Mediterranean Turkey Sandwich

Quick post today! First off, I will not be doing my usual #FollowFriday post tomorrow. Instead, I’ll be participating in Cookies & Crafts for Sandy Hook. Crazy for Crust has organized a way for the blogging community to show support and give tribute to those effected by the shootings last week. (I’ve copied and pasted part of her post from her blog below.)

On Friday, December 21, 2012, we are going to honor the victims, families, and community of Newtown by doing a post in their honor. Cookies and Crafts for Sandy Hook will be one way we can show support in the aftermath of this unimaginable event.


On Friday, December 21, write a post sharing a cookie or a craft and a tribute to Sandy Hook Elementary School. There is no specific requirement…just do or make something to show your support. Maybe something you would make for, or with, your children.

Please spread the word about this united effort wherever you can. You can use the hashtag #BloggersforSandyHook.

Don’t have a blog? That’s okay. You can still share something for Sandy Hook. Take a picture and post it on your Facebook wall, your Twitter feed. Share on Instagram or your Google+ or wherever you can to unite us in our tribute.

So please come back tomorrow to see what treat I’ve made. I still have no idea what to do. I tried making cookies yesterday and it was a total epic disaster. I used to think it was my oven’s fault, but now that I see a pattern, it’s probably just me. :)

Mediterranean Turkey Sandwich The Tasty Fork

Do you love turkey? How about turkey sandwiches? I sure do but doing the typical turkey, mustard and cheese thing gets pretty boring for me. I came up with a Mediterranean sandwich spread, almost like a tapenade, to switch up the everyday turkey sandwich. The spread consists of artichokes, roasted red peppers, onions, banana peppers, balsamic vinegar & extra virgin olive oil. Add to a blender or food processor, and then you have a low-calorie and flavorful sandwich spread. You won’t miss the mayo or mustard with this sandwich!

If you’re having guests in town for the holidays, this sandwich is great for everyone and it’s a little different from what you can get anywhere else. Pair it with some sweet potato fries and you’ve got a filling meal.

Mediterranean Turkey Sandwich

  • 10 oz can artichoke hearts, drained 
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 1/2 banana peppers, mild
  • 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Dash of red pepper flakes
  • 8 sandwich rolls
  • 1 lb deli turkey
  • reduced fat feta cheese crumbles
  • lettuce
  • shredded carrots


  1. In a blender or food processor, add artichokes and the next 6 items. Blend until is a paste consistency.
  2. Warm sandwich rolls in the oven. Split and spread both sides of bread with the artichoke mixture.
  3. Top with turkey, feta cheese crumbles, lettuce and shredded carrots.

Slow Cooked Root Beer Pulled Pork with a kick…

I’m pretty sure most people like me because of this pulled pork recipe. I’ve brought it to football parties, potlucks and picnics. It’s always a hit and I rarely have leftovers. As someone who complains about leftovers, I get a little sad when all of the pulled pork is devoured.

I made Root Beer Pulled Pork for The Bears Monday Night Football game last week. I was looking forward to having a lazy night on the couch and eating a couple pulled pork sandwiches. I got a call from my hubby mid-morning asking if he could have a couple of friends over for dinner. I hesitated slightly. I wasn’t worried about not having enough pork, but I wasn’t totally thrilled about not having a pork sandwich for lunch the next day. But I decided to put my greediness aside and said of course he could have friends over. I love entertaining and pulled pork is perfect for a Monday night meal.

However, I didn’t get enough pulled pork for my liking. So over the weekend, I made more. It was a nice break from the massive cheesy meatball lasagna I made on Friday night.

I know there are a lot of root beer pulled pork recipes out there… but dare I say, this recipe is the best. Root beer provides some flavor, but I want more. So I like to add additional spices to turn things up a notch. Trust me, you don’t even need BBQ sauce. (but you still can if you want. I won’t judge you.)

And since this is made in a crock pot, it’s the perfect meal for any day of the week. It requires no attention until it’s time to shred the pork.

So to all of my friends, here is my recipe. I guess I’ll need to come up with another recipe to get me invited to shindigs. :)

Slow Cooked Root Beer Pulled Pork

  • 1 cup root beer, additional might be needed
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp grill seasoning
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 lb boneless supreme pork roast
  • 4 to 8 buns
  • BBQ sauce, if needed


  1. Pour root beer into slow cooker. Add all the spices, seasonings and garlic. Gives everything a good stir. Add onions and pork. Add more root beer if needed. You don’t want the pork to be submerged, just nicely floating.
  2. Set the slow cooker on the lowest setting. Cook for 5-6 hours.
  3. When the pork is cooked, shred meat in the slow cooker. Turn the setting down to warm and let the shredded pork hang out for 20 minutes. Serve on buns and BBQ sauce.

New Recipe: Grilled Portabella Mushroom Sandwiches

This recipe is something I’ve been making for a loooong time. It’s probably my favorite vegetarian sandwich. I’m not reinventing the wheel here, but this sandwich is amazing.

I think the marinade makes this sandwich better than any portabella sandwich I’ve had in a restaurant. It’s filled with fresh herbs…. I guess it helps I work for a fresh herb company, but since it’s summer, all of these herbs (rosemary, thyme & parsley) are available at your local grocery store or farmers market.

Have I told you I’m obsessed with goat cheese?? I’m pretty sure I have… I try to sneak it into ANY meal where it makes sense. This sandwich makes sense. Load on the goat cheese. Please don’t be shy….

Not only is this sandwich great for a vegetarian at a BBQ, but meat lovers will enjoy it too! Portabella mushrooms are so thick and juicy. Then combine it with some roasted red peppers, grilled red onions, fresh basil and goat cheese on artisan bread — any carnivore will be lining up for this sandwich.

Grilled Portabella Mushroom Sandwiches, serves 4

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Pinch of red chile flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 medium portobella mushrooms, stems removed
  • 1 red onion, sliced in rings
  • 1/2 jar of roasted red peppers, chopped
  • Loaf of artisan bread. (I used ciabatta)
  • 4 oz goat cheese log
  • 8-10 basil leaves


  1. Heat your gill to medium.
  2. Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, garlic, red chile flakes, rosemary, thyme, and parsley in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. In a zip lock bag, add marinade and mushroom caps. Marinade up to 4 hours.
  3. Remove mushrooms from marinade, but save the marinade. Place the mushrooms on the grill, cap side down, and grill until golden brown and slightly charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the mushrooms over and continue grilling until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Drizzle olive oil on red onion. Grill 4 minutes per side.
  4. Remove the mushrooms from the grill and cut into slices. I did about 4 slices per mushroom. Place the mushrooms in a large bowl, add the marinade, and toss to coat. Chop onion and add to marinade. Let marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.
  5. Toast bread on the grill. Let it get slighty charred. Remove from grill and spread goat cheese on both sides of bread. Top with basil leaves on both sides of bread. Add the mushroom onion mixture. If you have a crusty bread, make sure you get some of the marinade on the bread. It will soak right into it. Add roasted red peppers. This sandwich can be served warm or cold.

Curry Honey Mustard Vinaigrette & Fruity Chicken Sandwiches

Wow. This was a mouthful. A delicious mouthful.

Grilled chicken sandwiches are great… but just the same ol’ recipe won’t do it for me. I changed up my everyday honey mustard vinaigrette recipe by adding in some curry and cilantro. YUM!

Switch out the traditional sandwich toppings with apple slices, red grapes and spring lettuce mix.

This isn’t your same ol’, same ol’ chicken sandwich.

I like this sandwich mainly because it’s tastes good (duh!) but it’s a great week night meal. It doesn’t require a lot of work, it’s healthy and you’ll love the way the curry flavor pairs with the apples & grapes.

Spice up your everyday chicken sandwich with this recipe…. and doesn’t it look like summer??!!

 Curry Honey Mustard Vinaigrette & Fruity Chicken Sandwiches, serves 2

  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 tbs cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2-1 tsp curry powder (depending on your taste)
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 apple, sliced
  • 1/2 cup grapes, halved
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup spring lettuce minced
  • 2 sandwich buns


  1. In a bowl, add garlic, mustard, honey, cilantro and curry powder. Wisk. Stream in olive oil slowly while wisking. Taste. Add salt & pepper. Set bowl aside
  2. Turn grill to medium heat. Season chicken with salt & pepper. Grill chicken 8 minutes each side, or until no longer pink. Drench chicken with vinaigrette, cook one more minute.
  3. Toast your sandwich buns. Top sandwich bun with chicken, apples, grapes, green onions and lettuce. Drizzle vinaigrette over sandwich and on the top half of the bun.

Chicago Style Italian Beef, made in your kitchen

One of my favorite things about Chicago is the food. We’ve got our own style of hotdogs & pizza. Chicago has areas around the city which highlight ethnic cuisines – Little Italy, Chinatown, and Little India. If you forced me to eat only one kind of Chicago food for the rest of my life, I’d pick an Italian Beef.

I’m sure you can get an Italian Beef sandwich in many other cities, but Chicago does it right. There are Italian Beef Restaurants that battle it out for the Best Beef in Chicago.  Personally, I’m a Portillo’s Girl. I grew up eating it and all of the other restaurants fall short in comparison.

I was out of town this weekend, but that doesn’t mean I can’t bring the taste of Chicago Beef with me where ever I go. I think my popularity level rises when I make things like this for other people. :)

If you have access to a crock pot, there is no reason why you can’t make this. I needed the beef to cook for 10 hours, so I put everything in the crock pot when I went to bed. I happened to wake up in the middle of the night, all I could smell was the Italian beef cooking away. I could hardly wait until lunch!

Lunch time finally came. I couldn’t have been happier. The beef was juicy and perfectly seasoned. If this is the only thing I could eat for the rest of my life, then sign me up!

Chicago Style Italian Beef Sandwiches (10 servings)

  • 2 (14 oz.) cans beef broth
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 (.7 oz.) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 5 pound rump roast, seasoned with salt & pepper
  • Crusty hoagie rolls
  • Giardiniera (if you like things hot!)


  1. Put everything in the slow cooker except for the rump roast.  Stir it a few times so the seasonings are distributed throughout the crock pot. Add the seasoned rump roast. Cook for 10 hours.
  2. Shred meat. Skim the cooking liquid for fat. Add the shredded meat back into the slow cooker. Serve on crusty hoagie rolls & top with hot giardiniera.

Chicken & Goat Cheese Wrap

Today was Day 3 of my new work out plan. I’m a fan of the company, Beach Body, and I’ve done a few of their work out series including Insanity & Turbo Jam. So after seeing the Brazil Butt Lift infomerical for the 12th time, I finally caved and ordered it. I’m glad I did. I can already tell it’s a good work out. I know this because everytime I get up from a chair, my first few steps are more like a waddle. I haven’t had a work out like this in a long time…. please hold the giggles. :)

Besides a good work out, one of the things I love are no-cook meals. These types of recipes are usually pretty quick & there isn’t much clean up. Perfect for a week night meal!

This might sound a little crazy but I rarely have bread in my house….but I always have tortillas. So when I want a sandwich, I’ll turn it into a wrap by eating it in a tortilla. Delicious, less carbs & calories.

A tip when using tortillas, they should be warm. They roll & fold much better that way. You can stick them in the microwave for 10 seconds or you can do what I do. I like to put a tortilla directly on a lit gas burner (on the stove) & cook it for a few seconds on each side. I learned this in my Cuisine of Mexico class and it’s the only way I do it.

Since I wanted to use the fresh ingredients I bought earlier in the week, I came up with a Chicken & Goat Cheese wrap. It also has roasted red peppers, mushrooms & salad greens. This recipe is great because all you need is a cutting board, a knife and a bowl. After dicing everything up, throw it into a bowl, add some flavor and then it goes onto the tortilla. In regards to adding flavor, I used balsamic vinegar & olive oil. You can use any vinegar you have on hand.

This recipe is scaled for two people. However, since I was only feeding myself, I ate the extra as a salad. See…

This is a quick, easy & tasty meal. And great for the waistline.

Chicken & Goat Cheese Wrap

  • 1 cup spring salad mix (any type of greens would work)
  • 1/2 cooked chicken breast, cubed
  • 1/4 roasted red pepper, diced
  • 3 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar (any vinegar you like, use it!)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Tortilla, (I used whole wheat)
  • 1 tbs goat cheese


  1. Add everything except the tortilla & goat cheese to a bowl. Toss well.
  2. Warm tortilla. Spread goat cheese on tortilla and top with salad mixture.
  3. Fold the top and the bottom of the tortilla in towards the salad mixture. While holding the ends down, fold over the side of the tortilla that’s closest to you. Then roll the tortilla over towards the salad mixture and roll until you reach the the far side of the tortilla. It should look like a burrito. (Hope that makes sense!!)

Gameday Spicy Chicken Parm Sliders

Today feels like a lazy Sunday. It’s pretty gray & slushy in Chicago. Besides walking to the grocery store, the only kind of activity I’ll get is digging my car out of the snow. I have very low expectations on things I’ll actually get done today.

However, I did manage to whip up these Spicy Chicken Parm sliders for the games today….

All of the ingredients are things you probably have on hand, which is great for a lazy girl like me.

I cooked the chicken this morning in my slow cooker. I seasoned the chicken with garlic powder, red pepper flakes, dried parsley and S&P. I like to add a little chicken stock to the slow cooker, just enough to cover the bottom of the pot. I think it keeps the chicken moist. If you don’t have chicken stock, water would also work. I love my slow cooker because it does all the work for you while you do something else.

Once the chicken has cooled, shred the chicken.

Now it’s time to start on the marinara sauce. This is a very simple & versatile recipe. You’ll love it. Add some olive oil to a pan and add onion, garlic & red pepper flakes. Gently fry ingredients.

Add the pureed plum tomatoes to the pan. Simmer on low to medium for 10 minutes.

Give the sauce a taste and season it with salt & pepper. Add basil leaves.

And then you’re done! See, isn’t that easy??!!

Now it’s time to combine the sauce with the chicken to make the slider. Pour some of the sauce over the chicken and mix it so all of the chicken is covered in sauce.

Turn on your broiler and line a baking sheet with foil. With tongs, put some of the chicken mixture on the slider buns. Place a couple pepperoncinis on top of the chicken. Cover with cheese.

Put the sliders in the oven for 3 minutes. And then you’ll have this.

These sliders are perfect for a lazy Sunday and watching some football. It’s a definite crowd pleaser! This recipe will make 12 sliders.

Spicy Chicken Parm Sliders

  • 3 chicken breasts, shredded
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 28 oz canned peeled tomatoes, pureed
  • 5 basil leaves, torn
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Pepperoncinis, optional
  • Shredded Italian Cheese mixture


  1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan and add onion, garlic, and chili peppers. Gently fry ingredients together.
  2. Add pureed plum tomatoes to saucepan. Simmer on low to medium heat for 10 minutes.
  3. Salt to season. Add basil leaves at the very end.
  4. Pour sauce over shredded chicken. Using tongs, mix sauce into the chicken.
  5. Turn on broiler and line a baking sheet with foil. Set the bottom half of the slider buns on the baking sheet.
  6. Place some of the chicken mixture on the buns. Place some pepperoncini on the chicken. Top with cheese.
  7. Broil in the oven for 3 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  8. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and put the hop half of the slider bun on the sandwich.
  9. Eat & enjoy!