Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Enter the Subway Breakfast

Ever since I received a circular touting the new Subway breakfast menu I’ve been curious.  For starters, I have no bones about saying that I liked making fun of the fact that it opens at 9am.  (Which made me wonder who gets up that early for a sandwich fix.  I was sure Jared never rolled off of his piles of Scrooge McDuck-ian money to obtain a Spicy BLT past 11:30.)

However as it was also being touted as “healthy” and that it “used egg whites” I felt that it was my duty to test what was surely attempting to become the Jack LaLanne competitor of fast food breakfast.  Take THAT, Sausage McMuffin with Egg!  (Don’t we still crave those after an evening of Sapphire Martini’s though?  Just me?  Okay.  Carry on)  As my work schedule prohibited me from obtaining one during the week day, and weekends are usually resolved for Hippolyta and I to make one of our patented “big breakfasts” * I waited until she was out of town before I was able to strike an unsuspecting Subway as an undercover reviewer.  (My previous attempt was thwarted, as I learned that even if I sneak out at 8am on a Saturday they don’t even open until 9am on the weekends)

I made it my morning goal yesterday (yes, my purpose for actually becoming ambulatory was the acquisition of this sammy.  As opposed to trudging downstairs for a mimosa, trudging back to bed, and thinking about what was wrong with my life) and I walked into the corner NE Mpls Subway for my boon at approximately 9:15am.  Important because I waited until after they opened for a few minutes so that I didn’t wait outside like a puppy hoping that it’d get picked, and because it was close.

Being #1 doesn’t always have perks.  I learned this when I used to work retail at a tuxedo rental shop.  In fact, unless you are made of stronger stuff than I am (Which means adamantium) you are immediately ingrained with a hostility and resentment for the following two type of customers- Those who get there as SOON as you open and the ones who seem to slink in just as you’re ready to lock the door and turn on the alarm system…usually 10-15 minutes before you actually close b/c it’s been dead the previous 5 hours.   How they know how to time it like this, I’ll never know.

The employee had an immediate disdain for me, evidenced by the way they set there soda down by the register and slowly made their way back to wash their hands, taking there time to make a deal out of washing, drying, then coming up to me with a look that reads “What?”

“May I please have a Southwest breakfast sandwich?” (I reigned in my usual chipperness.  I understand that type of energy to those who haven’t quite shook off the sleepies can be jarring.)  My question was responded to with blinks.

“Meatball sub?”

“Nope.  Southwest breakfast sandwich with egg whites, please”.  (At this point, I was wondering if I was slurring my words too.  There was country music playing overhead, and in my hurry to get down here I hadn’t brushed my teeth or had any coffee.  I may have sounded like a recent stroke patient for all I know.  Judging by the way I was being stared at…hair all akimbo under a hastily donned ballcap, D.A.R.E t-shirt…probably smelling of the previous evenings Pinot Grigio, I must have struck them as a hobo)

They then rolled their eyes.  At this point, I knew I was in for a treat.

The following sandwich artistry can only be called a comedy of errors.   They pulled out the wheat muffin and hastily slapped some cheese and ham on it.  I was curious as to why they didn’t toast the muffin first and judging by the confused expression on their face as they repeatedly followed the crib sheet posted over the ingredients (Hey.  It’s a new sandwich.  If it was me and they announced “SUBWAY PRESENTS- A SLICE OF CHEESE!” I’d still need a cheat sheet.  It isn’t easy being a tortured sandwich artist) they didn’t either.

My dual curiousity was how they’d handle the issue of the eggs?  I know that McD’s has a frozen, circular egg-shaped egg-patty that they simply need to heat up, but I didn’t see any hot plate or small skillet which would indicate it was prepared “on the spot” or that I was the lucky customer who was 1st in line for the sandwich, therefore getting the freshest one of the day.  No.  It was in one of the black covered containers looking a like white folded styrofoam picnic plate next to the ones that were looking like yellow folded styrofoam picnic plates…next to the sweet onion chicken teryaki.  Pre-made in muffin size.

It was all hastily stacked with the question “Pepper and onion?” (which is advertised as part of the sandwich.  And while I appreciate they asking, I thought it was kind of part of the deal from the get go.  If I order the sweet onion chicken teryaki, sans sauce, I might as well be getting the grilled chicken sub and they should re-name the breakfast sandwich the “Egg and Cheese on an English muffin w/fixin’s!” sandwich)

“Yes, please”  I responded.

All told, the damage was $2.16.  I scampered out to sample my purchase to the tune of “Your cheatin’ heart.”  What I was cheating on, I don’t know.

What you see above is what I unwrapped.  It went down in about 5 minutes with pieces of onion and pepper falling haphazardly into my lap.   The judges ruling- Meh.   This is a sandwich that I feel is a safe and healthy alternative for foodies/ova-lacto vegetarians trying to get something on the road that is (A) cheap and (B) Not laden with sodium/fat/calories.  It won’t be enough to keep you satisfied for a day, but at least you won’t feel like you have a slowly digesting gut-bomb in your belly.  Save that for the day-after an all-nighter.

Grade:  C+ for presentation/taste

Grade:  A- for cost/health

*If it hasn’t been posted before, here is a healthy alternative to all your McMuffin needs.  Please note, it isn’t pure veg/vegan, but it is tasty.  Also note, we make ours with Morningstar veggie sausage patties but there isn’t anything to say you can’t use the same type of veggie sausage in the tube or another brand.

Breakfast Buddy Sandwiches

Needed- Whole wheat English Muffins, Egg Beaters (or all egg-white Egg Beaters), Morningstar veggie sausage patties, a slice of Soy Cheese or Rice Cheese, butter or margarine.

Start the patties first as they’re frozen and will take the longest.  (Cook longer on lower heat for best results.  Start to heat the pan for the eggs at the same time. )  When the patties are sizzling and softening to the touch (careful!) and the egg pan is good and hot add the Egg Beaters.   If making two and using a larger pan, when the egg sets slice it down the middle with your spatula.  (Keep turning those patties!) Once the egg is set enough to fold in on itself to approximately English Muffin size, drop your muffin’s in the toaster.  Once they’ re done, butter each side.   Add one slice of cheese, then egg, then the sausage.   Top with the other half and enjoy.  (Be warned.  These suckers are hot)

The “Root” of all Evil

In my mind, (and our other hippo admin will roll her eyes) when a vegetable, more specifically a root vegetable  is described as “earthy”- to me that means “dirt”.  As in “tastes like”.   It’s not that I’m adverse to veggies that spend a majority of their maturation underground, (I’m talking about you, carrots and baby red potatoes) it’s just that sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips, etc. have never really been high on my list of sides.  Which is unfortunate b/c it usually plays out that whenever a side dish is suggested at one of the Hippo satellite residences, sweet potatoes usually get the hearty nod from herself while I’m left cringing in my slippers.

But the noble sweet potato is more than an incredible source of nutrients, it can also be called upon to be something greater than the glorified Thanksgiving dish that gets covered in miniature marshmallows.  The other night, we ordered a deli rotisserie chicken from the Holy Land Restaurant on Lowry and Central and for a simple side we made the following healthy melange’ of earthy “root” vegetables.  (Including the dreaded pairing of brussel sprouts and…gasp…parsnips.  Leave me be.  I’m working on getting past my bias.)  This was incredibly tasty and whips up in about 15 minutes of prep time (with a helper) and around 45 minutes in the oven at 450.  As an added bonus?  A swoon-worthy alternative to your holiday mashed sweet potatoes- “Fiery Sweet Potatoes”.     (A sweet and spicy whipped blend of deliciousness)

Bon Apetit!

(source- http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/roasted-potatoes-carrots-parsnips-and-brussels-sprouts-recipe2/index.html)

Roasted Roots

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium carrots (about 3/4 pound), cut into 1 1/2-inch thick circles
  • 1 1/2 cups Brussels sprouts (about 1/2 pound), halved
  • 4 cups red bliss potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 3 medium parsnips (about1 pound), cut into 1 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 1 cup sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Grease an 11 by 17-inch baking sheet pan with extra-virgin olive oil. Place vegetables in baking sheet and add the dried herbs, salt and pepper. Toss well, evenly coating all the vegetables with the seasonings and oil. Add more oil if the vegetables seem dry

Spread the vegetables evenly on a large baking sheet. Place on middle rack in oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

Fiery Sweet Potatoes

(Source-http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/11/dining/111srex.html?_r=1&emc=eta1)

Time: About 2 hours

5 pounds sweet potatoes

1 cup coconut milk

1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon salt.

 

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake potatoes on a baking sheet until very soft, about 1 hour. When cool enough to handle, peel and mash.

2. In a small saucepan, heat coconut milk with curry paste over low heat. Mix coconut milk mixture, half the sugar, half the butter, and salt into potatoes. Keep warm until ready to serve, or cover and refrigerate up to two days.

3. At least 30 minutes before serving, heat oven to 425 degrees. Put potatoes in a baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover potatoes, dot with remaining butter and sugar and broil until brown and crusty on top, checking often to prevent scorching.

Yield: 10 to 12 servings.