Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.
Warm Chicken, Pickled Apple and Cheese Sandwich
1/2cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 Golden Delicious apple, cut in thin wedges
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
4 4-ounce boneless chicken cutlets, pounded to 1/4-inch thick
1/2 teaspoon Southwest spice blend
3 ounces reduced fat Cheddar, thinly sliced
4 whole wheat hamburger buns (toasted if desired)
2 tablespoons ketchup
1. Combine the vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan; bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the apple and cilantro; allow to stand 15-30 minutes.
2. Season the chicken with the spice blend. Coat a grill pan with cooking spray, heat over medium high. Add the chicken and cook 5-6 minutes until well marked on the underside, turn and cook until nearly cooked through, about 4-5 minutes. Top with the cheese, cover the pan loosely with foil and cook until the cheese just melts, about 1-2 minutes.
3. Spread the bottoms of each bun with the ketchup, add the chicken and top with the pickled apple; close the sandwich and serve. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 339 calories, 33 g protein, 35 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 8 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 825 mg sodium
Roasted Autumn Vegetable Sandwich with Feta
4 (1/2-inch thick) slices eggplant
1 small delicata or carnival squash, skin on, cut in 1/4-inch slices
1 large beefsteak tomato, cut in 1/2-inch slices
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary or ½ teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup crumbled feta
8 slices potato bread, toasted
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet pan with cooking spray.
2. Place the eggplant, squash and tomato slices in a single layer on the pan and brush lightly on both sides with the oil; sprinkle with the rosemary and salt. Roast in the center of the oven 35 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
3. Sprinkle about half the feta on four slices of bread and top with the eggplant, tomato and squash; sprinkle with the remaining cheese and close the sandwiches. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 343 calories, 13 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 15 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 702 mg sodium
1/3 cup canola mayonnaise
2 teaspoons country Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1 pound shrimp, peeled
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning blend
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 3-ounce whole wheat hoagie rolls
1 1/2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup very thinly sliced red onion
8 thin slices tomato
1. Combine the mayonnaise, mustard and relish in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Toss the shrimp with the Cajun seasoning. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high; add the shrimp in a single layer and cook 2 minutes per side, or until just cooked through.
3. Split the hoagie rolls horizontally, leaving them attached along one long side. Working with one at a time, place one-fourth of the lettuce on one half of each, top with the 2 slices tomato and add one-fourth of the shrimp. Spoon one-fourth of the sauce over the shrimp and close the sandwich. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 430 calories, 28 g protein, 51 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 14 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 881 mg sodium
TIP: Bread often has as much as 200 mg of sodium per slice; to reduce your sodium intake, buy thin-sliced.