Picnic Sandwiches & Green Bean Salad

I’ve been wanting to go on a picnic for a while now.  Spring has finally sprung (at least for this week)  and outside is the place to be.  So when I was flipping through Vegan Yum Yum to chose our recipe for the week, I thought picnic sandwiches were a great idea.  And since it seemed like such an easy dish, I suggested we make the green bean salad to go with it.  Both were wonderful recipes, and very picnic worthy, but I’m sad to report that we didn’t actually go on a picnic.  We had a very busy day yesterday and have spent most of the day inside recuperating.  We did manage to make it outside to the back patio to eat though so it was a semi picnic!

I started with the green beans….

The sauce for the green beans was so easy and delicious.  However, I don’t think I cooked my beans long enough because they were a bit too crunchy.  The recipe requires you to steam the green beans, but I don’t really have the necessary tools to do this so I kind of winged it and it didn’t turn out quite as planned, but they were still good and I’ll definitely make them again.

I set the beans aside and began the sandwiches….

The recipe called for a french baguette, but once I smelled this rosemary and olive oil bread at Whole Foods, I knew a substitute would be just fine.

I cooked up my zucchini  and then decided to do some onion as well.  The onions and artichokes weren’t in the original recipe, but I thought they’d be great additions.  I was going to add some leftover mushrooms too, but they didn’t look so hot so they ended up in the trash.

The spread on the bread is just pine nuts and sun dried tomatoes, but I think a basil pesto would be wonderful on this too.

Time to head outside!

This is the second time this week we’ve eaten outside and both excursions have resulted in Jacob pruning the grapes.  I guess if he looks at them long enough they start to bother him.  Maybe if we start eating in the bathroom he’ll want to scrub the tub!  I’ll let you know if that every happens!

…..

No picnic for us, we settled down in front of the t.v. screen to watch the evening news. It’s a bit too windy for a picnic, not to mention a tad bit too warm. Funny how we went from a lovely cool spring, into a blazing summer, all in the span of two weeks. I did a last-minute magic trick with the sandwich recipe, opting for a salad with those tasty ingredients.  A grilled (orange), bell pepper, and three zucchini squash, made for a fresh and tasty respite amidst the barrage of the sandwiches consumed these past few days.  I whipped up my sun-dried tomatoes with:  olive oil, lemon juice, and dried thyme, with the help of my mini food processor. Once the peppers and squash were grilled, I mixed them with a bit of onion and fresh tomato, adding some crushed pine nuts.  While the dish was still hot, I sprinkled some non-vegan (for shame, for shame!), five-Italian cheese atop, mixing the whole thing together before serving.

Earlier in the afternoon I’d compiled the green bean salad, and not unlike M1, mine too was a bit crunchy.  BTW, you don’t need special equipment to steam, M1.  All you need is to follow instructions once you find a microwave or stove-top method you prefer.  When you get that technique down, come home and instruct your mama, cuz she ain’t got no idea about following directions from the Internet or the printed page.  She be stubborn!

Let’s have some pictures, shall we?

 

I wouldn’t change a thing on either of these recipes,

heck, what am I saying?

I took so many detours on that ‘Sandwich’ Salad, that I’m pretty sure the culinary roadmap can’t be located with any GPS instrument.  Red pepper flakes found their way into the pulsing action of the baby Cuisinart, as did a copious amount of virgin olive oil. The thought of a red Thai chili pepper came crusing-for-a-brusing too, but the proceeds were delinquent in the confines of the wench, Miss G.E.

All-in-all, this household thoroughly enjoyed the journey of both salads, and with Hades approaching the tarmack of this shack, you can bet we’ll be earmarking the pages of our favorite cookbook so that we can cool our heels again, soon.

…..

Our thanks to the lovely Lauren Ulm, www.veganyumyum.com, for her book, Vegan Yum Yum. Her wonderful recipes are our guidebook for today’s offerings.

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