Vegan, Jane Austen student, Minimalist, Reader, Librarian

Monday, May 3, 2010

Green Sandwich

Music: Helen Forrest on shuffle on my iPod*

Today's smoothie: baby spinach, frozen strawberries, frozen peaches, fresh lemon balm, banana, bit o'avocado

This is a new recipe from The Urban Vegan. At first reading, you might be skeptical of this recipe tasting good; it's just made of rapini, garlic, olive oil, and nutritional yeast served on a baguette that has been hollowed out. Rapini, according to the book, is broccoli rabe and is used traditionally in Philly steak sandwiches. But rapini has so much flavor who needs the meat? These sandwiches were incredibly good and filling.

Her recipe made four servings so I just halved it. The measurements are what I used.

Rapini Panini
5 cloves garlic, sliced thin
2 tbsp olive oil
red pepper flakes (optional, but oh, so good!)
1 bunch broccoli rabe (aka rapini), blanched (to blanch, fill a pan with 2 inches water & bring to a boil. Cook rapini about 1-2 minutes until bright green & tender)
1 whole-grain baguette
sprinklings of nutritional yeast (alternatively you can use vegan slices of cheese, such as Daiya brand)
sea salt to taste

1. Slice garlic & saute in olive oil, along with red pepper flakes, if using, over medium-low heat until softened. Do not overcook garlic or brown it. Toss in blanched greens & cook until warmed through. Salt to taste.
2. Cut baguette & pull out soft middle (you could save for breadcrumbs later). Sprinkle with nutritional yeast or line with vegan cheese and fill with hot rapini mixture.

We enjoyed it with raw radishes & extra rapini that wouldn't fit in the sandwich.

This was just a quick meal I pulled together of coconut rice, steamed collards, & sauteed firm tofu.

*Not many people know who Helen Forrest was and that's too bad, because she was one of the most popular female singers who sang with three of the best big bands of the 1930s & 1940s: Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, and Harry James. (And, a bit of gossip, she was in love with Harry James but he broke her heart for movie star Betty Grable, whom he married). I actually got to meet her when she played in the 1980s at MeadowBrook Music Festival. By then she was losing her sight but she still sang beautifully. One of her biggest hits was "I Heard That Song Before."

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