Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Simple Weeknight Grinders

I'm a stay at home mom and I have been searching for simple weeknight dinner recipes that we can just decide to make at the last minute because frankly, I don't always remember to plan dinner. Hey now, don't judge me. You know you have been there at some point. Whether it be a baby who needs your constant attention, a sick child who needs to be pampered, a toddler who decides to Spackle the entire living room during your 2 minute shower, or the endless amount of laundry and cleaning that goes along with staying at home, there are always those days where you just can't get dinner planned in advance.

My husband doesn't like potatoes, beans, spaghetti, ...the list goes on. L is getting pickier and pickier the older he gets and it's hard to plan a meal, that is not one of our usual meals, that everyone likes. This one, however, was a winner! And it was so simple and last minute that I guess that makes it a double winner!

A grinder is another term for a submarine sandwich. According to Wikipedia, Grinder is "(Italian-American slang for a dock worker)—New England. Called grinder because it took a lot of chewing to eat the hard crust of the bread used. In Pennsylvania, the term grinder refers to a sandwich that has been heated. In eastern Massachusetts a grinder is a toasted sub, for example the sub is toasted in a pizza oven."

 I have always thought of a grinder as a toasted sub. For this sandwich, we will just pretend we are from Pennsylvania. We didn't use the crusty bread. Well, we did, but it was a much wider loaf and it was cut more like regular sandwich bread. It worked great.
For each sandwich you will need:
  • 2 slices Italian loaf bread
  • 1 slice cheese (we used Havarti)
  • 5 slices of lunch meat (we mixed smoked turkey, smoked ham, and pastrami)
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • a few dashes of Italian seasoning (basil would be good too or anything else you might like)
  • condiments and toppings of your choice

Preheat oven to 500.

Drizzle olive oil on slices of bread and place them on a broiler pan oil side down. Top one slice of bread with 1/2 slice of cheese. Top the other slice of bread with the other 1/2 slice of cheese followed by five slices of meat. Top with another drizzle of olive oil and Italian seasoning.

Bake in the preheated oven about 5 minutes, give or take, depending on how browned you want the bread. I just make sure the cheese is nice and melted and the meat is warm/hot.

Pull the sandwiches out of the oven and move to plates. Top with desired toppings and condiments. We all had ours a little bit different which is part of the beauty of this meal.

We bought these peppers at Costco and they are packed in a vinegar liquid, not oil, so the calorie count is really low! Added bonus!

I had this awesome pepper and onion mix on mine, served with a side of green beans. Steve had the same peppers and some Dijon mustard on his, served with some tortilla chips and salsa. L just had turkey and cheese, no toppings on his, served with diced pears. Everyone is happy because everyone gets what they want. There are so many variations of this sandwich you can do. Next time I think I will use fresh veggies. Avocados, onions, lettuce, black olives, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, etc... Wow, I can't wait until we have these again!

L's sandwich that he BEGGED me to take a picture of


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  2. And doesn't it make you wonder how you ever actually were able to work outside of the home and still get dinner on the table. I am retired now, after three kids, years of working out of the home and then working from home. I still don't have enough hours in the day or days of the week. Do the best that you can and don't let anyone judge or tell you differently.


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