Better Eggplant Parm Subs

These eggplant parm subs are show-stoppers. They’re better than average – not because I made my own breaded eggplant, ohh no, but because there’s so much flavor and texture here. Arugula adds the freshness and crunch this needs and fresh mozzarella gives some bite and some melty pull you will just love.

The Three Bite Rule - Eggplant Parm Subs

Breading eggplant is tough to get right – I find it frozen at Trader Joe’s and Aldi, sometimes it is prepped in refrigerated areas at Wegman’s, and Costco has had it, but not regularly.

Eggplant Parm Subs
Ingredients:
(for 2 subs)
~4-6 small slices per sub breaded eggplant
2 small sub rolls
~1/2 cup tomato sauce
~4 oz fresh mozzarella
2 cups baby arugula
2 tablespoons Italian dressing

The Three Bite Rule - Eggplant Parm Subs

Directions:
Preheat the oven, toaster oven, or air fryer to 400-degrees. Bake/air fry the eggplant until golden brown and well crisped – about 10 minutes.
Warm the sauce, slice the cheese, and toss the arugula in dressing.
Slice the roll and spread some tomato sauce onto it then layer on the eggplant and fresh mozzarella.
Return to the oven/toaster/air fryer to melt the cheese.

The Three Bite Rule - Eggplant Parm Subs

Then top with greens and enjoy!

I loved this. As takeout, it is always so soggy. The sauce, crispy eggplant and the cheese make it comforting but the fresh crunchy greens with bright dressing bring life to it! Don’t skip the fresh mozzarella – it elevates this really nicely.

The Three Bite Rule - Eggplant Parm Subs

Subs are great to make one or two – all in the toaster oven or air fryer! I wouldn’t make them in advance, but everything but the greens could be frozen.

Gyro-style Wrap with Chicken

{originally published in 2017 and updated in 2021}

We love Mediterranean flavors so these wraps are inspired by a gyro, or souvlaki – using chicken sausage or this time- flavored ground chicken. The fries inside make it so fun.

Gyro Style Wraps with Chicken Sausage

Ingredients:  (for 2 wraps)

2 chicken sausages or ~1/3 pound ground chicken
2 cups/handfuls of frozen seasoned fries
2 wraps: tortillas, pitas, etc
1/2 of a cucumber
~3 tablespoons hummus
tomato
optional: lettuce, roasted red peppers, creamy caesar drizzle, feta

Directions:

Bake the fries, according to the package.
Pan sear the chicken sausages or the ground chicken into patties. Then slice.

Lay out the wrap and spread with hummus. Then top with tomatoes, chicken sausage/chicken burger pieces, and fries.

Roll and enjoy!

Wrap the bottom in wax paper or foil for street-food eatability. Is eatability a word? WordPress seems to think so and isn’t correcting me!

I liked the seasoned fries in there. It was a great use for an itty bit in we had in the freezer. These totally hit the spot and I think the fries + chicken sausage + hummus makes this – at least us grown ups thought so. The littles each ate elements disassembled. We had them with some orzo salad too. The fries only needed 20 minutes so in the time I plopped them into the oven, I then just cooked the meat and prepped the filling and they were done. Poof! Din-din!

Thanksgiving Hot Wraps

Thanksgiving flavors are even more appreciated away from the holiday, don’t you think?! Burrito-izing the wrap, as in, wrapping and cooking on the griddle, makes the deli turkey, cranberries, stuffing, and arugula so delicious.

They’re special-enough to be dinner (I mean, anything can be dinner) but these are like a special lunch or easy-but-fun-dinner while hitting a few food groups.

The Three Bite Rule - Thanksgiving Hot Wraps

Thanksgiving Hot Wraps
Ingredients: (for 1)

1/2 cup stuffing mix
1/2 cup chicken broth
sprinkle of garlic powder & dried sage (optional)
1 flour tortilla
2-3 slices turkey
2 tablespoons cranberries (canned whole berry)
1 cup arugula (or spinach)

The Three Bite Rule - Thanksgiving Hot Wraps

Directions:
Prepare the stuffing according to the package. Add in the garlic powder and sage- if using.
Assemble the wraps with turkey, a smear of mayo if you wish, arugula, cranberries, and stuffing.
Preheat a skillet over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil.

The Three Bite Rule - Thanksgiving Hot Wraps

Fold the sides inward, about 1-2 inches, then roll from the bottom away from you, tucking the sides in as you roll away.
Place the rolled wrap into the skillet, seam side down. Hold with tongs if it starts unrolling. Cook for ~2 minutes and rotate on each side.

I loved this! The stuffing makes it decadent. I wouldn’t be against some sharp white cheddar in there but I kept it quite traditional this time. Cooking the wrap is the game changer. The turkey and the stuffing want to be warm, right?

The Three Bite Rule - Thanksgiving Hot Wraps

Have leftover stuffing? Make:
Stuffing Waffles – freezes well too!
Thanksgiving Burgers – also uses your cranberry sauce!
Thanksgiving Meatballs

Have leftover cranberry sauce? Make:
Thanksgiving Nachos – with a cranberry crema
Thanksgiving Burgers – also uses your stuffing!
Turkey, Cranberry & Brie Melts Or ham would work well here too

My kiddos can eat their weight in jellied cranberry sauce so they wouldn’t care if it were alongside anything. I don’t know if they can be fooled with this canned whole-berry sauce, but we’ll probably give it a go for the leftovers – I think we grabbed it by accident.

I loooove these hot wraps. I did one with chicken, broccoli & rice and one with chicken, bacon, ranch and think they hit the spot – especially for dinner since they’re warm!

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Warm Wraps

Chicken, Bacon & Ranch Burrito

What happens when you cross a wrap with a burrito? You get the flavors of a sandwich mixed with the textures you love from a burrito. There’s freshness from the greens, some decadence with the ranch and bacon and warm rice and cheese inside turns it into a burrito, plus the whole thing gets griddled. These freeze well and are ideal for lunch or a dinner on the go.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Burrito

Chicken, Bacon & Ranch Burrito
Ingredients (for 2)

1 chicken thigh or breast or 2 tenders grilled or ~1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
1 cup brown rice, cooked according to package (mine was leftover but originally in the pressure cooker with chicken broth).
1/4 cup crumbled bacon (~3 strips)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
4 tablespoons ranch dressing
1/2 teaspoon ranch dressing powder mix
2 cups greens (baby arugula or spinach)
2 tortillas

Directions:
Chop the chicken and bacon and lightly warm the torillas for better flexibility.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Burrito

Lay the tortillas down and spread ~1 tablespoon of ranch dressing onto each one. Then layer onto each one with the rice, cheese, bacon, sprinkle on the dry dressing mix, chicken, greens, and remaining dressing.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Burrito

Warm a skillet to medium heat and roll up the burritos. (I fold the sides in, then keep those inward with my pinkys while using the rest of each hand to roll the whole thing away from me, tucking the sides in as I go.)

If freezing: individually wrap in plastic, label and freeze. Defrost in the fridge overnight or defrost in the microwave over low heat and pan fry or finish in a toaster oven to crisp the outside a bit.

Toothpick them closed before pan frying them if you wish! Put them in seam side down and use a cover or tongs to keep them from unrolling while pan frying them to get golden, crisp, and melting the cheese inside. Turn to warm each side.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Burrito

I loved these! It not only has some of my fav flavors but the rice in there really gives a good twist and makes it wayyy better than an everyday sandwich. It also uses up just a bit of leftover rice & chicken.

I rarely remember to defrost over night but our home microwave has the best defrost I’ve ever used so I’d do that – or maybe work lunch hangs out in your bag before heating? A whole bunch could go into the oven if feeding a crowd.

Skip the bacon and swap ranch for creamy caesar for a caesar salad burrito. Or go spicy for a buffalo chicken burrito! Basically the rice + any cheese + chicken + any dressing will change the vibe and I’m here for it.

Pulled Pesto Chicken & Caprese Sandwiches

These started with lots of our favorite flavors and ingredients – basil pesto! mozzarella! tomatoes! We are into a new groove with more in-person routines and special sandwiches make fast dinners – especially in September with some summer temps and some feelings of fall. Most of this can prep in advance and to make as sliders or full-sized sandwiches.

The Three Bite Rule - Pulled Pesto Chicken Sandwiches

I loved these! Admittedly – the kids weren’t wow-ed. They ate all the elements but didn’t care about them being together. Not every meal will be everyone’s favorite so I feel like they were still a winner if the kiddos were reminded that their beloved pesto doesn’t only show up on pasta.

Pulled Pesto Chicken & Caprese Sandwiches
Ingredients: (for 4 sandwiches or 8 sliders)

2 chicken thighs or breasts or rotisserie chicken
2 tablespoons basil pesto
4 rolls or 8 slider rolls
1/2 tomato
1/2 ball of fresh mozzarella
3 tablespoons creamy caesar dressing or garlic aoli or balsamic reduction drizzle (optional)

Directions:
Cook the chicken and when fully cooked through, pull it apart with 2 forks and mix in the pesto.
Toast the rolls (optional).
Slice the tomato and mozzarella.

The Three Bite Rule - Pulled Pesto Chicken Sandwiches

Spread the rolls with dressing or spread if using it.
Assemble the sandwiches with tomato, chicken, and mozzarella.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Pulled Pesto Chicken Sandwiches

I had some sourdough rolls and some slider rolls and we had it with caesar salad which the first grader loves to “make”.

These flavors work so well together and I appreciate that a smaller amount of chicken goes further for sandwiches like this, versus serving whole cuts of chicken per person.

I’d eat these as little appetizer crostini or as wraps or grilled into a panini too! I threw some of the leftover pesto pulled chicken on top of some pasta to pack for lunch or it would be fine to freeze too!

Crispy Chicken Sandwich with Peach Topping

Sandwiches are the easiest dinner and was a hit for all of us! The kids were into it and I never expect everyone to like everything all the time. These were a good example of putting elements together the kids already know into a new combo. I thought they might dismantle and eat separately but they ate it as is- just less arugula!

The Three Bite Rule - Crispy Chicken Sandwich with Peach

Crispy Chicken Sandwich with Peach Topping
Ingredients: (for 4)

1 peach or nectarine
1 slice onion
1/2 tomato
1 green onion
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
~6 breaded chicken fingers
4 sub rolls
1 cup arugula
4 tablespoons honey mustard dressing

Directions:
Chop the peach, onion, tomato, green onion, vinegar, and oil. Stir well and refrigerate until serving.

The Three Bite Rule - Crispy Chicken Sandwich with Peach

Bake or air fry the chicken pieces until cooked through.
Assemble the sandwiches by lightly toasting the rolls, spreading honey mustard on, then adding the arugula, chicken and lastly the peach topping.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Crispy Chicken Sandwich with Peach

I loved this! It was so fun and a great use for rolls we had from a sausage & peppers night and there’s always chicken kicking around here.

Add some avocado to the topping (mine weren’t ripe!) cheese would be good too!

The peach topping is so good- it is sweet and tart. Put it on a burger with smoked gouda! Put it on some fish tacos! Add it to a grain salad with avocado and pistachios! Use it to upgrade your turkey sandwich!

Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Warm Wraps

Think of a broccoli & rice & cheese but as a warm wrap- instead of a casserole! These wraps were so fun and an ideal way to use some leftovers!

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Warm Wraps

Chicken, Broccoli, & Rice Warm Wraps
Ingredients: (for 2 wraps)

1 cup brown rice (+ water/broth according to required prep)
1/2 broccoli head, cut into small florets
1 cup roasted chicken
1/2 cup white cheddar cheese, chopped or grated
2 large wraps
2 tablespoons dressing (optional – creamy caesar or Parmesan Peppercorn)

Directions:
Prepare the rice (mine was brown rice for 10 minutes in the pressure cooker). Keep warm.
Roast the broccoli with a drizzle of olive oil in a 400-degree oven for ~10 minutes until getting golden and crispy.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Warm Wraps

Assemble the wraps with half of each the rice, warm chicken, broccoli, and cheese.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Warm Wraps

Drizzle dressing, if using any.
Heat a pan to medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil.
If the wraps had been refrigerated (or a touch stale!) warm in the microwave for 10 seconds to be the most pliable.
Roll the wraps by tucking the sides in then rolling from the bottom and tucking the sides in further until completely rolled.
Then pan sear on each side, starting with the seam side down first.
Cook for a few minutes on each side- a cover will help the cheese to melt.
Let sit for 1-2 minutes before slicing.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Warm Wraps

I loved these! It is like a burrito – just without any particular identity. I like the balance of a whole grain (rice), as much veggie (broccoli) as protein (chicken) and some decadence (cheese & dressing) with just a few ingredients!

Most of this could be prepared in advance: the rice, the chicken, the roasted broccoli. These freeze well too – when freezing any burritos, I wrap in plastic and defrost overnight or in the microwave. Then to finish, I pan sear or bake the in toaster oven with a spray of non-stick spray. The goal is to defrost or warm slowly enough to heat all the way through, then give a little crunch to the exterior.

The technique to roll a burrito takes some practice not to over-fill and roll keeping the ingredients in, here’s a video of tucking the sides in as you roll away from yourself:

Cobb Salad Panini

All the perks of a Cobb salad without any of the lettuce! Lettuce really gets in the way of the fun stuff in a salad, right??? This panini has Cheese! Chicken! Ham! Avocado! Tomato! Blue Cheese Dressing!

I loved this grilled cheese with all the things.

The Three Bite Rule - Cobb Salad Panini

Cobb Salad Panini
Ingredients:

2 slices sourdough
1 slice ham
1/3 cup chopped chicken
3 slices cheese
1 small tomato
1/2 avocado
1/4 cup blue cheese dressing
2 teaspoons butter/olive oil/mayo

The Three Bite Rule - Cobb Salad Panini

Directions:
Heat a pan to medium heat.
Assemble the sandwich with bread, half the cheese, ham, chicken, tomato, sliced avocado, and the remaining cheese.
Spread butter or mayo or brush bread with olive oil.
Cook the sandwich and grill on each side for ~ 2-3 minutes. Cover to melt the cheese.
Remove from the heat and let sit for 1 minute before slicing. Dip into blue cheese dressing.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Cobb Salad Panini

This was so fun. There’s a lot happening and it is one of those messy-delicious sandwiches you can barely put down. Good bread is necessary to hold up, and nothing makes a panini/loaded grilled cheese better than cheese on each side.

The defining elements of a cobb salad to me seems fuzzy compared to a chef’s salad. I’m not entirely sure what’s in one and not in the other? Either way, in a salad the hard boiled egg is ideal – I figured it might be a little weird here. Bacon would have been lovely, sliced turkey could definitely swap for the chicken. Go for what speaks to you.

Special sandwiches are so great for dinner – or make salads one meal and paninis for another!

English Muffin Turkey Melts

I’ve been trying to give home lunches a bit of a face lift. These turkey melts on English muffins are just unique enough be exciting while keeping them a totally do-able weekday lunch. Somedays it is PB&J while doing 5 other things and then there’s a 5 minute special lunch with everyday ingredients like this!

The Three Bite Rule - English Muffin Turkey Melts

These have a nice kick with a spicy sauce and crunch from an apple (or there are lots of variations below)!

English Muffin Turkey Melts:
Ingredients: (for 1)

1 English Muffin
2 tablespoons mayo
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce (or hot sauce)
2 slices turkey
1-2 slices cheese
1/4 apple (I used honeycrisp)
1 cup mixed greens

Directions:
Toast the English muffin (the toaster oven is perfect for this, or “griddle” it on a pan to use again soon).
Mix together the mayo and the sriracha in a small bowl.
Slice the apple and chop the greens if needed, while the muffin toasts.

The Three Bite Rule - English Muffin Turkey Melts


When the English muffin is toasted, spread the sriracha onto both halves, then top one half with greens, apple slices, turkey, and cheese.
Pop the assembled English muffin into a toaster oven, the regular oven, or into a hot pan with a cover to melt the cheese and warm everything through.

The Three Bite Rule - English Muffin Turkey Melts

Pop the top on and enjoy!

These are so fun and could easily swap with what you have. Honey mustard would be great, a pear would taste delicious, ham can swap with turkey. Go crazy! The English muffin definitely adds some variety, and the melty cheese + lunch meat + a fruit + a veg + sauce = is perfect. These can be open faced or popped together as a sandwich.

The Three Bite Rule - English Muffin Turkey Melts

I’m partial to these Fiber One Multigrain English muffins. They are much more fluffy than others and the higher fiber is just an added benefit.