I know what you’re all thinking…. SUZ, WHERE IS THE MEAT AND CHEESE?!?! After a much thought out debate, I decided to make this weeks installment dedicated to the veggies. With Summer quickly approaching, the grocery stores produce section is becoming much more vibrant and more fruits and veggies are coming into season. In all honestly, I’d have to say I didn’t even miss the meat and melty cheese in this delicious grilled sandwich. (Okay, maybe a little, but I’m trying to be healthy people!) Sometimes you can’t have it all in life and the same is true for your dinner plate I suppose; ).

I made over a 5 star recipe from Food Network’s very own Rachael Ray.  Rachael used a creamy herbed mayonnaise spread for her sammy. I slimmed down her spread by swapping mayo for avocado and  added some green onion, lime and roasted garlic. I shaved more than 200 calories and 10 grams of fat off her sandwich by using a different spread and only using 1 piece of bread instead of 2 per sandwich.

Check it out!

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Makes 4 sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 1 Japanese or Italian eggplant sliced on an angle in half-inch thick slices ( I used Italian because I couldn’t find a Japanese Eggplant)
  • 1 small zucchini sliced on an angle in half-inch thick slices
  • 1 red pepper cut in quarter’s lengthwise
  • 1 small red onion cut into 4 slices
  • 2 Portobello mushroom caps ( We used 4 small Portobello’s)
  • extra-virgin olive oil to brush veggies and bread with before grilling
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 slices crusty sourdough bread or your favorite hearty bread cut 1/2-inch thick
  • 4 pieces red leaf lettuce

Avocado Spread Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • Approx 2 cloves of roasted garlic
  • Approx 1tsp minced green onion
  • Juice of half a lime
  • A couple pinches of salt

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1) Cut off the top 1/2 inch off of garlic bulb. My garlic bulb had green sprouts in each clove. Not to worry if yours looks like this, don’t throw it out, it is still just fine to use and tastes the same. Place bulb on foil. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper as desired. Wrap bulb up in foil leaving some room for it to steam inside the foil packet. ( don’t seal it tight) Place on grill (on upper grill rack or to the side away from direct flame) for approx 30-4o minutes) Click here to watch a video on how to roast garlic.

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2) Slice eggplant and zucchini on an angle into 1/2 inch pieces.

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3) Slice 4 slices of red onion. Cut red pepper into 4 pieces for grilling.

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4) Twist mushroom stems off portobello mushrooms. Remove mushroom gills using a spoon in either a clockwise or counter clockwise fashion. Be gentle, it is easy to break the mushrooms during this task. They don’t have to be 100% removed.

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5) Slice bread into approx 1/2 inch thick pieces. We used a crusty sourdough made fresh from the grocery store Tuesday afternoon. Each slice has 140 Calories. (Reminder – we are only used 1 slice per sandwich) Calories per slice may vary depending on what kind of bread you choose. I recommend a heartier/crusty bread that will hold up under heat on the grill.  Brush veggies with a very light coating of olive oil for grilling. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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6. Grill veggies till tender, I like mine with a slight crunch to it. Approx 10-15 minutes, flipping half way through. Toast bread slices towards end of grilling process.  In  the top right hand corner  is a foil type ball. That’s the garlic roasting.  Nom Nom Nom.

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7. Slice 1 avocado into small cubes and dump into a medium bowl. Mash avocado with a potato masher or fork. Remove garlic from grill and smash approx 2 cloves and dice into a garlic type puree.

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8. Dice approx 1 tsp green onion and place into bowl with avocado. Sprinkle in some salt. Juice approx 1/2  a lime into mixture. Combine ingredients together for your sandwich spread and place aside.

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9. Remove veggies from grill. Smear 1-2 spoonfuls of avocado spread onto toasted bread. Pile sandwich with grilled veggies (Approx 1 piece of each vegetable per sandwich) Top veggies with 1 piece of red leaf lettuce. Smear another spoonful of avo-spread on top piece of bread and viola!

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We served our sandwiches with a side of sweet potato fries. The frozen kind. I admit I don’t make everything from scratch! haha . If you have extra time go ahead and make your own sweet potato fries, they’re pretty delicious. You can check that recipe out in my previous turkey burger post.

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The Calorie Break Down:

Eat Fit Not Fat Grilled Veggie Panini – Approx 300 calories per sandwich. Our sweet potato fries had 140 calories per serving. So we have approx 440 calories for one pretty amazing dinner!

Rachael Ray’s Great Grilled Veggie Sandwich – Approx 530 calories for just the sandwich.

Panera Bread Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich – 590 calories

Au Bon Pain Veggies Sandwich – 640 calories

Recipe adapted from : http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/great-grilled-vegetable-sandwich-recipe/index.html