Yesterday I had a chicken sausage broccoli pasta dish in mind for dinner that’s always a winner, but when I got home Chris was a busy bee in the kitchen and backyard whipping something up for us. I asked him what he was making and his replay was ‘nothing,’ with a little grin on his face. I thought sweet! I don’t have to make dinner tonight! (although I really love cooking and he wouldn’t let me help)
Rewind for a little bit back in time when Chris and I first started dating in Reno at UNR. . . We always loved taking walks together along the Truckee or around local parks, but the first time we had a picnic on one of our walks along the river Chris made us a little surprise menu. I was so impressed when he whipped out roasted veggie sandwiches with hummus! He also roasted the red peppers himself! For a guy, I thought this was just perfect. This has always been a special meal in my mind and I will always remember it. That was before my ‘take pictures like a made person’ days, so I don’t have a picture of it :(
Here is a picture of the Truckee in winter and summer below. So beautiful! I’d love to live in Reno.
Roasted vegetables have such a wonderful flavor, and I would choose this sandwich over a burger any day. I’ve actually been on a vegetarian streak this week so far, and I love it! I would say that I am mostly a flexitarian, eating meat occasionally or at the most once a day or every other day. It just doesn’t appeal to me as much, and I don’t mind if I have meat or not because there are so many interesting and healthy vegetarian recipes out there.
This dish is also very economical and the grilling really brings out the robust flavors of the vegetables. It was like a giant garden in my sandwich! Carrots, zucchini, roasted bell peppers, sweet potatoes, heirloom tomatoes and gooey mozzarella cheese on roasted garlic ciabatta bread from TJ’s. That bread is so good! When you roast garlic it gets really sweet and toasty and you can practically eat it whole like candy! Yum! I’ve also made a roasted garlic vinaigrette for salads and marinades for meats. It’s also great as a sandwich spread. If you haven’t tried heirloom tomatoes, you should! They have such a sweet, intense tomato flavor that really tastes like tomatoes, imagine that? Other great additions are hummus, avocado, portabella mushrooms, any others I’m missing?
On the side he made a nice salad with a roasted tomato vinaigrette, home-made croutons, goat cheese, dried cranberries and roasted red peppers. Roasted tomatoes make a wonderful dressing. They are sweet and slightly acidic which is perfect! Cook them on the grill in a cast-iron skillet until they get slightly charred. He also added some balsamic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Yum!
It was a great dinner and we enjoyed it at a park close to our new house. While it wasn’t the Truckee River, it was so peaceful and I felt like such a lucky gal :)
Mid-bite! Lots of colors, yum!!!
Any simple moments in your life that were truly special? How do you best like to enjoy fresh veggies?