August is National Sandwich Month: It’s way beyond the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, filling our plates with some traditional favorites and tasty twists. No matter how you slice them, sandwiches often combine up to four different food group foods, making them a family meal preparer’s best friend.
Start with a filling family meal of Chicken Parmesan Subs, Fresh Vegetable Salad and Strawberry Dessert Sandwiches. Keep stomachs, and sandwiches, filled all week long with Apple Bagel Breakfast Sandwiches, Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches, Turkey, Veggie and Cheese Pitas and even Ice Cream Sandwich S’mores. Register at www.MealsMatter.org to add these and other recipes to your personalized family meal plan and shopping list.
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Chicken Parmesan Subs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (two large breasts cut into four portions or four small breasts)
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 6-ounce bags baby spinach
1 cup marinara sauce, preferably low-sodium
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
4 soft whole-wheat sandwich rolls, toasted
Position oven rack in top position; preheat broiler.
Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Place chicken between two large pieces of plastic wrap. Pound with the smooth side of a meat mallet or a heavy saucepan until the chicken is an even 1/4-inch thickness. Dip the chicken in the flour mixture and turn to coat.
Heat two teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach and cook, stirring often, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.
Add 1 teaspoon oil to the pan. Add half the chicken and cook until golden, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a large baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and chicken; transfer to the baking sheet.
Top each piece of chicken with the wilted spinach, marinara sauce and Parmesan. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Broil until the cheese is melted and the chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Serve on rolls.
Tip: Refrigerate leftover marinara sauce for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
Strawberry Dessert Sandwiches
8 ounces Neufchatel cheese or low-fat cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
4 English muffins, split and toasted
2 cups (about 10 ounces) sliced stemmed strawberries
In food processor, process cheese, honey and zest until well mixed, or mix in bowl with wooden spoon. Spread 1 tablespoon cheese mixture on cut side of 1 muffin half; top with one-quarter cup strawberries. Repeat with remaining ingredients to make eight open-faced sandwiches. Tip: Make cheese mixture ahead and store in refrigerator.
Turkey, Veggie and Cheese Pitas
4 oz. turkey breast (slices or cubes)
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
1 large tomato (cut into wedges)
1 large green pepper (cut into short strips)
1 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
1/3 cup low-fat ranch dressing
4 pita rounds cut in half
Place turkey breast in pita pocket. Combine tomatoes, green pepper strips, shredded lettuce and toss with ranch dressing. Place vegetables on top of turkey and add cheddar cheese. Serve immediately.
Apple Bagel Sandwiches
1/2 whole wheat bagel (or bagel of your choice)
1 slice Cheddar cheese
1 apple (green is better)
A dash of cinnamon
Slice the apple so that you make a round apple slice. Next, put the slice of cheese on top of the bagel half. Place the apple slice on top of the cheese and sprinkle some cinnamon on top of the apple.
Bake on a cookie sheet in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees, but watch to make sure you don’t burn it. It’s done when the cheese starts to melt.
“Family Meals Matter” features registered dietitian-approved recipes from the thousands of user-contributed recipes available at the free family-nutrition and meal-planning website,www.MealsMatter.org, maintained by registered dietitian moms with Dairy Council of California.