Cheesy Pesto BLT

Cheesy Pesto BLT

Cheesy Pesto BLT sandwich cut and stacked on a small wooden tray.

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Cheesy Pesto BLT is grilled cheese and BLT sandwiches married together with vibrant pesto.  It’s the indulgent, adult sandwich for the kid in all of us.

I was recently asked by a friend and co-worker what he and his work crew could cook up with limited kitchen gear. Available was a frying pan, electric grill press and a toaster oven.  One of my first thoughts was a  grilled cheese sandwich.  But on second thought, who wants just a grilled cheese, other than a 5-year-old of course?  

I sent him a recipe for a pesto grilled cheese because I knew the combo would be amazing and it got me thinking that it could be the start of something great. I knew I wanted to add some kind of meat, and plenty of chewy bacon was the answer for a heartier sandwich. And how can you not have bacon without fresh tomato slices and cool, crisp lettuce? They bring balance to the melty cheese and salty bacon which are wonderfully paired with the pesto.  So remember, grilled cheese doesn’t have to be “JUST” a grilled cheese. 

Ingredients for Cheesy Pesto BLT arranged on a small wooden tray draped with a white kitchen towel.

Truthfully, the kid in me loves that simple and traditional grilled cheese made with processed cheese slices, but I also love pesto and BLT’s, so it only made sense to put them all together into one delicious sandwich.  So don’t just think grilled cheese when graving crispy fried bread and oozy cheese.  Think Cheesy Pesto BLT!!

Cheesy Pesto BLT
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    2 people 15 minutes
    Cook Time
    10 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    2 people 15 minutes
    Cook Time
    10 minutes
    Cheesy Pesto BLT
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      2 people 15 minutes
      Cook Time
      10 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      2 people 15 minutes
      Cook Time
      10 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      1. Heat a non-stick stick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat until hot.
      2. Butter the outside of each bread slice.
      3. Place the bread buttered side down in skillet and layer provolone evenly over two slices. Adjust heat to medium-low.
      4. Spread 1 tbsp of pesto evenly over the cheese and top with 3 slices of bacon each.
      5. Cook on medium-low to medium until bottoms are golden and cheese is melty. (I find medium-low best to melt cheese while not overcooking the bread)
      6. Remove grilled bread from pan and top the cheese side slices with tomato slices. Season tomatoes with freshly ground sea salt and pepper to taste. Top with lettuce and remaining grilled bread.
      7. Cut as desired and serve immediately.
      Recipe Notes

      - You can use fresh or purchased pesto in this recipe.  I do recommend using fresh if possible like my Classic Pesto

      -Prep time is based on using pre-made pesto and pre-cooked bacon.

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      Edamame and Chickpea Sandwich Filling

      Edamame and Chickpea Sandwich Filling

      Well, we’re already into the first month of the new year and for many the new year brings the resolution to eat better, get more exercise etc. So for those looking for a healthy low fat, yet satisfying lunch option I’ve got a lovely Edamame and Chickpea Sandwich Filling. It’s made with protein packed edamame and chickpeas, which along with the fibre they provide, helps to keep you feeling full and satiated. Avocado gives it a bit of creaminess to help hold it all together and provides good monounsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals. Avocados are also quite high in fibre and contain little sugar, again helping to keep you feeling full. A little feta cheese, garlic and cumin round it out with flavour and salt. It’s a darn tasty sandwich filling that makes a great lunch and will keep for several days well covered in the fridge. Although I enjoy my Edamame and Chickpea Sandwich Filling on multigrain bread, it’s also great stuffed in a tomato or eaten on sliced cucumbers if you’re wanting to cut out the bread all together.  So let the healthy eating begin!

      I have to honestly say I didn’t have a new year’s resolution this year. Certainly not that I couldn’t have used one, like taking better photographs or drinking less wine. There’s always something to improve upon and goals are important. My real problem was time, no time to reflect and decide what goal was most desired and no time to process a thoughtful plan to put into action. Time…..we never have enough it seems. So in hindsight while I write this post, I believe time will be my focus for the year ahead, and maybe a little less wine too, but I fear I have little resolve for that my friends!

      Recipe source for Edamame and Chickpea Sandwich Filling: Compelled To Cook

      Edamame and Chickpea Sandwich Filling
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        2 cups 20 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        2 cups 20 minutes
        Edamame and Chickpea Sandwich Filling
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          2 cups 20 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          2 cups 20 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: cups
          Instructions
          1. In a food processor combine 1/2 cup edamame, 1/2 cup chickpeas, avocado, feta cheese, garlic, lime juice, cumin, salt, and pepper and process until almost smooth. Add remaining 1/4 cup of edamame and chickpeas and pulse a few times to combine, leaving a chunky texture.
          2. Spread filling thickly onto desired bread and top with pea shoots and fresh cilantro. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and freshly cracked sea salt. Top with bread.
          Recipe Notes

          I used a 300g bag of frozen edamame to yield 3/4 cup shelled edamame. Cook edamame as per package directions. Submerge in cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and shell.

          Should you prefer a smoother texture, process all the edamame and chickpeas together in the first blend.

          Yields approximately 2 cups of filling which will make 4-6 sandwiches.

          Chicken Piccata Sandwich

          Chicken Piccata Sandwich

          What’s for your lunch? Now that you’ve got all the lunches and snacks sorted out for your family, don’t you deserve the same consideration? Of course you do, and that’s why you need to make this delicious Chicken Piccata Sandwich. Warm and tender chicken cutlets nestled between soft pumpernickel and generously smeared with “piccata” punched up mayo. It’s darn good!

          One of my favourite chicken dishes is Chicken Piccata, not only for its vibrant sauce made with capers, wine and lemon juice, but because the chicken is always so tender. You get that same tender chicken here in this Chicken Piccata Sandwich. Chicken breasts have a way of being quite dry when cooked as they are, but by pounding them thin and having to cook for mere minutes leaves that chicken no chance of being dry. The little bit of flour dredge also helps to coat and seal in the moisture so the resulting cutlet is perfect for a sandwich. Enjoy!

          Recipe source for Chicken Piccata Sandwich:  Compelled To Cook

          Chicken Piccata Sandwich
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            2 sandwiches 15 minutes
            Cook Time
            6-8 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            2 sandwiches 15 minutes
            Cook Time
            6-8 minutes
            Chicken Piccata Sandwich
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              2 sandwiches 15 minutes
              Cook Time
              6-8 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              2 sandwiches 15 minutes
              Cook Time
              6-8 minutes
              Ingredients
              Servings: sandwiches
              Instructions
              1. In a small bowl stir together mayonnaise, parsley and capers. Keep chilled until ready to use.
              2. Place chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap and using a mallet or rolling pin pound to 1/2" thick. Cut in half for two pieces about the same size. Combine flour, salt and pepper on a plate or shallow dish and coat chicken pieces, shaking off excess flour.
              3. Heat oil in a medium size skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken cutlets and cook for approximately 2 minutes per side until golden. Remove from pan and cover with foil. To the hot pan add wine and lemon juice, scraping any bits up from the bottom of the pan. Allow to simmer and reduce until syrupy and reduced to about 1 tbsp, approximately 2-2 1/2 minutes. Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes and using a rubber spatula scrape into mayonnaise. Stir to combine.
              4. Lay out bread slices and coat each slice liberally with mayonnaise mixture. Top with a chicken cutlet and lettuce. Serve immediately.