Larrupin

Uncommonly Good

BLT Sandwich

BLT Sandwich

BLAT Sandwich: Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Tomato wit Mayo on Whole Wheat Toast

I know bacon is loaded with saturated fat, which is the one thing I’m cutting back on this year, but I’m tempted to dive into a pile of tater tots so this was a better choice. I also skipped my usual side of potato chips, so I’m still ahead of the game.

After I was ready for work this morning I started my coffee (to-go) and put the bacon in the skillet, the toast in the toaster oven and started pulling everything else together. I packed the toast and bacon in one container and the avocado, mayo and tomatoes in another.

I cut the avocado in half and left the pit in place. I put that half face down in a container of cottage cheese and put it back in the fridge for later. I smeared the other half with mayonnaise, which I would later put on my sandwich. I also put some grape tomatoes (it was all I had) in that container and sealed it.

BLT Prep

Toast and bacon, with a small paring knife, go in one container. Half an avocado, smeared with mayo, with a handful of grape tomatoes.

I put the sandwich together when I was ready to eat. It hit the spot.

Some suggestions:

Use 100% Whole Wheat Bread. I use real mayonnaise, but only enough to smear on one piece of bread.

Keep the toast on the light side. I let mine get too dark, and as it dried out during the morning it was plenty crunchy.

Don’t put mayo on hot toast. It will melt right in and I don’t know about you, but it that’s not what I want in  BLT.

Let the toast cool if you can before you seal it up. If it’s still warm it will steam a little inside the sealed container and that’s not what you’re after either.

The romaine fit perfectly in the container with the toast and bacon, but it will get limp if you let it get warm. Instead wash it, fold it inside a paper towel and seal it separately.

At work, I put the avocado and tomatoes in the fridge, because of the mayo, but I left the other container on my desk. I’m not a fan of cold bread, and certainly not cold toast.

I also had a hard boiled egg and some tomato juice as an afternoon snack. And I had some almonds and pistachios to snack on as well.

Tomorrow, a tuna sandwich.

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April 21, 2010 Posted by | Brown Bag, Sandwich | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mushroom Potato Soup

It’s another snowy day in Oklahoma.  And yes, it’s the first day of spring. So it’s a good day for soup.

I bought leeks last week for potato soup and I also had almost eight ounces of mushrooms in the fridge that I needed to use. But instead of making two soups, I put them together and came up with this one.

First, I took the outer leaves off the leeks and after removing the root end I cut them into super thin slices. I put the slices in a colander ran water over them while separating the rings to be sure and get all the dirt from between the layers. Leeks are part of the family of onions and, while similar to onions, they have a milder flavor. I like the flavor they give my soups and stews, and I was also happy to see them on this website as one of the World’s Healthiest Foods.

When I was satisfied the leeks were clean, I put them in a three quart sauce pan over low heat. I added a splash of olive oil and stirred it into the leeks.  While the leeks started to saute, I washed and sliced the mushrooms, saved a few of the best for garnish and added the rest of the mushrooms to the pan.

When the leeks were soft and the mushrooms had given up their liquid I added some white wine, just to cover the veggies, and let it continue to cook while I peeled the potatoes. I cut the potatoes into medium chunks and put them in the pan with the leeks and mushrooms. I added water* to just barely cover the potatoes and turned up the heat.

*NOTE:  I usually use chicken broth instead of water, or at least water with chicken bullion, but my son is dating a vegetarian, and has agreed to try it for a month. He was coming over later in the day, so I made this vegetarian for him. I didn’t mention the mushrooms though. He insists he doesn’t like them. Shhhh…

It wasn’t long before the potatoes were fork tender. I turned the heat down and used a potato masher to break it all into smaller pieces. Next I got out my immersion blender and used it to turn the potatoes and mushrooms into a thick puree. I seasoned the soup with salt and pepper and my own garlic rich Janz herb blend. It very thick so now I added milk. I poured in a little at a time and stirred it in until it was the soupy consistency I was looking for.

When I was ready to eat, I filled a bowl and garnished it with a small dollop of sour cream, several super thin slices of carrots (I used a potato peeler to get them paper thin), fresh mushroom slices and a sprinkle of green onions. I am a pepper fiend so I had to add fresh cracked pepper to the top.

When my son arrived, I garnished his soup with carrot slices and grated Jarlsberg cheese. Other possible garnishes include avocado slices, grated Parmesan, seasoned croutons, and crumbled bacon.

Here’s the ingredient list with estimated quantities.

The Soup:

  • 4 leeks, sliced very thin, separated, washed well
  • 6–8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
  • Olive oil, a tablespoon or so
  • About 1/2 C white wine
  • 5–6 medium potatoes, peeled, large dice
  • Water (or chicken broth) to cover potatoes
  • Seasonings: salt, pepper, Janz Seasoning Blend
  • Milk

Garnishes:

  • Sour Cream
  • Carrot slices, paper thin
  • Mushroom slices, very fresh mushrooms
  • Chives
  • Grated cheese, whatever sounds good to you
  • Avocado slices
  • Seasoned croutons
  • Crumbled bacon

Mmmmm…. Larrupin!

March 21, 2010 Posted by | Soup | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Simple Turkey Sandwich

As you can see, I put lots of color in my sandwiches the same as with my salads. Here’s what’s in this one from the bottom:

  • 100% whole wheat bread
  • Mayo
  • Deli sliced turkey
  • Tomato slices
  • Bread and butter pickles
  • Avocado
  • Spinach
  • Provolone Cheese

I read somewhere that the key to not overeating at mealtime is to be sure to eat something that “satiates.” Some taste that is “just what you wanted.” For me in a Simple Sandwich it’s usually pickles.

If I make a plain sandwich with meat and cheese, then I’ll want to eat a bag of chips to go with it. But if I add all the trimmings: specifically tomatoes and pickles, then I usually won’t crave chips too.

I start with a thin layer of meat so I can add a healthy pile of veggies. When I make a Simple Sandwich for my son, I’ll double the amount of turkey, and add a layer of deli ham before I start the vegetables. I would use 2 slices of cheese, one on top and one on the bottom. Optional additions to this sandwich could be, in no particular order:

  • Crispy Bacon
  • Ham
  • Spicy French or Catalina Salad Dressing
  • Romaine or other lettuce
  • Pimiento stuffed olives
  • Thin slices of red onion
  • Toasted bread

Yum!

May 31, 2008 Posted by | Sandwich | | Leave a comment

Bacon Avocado Broccoli Salad

One day last week I was in the mood for some sweet bacon dressing so I made this salad. It’s a salad that is usually made with spinach, but it worked with what I had on hand.

  • Romaine (torn in bite size pieces)
  • Red Onion (super thin slices)
  • Avocado (thin slices)
  • Hard Boiled Egg (thin slices)
  • Broccoli (bite-size flowerettes)
  • Bacon (cut, scissors work, in 1/2 inch pieces before cooking)
  • Cheese (hard cheese mix, grated)

The assembly is pretty obvious except for the delicious, but totally unhealthy dressing! Basic ingredients for the dressing are oil (bacon grease), sugar and vinegar.
I sprinkled granulated sugar in the hot bacon grease and whisked it to dissolve it. When the sugar was melted I added cider vinegar. I’m not sure, but I think the original recipe called for about equal parts of oil, sugar and vinegar. Once this mixture is blended, pull it from the heat and finish the salad assembly.

I finished building the salad and drizzled the dressing on top after I had the base assembled. Then I garnished it with the bacon and cheese. It was yummy!

May 26, 2008 Posted by | Salad | , , | Leave a comment

Bruschetta

Bruschetta – or Fresh Tomatoes on Toast
I went to the farmer’s market yesterday morning and found some really nice tomatoes. They were from Texas, but that was as close as I could get to “home grown” this early in the season. I was in the mood for a late night snack last night and the tomatoes sounded good so I decided to make bruschetta to take advantage of the fresh flavor.
Generically speaking, bruschetta is simply toasted bread, seasoned with olive oil and herbs, topped with tomato and cheese. It can be prepared on the grill or in the oven. Here’s how I made this batch in a toaster oven.

Ingredients:

  • French Bread
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil*
  • Herb Seasoning Blend*
  • Fresh Tomato*
  • Hard Cheese*
  • Avocado (optional, but yummy!)
  • Balsamic Vinegar*

Directions:

  1. Slice French bread about 3/4 inch thick, and place on foil-lined toaster oven baking sheet. Coat both sides with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with herb seasoning.
  2. Toast at about 300°-325° just until tops start to turn golden brown then turn & toast the other side. (In a toaster oven close to the heat source this will just take 5 minutes or so.)
  3. When both sides are golden place slices of tomato on top of each slice of toast and sprinkle with more herbs. Top with grated hard cheese and return to the oven until cheese is melted.
  4. Remove from toaster oven and top with slices of avocado.
  5. Pour a thin layer of balsamic vinegar on serving plate and place bruschetta on the plate in the vinegar.
  6. Dig in.

*How tos:

  • To coat with extra virgin olive oil* pour the oil in a small condiment bowl and use a pastry brush to paint with oil. An easier way is to keep oil in a spritzer bottle and spray it on the bread slices. The spritz method also lets you use less oil if you’re concerned about counting fat grams.
  • Basil is the herb* most frequently found in bruschetta recipes. Top tomato slices with fresh basil leaves or sprinkle with dried basil if you don’t have a favorite herb blend you want to use. I’ve created my own herb mix, Janz Seasoning Blend, that I use on practically everything. Basil is one of the prominent flavors in this blend.
  • Some bruschetta recipes call for chopped tomatoes*. However I prefer slices so I don’t lose any when I eat it. It much neater to eat if you don’t have to worry about the tomatoes falling off when you take a bite.
  • I have a cheese grater that I fill with chunks of Parmesan, Asiago and Romano* cheeses. When I fill the grater with different cheeses I automatically get a cheese blend when I use it. Another cheese option is to slice thin slivers of Feta on top of tomatoes.
    By the way, cheese is the reason I line the baking sheet with foil. Small bits of baked cheese can be hard to clean. A foil liner can be tossed. Rinse the baking sheet and you’re done.
  • In the past, I have “drizzled” balsamic vinegar* on the top of each piece prior to serving, but found it hard to “drizzle” and frequently ended up pouring vinegar over each piece. This obviously makes the toast soggy and the flavor can be overwhelming. Plan B has been to pour a bit of balsamic vinegar in a condiment bowl and serve it on the side for dipping. Last night it occurred to me to pour the vinegar on the serving plate before I pulled the toast from the oven. I placed the toast on the thin puddle on the plate and the bottom 1/8th inch of the toast soaked up the vinegar, just enough to provide flavor in every bite without making the toast soggy.

Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take pictures before I ate this tasty snack. However, I still have a couple of fresh tomatoes and as soon as an avocado is ready, maybe tomorrow, I’ll make it again and I’ll add some pictures.

As I wrote this I looked up recipes for bruschetta and found some alternatives with white beans or prosciutto. I’ll give those variations a try and share the results sometime soon.

May 24, 2008 Posted by | Appetizer | , , , , | Leave a comment

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