My jeans feel a little too snug and I am not liking it at all. AT ALL. This happens to me three times a year: right after Chinese New Year (all them pineapple tarts, arrowroot chips and kuih bangkit kind of show themselves up in my thighs); after Deepavali (when I eat, breathe and sleep muruku, my favourite-est snack) and again after Hari Raya (when I consume a frightening amount of dodol).
So, it’s time to rectify the problem. What’s always an easy, delicious and healthy (well, mostly healthy — put away that peanut butter and jelly NOW!) meal? A sandwich, of course. Thin slices of good, healthy bread will reduce my carb intake and still fill me up. And the multitude of choices when it comes to fillings should keep me from getting bored.
You might think there aren’t too many options for vegetarian sandwiches. Cheese, egg, egg + cheese, tomato, fresh vegetable (eeks, not my favourite), aubergine, mushroom, avacado, red pepper, tofu, tempeh (seriously folks, a good tempeh sandwich will make you love the fermented beans), vegetarian ham … and I’m just getting started here.
So, I’ve decided to devote some time to sandwiches. Also, Marty and I have something up our sleeves and it’s got to do with gourmet sandwiches … but you’ll read more on this later as our plan unfolds.
My first entry for sandwich season is the (V) BLT Sandwich, Part I . You know what a BLT is, right — Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato. Well, this year is my vege version.
“Say, what?”, you ask disbelieving.
Well, improvisation is a skill all vegetarians must have. You don’t want to eat meat for whatever reason: spiritual, humane, medical … it doesn’t matter. But you still want good, tasty food.
Vegetables are plenty tasty — there is no meat that can compare to the creamy, buttery avocado or the sweet roasted red pepper; but sometimes you wanna spice things up a little and so you create a little food parody. Why not?
I used a herbed bread for this sandwich; went to the bakery last night and saw a herbed loaf for just RM2.99. (If you go late and the bread’s about to expire in a day or so, you can get it slightly cheaper).
For cheese, I choose Mozerella which I sliced and melted on my buttered toast. YUM.
Lettuce, of course.
And vegetarian ham dressed as bacon. You can buy a log of the ham and it looks like the non-veg salami logs you see in the deli. The logs come in two sizes: small and large. A small log can make you about 7 sandwiches and a large one … maybe 20 or 25. All you need to do slice them (about 1/2 cm slices) and grill them, seasoned with just pepper. If you want a more authentic bacon look, slice the ham really, really thin — as in if-you-are-not-careful-you-may-slice-yourself thin. You need a really good and sharp knife, of course.
Tomatoes of course. I used the regular big ones which I sliced and grilled.
Oh. And I added roasted red pepper and a little spread of mayo.
The key to a good sandwich is the bread and the cheese. You need the right bread: some fillings are soggy and so you need bread that is thicker than your regular sandwich bread. Whole grain breads work well.
You also need the right cheese: cheddar usually works well with everything but you might want to experiment to get more out of your sandwich. The only way is to experiment … and that’s what I will be doing.
Wish me luck (and pray that I fit into my jeans soon, please).