe but I did want to throw the idea out there. I’ll have to make some more deli-like sandwiches soon.

One of my favorite Friends episodes features a Thanksgiving Sandwich with a Moist Maker. Sooo funny. I’ll have to try soaking bread in gravy for the middle sometime too.

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Ingredients:

seedless rye bread
thick cut turkey
stuffing
cranberry sauce
turkey gravy

Directions:

Assemble and enjoy

I made some maple brussels sprouts and sweet potato puffs alongside the sandwiches. It was a really fun and different dinner. Mr. J loved it.
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We had the rest for lunch the next day. I really like the different textures and temperatures of thanksgiving sandwiches. The warm stuffing and cool cranberry makes this very special.

I wanted whole berry cranberry sauce but that’s hard to find in May.  The carving board turkey worked perfectly and was closer to real turkey than deli meat I’ve had before.

Meatball Subs on Garlic Bread

This doesn’t seem like it really warrants a recipe, but this hit the spot and makes all other meatball subs look sad.The key was the garlic bread. It was a pretty good “water-proofer” to keep the roll from getting too soggy too!
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Ingredients:

2 crusty rolls
7 meatballs
4 slices of provolone cheese
2 cups tomato sauce
3 tbs butter
2 tbs garlic, chopped
2 tbs grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Prep the rolls as you would garlic bread (I spread the butter on them, then garlic, truffle oil, Parmesan, kosher salt, and garlic powder)
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Bake for 5 minutes at 400-degrees.
Cut meatballs into quarter chunks and warm with sauce while bread is toasting.
Remove the rolls and top each one with 1 slice of provolone.
Add sauce, meatball chunks, and more sauce, then top with remaining cheese.
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Bake 5 minutes at 400-degrees until melted.
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I loved how garlicky it was and the truffle oil was a great addition. I cut the meatballs to make it more manageable but if they were smaller I might not have.

I think the important thing to remember to keep these as a quick kitchen-to-table dinner is that if everything is warm, they don’t need to cook long. The meatballs and sauce were both warm so all that was happening in the oven was the cheese melting.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Wraps, aka Everything Good In a Sandwich

We don’t eat a ton of sandwiches at our house but I’m working on changing that. I know, I know, I’ve said I don’t love sandwiches. I actually love them when they’re made-to-order. I adore breakfast sandwiches too. I only dislike sandwiches that have been sitting around sogging all day inside a high school locker or if I can’t tell what’s inside the sandwich.

I had a lengthy discussion at work about hummus on a sandwich…or hummus in general. Did you know the USA has a dried bean and lentil council? This is my worklife. Anywho, back to the sandwich subject at hand.

I made Chicken Bacon Ranch Wraps and they were really tasty.
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Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup milk
¼ cup ranch dressing
1 tbs dried ranch dressing powder mix
1/3 cup panko & 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg + 1 tbs water, whisked
Wheat tortillas
Lettuce
Tomato
Shredded cheddar
¼ cup ranch dressing
4 strips of bacon

Directions:

Marinate the chicken in the milk, ¼ cup of the ranch dressing, and dried ranch powder for a few hours.
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Remove from the marinade and dredge in eggwash then breadcrumbs and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
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Cook the bacon, then crumble it.
Assemble the wraps with lettuce, tomato, chicken, bacon, cheddar, and ranch.
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You don’t really need a recipe for this but I thought the marinade and breading was spot-on so I wanted to share it. I liked that these were filling and fresh but not fried. I have an aversion to frying foods. The wheat wrap and real lettuce (iceburg = not real) make this slightly healthier than your local pizza place’s version of the same thing since my chicken isn’t fried either.

Like most things I cook, the chicken could be prepped in advance and popped in to speed up the dinner, or prepped and frozen for next time.

If you’re lucky like me, when your sis comes to have these for dinner she’ll also bring treats from her favorite bakery!
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Greek Meatball Wraps

On one of those beautiful pre-spring days I wanted to put something together for dinner that was filling but lighter. This hit the spot. These Greek meatball wraps were warm, cool, crispy, meaty, and crunchy. I was really happy with these and will definitely make these again.
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Ingredients:

16 oz ground chicken
1 tsp ground garlic
1 ½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp cinnamon
1 egg
½ cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup oatmeal
1 shallot, chopped

Directions:

Mix meatball mix together and let sit for 5 minutes before baking.
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Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Roll into balls and bake for 30 minutes.
greek_meatball_formed_590_390I use a cooling rack ontop of a baking sheet. It helps keep the meatballs crispy and not soggy from the grease (there’s not much grease since I used ground chicken rather than beef).
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I served them on wheat naan wraps with tzatziki, veggies, hummus, and feta. Check out whose nose was a bit too close for comfort!
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These were really good. The meatballs were crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. I don’t fry my meatballs since a) I hate frying for the mess & the oil and b) it’s much easier and healthier in the oven.

I liked the wraps. The naan was perfect. Since it’s more pricy, leftovers were in wheat pitas. The pitas worked fine. I liked how doughy the naan was.
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Curry Chicken Salad fit for Dr. Seuss

Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss! This Curry Chicken Salad was the best I could do to honor the late writer of The Butter Battle Book, the Lorax, and Sneetches as an example of ooblek or wumbus because of the zing, bam, wow, pow this has.

I expect my birthday tomorrow to have the same kind of impact! My birthday food theme might be my best yet!

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I pretty much only like sandwiches when I make one myself and eat it immediately, or if it has all sorts of crazy things on it and it gets pressed, and occasionally when a restaurant makes it. That might sound like all the sandwiches you can think of, BUT I don’t bring them to work as lunch. If I’m going to have one, it has to be packed separately and assembled and eaten immediately.

I thought of curry chicken salad because it doesn’t have to be a sandwich and it is different. It was a great use of some leftover rotisserie chicken.
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Ingredients:
2 cups, chicken breast or rotisserie chicken
2 tbs curry sauce
1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
1 tbs light mayo

Directions:
Shred chicken into bite size pieces
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Mix chicken with curry sauce, grapes, and add mayo to taste.
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Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
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This made about 3 size-able servings. I had one as a sandwich and two other servings topped salads. I think the grapes are necessary to cut the spice with some sweetness. The zing makes this great.
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Four Leaf Clover

I’m lucky to work in the heart of downtown Boston with more lunch restaurants around than I know what to do with. I rarely take advantage of them. One hot hot hot day my office had plants to rendez-vous with our sister office at the Dewey Square Farmer’s Market for lunch.

It was so hot hot hot that I’m surprised I could remember what I ate (or how good it was)! Clover was a welcome relief from the mind-numbing heat. They worked the crowed and kept it moving. I was so impressed with the ordering process via iphone and the options. Check out how many of them there were working inside the truck! Wow!
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I didn’t check out twitter that morning to see what they were serving but was pleasantly surprised and was too hot to ponder. I quickly chose the chickpea fritter sandwich.
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It was really good, though I’m not sure what made it different than falafel. It had great flavor. The chickpea fritters were soft with a light crunch on the outside and a surprisingly fluffy center. The sandwich was on an oversized pita with carrot and cabbage slaw.
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Somebody got rosemary fries. It was such a lovely flavor added to really great quality fries.
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Their food is so good and I really need to eat at Clover more often. Do you watch Great American Food Truck Race? It’s awesome and a truck from Boston, called Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, is on!

Quality Ingredients Make a Quality Lunch

Since I rarely order lunch it always seems like a big occasion when I buy it. Lately I’ve just been working non-stop and the week prior to my event I didn’t have the energy to grocery shop, pack lunch, or make anything.
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When my office moved I knew I’d miss my favorite Thai and favorite Indian restaurants but that’s about all that prior location had going for it. Now, there’s a plethora of options!As an avid watcher of Phantom Gourmet I’d seen Al’s State Street Cafe featured on there. They feature a $6.25 special for small sub, chips, and a soda.
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I got the State Street Cafe Special with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and prosciutto with balsamic vinegar on warm fresh bread.

These quality and fresh ingredients made this sandwich delectable. The bread was warm and soft. The experience is half of the fascination. They work the line and keep. it. moving.
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Stop by, but don’t linger at the menu board or it’ll be a no-sandwich-for-you situation.

I’m off to Florida for a long weekend, wedding, and hopefully some Chick-fil-A. Stay tuned!