I wish this could be a freezer meal.
I’m in full nesting mode (minus the time to physically nest) and trying to plan out my freezer meals for after the baby arrives. All the things I’m craving and eating right now really wouldn’t work to freeze for later. Maybe we can we talk about what are good freezer meals are then? I was going to do a few soups and maybe veggie enchiladas, but that’s kind of it.
Truthfully, I keep thinking that I’ll be super mom and can do it all after this baby. I mean, why not? … I’m quickly realizing that there’s a reason you forget about things. Like the last month of pregnancy, childbirth, and newborns.
Whatever, I’m sure I can either 1. still make these sandwiches with an infant strapped to my chest or 2. find someplace or someone who can. And then whatever you’re doing, you should probably make these too. Trust me. They’re really easy, there’s nothing fancy about them, but so SO good!
I’ve made these so many times this summer and I typically go between two versions – one with mozzarella/balsamic and one with mashed avocado. I like them equally, which is why I’ve included both versions. Also, I have tried these with hummus and I wasn’t a huge fan. Just throwing that out there.
Now I should probably tell you a story.
It’s kind of embarrassing how long I’ve been thinking about these sandwiches and that I’m just now making them. We’re talking post college, pre-married life days. No need to do the math, it was a long time ago.
Once upon a time… Kidding, but kind of feels like that.
It was just after college, I strapped on a backpack and traveled around Italy with my two best girlfriends. There was no real agenda, or any pre-booked lodging. Very unlike my grownup self. At the time, I didn’t do cheese (but I did do gluten) so when being on a “bread and cheese” budget, there were limited options. It was these veggie sandwiches, which I probably had at least one maybe two a day, biscuits and nutella or make your own bread and ham (with mustard) sandwiches. The end.
So, because these sandwiches have hardly left my mind and when you’re pregnant and there’s something food related spinning in your head, it HAS TO HAPPEN. Period.
And you’re welcome.
Like a said before, these sandwiches are really nothing fancy, but I felt like you might need these in your life so I had to share. You can basically chop the vegetables any which way you like. I typically like them thin, but if my husband is grilling, I’ll cut them thicker so they don’t fall through the grill. You can chop in little pieces after you’ve grilled them and have the cheese act as “glue” to hold it all together. If there’s a vegetable you don’t like, them forget it, switch it out with something else. And of course, if you’re not gluten-free, it’s also very easy to make with any type of bread.
Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches
makes 4 sandwiches
- 1 small zucchini, cut in half and sliced vertically
- 1 small eggplant, thinly sliced
- 1 bell pepper, cut in stripes or sections
- 1 sweet onion, sliced
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt
- 1 avocado, mashed
- 8 slices of gluten-free bread
- Fresh mozzarella
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
I used a grill pan on the stove, but you can also toss these on the outdoor grill.
Heat grill pan over medium-high heat.
Toss vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with a generous amount of sea salt. *you may need extra olive oil with the eggplant as they tend to soak more of it up. You can either toss them all together or one vegetable type at a time. Place coated vegetables in a single layer on a the pan. After a few minutes, flip the vegetables. *note – I added a little more salt at this time, but you don’t have to if you’re watching your sodium intake. Once they’ve softened and browned, remove and place on a plate or platter. Continue this until all the vegetables are cooked/grilled.
I used a panini press, but you can also use the same grill pan and kind of smash the top with a heavy pan. Or however you typically make grilled cheese.
Avocado version – spread mashed avocado on two slices of bread. Layer the grilled vegetables how you like and top with the second piece of bread, avocado side down. Place the sandwich in the panini press or back on the grill pan (like you’d make a grilled cheese) and flip after a few minutes or the bottom has browned. Once both sides have browned nicely, remove and enjoy! Continue these steps until all the desired sandwiches have been made.
Cheese version – drizzle balsamic vinaigrette on two slices of bread. Layer the grilled vegetables how you like and top with the slices of fresh mozzarella. Add the second piece of bread. Place the sandwich in the panini press or back on the grill pan (like you’d make a grilled cheese) and flip after a few minutes or the bottom has browned. Once both sides have browned nicely and the cheese has melted, remove and enjoy! Continue these steps until all the desired sandwiches have been made.
*gluten-free *dairy-free, optional