Meal inspirations and a mock open-face turkey sandwich
By Sue Knorr
I've loved cooking for as long as I can remember, even before I received my cherished "Betty Crocker's Cookbook for Boys and Girls" at the age of 8. I've never been at a loss for meal ideas. They pop into my mind, prompted by the smallest things like the weather, seasons, moods, events, etc. You name it, and it has probably sparked a new recipe for me. I'm sitting at my kitchen table now, finally home after spending a month away welcoming my new little grandson into the family. It's nice to be back, but I have to admit, I've been suffering from a bit of baby grandson withdrawal for the past couple days. Thinking about my grandsons has put me in the mood for some of the foods of my childhood.
Tonight I enjoyed a delicious, quick and easy dinner. Comfort food doesn't get much better than this. Thanks to a stop at Trader Joe's this afternoon, my kitchen was restocked with plenty of ingredients for yummy Zone meals. A variety of ZoneFast 1-2-3 foods, my most important meal staples, were already in the freezer. I made a sort of vegetarian version of an open-face sandwich. I'm calling it sort of vegetarian because I used real turkey gravy in it. When I was growing up, hot open-face sandwiches were one of my favorites. I haven't had one in years. You know, a few slices of bread on a plate, topped with roasted turkey or roast beef and smothered in gravy.
My sandwich memories and a box of prepared turkey gravy I picked up on my shopping trip today were all it took to inspire me to get a little creative. This turkey gravy happens to be relatively Zone friendly. It has 0.5 gram of fat and 2 grams of carbohydrate in 1/4 cup. I've always liked Dr. Sears' advice to keep meals interesting by adding a bit of sauce here and there. Since I try to avoid foods containing AA (arachidonic acid) as much as possible, I haven't been eating much meat for the past year. It has really paid off, resulting in a significant drop in my cholesterol levels. This made a veggie version of a hot open-face sandwich a no brainer for me. After a quick scan of my fridge here's what I came up with.
Mock Open-Face Turkey Sandwich
Lightly saute one half zucchini, thinly sliced, in a little bit of refined light olive oil and minced garlic (refined olive oil because it's preferable not to cook with extra virgin), and season with sea salt, onion powder, and a few grinds of the pepper mill. I like zucchini best when it's lightly sauteed and still has a hint of crunch. While the zucchini is sautéeing, heat 1/3 cup of Trader Joe's Turkey Gravy (or any brand of Zone friendly gravy that's very low in fat and carbohydrate) in the microwave and lightly toast 2 or 3 slices of Zone Multigrain Bread. To assemble the sandwich place the toast on a dinner plate, spoon the sautéed zucchini over it and then top with the gravy. That's all there is to it. I garnished mine with a few slices of an Organic Honey Crisp Apple on the side. Absolutely delicious!
The leftover gravy already has me thinking about tomorrow's dinner, maybe some baby portobello mushrooms in place of the zucchini, Zone Orzo substituted for the bread, and a few roasted Marcona almonds with rosemary. I have several new meal ideas in the works, so stay tuned for more in future articles.