Wednesday, August 19, 2009

lucky gal

IMG_4411 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.

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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?

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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!

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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 :)

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Mid-bite!  Lots of colors, yum!!!

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Any simple moments in your life that were truly special?  How do you best like to enjoy fresh veggies?

 

17 comments:

healthy ashley said...

Those photos are gorgeous!

And lucky you to have a guy who makes yummy food for you :)

Gina said...

The sandwich looks amazing. I know what you mean about loving it when someone cooks for you, but at the same time sort of missing doing the cooking!! I'm the same way.
Like you, I could also go without meat, but I still include it once a day (about 3-4 ounces), mainly because it's filling and I live with a meat eater!
I like to enjoy my fresh veggies just by themselves (after being marinated in olive oil or balsamic) or in wraps! I just made a wrap with turkey and cheese, melted with spinach and mushrooms, and avocado! I usually just do button mushrooms, but the portabello are much tastier!

Karine said...

Fresh veggies are always great in salads :) And roasting food always bring out their wonderful flavors :)

Chow and Chatter said...

so sweet oh and reno looks cool
kristen: let us know how it goes with the coconut water good idea for a post hint hint!
Rebecca

Astra Libris said...

Such a special evening! Oh my goodness, those sandwiches look absolutely 100% perfect! It's so wonderful to be surprised with supper, isn't it? :-) Your story reminded me of when I was still in nursing school, driving home from a late night clinical shift, and Zach called to ask what I was fixing for dinner just to make sure I would be extra surprised when I arrived home to find he'd already cooked dinner for us... :-)

I love the story of your picnic date in Reno - I'm very impressed with the homemade roasted pepper hummus too! You are a lucky girl indeed... :-) and Chris is a lucky guy to have you! :-)

Thinspired said...

For some reason I didn't realize you were on the west coast! Yay for Truckee and Tahoe! Your summer/winter photos are lovely. Makes me homesick. (I am not from there but we are only a couple hrs away from Tahoe so we'd go there a lot growing up.) So beautiful!

Matt (No Meat Athlete) said...

Wow that looks like a sandwich that is right up my alley! The bread looks great too, I'll have to start hitting TJ's.

I totally agree on the heirloom tomatoes...so much better than those hard red things you find in most grocery stores!

Thanks for the nice comment on my blog!

Emily said...

Looks like a delicious sandwich. So lucky that Chris loves to cook and eat healthfully, too!

I'm a flexitarian, too. I don't really like meat that much, and I try to eat organic or grass fed when I can. :-)

Selba said...

Reno sounds a wonderful place :)

Yumm... what a yummy dinner!

allijag said...

It's 10am and I'm ready for lunch NOW because of that beautiful sammy pic - DELISH! :)

Sweta said...

That's so sweet!! The only time my hubby steps in the kitchen is to make our morning cup of 'chai'! Lucky you :)

biz319 said...

That sandwich is to die for! I need to pick up that bread next time I go there.

Gina said...

I'm so glad I asked that question about where people live because I swear I thought you lived in Utah...oops!
As for the asparagus pee, I learned on the food network that if you have a special enzyme (name I am unsure of) that breaks down asparagus, then your pee smells! If you are missing this special enzyme, it doesn't. There are no healthy benefit differences either way. I have the enzyme, for SURE. One piece and mine smells. Ugh.

Michal said...

you are one lucky gal :)
my favorite way to enjoy veggies in a nice huge crunchy salad. mmm!

Sophia said...

I WANT THAT sandwich! It looks amazing, and I DO love grilled vegetables. They're my favorite way to enjoy veggies, so there's my answer!
And yes, you are a lucky gal! Chris can cook for me anytime! :-)

Miss High Heels said...

A perfect looking summertime meal. I feel hungry for a second dinner after looking at that sandwich and salad.

Janel said...

That sandwich looks soooooo good! I think I will forward this post to my man to give him the food hint ;)