Tag Archives: avocado

Mediterranean Open-Faced Sandwich

10 Nov

Lately I have been kinda lazy…  With lots of work and travel, I have not been the most creative in the kitchen, cooking from scratch for myself.  For lunch or dinner, lots of sandwiches and snack foods.  I know… not so good.

But I was training for a half marathon so I needed to get some good vegetarian protein in my diet especially for after my workouts.  They help rebuild muscle when taken right after training.  I sometimes turn to my trusted pretzels with hummus combination… or my peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  But I had gone to La Hacienda, a popular gourmet market and deli here in Puerto Rico and I had bought a garbanzo bean salad and this is what I came up with it…  you can call it a pizza or an open-faced sandwich, but there’s no denying that you will certainly be adding “mouth-watering” and “addictive” to whichever name you choose.

Open-Faced Med Sandwich

OPEN-FACED MEDITERRANEAN SANDWICH

1 flat bread of your choice…  I like FlatOut brand
½ cup of cooked garbanzo beans or garbanzo bean salad from La Hacienda
3 wedges of avocado
1 roma tomato, sliced
2 large handfuls of mesclun salad greens
Kosher Salt
Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

This is just assembling…

  1. Drizzle and spread some olive oil to the flat bread and toast it in the oven…  I like my flat breads crispy.  I use the toaster feature in Light.
  2. Take the toasted flat bread from the oven and place the garbanzo bean salad and the avocado wedges and mash it all together with a fork trying to cover as much flatbread surface as possible.  You can sprinkle a little salt, pepper and olive oil to the mixture while you’re mashing.
  3. Place tomato slices over the mashed garbanzo/avocado mixture.
  4. Place mesclun greens or even baby spinach over the tomato slices.  Season salad greens with a sprinkle of salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
  5. Cut into pieces using a pizza cutter…  I found it was easier than using a knife.

Med Sandwich Generic - website

Med Sandwich - Just a piece

Tip:   I found the mashing worked best than leaving the garbanzos and avocados in pieces… they would roll off the flat bread and I ended up eating more out of the plate with a fork than over the bread itself.  So that’s why I recommend mashing…

Flip Burger @ Bloomingdales 59th Street NYC

5 Feb

It was the first snow storm of 2014… We wanted to get out of the house, but did not want to manage the snow and cold outside. I suggested: “Let’s just take the subway and it can take us right underneath the belly of one of my favorite department stores in NYC – Bloomingdale’s. Deal??“ They all agreed…

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The day BEFORE the storm… but the same cast of characters.

When we arrived it was already 3PM and we were HUNGRY!!! Who can shop while hungry?? I sure can’t. So we looked at the store directory but there were many options to choose from. Let’s just go checking them out floor by floor as we encounter them and we’ll decide what works best, OK?

Flip was the first option available… right up the stairs from the level where the 4-5-6 subway leaves you. When we discovered it was a burger joint, Tere and my mom were discouraged as, more often than not, burgers means meat burgers only. But we were in NYC after all and I said to myself… “Madelyn, read thru all the burger options before dismissing this restaurant”. And there they were!!!! VARIOUS, not just one, various vegetarian options!!!!

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I wish I had taken a picture of the menu for you… I was sure I was going to find it online, but unfortunately that is not the case. The menu presented a veggie burger and a Portobello Mushroom burger option, my favorite. We sat down and ordered… You could have your pic of bread, burger, and toppings. The vegetarian options come with 2 toppings included beyond the lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle. My burger was a Portobello mushroom burger on a whole wheat/multigrain roll with goat cheese and avocados. YUM!!!

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They also have fries to accompany your burger… we went for the thin crispy fries and the sweet potato fries. They were both superb… But I should warn you, those thin fries don’t seem to ever end. The more you eat, the more they seem to be in your plate. I ate and ate and we still brought the leftovers back home with us.

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Even though Flip @ Bloomingdale’s is not a vegetarian place… in true NYC fashion they have meat-free options for us vegetarian gals. Who wants to go shopping on an empty stomach?? Not me for sure… and the next time I visit Bloomie’s, I know I’ll have a craving for a burger.

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Guacamole Verde

1 Jul

You know I am not a cilantro fan… When a recipe calls for cilantro I usually substitute with flat-leaf parsley or I just omit it at all.

But there is something I have learned about cilantro in the last few years… I can tolerate it, even enjoy it, when I use only the leaves and not the stems of the cilantro plant. The stems remind me too much of the taste of recao. It’s too strong for me and gives me acid reflux. I know… not pretty. I noticed this once when I was cooking the now-famous veggie sancocho recipe after a retreat. I did like Ina Garten and shaved the leaves off the stems of the cilantro and used only that to “season” the sancocho. The other “more experienced” cooks were appalled at my “waste” of perfectly good cilantro stems. But many of the soup eaters thanked me afterwards because the cilantro flavor was subtle and not over powering at all after a few days of fasting.

Fast forward to the other day when I wanted to make something to bring to a party and I had an over abundance of avocados in my hands. I decided to make an avocado without tomatoes so it would stay as creamy as possible without the watery residue tomatoes sometimes leave atop guacamole. At the store there was no flat-leaf parsley so I went with the traditional and very much cheaper cilantro.

This guacamole was an absolute hit… People were asking me for the recipe all night. I wished I had posted this recipe already so I would not have to repeat myself so many times that night.

Guacamole Verde

GUACAMOLE VERDE

1 large avocado, cut into small pieces
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
The juice of 1 green lime
A generous handful of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
A drizzle of olive oil – about 1 tbs
Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Mash everything together in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Let it stand in the fridge for a few hours so the flavors meld together.

You can make this with fresh avocados, but it also works with frozen avocados. Just defrost them and get rid of any water that separates from the pulp when the avocado is thawing.

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You are what you eat…

28 Jun

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Cinco de Mayo – The most popular celebration not celebrated in Mexico…

3 May

Ever since I lived in Chicago a few years ago, where there is a huge Mexican population, I learned that Mexico’s Independence Day is celebrated in September. I remember people riding outside their car windows carrying huge Mexican flags, parading themselves with pride.

So, if this is celebrated every year in September… why does every gringo I know believes Mexican Independence day falls on Cinco de Mayo?  My belief on the popularity of Cinco de Mayo is for several reasons (and I am just speculating here):

  • It’s simple to pronounce even if your main language is English. Try saying “dieciséis de septiembre”!!!! Rolling those “r’s” can be a challenge to many.
  • May more or less signifies the beginning of warmer weather so gives people an excuse to party in shorts
  • I truly believe a beer company started this as a promotional scheme to start selling beer in May rather than waiting until June/July when it’s actually hot.

 

Cinco de Mayo is not really an important holiday or celebration in Mexico. I am “friends” on Facebook with Chef Marcela Valladolid. And this is her perspective, as a Mexican, on Cinco de Mayo:

Chef Marcela - Cinco de Mayo

In reality, Cinco de Mayo is the date when the Mexican army drove away the French army at a great battle in Puebla. The Mexicans were never ever expected to win and they did. And for that… we celebrate!!!!

Nonetheless, for whatever reason Cinco de Mayo got popularized in the US, we use it as an excuse to celebrate everything Mexican. I wish I had a recipe for Mole Poblano in my blog to share with you all, but in the meantime, here are a few recipes that celebrate Mexico, France and combine a little bit of both…

French Quesadilla

Cordon Bleu Quesadilla

(In México, these are called sincronizadas because they’re made on Wheat Tortilla.  True Quesadillas are made on corn tortillas)

Fried Quesadillas with Fresh Tomato Salsa

Poblano Pepper Rajas

Chopped Avocado Dressing

Veggie Tortilla Soup

Mexican Lasagna

mexican-lasagna

 

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