Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Zucchini Grillini // Kids' Tofu & Hummus

Takes less than 30 minutes. FAST FOOD!

Is Paul's and my favorite sandwich.

Easy. Yummy.

Copycat from Jason's Deli. Have you ever been to Jason's Deli?

This is more of a method, because not everyone likes/loves/enjoys the same veggies. To make it yours, use your favorite veg.

What You Will Need:

100% Whole Grain bread, or Gluten Free bread for GF version
Hummus, creamy dressing, or pureed avocado sprinkled with pepper
Leafy greens
Zucchini (2-3 medium sized zucchini will feed about 4-5 people)

Optional add-inns that Paul and I like:

Kalamata Olives, chopped, (buy them already pitted) (If you add these, place them on sandwich in the creamy dip so that the olives don't fall out of your sandwich)
Thinly sliced tomatoes
Thinly sliced red onion
Grilled, sliced red bell peppers
Coined cucumber
Green chile, fire roasted and chopped (my personal preference, adds heat)

The Zucchini Grillini Sandwich, the Method

Start with some really good bread. Notice the ingredients?

100% whole grain, no oil. Costco has some other fantastic sprouted and whole grain breads that they sell most everywhere, which are also oil free.

Optionally, you can toast your bread in the toaster if you want additional crunch.

You will need some thick spreads/dips that you like or are flavorful.

On one side is my ranch dressing, on the other side is an avocado and tomato puree, sprinkled with pepper. It was 1 avocado to 3-4 grape tomatoes, blended in a mini food processor. That's it. The creamy spreads help hold all of the sandwich ingredients in place, and add flavor. This is what your cheese USED to do. Hummus also works very well.

While assembling your sandwich, grill the zucchini. Start by cutting zucchini into long, thin strips, about 1/4 inch thick. Too thin and it doesn't have the meaty bite to it that you are looking for.

Grill on each side on high for 4-6 minutes, until tender crisp.

It should work in a fry pan, or your outdoor grill as well. If using your fry pan, it just won't get the grill marks. I don't use ANY oil in this step because my cookware is high quality non-stick. After all of the water has been cooked out of the zucchini, and the pan is piping hot, I add water, about 1/4 cup at a time, to help steam-fry/grill the zucchini. This would not be necessary on an outdoor grill.

While zucchini is grilling, continue to assemble your sandwich.

We love leafy greens, and I found this at Costco last week.

Baby kale? Pre-washed? ORGANIC? For like 3-4 dollars? This is going to become a regular on my shopping list. No longer will I have to wash kale, then remove it from it's woody stalks. Much higher likelihood that I will use the stuff. They are really good, too! Tender and slightly sweet, like spring mix.

Add your favorite veg of choice from the list above. Pictured are cucumbers and baby kale.

Then thinly sliced red onions. I have a friend who doesn't like raw onions. Totally understandable. Just leave it out or replace with another favorite veg.

Green chile is peaking out under my onion. I LOVE this stuff. If you like heat, add green chile, or optionally sprinkle with roasted red pepper flakes.

Your zucchini is probably done. Spread it out on your sandwich.

This time I threw some raw, red bell peppers on the grill to add. Tasted great and added more flavor. It's nice to have some grilled veg, and some raw veg. A good mix.

Add in any other veg you want, like sliced tomatoes and chopped kalamata olives, put the two halves together, and VIOLA!

You've successfully crowded out all of the junk. I really don't see any room in this sandwich for meat, or cheese. You?

And no. My kids will not eat this sandwich. So I throw together something easy for them with some of the same, basic ingredients.

Minced Tofu and Hummus Sandwich, for Kids (my kids LOVE)

For Kids, You Will Need:

Good, whole grain bread they like, and are familiar with
A good hummus they are familiar with, and/or ranch dressing
Pre-baked, seasoned tofu, finely chopped in food processor or with knife. My kids like the savory flavor.
Their favorite vegetable. Probably not leafy greens. My kids discovered they like coined cucumbers with the ranch dressing. Samuel loves chopped olives. Essie does like chopped spinach, if she is in the mood for it.

Finely chopped tofu on the left, kids' cheesy hummus on the right. Add a few cucumber slices, some ranch dressing. My kids loved it. Carrot sticks and honeydew melon on the side. I always serve my kids' meals with fruit.

Spread hummus on one slice of bread, and ranch dressing on the other. Place favorite kid vegetable on ranch side, and minced, savory tofu on the hummus side (hummus keeps minced tofu in place). Optionally, you can use hummus on both sides. The ranch dressing will not hold the tofu in place, so I don't recommend using ranch on both slices of bread.

Try to pack in as much finely chopped tofu as you can in the sandwich, into the hummus, without it falling out. The tofu offers flavor, healthy fats, and protein.


I'll be filling out my "Yesterday I Ate..." section. Check it out.

Hope you are having a great, veg-filled day!



P.S. I've had a little somethin' bothering me. In this post I mention that I don't always follow a recipe.

I wanted to clarify, that I change recipes to make them suite my tastes -- more flavorful, more robust.

I ALWAYS post recipes EXACTLY how I made them. Cauliflower Bechamel was an exception because the recipe states, "Salt to taste." People forget to salt to taste. So I wanted to measure it all over again to see exactly how much salt and other seasonings it took to salt the sauce to MY taste.

I want to reassure you, that you should be able to follow the recipes here, exactly as listed, and meet with success. If not, please tell me. These recipes should taste good, and I value your feedback.


  1. I LOVE these sandwiches. You're an awesome, mom, you know that?

    1. Wow, Janae, you make me feel so good! I think you made my day! YOU are an awesome Mom, too!