I’ve recently come to find out that Laura has been hiding something from me in plain sight. It’s a book called Vegetarian Sandwiches: Fresh Fillings for Slices, Pockets, Wraps & Rolls written by Paulette Mitchell. It’s been sitting on one of our shelves for ages. For some reason, I never picked it up.
I do remember her acquiring this book years ago. She told me about it and explained how good some of the recipes were. There are pages filled with instructions on how to put together some great looking (and tasting) spreads: guacamole, black olive and caper spread, basil pesto and sun-dried tomato pesto. It’s a shame I never took the book seriously because I could have been enjoying some really good eating all this time.
A few days ago, Laura pulled the book back out and handed it to me. I began flipping through the pages and was taken aback by how good some of the sandwiches looked. I decided that I was going to add this book to my growing collection of recipe sources for this site. Really, the recipes inside it are far too wonderful to hide any longer.
Today’s recipe is for what’s called a Sweet Potato & Avocado Sandwich with Tahini-Poppy Seed Spread. Yes, it’s 100% vegetarian and yes, it’s quite filling and surprisingly good tasting. Each and every layer of this sandwich has been contemplated and the ingredients work very well with one another. One of my favorite parts is the tahini-poppy seed spread. I didn’t even know what tahini was before yesterday and now I’m sharing a quick recipe for making your own. Remarkable.
Quick & Easy Tahini Recipe
The sandwich calls for the use of tahini in the spread. Tahini is, quite simply, ground up sesame seed mixed with oil. It’s used all the time when people make hummus and is interesting, to say the least. Apparently, you can pick up some tahini from Amazon for around $8 for 16 ounces, but when it comes to purchasing it locally, it’s much more expensive. For this reason, many folks like to make it themselves, which takes about two minutes.
To make 1/2 cup of tahini, you’ll need 1 cup of sesame seeds. You can use raw ones or you can toast them in a skillet. We had toasted seeds on hand, so we didn’t have to do anything to them. Grind them up in a coffee grinder and then add in a few tablespoons of regular olive oil. Stir well and you’re all set. It’s that easy.
It tastes uncannily similar to peanut butter and toasted pumpkin seeds. After I finished making it last night, I kept wondering what it reminded me of. Definitely those two – what I just mentioned. It’s good in a recipe when it’s mixed with something else. I wouldn’t go eating it by itself.
Serves: 2 (Makes two sandwiches)
Below, I’ll list out the necessary ingredients to prepare the sandwiches.
For the Spread
1 Tablespoon Tahini
1 Tablespoon Plain Yogurt
2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice
1/2 Teaspoon Honey or Real Maple Syrup
1/4 Teaspoon Poppy Seeds
For the Sandwich
1 Medium Sweet Potato
4 Slices Whole Wheat or Multi-Grain Bread
4 Sweet Onion Slices, 1/8 Inch Thick
4 Avocado Slices, 1/4 Inch Thick
4 Tomato Slices, 1/4 Inch Thick
Regular Table Salt
Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Cup Monterey Jack Cheese, Shredded
Obviously, you’ll have leftover ingredients after preparing these sandwiches. I suggest you did what we did – makes some salads. That way, you can throw in the extra avocado, onion, tomato and whatever else doesn’t fit in between the slices of bread. I also made some extra sweet potato as a side to the sandwiches. Remember, sweet potato is a super food.
Make the Spread
In a small bowl, add the 1 tablespoon of tahini, the 1 tablespoon of yogurt, the 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, the 1/2 teaspoon of honey or maple syrup and the 1/4 teaspoon of poppy seeds.
After that, mix everything thoroughly with a fork and set aside.
Prepare Sweet Potatoes
Trim and peel the sweet potatoes. Then, slice them into 1 inch slices. They should look like hockey pucks. After that, steam the pieces until they are tender throughout. When finished, slice each of the pieces so they are approximately 1/3 inch thick. Set aside.
Position two pieces of bread on a plate (or two plates). These are the bottoms of each of the sandwiches. Apply half of the spread to each piece. Be sure to use all of the spread.
Then, begin adding the layers of the sandwich. Start off by adding the slices of sweet onion.
As you can see, it’s a good idea to go with sweet onion. These are much more mild than other types. Being raw, this is important.
Next up, add the slices of avocado, tomato and sweet potato.
At this point, you can season with regular table salt and ground black pepper if you wish.
When the earlier ingredients are assembled, continue on by adding half of the shredded monterey jack cheese to each sandwich, along with some alfalfa sprouts.
Finally, add the remaining two slices of bread.
The Final Sandwiches
What you’ll end up with are some delicious looking and very appetizing vegetarian sandwiches. They’re good, clean and healthy lunches. Sure, we enjoyed them for dinner, but we’re not telling anyone that.
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