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Entrees (Vegetarian)

Cheese and Vegetable Panini (Meatless Monday)

Happy week after Thanksgiving, and official start to the Holiday season.  I hope everyone enjoyed some great family and friend time, and of course some delicious food.  And if you’re a Buckeye, I hope you enjoyed every minute of the game on Saturday when we kicked the butts of that team up north. Of course we did, it’s a tradition.

As you create your holiday wish list this year I’m sure you’re thinking about kitchen gadgets.  Do you ever buy kitchen equiptment and then realize you could have used something else in your kitchen to do the same thing?  We had a couple people come into our workplace last week, trying to sell us something that makes a fruit ice cream, and the whole time I was thinking; “I make this all the time with my food processor!”.  Regardless, the gadget was pretty amazing and not a bad price so I’m sure the convenience factor might sway people to buy it (maybe even me, I mean it was pretty neat) but still, the gadget really wasn’t necessary since I could already make this with what I had in my kitchen. We are just so gadget happy these days.  I don’t know about you but I simply don’t have the space for these gadgets in my kitchen, and whenever I can use one gadget to do two (or more) things, I will!  Case in point; I don’t have a panini maker, but I do own a grill pan (second best option).  I often see panini recipes online and never even thought to use my grill pan until someone told me that’s what they use for paninis.  Duh! It makes sense, I can get the true “panini” marks and everything.I just did one panini at a time, but the recipe said to do two. Don’t be confused, I just don’t listen to recipes sometimes.  I sort of wanted to do a test run first….do you ever do that?  Plus my panini was overflowing with veggies so I felt like it needed its space.  I’m so thoughtful, I know.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Cheese and Vegetable Panini

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • ½ cup shredded carrot
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion **
  • ¼ cup prepared salsa **
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pickled jalapeño pepper, (optional)
  • 8 slices whole-wheat bread **
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. Have four 15-ounce cans, a medium skillet, and a non-stick skillet (or grill pan!) ready by the stove.
  2. Combine Cheddar, zucchini, carrot, onion, salsa and jalapeño (if using) in a medium bowl. Divide among 4 slices of bread and top with the remaining bread.
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in the large nonstick skillet (or grill pan if you want those grill marks!) over medium heat. Place 2 paninis in the pan. Place the medium skillet on top of the paninis, then weigh them down with the cans (or whatever you have in your kitchen that is heavy enough to weigh down the paninis). Cook the paninis until golden on one side, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, flip the paninis, replace the top skillet and cans, and cook until the second side is golden, 1 to 3 minutes more. Repeat with another 1 teaspoon oil and the remaining paninis.

Notes

** If you want this to be lower in FODMAPs, omit the onion and use a gluten free bread. Also, omit the salsa or use less (~1/8 cup instead of ¼th cup) because salsa has onion and garlic almost 100% of the time. I actually used the full ¼th cup and wasn’t bothered, but for some omitting the salsa is best. Add some flavor back with Texas Pete’s hot sauce if you’d like, it’s a low FODMAPs hot sauce.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 1 Sandwich Calories: 280 Fat: 13.7 g Saturated fat: 6.8 g Sugar: 4.9 g Sodium: 550 mg Fiber: 4.8 g Protein: 15 g Cholesterol: 30 mg

Nutrition Highlights: Under 300 calories, good source of vitamin C, iron, and fiber, excellent source of calcium and vitamin AI don’t eat bread often, at all, not even gluten free bread.  I tend to get my grains from things like wild rice, brown rice, oats and quinoa.  When I took a bite of this panini I was flooded with endorphins, and thoughts ran through my head such as “Holy cow! Gina, why has it been so long since you’ve had a hot sandwich with hearty bread, overflowing with veggies and cheese?!”.  I knew right away that Nick would love the panini as much as I did.  And I was right.Such a perfect idea for a last minute dinner or lunch.  And if you’d like to make this a vegan panini you could use a vegan cheese such as my favorite; Daiya. It melts well and actually taste pretty similar to the real thing.  I know Daiya cheese would be perfect in this panini.

Question time; Do you have any kitchen gadgets at your house that you know you don’t really need, but you bought anyway? Or, do you want any kitchen gadgets that you know you don’t necessarily need?  For me it’s a soda stream. I want one so bad, but do I need it? No, not at all.  Do I have room for it? Not really.  I guess I’ll have to think of something to get rid of first…. Hmm, anyway, stay tuned for some great recipes coming up this week and next, including a butternut squash and sourdough soup, and the two amazing side dishes I prepared for Thanksgiving (yes, I’m flattering myself by saying they were amazing, but they were!  They were healthy contributions to the table, and people actually truly enjoyed them.  That’s always a win in my book).

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