Spicy Cucumber Sandwich!

Spicy Cucumber Sandwich

It’s been some time since I’ve put up a recipe–so here we go!  I happen to live in the desert–which means we’ll do anything we can in the middle of July to cool off.  But on the same token, I am a sucker for anything with some spice to it.  Thus, we’ll have this and combine the two!  First off, the link to this recipe is located here:  Spicy Cucumber Sandwiches.  The key to this sandwich is fresh vegetables, how those vegetables are cut, and a good whole-grain bread.

In regards to the spread, you can’t get much easier…mix the ingredients in a measuringSpicy Cucumber Spread cup until well combined.  It should have a good spreadable consistency.  If it does not, add a bit more sour cream.  If you’re not a fan of the mayonnaise, feel free to substitute as you wish.  There are a number of vegan mayonnaise options out there made primarily from tofu which would be a very good substitute.  You just want to make sure whatever you do substitute with has a thick consistency and adds a bit of flavor to the sauce.  It should look similar to the picture to the right and above.

Keep them thin!

With the vegetables, it is very important to slice them as thinly as possible.  If the vegetables are cut thickly, it makes for a very unwieldy sandwich.  Nothing is more disappointing than sitting down for lunch and having half your sandwich fall on the floor.

Final Cucumber Sandwich

Finally, spread the sauce on each side of a slice of bread.  This will help keep your vegetables from sliding around, as well as giving you that spicy taste to counteract the cool of the vegetables!  Serve and enjoy!

Sloppy Toms, a.k.a. “Disheveled Josephs!”

It’s been a bit since I posted a recipe, so I figured I’d split the MyPlate and portion size post I planned to do with a recipe in the middle.  Thus, my Sloppy Toms!

Sloppy Toms is my not-so-clever name for sloppy joe’s made with ground turkey instead of beef.  No matter what I make, I try very hard to avoid pre-made seasoning options, as most are filled with a bunch of sodium and preservatives I don’t want.  Let’s look at one many people use–Manwich.  According to their website, a small can of their sloppy joe sauce contains 430 mg of sodium PER SERVING…for a total of 3010 mg in one can.  That’s one and a half times your total daily requirement for sodium, which is quite excessive.  My recipe has 82 mg per serving.  That’s what fresh cooking gets you (or, in this case, doesn’t give you)!

First off, the recipe is right here.  And, I need to give you a warning:  I really enjoy spicy foods, and the spices in this recipe reflect that.  For those of you that are faint of heart, however, feel free to remove the spicy ingredients for a more toned-down version.  The only item I would definitely not suggest removing is the chili powder–the hot sauce and red pepper flakes would be a better choice.

Sloppy Tom Prep

So first things first, I got everything together!  This is a very quick recipe, so having everything ready beforehand makes it very easy.  I combined all the spices together into one bowl for ease of use, and am ready to go!  As far as which hot sauce, I’m a huge fan of Frank’s Red Hot.  It has great flavor, and has a decent kick to boot!

Next up, I sauteed the onions and garlic until the onions were translucent, and then I added the tomato paste.  Sloppy Tom - Step 2When cooking with tomato paste, it is very important to make sure that you cook it for a good amount of time.  Tomato paste has a natural bitter flavor, and by browning the paste, we break that bitterness down, release the sugars in the paste, and get a full and deep flavor.  Start with pushing the onions and garlic to the side of the pan and placing the tomato paste in.  Cook the paste a few minutes, stirring and breaking it up.  Finally, mix in the paste with the onions and garlic once the paste is well and caramelized, like the picture here.

After adding the spices and the meat and cooking until there is no pink, the mixture will appear to be very dry.  Fear not, however!  Adding in the remaining liquid ingredients quickly turns the dish into a perfect consistency, as seen in the before and after picture below.
 
Before...

Before…

...and after!

…and after!

Once you’re at this point, get out some tasty whole wheat buns and have a lovely meal! I made this for lunch (and a pretty quick one, at 20 minutes from start to finish), paired it with some carrots and baked chips, and it was wonderful!Sloppy Tom - Final

Lastly, you might be wondering about “Disheveled Josephs”. That’s an inside joke my wife and I have going that we heard off of the internet somewhere. Some consider home-made sloppy joe’s a bit fancy, and not worthy of a sloppy name. Thus, a fancy name meaning the same thing…Disheveled Joseph!

Enjoy!