Monday, 26 May 2008

The King of Sandwiches is in the house

Cia is my sister and I am her leader. The two of us are sitting on the flagstone steps outside the kitchen door eating our peanut butter and jam sandwiches. Cia peels hers apart, as she always does, and slowly licks out the filling, while I squash the slices of bread together between my palms until they turn doughy and ooze peanut butter and jam goo, then gulp it down.
The Voluptuous Delights of Peanut Butter and Jam by Lauren Liebenberg

We make quite a lot of our own bread in the trusty breadmaker (okay, I make it and we eat it) which gives us the perfect excuse to eat healthy lunches and make elaborate sandwiches for work. Here's one that J put together for me one morning.

The bread is a homemade spinach pesto bread made with plain wholemeal, wholemeal spelt and 7-grain flours. Inside is more of the pesto (the perfect way to use up the last of a big bag of spinach when it's starting to look a bit old), homemade hummus, tofu luncheon, grated carrot, tomato, avocado and big you can barely get your mouth around it!!

The other day I was browsing through the library as usual and stumbled across The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook by Joanne Stepaniak. I'd seen this book mentioned at The Tropical Vegan's blog but hadn't really thought of looking for it. It was a very exhausting weekend so we decided to finish it up with the Grilled Cheez Sandwiches from the book since there was some leftover homemade bread needing using. J was delighted and actually pretty excited about the whole idea so I left him in charge of the kitchen.

They were surprisingly good but we didn't have any turmeric which probably aids the colour. J reckoned that although it was the right consistency and tasted pretty damn close, the colour just wasn't right. We also used a lot more of the mixture than it said. Apparently it's supposed to make 4 sandwiches but we only got 2 and a bit out of it. Then again, the bread slices are pretty large.

Last weekend after orienteering we were wandering through one of the many fruit and vege stores out on the road towards Kumeu and Woodhill and J spotted basil pesto wraps. I was suspect since pesto traditionally has cheese in it but these were all good and vegan-friendly.

I filled them with stir-fried veges, marinated and lightly pan-fried tempeh, avocado and tomato then baked them for about 10 minutes (or something like that...but they were nice and crispy). Delicious!


  1. Cool that you found that book! That grilled cheez is one of my favourites. I like the recipes that have tomato sauce (ketchup) in them. Something about it makes the cheez taste really yummy.

    Also... as you know I'm coming to NZ in December. There will be a few people from my uni, and we are thinking of getting a three bedroom apartment or house for the week... do you know of any places like that, close to the uni? Maybe I should email you...

  2. I also got interested in that book after reading Theresa's blog. Unfortunately, I'll have to buy it if I want to have a look at it...And then I feel guilty that I don't use my cookbooks enough!

  3. It must be so nice making your own bread!

    Spinach pesto sounds scrummy too! I have never actually eaten vegan pesto- I must buy some (I am too lazy to make it myself ; ) )

    You are right about Cheezly, it sort of melts in clumps! You can then almost spread it once it is warm but it is definitely nothing like dairy cheese in that way! Who cares if it tastes good though?

    That grilled Cheeze looks really good- I am tempted to buy that cookbook now! (I have checked all my local libraries and none of the carry it :( )

  4. Isn’t it amazing how something as simple as a sandwich can be so delicious-looking? Now I’m craving a vegan wrap.

  5. Your grilled cheez looks delicious! That kind of sandwich is probably the #1 reason I would want to invest in that cookbook. Though I've only made one attempt at vegan grilled cheez myself, I am still searching for the perfect grilled cheez sandwich!

    You're just really good at the sandwich/wrap thing! The tempeh wrap looks colorful and very yummy -- I like the green tortilla! I really don't make wraps and sandwiches for myself, and now I'm wondering why it's not a higher priority... It looks like you're living the good life with all this yummy food!

  6. P.S. Seitan is incredibly easy to make -- it took me an hour and a half, but most of that time is inactive, as the seitan boils in the pot. I've also heard results are even better with seitan recipes that call for steaming or baking instead of boiling.

  7. Yeah, sandwiches are so underrated. And I never realised how good a grilled cheez sandwich could be!

    Ruby Red Vegan - it's just practice for sandwiches and wraps. Anything can go in them even if it sounds a little weird at first thought. Not that long ago I couldn't even fry onion! Thanks for the seitan advice. It's on my (ever growing) to-do list.