Sunday, February 28, 2010

Salmon and Creamy Spinach Crostini

You know life is good when the Ratty serves salmon. If the stars align and you simultaneously spot spinach-stuffed-something in Roots and Shoots, try this (illegally) delicious crostini!

Salmon and Creamy Spinach Crostini
1 slice crusty bread
2 Tbsp creamy spinach
2 flakes of salmon
a garnish of tomato and green

1. Spread creamy spinach on bread (toasted would be extra delicious), top with salmon and garnish.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Hummus Pita Triangles

On a slow day at East Side Pocket*
East Side Pocket CEO: Our line usually extends all the way up Thayer, man. What's going on?
Worker: It's been slow since Monday, boss.
CEO: Oh yeah?
Worker: Must be Greek Week at the Ratty.
CEO: Ah.
brief pause
Worker: I heard their hummus is real good.
CEO: ...

*this is a purely fictional scenario

Hummus Pita Triangles
whole wheat pita "triangle" slices (Tastes of the World)
lettuce leaves
tomato slices
bulgur wheat parsley salad (Tastes of the World)

Sour Cream Mustard Relish Honey Sauce
2 Tbsp sour cream
1 Tbsp relish
1 tsp honey
1 tsp mustard
(ratio of ingredients in order listed is about 4:2:1:1)

1. Spread one side of pita triangle with hummus and Sour Cream Mustard Relish Honey Sauce.
2. Layer on tomato slice, lettuce, and bulgur wheat parsley salad.
3. Fold over and enjoy.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Grilled Garlic Focaccia Breadsticks

Garlicky, buttery, and so easy to make!

Grilled Garlic Focaccia Breadsticks

2-3 focaccia breadsticks
3-4 butter pats (toast station)
1-2 Tbsp garlic powder
dash of salt and pepper

1. Mix butter, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small cup.
2. Spread garlic butter on both sides of each breadstick.
3. Press in panini press until golden brown and crispy.
4. Top on a salad of your choice. We recommend:

Baby Spinach Salad Tossed in Balsamic Vinaigrette

Layer baby spinach, cucumbers, and purple onion rings on a plate. Toss lightly in balsamic vinaigrette and enjoy with something crunchy and buttery.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Peanut Butter Apple Toast

An intriguing combination of hot and toasty with tart and crispy; creamy and nutty with savory and smooth.

Peanut Butter Apple Toast
1 slice multi grain bread
1 Tbsp sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp all natural peanut butter
1 slice apple
1/4 slice cheddar cheese

1. Grill the bread on a panini press until golden brown marks appear.
2. Spread with peanut butter, top with rest of ingredients.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Kicked Up Broccoli Rabe Pasta Salad

Depending on how hot you like it you can adjust the amount of red pepper flakes in this recipe.

Kicked Up Broccoli Rabe Pasta Salad
1 scoop whole wheat penne
1 scoop broccoli rabe
1 handful shredded carrots
2 Tbsp tuna
1 Tbsp garlic infused olive oil
2 Tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp soy sauce

Mix all ingredients together on a plate, garnish with two attractive salad leaves, and enjoy.

Note: to make vegetarian, substitute tuna for shredded cheese.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Basil Olive Oil Honey Yogurt

Olive oil on yogurt? Why not? There's something about basil infused olive oil that pairs nicely with the sweetness of honey, and the bitter yet sweet undertones of the herb with the warm spice of cinnamon create a deep flavor profile that is perfect on cool yogurt.

Basil Olive Oil Honey Yogurt
1 large dollop plain yogurt
2 Tbsp basil olive oil
3 tsp honey
dash of cinnamon sugar
salad leaves for garnish

1. Drizzle a plate with honey.
2. Generously dollop (that's a technical term) the yogurt onto the center of the plate. Try to create height.
3. Drizzle with basil infused olive oil.
4. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and garnish with salad leaves.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Josh's Beef and Onion Panini

Another gorgeous panini from our dear friend Josh. This one uses the brilliant pairing of fresh and fried onion rings to accentuate the savory-ness of the beef.

A note about lettuce:
Josh: "No lettuce."
The rest of us: "Why not?"
Josh: "Because it's not that kind of sandwich."
Moral of the story: If you want a sandwich with lettuce, look elsewhere. The star here is the meat, so please don't skimp on the protein; you might offend the sandwich.

Josh's Beef and Onion Panini
2 slices wheat bread
3-5 slices hot pastrami
1 slice roast beef
2 fried onion rings
2 fresh onion rings
2 slices American cheese
mustard (optional)

1. Assemble the sandwich.
2. Press in panini press until golden brown grill marks appear (3-5 minutes).
3. Slice in half and enjoy with a generous plateful of salad tossed lightly in balsamic vinegar, and/or a tall glass of water.*

*these are optional, but according to Josh the sandwich packs a hearty punch of saltiness that will likely make you crave something along the lines of mixed greens/water (lettuce on the side, however, not inside the sandwich).

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Red White and Olive Pasta

Simple pasta with a light olive oil dressing and a kick from those red pepper flakes.

Red White and Black Pasta
3/4 cup fusilli
3 mozzarella balls, sliced in half
4 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
3 black olives, sliced
1 Tbsp garlic infused olive oil
1 Tbsp parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
a tiny bit of champagne vinegar

1. Toss fusilli with sliced mozzarella, grape tomatoes, and olives.
2. Drizzle garlic infused olive oil over pasta, sprinkle with rest of the ingredients. Goes nicely with a salad of mixed greens in balsamic vinegar dressing.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Show-stopping Broccoli Rabe

Have you ever met someone who seems drab and unassuming but actually has a great personality once you get to know him or her? Was his/her name Broccoli Rabe? Rabe is humble, yet nutritious and delicious. This dish makes our friend, Rabe, the star.

Show-stopping Broccoli Rabe
1 cup broccoli rabe
1 Tbsp meatball sauce (or vegetarian tomato sauce)
2 tsp parmesan cheese
1/4 cup vegan red bean soup (or plain red beans)
1/4 cup diced green bell peppers
1 Tbsp wheat germ
2 Tbsp flaked tuna (leave out for vegetarian version)
3 raw broccoli florets
salad leaves for garnish
11 (count them) grape tomatoes

1. Combine all ingredients up to the broccoli, in order.
2. Garnish with salad leaflets.
3. Surround spinach with grape tomatoes.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Mashed Potato Scallion Pancakes

Inspired by pan-fried scallion pancakes from East Asian cuisine. Creamy potatoes and melted cheese contrast nicely with the crisp tortilla fresh out of a panini press.

Mashed Potato Scallion Pancakes
1 whole wheat tortilla
1/2 cup mashed potatoes (1 spoonful)
2 slices cheddar cheese
1/4 cup scallions, plus extra for garnish
3 onion rings

1. Spread mashed potatoes on one half of whole wheat tortilla. Layer cheese and onion rings on top, sprinkle with scallions.
2. Panini press for 3-5 minutes and garnish with fresh scallions.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wrap

A succulent lettuce wrap with the flavors of soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and fresh scallions. It's tricky to eat because the lettuce doesn't do a very good job of holding together all the carrots and scallions (maybe a tortilla would be better?), but if you do manage to get everything in one bite, the flavors of spicy, sweet, salty, and tangy play very well off of the refreshing lettuce and juicy tomato and tender chicken.

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wrap
1 Tbsp sesame ginger sauce (see below)
2 large, intact lettuce leaves
1 chicken leg, shredded, skin removed
3 tomato slices
2 Tbsp cup shredded carrots
3 red onion rings
3 tsp scallions

Sesame Ginger Sauce
1/8 tsp rice wine vinegar
1/8 tsp ground ginger
3 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce

1. Layer all ingredients on the lettuce, and drizzle on the sauce.
2. Attempt to roll up everything in the lettuce and take a good, representative bite, give up, and grab the lettuce wrap barbarically and eat.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Turkey Olive Muenster Sandwich

It's hard to decide who's really the star of this flavor combo--the fruity olives bursting with juice, the creamy Muenster with its rich Muenster-y taste, or the chewy tangy dried cranberries (which I sadly didn't get a shot of in this picture. I hope they don't mind).

Turkey Olive Muenster Sandwich
2 slices whole wheat bread
small squirt of mayo (1 tsp)
slightly bigger squirt of mustard (1 Tbsp)
1 slice Muenster cheese
2-3 leaves of crisp Romaine lettuce
3-4 olives, sliced
2-3 slices tomato
2 slices turkey
5-6 dried cranberries

1. Spread mustard and mayo on one slice (okay if they blend).
2. Layer rest of ingredients: turkey, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, cranberries, Muenster, and other slice of bread. Do this loosely.
3. Savor.

(Something that I wasn't aware of until recently is that olives are really moisture-laden. If your sandwich ever feels saw-dusty or dry, try dispersing some olives in the filling and I guarantee you will no longer have a hard time swallowing.)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Roast Turkey Cranberry Panini on Rye

Roast turkey and cranberry go together like milk and cereal, pb and j, bagels and cream cheese, yogurt and honey, milk and cookies...

Roast Turkey Cranberry Panini on Rye
2 slices dark rye bread
6-8 baby spinach leaves
2 slices roasted turkey (bistro line)
1 large slice tomato
1 slice swiss cheese
1 tsp yellow mustard
1 Tbsp cranberry sauce

1. Spread cranberry sauce on one slice and mustard on the other slice.
2. Layer spinach, turkey, tomato, and swiss cheese on cranberry sauce.
3. Panini press for 4-6 minutes. Slice in half and enjoy.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Toast with Sesame Dip

A delicious appetizer.

Toast with Sesame Dip
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp scallions
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 slice Seven Stars multigrain bread

1. Mix together all of the ingredients except for the bread.
2. Toast the bread on the panini press.
3. Dip the bread in the sauce and savor. (Note - this is important! Do not - I repeat - do not devour. That would be the incorrect technique here - you will offend the scallions.)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Broccoli Cheese Turkey Crostini

Turn a slice of rustic bread into a "pizza crostini" by spreading on some pasta sauce sprinkled with shredded cheese, melted on a panini grill (be careful that the top lid doesn't touch the cheese). Then top with anything you want! Turkey, tomato, broccoli, and black pepper are excellent. You can also do an over-easy egg on top to make it sublime.

Broccoli Cheese Turkey Crostini
1 slice Seven Stars bread
1 Tbsp pasta sauce
1 Tbsp shredded cheese
1 Tbsp broccoli, turkey, tomato medley
black pepper
1 over-easy egg

1. Spread pasta sauce on the bread.
2. Sprinkle on the cheese and place the bread on a panini press.
3. Lower the top lid so it is 1 cm away from the top, and melt the cheese (this takes 5 minutes - be patient!)
4. Top with the broccoli, turkey, and tomato.
5. Sprinkle on black pepper.
6. Top with an over-easy egg, break the yolk, and devour.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cranberry Passionfruit Mocktail

This one didn't work out as nicely as we hoped because the drinks got mixed. But if you're careful not to slosh it around, the two juices will form two lovely layers of different colors, like...the sunset! That's right, you can have summer in February.

Cranberry Passionfruit Mocktail
1 cup ice
1/2 cup cranberry juice
1/2 cup passionfruit guava juice
orange segment (optional, for garnish)
swirl of vanilla frozen yogurt

1. Get ice in a cup.
2. Dispense the two juices, being careful not to mix them too much so the colors stay pretty.
3. Add an orange segment on top and garnish with vanilla soft serve.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Roasted Sweet Potato Quesadilla

Inspired by Al Forno's sweet potato appetizer pizza. While nowhere near as gourmet as the pizza version, this crisp, cheesy, onion-y sweet potato quesadilla is nonetheless delicious in all its Ratty-fied glory.

Roasted Sweet Potato Quesadilla
1 flour tortilla
1 baked sweet potato (1/2 cup mashed)
1/4 cup scallions
3-4 red onion rings
2 slices swiss cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp caramelized onions

1. Spread mashed baked sweet potato on one half of tortilla with a fork.
2. Layer swiss cheese, mozzarella, scallions, caramelized onions, and red onion rings on other half.
3. Fold in half and panini press for 6-8 minutes, or until golden brown grill marks appear.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Roasted Strawberries and Yogurt

I love these strawberries, and undoubtedly they are good with whipped cream and pound cake, but they are just as good (and good for you!) paired with cool, creamy yogurt and heart-healthy wheat germ flakes.

Roasted Strawberries and Yogurt
1 bowl of yogurt
1 tsp honey
2 roasted strawberries and some juice
2 Tbsp wheat germ

1. Top the bowl of yogurt with an even drizzle of honey.
2. Sprinkle wheat germ on top and garnish with strawberries.

Beef Spinach and Feta Open-Faced Sandwich

A warm grilled slice of Seven-Stars multigrain bread is perfect when topped with creamy butternut squash puree, a tangy and savory tomato spinach feta medley, and delicately flaked broiled beef. Where do you get the "tomato spinach feta medley" you ask? Fear not, my friend - it is right there in front of you, on top of that pizza from Tastes of the World! ;)

Beef Spinach and Feta Open-Faced Sandwich
1 slice of Seven-Stars multigrain bread
2 Tbsp butternut squash puree (or sweet potato)
1 spinach feta pizza slice
1 slice roasted marinated beef

1. Spray a panini press and gently press the bread until golden and toasty.
2. Spread butternut squash puree on bread.
3. Scrape the topping off of the pizza slice and spread on top of the squash.
4. Arrange beef shreds on top.

Peanut Butter Banana Provolone Sandwich

For some of the more adventurous eaters out there, give this sandwich a try. Balancing sweet, crispy, nutty, savory, and rye-y, it is quite a symphony of flavors on the palate.

Peanut Butter Banana Provolone Sandwich
2 slices dark rye bread
2 slices provolone cheese
2 slices leafy green lettuce
1 banana, sliced (1/3 inch thick)
1 Tbsp all natural peanut butter

Spread peanut butter on one slice. Layer rest of ingredients. Bon appetit.

To make vegan, omit the cheese and use vegan bread (such as a vegan pita bread or a vegan rye).

Monday, February 1, 2010

Smiley Swiss Cranberry Turkey Sandwich

Happy shopping, everyone!

Smiley Swiss Cranberry Turkey Sandwich
2 slices wheat bread
1-2 slices tomato
1 Tbsp diced onion
1-2 leaves lettuce
1 Tbsp cranberry spread (in sandwich line)
1-2 slices turkey
1 slice smiley swiss cheese

1. Spread cranberry sauce on one slice of bread.
2. Assemble, take a bite, chew, swallow, smile. Repeat.

Savory Spinach Panini

The savory spinach seems to lack salt on its own, but when it is paired with salty olive tapenade, tangy roasted red bell peppers, and melty cheddar cheese, it comes to life.

Savory Spinach Panini
1 whole wheat bun
1/2 cup savory spinach
3 slices cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp diced white onions
1 slice tomato
3 pieces roasted red bell pepper
2 Tbsp olive tapenade

1. Arrange fillings on bun in the following order: bottom bun, cheese slice, diced onions, tomato slice, olive tapenade, roasted red bell pepper, cheese slice, savory spinach, cheese slice, top bun.
2. Place in panini grill (spray with Pam first) and press for 5-7 minutes or until desired grill marks are achieved.