Tempeh. Many run from this word, as it is unknown to most. However, I’ve slowly started to notice it’s becoming more and more ‘trendy’. I started to explore this tempeh, what makes it both intimidating and attractive? Fermented whole soybeans with mold, similar to tofu. Tempeh is a meat substitute, it’s firm, dry and chewy and the best part about it is that you can get it smoked- tastes like bacon!! Which is why when I first tried tempeh, it was smoked and I found it delicious. At Candle Cafe, a vegan restaurant in New York, their menu featured many variations of tempeh. I got a smoked temeph sandwich with roasted red pepper, roasted zucchini, arugula, with a tomato spread on whole grain bread.
Ways we can use temeph in panini form: replace your grilled meat with grilled temeph, try it smoked, grill it with some veggies on the panini with a soy sauce, and naturally add it into your next panini :).
*Did you notice the great panini grill marks on the tempeh?
One of my favorite movies is Ratatouille, not just because I’m a foodie, because it’s just the greatest. The title was clever, the plot was cute, and the location was perfect. The ambiance and theme made me absolutely fall in love with this movie. This also sparked my interest in Ratatouille… What exactly is Ratatouille and how can this be made in a panini?
Ratatouille, which I assumed was French, actually originated from Occitania. Occitania is a historical region in southern Europe which includes Monaco, parts of Spain and Italy, and the southern half of France. This dish is a small representation of each these regions. Usually, this dish is prepared by cooking each vegetable by itself and then layering it. Over time, this dish has adapted to many different versions and methods of making. The most modern approach to making ratatouille is by grilling it, which is how this relates to Sani Panini…
Peppers (your preference of red or green bell peppers)
Assembling (salad or layers):
1. Peel the eggplant
2. Cut the eggplant and zucchini into thin circles, relatively the same size
3. Drizzle olive oil and salt over the eggplant and zuchinni
4. Grill on the panini for 2 minutes
5. While they are grilling, start cutting the peppers and onions in slices and then cut in half. So that the length of the peppers and onions are similar to the diameter of the zucchini and eggplant.
6. In a bowl, mash the garlic and add peppers, onions, olive oil and salt
7. Take the eggplant and zucchini off of the panini and add the peppers and onions for 2 minutes
8. Cut the tomatoes into slices (doesn’t matter if you are using cherry tomatoes or regular tomatoes)
9. Take the peppers and onions off and cook the tomatoes for 1 minute
10. You can add all the ingredients to the panini now, just to warm them up, but leave the panini open
11. Chop some basil
12. Take all ingredients off of the panini and either mix together in a bowl with the basil OR you can layer them on a plate
*If you are making this into a salad, you can cut the veggies into thick cubes rather than slices. I also like adding a touch of balsamic, just a little!!
**This makes great for leftovers! You can add this into your eggs in the morning, or fry an egg and place on top. You can also eat the salad cold, room temp, or hot. While layering the veggies is best hot!
Grilled Pears with a Balsamic and Honey glaze topped with Goat Cheese. They are phenomenal!!
For all you Vegans and Vegetarians out there- I have a great panini for you! This recipe includes a major flavor booster: hummus! My favorite type of hummus is one with extra lemon and lots of garlic. Hummus is extremely easy to make. It simply consists of using a food processor to blend garbanzo beans, lemon, tahini, garlic, salt, olive oil, an optional jalapeño, and paprika for looks! If you are unfamiliar with the ingredient tahini, it is a grounded sesame seed paste that originated from the Middle East. On the other hand, store-bought hummus is also a great option because of the various flavors! You can leave it as is or make it your own by adding more lemon, crushed red pepper, etc. Roasted garlic, jalapeño, and roasted red pepper are amongst my personal favorites.
Depending on your tastes and veggies you want to add into this panini, you can alter the type of hummus you use too!
Your favorite vegan bread or lavash wrap
Any hummus you’d like
Lettuce (or Spinach or Arugula)
Salt and Pepper
1. Cut and clean your red pepper and onion into slices
2. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper
3. Grill on the panini for 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables become tender
5. Cut tomatoes and cucumbers into slices
6. Wash and chop lettuce
4. Spread hummus on both slices of bread or lavash wrap
5. Add the grilled red pepper and onion to bread or lavash
6. Add cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce
7. Wrap your lavash or add your second piece of bread
8. Grill in the panini for 3 minutes
9. Cut in halves and then serve
The colors in this panini are fantastic!!
TIP: Before adding the veggies inside the sandwich, grill them on the panini to enhance their flavor!
Have you ever tried grilling your favorite wrap on a panini maker? If you haven’t, you should definitely try it! Its probably the best thing ever because you can put all your favorite things inside of the wrap and grill it, I bet you can imagine how much better it will taste! This ‘recipe’ has no boundaries, so you can be as fun and creative as you want to. It’s the greatest!
Wrap (Wheat, White, Multigrain, Spinach, Cheddar, Tomato, etc.)
Colorful Veggies, a few examples are: Peppers, Onions, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Artichokes, Avocados, Spinach, Beets, but there are so many more!
Any dressing (Italian, Olive Oil with Oregano, Vinaigrette, etc.)
1. Take your wrap and put all desired ingredients inside. Be sure not to overstuff the wrap because it can break!
2. Fold it tightly.
3. Grill on panini until you get those nice grill marks.
When its done grilling you can cut it into slices so it looks like a pinwheel of colors and serve at a dinner party!
If you have any leftover pasta sauce, try dipping your mozzarella balls in it-delicious!