Category Archives: Sandwiches

Turkey Cranberry Sandwich

Turkey Cranberry Sandwich

Every year during the winter holidays we always seem to have leftover turkey.  The reason is because we always have at least a 20 pound bird for Thanksgiving and sometimes we may even cook another turkey for Christmas dinner.  So, in the grand scheme of things, that’s a lot of turkey!  That’s when I have to get creative with the leftovers.  I make soups, stews, enchiladas, and even turkey lasagna.

One of my favorite ways of preparing leftover turkey is a turkey sandwich.  I got my idea from a local deli in town that offers Turkey Cranberry Sandwiches on their menu.  Whenever I stop there for lunch, that’s the sandwich that I generally like to order.  The turkey cranberry sandwich is piled high with fresh sliced turkey, tangy cranberry relish, and melt in your mouth cream cheese.  My version of the Turkey Cranberry Sandwich is a bit different for I like to use blueberry bread instead of white bread.  If you can’t find blueberry bread just keep in mind that it also tastes great on raisin bread.  So, the next time you happen to have leftover turkey, make this sandwich.  You’ll be glad that you did!  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients ***

  • 1/4 pound sliced turkey (no bones)
  • 2 Tbs cream cheese
  • 2 Tbs cranberry relish
  • 2 slices of bread (I used blueberry bread)

On one slice of bread, pile on your turkey. Add the cream cheese and then the cranberry relish.  Top with remaining bread, slice in half and serve.  Makes one delicious sandwich!

*** Note:  ingredient amounts are an approximation.

Egg Salad Sandwich

Egg Salad Sandwich

Years ago when I was a cook while working my way through college, one of the things that I had to make on the menu was an egg salad sandwich.  I was taught to make them with hard boiled eggs, miracle whip, yellow mustard and sweet relish on white bread.  It was served with a handful of plain potato chips and a dill pickle.  Some people just loved it.  Me, on the other hand, I thought that it was simply anemic looking and disgusting…

Heirloom Tomatoes

I love preparing eggs so I thought I would try to improve upon the egg salad sandwich recipe that was taught to me years ago.  First of all, I ditched the miracle whip and used a good quality mayonnaise instead.  I swapped the plain yellow mustard for Dijon mustard and omitted the sweet relish.  I added capers, fresh chopped celery and fresh snipped chives.  I also added chopped roasted red bell pepper, a pinch of curry powder and fresh cracked pepper.  I serve my egg salad sandwich on whole wheat bread with sliced heirloom tomatoes and fresh picked lettuce.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 2 Tbs light mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbs chopped celery
  • 1 Tbs chopped roasted red bell pepper
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 1 tsp chopped chives
  • big pinch of hot madras curry powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices whole wheat bread
  • garnish with fresh picked lettuce and sliced heirloom tomatoes

Begin by grabbing a small bowl.  Using a fork mash the eggs in the bowl.  Add all ingredients except bread and garnishes.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Divide egg mixture and place on two bread slices.  Add tomatoes, lettuce and top each sandwich with a bread slice. Cut sandwiches in half and serve.  Makes two sandwiches.

Tequila Lime Chicken Soft Tacos

Tequila Lime Chicken Soft Tacos

During the work week I always try to make dinners that are fast and easy.  I like to make extra servings of a meal on the weekend and re-purpose the leftovers later on in the week.  Late Sunday afternoon I barbecued a big batch of my Tequila Lime Chicken for an early dinner.  Knowing in advance that my work week was going to be ridiculously busy, I made sure that I grilled up some extra chicken for Tequila Lime Chicken Soft Tacos.

Whenever I am out on the back patio next to my kitchen, I always make sure that my camera is close at hand.  Last year I planted some giant allium in large containers and their gorgeous purple flowers were attracting dozens of honey bees.  So, I put my camera to good use while I was waiting for my Tequila Lime Chicken to finish cooking on the grill.  I have to admit, when I took this shot, I was just a tad worried about getting too close to my subject.  Lucky for me, he did not care that I was taking his picture :).

Earlier this spring, I planted a bunch of chives in a pot and they are blooming too.  The chive blossoms are much smaller and not as brightly colored as the giant allium.  However, whenever I need fresh chives I simply walk out onto the back porch, scissors in hand and I snip whatever I want.   Planting fresh herbs in pots saves a bunch of money at the grocery store.  Plus, they always seem to taste better and fresher.

My recipe for Tequila Lime Chicken is here.  For the Tequila Lime Chicken, I marinate boneless, skinless chicken thighs in lime juice, tequila, cilantro, cumin, coriander, chili pepper, garlic and smoked paprika.  I marinate the chicken for several hours and then cook the chicken on my barbecue or indoor grill.  I like to use any leftover Tequila Lime Chicken warmed up in soft tacos with shredded carrot, lettuce, cilantro, tomato, lime and drizzled with a tangy cilantro sour cream.  Sometimes, I chop it up the grilled Tequila Lime Chicken and place it on a heap of fresh picked lettuce leaves for a healthy salad.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 3 cups chopped Tequila Lime Chicken (warm)
  • 6 corn tortillas (warm)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped lettuce
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime cut into 6 wedges
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp cilantro chopped
  • big pinch of cumin
  • drizzle with hot sauce or salsa (optional)

In a small bowl whisk together sour cream, lime juice, cilantro and cumin.  Set aside. Heat up the tequila lime chicken (I used a microwave).  Fill warm tortillas with chicken, lettuce, tomato, shredded carrots and drizzle with cilantro sour cream.  Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and lime wedges.  Makes 6 tacos.

Lamb Tomatillo Tacos

Lamb Tomatillo Tacos

You might be surprised but lamb is a relatively new ingredient to my kitchen.  I never enjoyed it because my family simply never prepared it.  The first time I ever ate lamb was several years back.  And what I remember about it is that it was a plate of perfectly grilled succulent chops.  It was outstanding.  After that, I was completely hooked on lamb.

Whenever I purchase lamb at the store I always buy the local organic lamb.  It’s not exactly cheap and not all grocery stores carry it. However, I make it a point to support our local farmers and ranchers.  Not to mention, I truly believe that organic ingredients taste so much better!  I have found that buying the lamb stew meat is one of the least expensive ways to go if I want to add lamb to our plates.  Little lamb chops run over well over ten dollars a pound and the stew meat is about half that.  So, for everyday occasions, I generally buy the stew meat.

Lamb tomatillo tacos are simple to make and taste wonderful.  I like to cook the lamb until it is fork tender and then add it to warm tortillas topped with shredded purple cabbage, sliced jalapenos and a squeeze of lime.  Sometimes I serve it with a bit of sour cream or salsa on the side.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 pound lamb stew meat
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 6 tomatillos (husked, washed and quartered)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 taco sized tortillas
  • 2 – 3 cups shredded purple cabbage
  • garnish with limes, jalapenos, salsa or sour cream

In a medium sized pot with a lid brown the lamb meat in canola oil until golden.  Add tomatillo and onion.  Cook until onion is opaque.  Add cumin, bouillon cube, water, salt and pepper.  Cook covered on low until lamb is tender.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Add additional water if necessary.  Using a slotted spoon add lamb to warm tortillas.  Fill with the shredded purple cabbage and garnish.  Makes 6 tacos.

Sloppy “Lentil” Joes

Sloppy “Lentil” Joes

I have got to tell you that a Sloppy Joe is one of the very first dishes I ever learned how to make.  A Sloppy Joe is without a doubt an American “kid friendly” sandwich.  If you never had a Sloppy Joe, it is a tasty, messy burger made with ground beef and a tangy sweet tomato sauce.  To make a Sloppy Joe, all you have to do is brown up some ground beef, add some Sloppy Joe sauce, ladle on a burger bun and there’s dinner.  Easy.

I was in the mood the other day for a Sloppy Joe sandwich and I had no ground beef stashed in the freezer.  I did not even have ground bison or turkey either.  However, I had lentils in my cupboard…  I had heard of people preparing Sloppy Joes with lentils before and I knew that when lentils are cooked they have a meaty like texture. So, I made my standard Sloppy Joe sauce and added cooked lentils instead of beef.  I tasted it and it was good!

When Bruce came home that evening, I told him that I made these for our dinner.  He gave me his me his famous dirty look and quickly reminded me that he hated beans.  I looked back at him, smiled, handed him his Sloppy “Lentil” Joe sandwich, crossed my fingers, and said “sorry hon, I forgot”.  I then watched him out of the corner of my eye while he ate the sandwich.  And get this… He looked as if he liked it!  After he was finished, he said that he thought it was really good and that he almost forgot that there were lentils in it.  I guess he’ll eat beans now  :).

My recipe for Sloppy “Lentil” Joes is easy to make, completely meatless and healthy for you.  Not to mention, they are wickedly good.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 cup brown lentils (rinsed and picked over)
  • 3 cups water
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 8 ounce can tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup tomato ketchup
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp dried mustard
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp kitchen bouquet (browning sauce for color)
  • salt to taste
  • 4 to 6 whole wheat burger buns
  • garnish with pickles

Begin by cooking the lentils and water in a sauce pan on covered on medium low for about a half an hour or until the lentils are cooked to your liking.  I did not add salt to the lentils for I heard that salt toughens up the beans. Drain.  Mash lightly with potato masher.

Meanwhile, in skillet or pan, saute the onions and bell pepper in olive oil.  Cook until onions are opaque.  Add remaining ingredients except for the lentils, burger buns and pickles.  Cook on medium low, covered, for about the same amount of time as the lentils, stirring occasionally.  When the lentils are done, add to the tomato mixture, taste, and correct your seasonings.  Add water if necessary.  Ladle on warmed whole wheat burger buns, garnish with pickles and serve.  Makes 4 to 6 Sloppy “Lentil” Joes.

Mini Zucchini White Eggplant Panini

Every Thursday there is a farmer’s market about a mile away from where I work.  Yesterday I was able to sneak over and visit on my lunch hour.  I love stopping by because as the season changes there is something different every week.  Yesterday, while walking through the booths and pickup trucks heaped with fresh picked corn and baskets of zucchini in the back, I spied some gorgeous white eggplant.  I don’t why but I have never seen white eggplant before…

These eggplants were a gorgeous white color and according to the farmer that I purchased them from, they are the “crescent moon” variety.  I went ahead and bought three not knowing what I was going to make with them.  Within an hour of my purchase,  I knew what I was going to make.  I had some fresh picked zucchini and heirloom tomatoes from my own little pocket garden and all I had to do was stop by the bakery on the way home from work and snag a fresh baked baguette…

And voila!  Mini Zucchini White Eggplant Paninis.  There is no use jotting down a recipe as long as you can measure and grill.  The key to this dish is to find eggplant, bread, tomatoes and zucchini all of the same diameter.  Begin by slicing the vegetables into half inch slices.  The bread can be as thick or thin as you want it.  I brushed the bread, zucchini and eggplant with olive oil, sprinkled on some sea salt and grilled them.  I added fresh mozzarella cheese to the eggplant and let it melt.  I then assembled the mini paninis while adding a small slice of prosciutto and garnished with some fresh basil leaves and cherry tomatoes.

I served these paninis to my family with a side of fresh garden salad.  These mini paninis would be a great for lunch or dinner and depending on the size of your ingredients, or as a really cool appetizer to make for your next party.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients (for one Mini Zucchini White Eggplant Panini)

  • 2 slices fresh baguette
  • 1 slice zucchini
  • 1 slice white eggplant
  • 1 slice heirloom tomato
  • 1 ounce fresh mozzarella
  • 2 basil leaves
  • olive oil for brushing
  • small slice prosciutto
  • pinch sea salt
  • basil and cherry tomatoes for garnish

Chicken Hoagies with Blueberry Ancho Chili Sauce

I’m not a big fan of leftovers… Quite frankly, I will do what I can to wiggle my way out of eating them.  The only way I can eat leftovers is to completely change up the dish, I mean, cook something so radically different that it vaguely resembles the original dish.  Day before yesterday I made a tasty Blueberry Ancho Chili Glazed Pork Tenderloin and I had some leftover blueberry ancho chili sauce tucked away in the back of my refrigerator.

I just purchased two pounds of chicken and had a bag of fresh baked hoagie rolls.  So with that leftover sauce I decided to make Chicken Hoagies with the Blueberry Ancho Chili sauce, sliced havarti cheese, garnished with chopped heirloom tomatos, green onion and parsley from my garden.  These savory sandwiches were a cinch to make and are perfect for a quick weekday meal.  Serve with potato chips or a scoop of potato salad.  My family really liked these sandwiches and I am sure that you will too.  I sure will be making these again…  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 1/2 cups Blueberry Ancho Chili Sauce (see recipe below)
  • 5 hoagie rolls (toasted)
  • 10 slices havarti cheese
  • garnish with the following (chopped): 2 tomatoes, 1 green onion and a few sprigs of parlsey for color.
  • 1/2 tsp of salt or to taste.
  • 1 Tbls. canola oil

Grab a cutting board and slice your chicken into about 1 inch slices.   Meanwhile heat up a saute pan on the stove with medium high heat.  Add the canola oil, chicken and salt.  Cook the chicken until cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.  Add the Blueberry Ancho Chili Sauce and simmer for about 5-10 minutes.  Taste the sauce, correct with salt or a bit of water if necessary.  Put cheese in the hoagie rolls and add the chicken mixture.  Garnish with tomatoes, green onions and parsley.  Serve with chips.  Makes 5 tasty sandwiches.

Blueberry Ancho Chili Sauce:

  • 2 c. fresh picked blueberries
  • 1 can of Pepsi
  • 1 c.  tomato ketchup
  • 1/4 c. Indonesian soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 c. minced shallots
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/8 c. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

In a saucepan on medium low heat add the above ingredients stirring occasionally.  Cook for about 1/2 hour or 45 minutes.  Remove from heat and use on BBQ pork, baked tenderloin, brush it on ribs and chicken.  Makes about 2 1/2 cups.  Refrigerate any leftovers in covered container for about a week.



Sweet Chili Ham Salad Sandwich

While working my way through college I was a cook during the summer months at a local fishing resort.  One of the things I learned to make on the menu was ham salad sandwiches.  I served them with plain white bread, topped with iceberg lettuce, a scoop of potato salad, a handful of chips and a dill pickle. The ham salad that I was taught to make in the restaurant was with ground up leftover ham butts, miracle whip, celery and dill pickle relish.  Few people ordered them.  Quite frankly, I thought those sandwiches were freaking gross.  Each time I made one of those sandwiches, I always thought there should be a better way to make these.  At the time, I just didn’t know how.

It’s been many years since I finished college and I no longer work in a restaurant.  Just the other day I was thinking about my old job at the resort and just how much I love the taste of ham.  I thought of those little nasty ham salad sandwiches that I used to make and then I began the mission on how to improve upon that recipe.  After imagining different combination of flavors, I think I nailed it.  I call it my “Sweet Chili Ham Salad Sandwiches”.   It’s a mix of one of sweet chili sauce (my favorite), tossed with savory ham, crunchy celery, bright red bell peppers, thinly sliced green onion and a bit of light mayo.  I top it off with thin cucumber slices, red onion, tomato and fresh picked lettuce, and serve it on honey wheat berry bread.  It’s absolutely delicious!   This ham salad is tasty, colorful and is budget friendly.  This sweet chili ham salad can be served on French bread toasts or on the tips of endive spears for a quick appetizer.  Enjoy! – Tessa


3/4 lb. ham, cubed (approx. 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 c. light mayonnaise
2 Tbls. sweet chili sauce
2 Tbls. thinly sliced green onions
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. chopped red bell pepper
8 slices honey wheat berry bread
8 tomato slices
12 cucumber slices (thin)
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
8 lettuce leaves

Let’s begin.  Put your ham in a food processor.  Pulse until the ham is chopped (about 10 pulses).  Don’t puree it…  Put chopped ham in a medium sized mixing bowl.  Add mayo, sweet chili sauce, green onion, celery and red bell pepper.  Mix well.

Assemble the sandwiches by laying out 4 slices of bread.  Add a scoop of the Sweet Chili Ham Salad, layer on the tomato, cucumber, red onion and lettuce.  Top with remaining bread slice.  Cut in half.  Serve!  Makes 4 tasty sandwiches.

Indonesian Turkey Burgers


Indonesian Turkey Burgers….  A wonderful fusion of Indonesian and American cuisine.  Just imagine barbecued juicy turkey burgers, topped with smoked gouda cheese, grilled onions, tomato, fresh picked lettuce, and drizzled with a wonderful Javanese ketchup.  Go out, gather your ingredients and fire up the BBQ.  It’s time to grill up some Indonesian Turkey Burgers!   Enjoy!

Turkey Burger Ingredients:

1 lb. fresh ground turkey
1/3 c. panko bread crumbs
1 egg beaten
1 Tbls. Indonesian soy sauce (medium)
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. garlic paste
1 tsp. low sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper

4 burger buns (heated on the grill)

Garnish with fresh picked lettuce, smoked gouda cheese, tomato, grilled onions and Javanese ketchup.

Javanese Ketchup Ingredients:

In a small bowl blend together the following:

1/4 c. ketchup
1/8 c. Indonesian soy sauce
Sambal Oeleck to taste (optional)

Let’s begin.  Make the Javanese ketchup and set aside.  Fire up your barbecue or indoor grill.  Prepare your garnishes and set aside. Grab a medium sized bowl and lightly mix the turkey, panko, egg, Indonesian soy sauce, coriander, garlic paste, low sodium soy sauce, salt, and pepper.  Form into 4 equal sized patties.  Be sure to wash your hands afterwards with soap and water.  When your BBQ is ready, place patties on the grill.  Cook for about 5-6 minutes per side or until cooked through.  Add your cheese to the burgers and melt….  Remove from heat. Meanwhile warm the burger buns on the grill.  I like to brush the buns with a little bit of melted butter before I toss them on the grill.  Cook buns until heated through and lightly golden.  Assemble your burgers, top with the garnishes and drizzle on the Javanese ketchup.  Makes 4 burger gems.  Enjoy!