Cranberry Field Roast Panini

I just recently started working in a cute coffee shop that sells so many yummy sandwiches and paninis. A majority of them have meat in them, which inspired me to come up with a hearty vegetarian panini. What I came up with was this cranberry field roast panini! If you don’t know what field roast is, Field Roast is a company that creates faux meat products, and they are surprisingly delicious! I used their Celebration field roast, which is a roast style of “meat” seasoned and stuffed with a combination of squash, grain, mushrooms, and granny smith apples.  I highly suggest checking it out! If you cannot find them in the refrigerated section of your grocery store, they will definitely be in an organic food store like Whole foods or Trader Joes.  With the blend of sweet and savory flavors, and that sensation of biting into a big sandwich, this is one meal you could easily serve to meat eaters and veggie heads alike.

Sandwich Ingredients:

  • 1 celebration field roast
  • Dash of assorted spices (ie: oregano, onion salt, thyme, etc)
  • 2-4 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 loaf of Panini bread
  • Sliced Havarti cheese (1-2 slices per sandwich)
  • 1 small bag of spinach leaves

Cranberry Cream Cheese Ingredients:

  • 1 8 oz. package of fat-free cream cheese
  • 1 can cranberry sauce
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil with sprinklings of your favorite spices- Ex: onion salt, crushed black pepper, thyme, oregano, etc.
  3. Place the field roast on a baking sheet.  Brush the sheet and baste the field roast with the olive oil and spice mixture using a pastry brush.
  4. Bake the field roast for 20- 30 minutes, or until golden brown on the outside and warm all the way through. (follow the basic baking instructions on the package)
  5. While the field roast is cooking wash your spinach leaves.
  6. In a medium sized bowl slowly combine the cream cheese and cranberry sauce. Start with 3 tablespoons of cream cheese and 1 tablespoon of cranberries, mixing completely.  Slowly increase the quantity of each until a desired amount of cranberry cream cheese has been made.
  7. Toast or bake your bread as desired.*
  8. Assemble your panini by placing a slice of Havarti cheese on one half of the bread, and spreading cranberry cream cheese on the other half. Stack a handful of spinach leaves on top of the cheese and two slices of the field roast on top of that.
  9. Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

Notes and Tips!:

  • I purchased a loaf of Panini bread from the bakery section of my grocery store that had been pre-baked, but not completely. It required baking for about 12 minutes at 350 and then was toasted and delicious. If you can find something similar I highly suggest it!
  • The field roast can be stored in an airtight container or Ziploc bag in the refrigerator for several days and stay fresh.
  • If you have left overs, like I did, these same ingredients make a delicious salad! Slice two strips of field roast and microwave them for 1 minute. Dice them up, toss them over a bed of spinach leaves, crumble some Havarti on top, and use the cranberry sauce as the dressing! It’s delicious!
  • Check this out for another recipe that uses this same cranberry cream cheese!
  • For more information on Field Roast visit their website.

Filo- Wrapped Asparagus (with Two dipping sauces!)

I had several friends come over for a potluck this week. We gathered to celebrate the return home of a good friend who studied abroad this semester.  It was a very festive occasion with lots of laugher and paper plates piled high with food.  My contribution to the event were these baked filo-wrapped asparagus spears served with two complimenting dips. I love asparagus, just about any way you prepare them. When I decided to prepare a vegetable side dish for our party, this dish was the immediate choice. It is easy to serve and prepare, easy to eat while mingling and talking, and it’s often something new for most people. A win-win-win! This recipe comes from the cookbook “Easy Vegetarian,” which also provides a dipping sauce to accompany this dish, however I concocted two of my own instead. Check them out! And here’s to summer nights on front porches, coming back home, and a great source of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins.

Ingredient for the asparagus:

  • 20 asparagus spears
  • 1 package of filo dough, thawed if previously frozen
  • Lemon wedges, to serve

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. Wash asparagus and remove the woody ends from each spear. Use a vegetable peeler to shave off any woody parts of the skin as well.
  3. Unroll one sheet of filo dough onto a clean surface and brush gently with water
  4. Place an asparagus spear at the top of the filo sheet so that the head of the asparagus is visible. Roll the asparagus until it is enclosed in a few layers of filo dough.*
  5. Repeat step four until all the asparagus are wrapped in filo dough.
  6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the pastry is a golden brown.
  7. Serve with lemon wedges on the side or one/both of the dipping sauces below.

Ingredients for the Sour Cream Citrus Dip: 

  • Juice from ½ of a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 chopped green onions
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 thinly sliced basil leaves
  • 1 small tub of sour cream (8 – 10 oz)

Combine the above ingredients in a medium sized bowl, mixing completely. Flavor it to taste. If lemon is not your favorite flavor, do less lemon juice and sub out lemon zest for orange zest. Also, feel free to play around with spices! Throw in a few dashes of garlic or paprika if you prefer, try diced cucumber! Every time I make this dip it’s different, this is simply a guideline. However, it has never failed to work well with this dish.

Ingredients for the Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip:

  • 8 ounces of plan low-fat cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (dice if you prefer smaller chunks!)
  • ½ can of cranberry sauce

Mix the above ingredients in medium sized bowl. Slowly add cranberry sauce and dried cranberries to the cream cheese until the mixture has turned a light purple/red and is well blended. Store in the refrigerator until serving.

Notes and Tips!:

  • For a lighter version of this recipe, use less filo dough. Spread a filo dough sheet out on a clean surface. Using a pizza cutter you can cut the sheet in half vertically or horizontally. If you cut the sheet vertically and roll the spear from the top of the sheet to the bottom, towards you, you will have fewer layers of filo dough. If you cut the sheet horizontally, and roll the spear from left to right there will be more layers of filo dough. Either way is delicious!
  • Choose your dip based on your taste preference! The cranberry cream cheese dip is a sweet dip while the sour cream citrus dip is much more tangy.
  • Spoiler alert! I actually created the cranberry cream cheese for another recipe that will be posted soon. I had a good amount left over and decided to try it with these asparagus. I loved it so much that I had to share it with you! Thus, good news! There will be more uses for that dip coming your way soon.
  • The dip shown in the photos is the Sour Cream Citrus Dip