Sweet Potato, Red Onion, and Ricotta Panini

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As you can probably tell by all the sweet potato recipes I’ve made lately, I love sweet potatoes. In fact, I love them so much that I like to keep a couple of cooked ones in the refrigerator. If you already have a baked sweet potato, this sandwich makes for a really quick lunch.

Ingredients

  • 2 slices of bread
  • 2-3 thick slices of baked sweet potato
  • a few slices of red onion
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • pesto (optional)
  • a few slices of butter

Directions

To make this sandwich, I used a George Foreman grill, which is perfect for panini making: both sides of the sandwich get perfectly crisp, the inside gets melty, and it takes no time at all. Oh, and you get those great great ridges pressed into the bread, which magically seem to make it taste even better. 

If you don’t have a grill, though, don’t fear! You can grill your sandwich in a saucepan the good, old fashioned way. These directions are for the saucepan method.

  1. Spread butter on one side of your slices of bread. Place the first slice in the saucepan, with the butter side down. Put all the fixings inside the sandwich, then place the second slice of bread on top with the butter side up.
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  2. Place a lid over the saucepan and let it cook for a minute or two. The lid helps the cheese get all melty and delicious.
  3. Check to see if the bottom is lightly brown. If it is, flip the sandwich over and cook on the other side, putting the lid back over the saucepan.

Margherita & Artichoke Panini

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Ingredients

  • 2 slices bread
  • 2-3 slices fresh mozzarella
  • 2 artichoke hearts, sliced
  • 2-3 slices tomato
  • 2-3 large basil leaves
  • pesto (optional)
  • few slices of butter

Directions

To make this sandwich, I used a George Foreman grill, which is perfect for panini making: both sides of the sandwich get perfectly crisp, the cheese gets melty, and it takes no time at all. Oh, and you get those great great ridges pressed into the bread, which magically seem to make it taste even better. 

If you don’t have a grill, though, don’t fear! You can grill your sandwich in a saucepan the good, old fashioned way. These directions are for the saucepan method.

  1. Spread butter on one side of your slices of bread. Place the first slice in the saucepan, with the butter side down. Put all the fixings inside the sandwich, then place the second slice of bread on top with the butter side up.
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  2. Place a lid over the saucepan and let it cook for a minute or two. The lid helps the cheese get all melty and delicious.
  3. Check to see if the bottom is lightly brown. If it is, flip the sandwich over and cook on the other side, putting the lid back over the saucepan.

Pita Pizza

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I was craving pizza, but wanted it right now. I didn’t feel like spending the time making and rolling out dough. I had some pita bread and 15 minutes later, I was eating pizza!

Ingredients

Makes 1 pita-sized pizza

  • 1 slice of pita bread
  • 1/4 marinara
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • a few scoops of ricotta cheese
  • 5 cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

Customize away! These are fabulous because everyone gets to make and assemble their own pizza, so you can make it how you like it. Prefer pesto to marinara? Go right ahead! Craving some olives or broccoli or black beans? Add ’em!

Directions

Preheat oven (or toaster oven) to 350°F

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  1. Spread the marinara sauce evenly over the pita bread.
  2. Sprinkle the mozzarella on top, followed by small spoonfuls of ricotta. Add the tomatoes, basil, and oregano.
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  3. Bake in the oven or toaster oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is melty and the pita is just barely starting to crisp.
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Curried Chickpea Salad Sandwich

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Inspired by the super easy and fast Greek Yogurt Chickpea Salad Sandwich I made recently, along with a recipe I saw on The Simple Veganista, I made this for lunch.

Ingredients

Makes 2 pita sandwiches

  • 1 14oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 green onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 6 tablespoons plain greek yogurt (use hummus to make vegan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • black pepper, to taste
  • few leaves of lettuce, to serve
  • one piece of pita bread, cut in half

I think that the best thing about this recipe (aside from how fast you can throw it together) is how flexible it is: replace the cranberries with another dried fruit (raisins? apricots?); throw in some red onion or bell pepper; add shredded carrots, apple slices, nuts, feta cheese, etc.

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients (chickpeas, green onions, cranberries, greek yogurt, onion powder, cayenne, curry powder, pepper). Stir until well combined.
  2. If you’d prefer it as a salad (gluten free!), go ahead and eat it as is. I divided it in half, scooped the salad into two pita halves, and served with lettuce.
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Greek Yogurt Chickpea Salad Sandwich

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This sandwich is light, but filling, and best of all only takes about five minutes to whip up! It can be eaten without the pita, as a salad, for a gluten free option.

Ingredients

Makes 2 pita sandwiches

  • 1 14oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped (about 1/4 of a large red onion)
  • 1 cup loosely chopped spinach (or another leafy green)
  • 3 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  • black pepper, to taste
  • pita bread

Directions

  1. Toss the chickpeas, onion, spinach in a bowl. Add the greek yogurt and lemon juice, stirring until well combined. Season with black pepper.IMG_7520
  2. Scoop the salad into the pita, and add slices of cucumber.IMG_7717

Cannellini Bean, Tomato, and Spinach Soup

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This soup is so quick to make and perfect for a cold day. (I know, I know, I live in southern California now… But it’s been in the 50s and you would not believe how quickly I have adapted to sunshine all the time!) The cannellini beans make this soup pretty filling and hearty. I love it because it is really good reheated. Make a big pot, and it tastes even more flavorful the next day.

Ingredients

Serves 6-8

  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 15oz can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 15oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4-5 cups spinach, torn
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. In a large pot, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil, over medium heat, until slightly softened.
  2. Add the diced tomatoes, broth, and beans.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer the soup, uncovered, for ten minutes.
  4. Stir in the spinach and cook until the spinach wilts. IMG_6357
  5. Add salt and pepper taste.

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Very Quick Black Bean Salsa Soup

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This soup is really easy and fast to make. I love the combination of pureed and whole black beans. It’s thick and filling. I used hot salsa for a bit of a kick! We ate this with jalapeño cornbread, which I highly recommend.

Ingredients

  • Four 15oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 cups of your favorite salsa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1/2 bunch diced green onions, to serve
  • Plain yogurt or sour cream, to serve (optional)

Directions

Serves 4-6

  1. In a food processor, blend two cans of black beans with 1/4 cup of water.
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  2. In a pot, combine the mashed black beans, the two cans of unmashed beans, the salsa, the vegetable broth, and the chili powder.
  3. Bring the soup to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  4. Serve with green onions, along with a scoop or two of yogurt! Serve with jalapeño cornbread.
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