Simple Summer Sandwich Spreads By Heather McDougall
Summer is here! School is almost over for my boys and I don’t know about you, but things get really busy around here then. We are always on the go, or hanging out at the pool, so lots of time in the kitchen is not an option for me. So, during the summer, I tend to make lots of dishes that can either be made ahead and reheated, or served cold. This way, I can get everything ready when I have a moment, and serve when it’s time to eat. This month, I have decided to bring back past recipes that have served me well. Some of these recipes I have been eating since I was a child. I think that spreads are very fitting for the beginning of summer. These can all be made ahead and turned into sandwiches or wraps when hunger strikes. Use bread, tortillas, lettuce leaves or crackers to hold your spreads and add a healthy variety of toppings as desired.
Nutty Soft Tacos
My mom, Mary, has been making these tacos for our family for over 25 years. This recipe makes enough for dinner and leftovers for a couple of lunches. The filling may also be frozen for later use. We consider this a richer food because of the nuts used, so I usually only make it once or twice a year, during the summer months. Toppings for the tacos may be varied according to your tastes.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Servings: makes about 3 cups
¾ cup roasted unsalted peanuts
½ cup raw sunflower seeds
½ cup roasted sunflower seeds
½ cup sesame seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ to 1 cup water
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
soft corn tortillas
Place the peanuts and raw sunflower seeds in a saucepan with water to cover. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Drain off remaining water and reserve. Place the cooked peanuts and sunflower seeds in a food processor. Add the roasted sunflower seeds, the sesame seeds, the cumin seeds and about ½ cup of the reserved cooking water. (Add more water if necessary to reach ½ cup.) Process until blended. Add the tomato paste and process until well blended. Add more water, a small amount at a time, until mixture is a spreadable consistency. Serve warm or cold. Place a line of the filling down the center of the tortilla, layer on the toppings and salsa of your choice, roll up and eat.
Hints: Store unused nuts and seeds in the freezer so they don’t spoil.
This simple, economical spread of split peas or mung beans has been one of our favorites for more than thirty years.
2 cups split mung beans, chana dal or yellow split peas
5 cups water
1 ½ tablespoons curry powder (sweet, mild or spicy)
Salt to taste
Place the beans or peas and the water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the curry powder, mix well and cook uncovered for 30 minutes longer. Transfer to a serving bowl and let rest for about 15 minutes, to thicken slightly, before serving.
Hints: Serve rolled up in a corn or flour tortilla with toppings of your choice. My Dad and I like them topped with some Sriracha sauce, while my Mom just rolls them up and eats them plain. Or try this Dal over baked potatoes or rice. It also makes a delicious sandwich spread when cold.
This is delicious as a spread for sandwiches, as a dip for crackers or veggies, or stuffed into pita and topped with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and sprouts.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Servings: Makes about 3 cups
2 14-ounce cans artichoke hearts in water, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
? teaspoon cayenne pepper
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
Hint: 2 packages of thawed frozen artichoke hearts may be used instead of the canned, if desired.
Cannellini Bean Spread By Chef Kevin Dunn, for the Celebrity Chef Weekend, June 2009
Many of Chef Kevin's gourmet recipes involve several steps and quite a bit of preparation time. This one is quick and easy and tastes wonderful! Keep it in the refrigerator and use it as a sandwich spread all week.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes (prepare 1 day early to allow flavors to blend)
Roasting time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Servings: makes 4 cups
4 cups canned cannellini beans, drained and well rinsed
½ cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tablespoons roasted garlic (see hints below)
1 ounce balsamic vinegar
3 shallots, roasted un-skinned until tender (see hints below)
½ cup roasted red bell pepper, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Place 3 cups of the beans in a food processor with the vegetable stock, rosemary, roasted garlic, balsamic vinegar and roasted shallots. Process until smooth. Add the remaining beans and the roasted bell pepper and process briefly. Place in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least one day to allow flavors to blend. Warm gently and spread on bruschetta, topped with diced tomatoes and slivered basil, for a special presentation.
Hints: To roast shallots, wrap them in parchment paper, then wrap in foil, roast in an oven at 400 degrees until tender, then cut off the ends and squeeze out the inside. To roast garlic, place the whole unpeeled head in a baking dish, add a small amount of vegetable stock, cover the dish with foil, and roast at 400 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then cut off the top of each head, invert the garlic and just press out the insides into a bowl. The roasted garlic will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.
Savory Lentil Spread
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Servings: makes about 4 cups
4 cups water
1 cup uncooked brown lentils
½ cup vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 ½ teaspoons basil
1 ½ teaspoons marjoram
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sherry
Place water and lentils in a saucepan and cook, covered, until lentils are tender, about 45 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, place the vegetable broth, onions and garlic in a non-stick pan. Cook and stir occasionally for about 5 minutes, until onions are soft. Add mushrooms and cook 5 minutes more. Add herbs and spices, cook and stir another 10 minutes, adding a bit more vegetable broth if needed. Add cooked lentils, soy sauce and sherry. Cook and stir until liquid is absorbed and mixture starts to stick to the bottom of the pot.
Place in a food processor and process until fairly smooth.
Serve warm or cold as a spread for bread or crackers.
Mock Tuna Spread
This is a favorite with my boys. They like it just spread on bread and eaten open-faced.
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
¼ cup finely chopped onion
¼ cup finely chopped green onion
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup fat-free mayonnaise or Tofu Mayonnaise (see hint below)
Place the beans in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped or mash with a bean masher. Don’t over process to a smooth consistency.
Place in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well.
Chill at least 1 hour to blend the flavors. Serve as a sandwich spread, rolled up in a tortilla, or stuffed into pita, topped with your favorite summer veggies.
Hint: This newsletter has many versions of Tofu Mayonnaise in past issues or there is also a recipe in The Starch Solution book. Naysoya Nayonaise also makes a low fat mayonnaise from tofu.
More Summer Recipes By Mary McDougall
I am always looking for easy recipes for summer, too. No one seems to spend as much time in the kitchen in the summer as they do in the winter. Could be they would rather be outside enjoying the nice weather? I still don’t stray too far from John and my favorite meals though: beans and rice. I just top them with more fresh garden veggies, depending on what is available in my garden or at the market.
This is our latest favorite meal. I vary the beans used several times a week, and also the veggies and salsa, so the meal is different every time I serve it. I serve this in 8 inch round “pasta” bowls so there is plenty of room for all of the ingredients and we often eat this outside on our deck making it a one dish meal.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: varies, depending on how you cook your grains and beans
Baked tortilla chips (see hints below)
2-4 cups cooked grains (see hits below)
2-4 cups cooked beans (see hints below)
chopped romaine lettuce or steamed kale
chopped green onions
1-2 cups corn kernels (see hints below)
1 avocado, chopped
To assemble bowls: Take a handful of the chips and break into pieces in the bottom of the bowl. Spoon some of the cooked grains over the chips, then top with some of the beans and layer on the rest of the toppings; lettuce or kale, tomatoes, onions, and avocado. Top with as much salsa as you like. Eat warm or cold.
Hints: The grains can be any of your favorites, rice, quinoa, buckwheat, etc. Either cook them from scratch, or use frozen grains and microwave them, or use instant whole grains and cook for only a few minutes. Use either canned beans (they come in many varieties), or slow-cooked beans (less heat in your kitchen in the summer and less time over the stove). You can eat them either warm or cold. If you have leftover grains and beans in your refrigerator, this can be a really fast meal. I usually use frozen organic corn kernels, thawed under cold running water until tender, and then drained well. Read labels carefully to find baked chips without added fat, or make your own chips from soft corn tortillas. Cut them into wedges, spritz with water and bake at 300 degrees until crispy.
Nelson’s Rye Bread
This recipe was developed by my brother-in-law, Nelson Van Elderen, based on a favorite Dutch treat, Roggebrood, that my parents ate throughout their lives. This Dutch rye bread is very moist and usually eaten in very thin slices, either topped with one of the spreads listed above, or plain. It is usually served chilled.
3 cups cracked rye meal
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup dark molasses
2 ½ cups hot water
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Pour the batter into a loaf pan, cover with a piece of parchment paper and then cover with aluminum foil. Bake for about 70 minutes, until the bread is still moist on top, but not “jiggly”. This may take longer depending on where you live or the temperature of your oven. The bread does not rise like a regular loaf of bread, and it is stored in the refrigerator so it is still quite moist when served.
Hints: If you bake this in a glass loaf pan you will need to lightly oil and flour the bottom of your pan before adding the batter. If you have a silicone loaf pan you will not need to do this, but your baking time will most likely be only 60 minutes.
Bean and Corn One Dish Meal
This last recipe is by Carol Fitzgerald and it is one you can watch on YouTube. Here is the link and I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
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