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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Easy Sammies For Summer Meals

I'm dreaming of snow and ice and temperatures below 30.  I may be in the minority but I really don't like the summer heat not to mention the biting insects that love me.  I feel like a slug dragging myself around in this 100 degree heat.  As usual, we have to eat but who wants to stand over a hot stove now?  Sometimes we don't have much of an appetite in the summer either.  I definitely have my summer menus out so we can eat lighter food that requires minimal preparation. 

A chilled soup or salad and a sandwich is often just the right meal when the temperatures get this hot.  I've shared some salad recipes lately such as the green bean and new potato salad.  Today I've got two of our favorite sandwiches, one of which my daughter found on a swimming blog and wanted to try.  This one really doesn't take any time but has alot of flavor and nutrition.  Serve this with gazpacho and it's a great summer meal.

Turkey and Avocado on Whole Wheat
whole wheat bread
deli turkey
cheese slices such as havarti or swiss
one or two avocados peeled and sliced thin
one medium red onion, sliced thin
low fat mayo
chopped fresh cilantro
Toast bread if desired.  Spread one slice with a bit of mayo, sprinkle with black pepper and cilantro.  Top with avocado, cheese and red onion slices and as much turkey as you desire.  Place under a broiler if desired until cheese melts or eat as is.  You could also just mash the avocado and use it as a spread.

The next sandwich is a great way to use leftover meat and you know how fond I am of cooking meat once and using it for two meals.  Grill extra pork tenderloin on the weekend and use the leftovers for this sandwich during the work week.  Men like this sandwich because it's pretty hardy and filling.  We like using onion rolls for this sandwich.  Don't worry if you don't get all the ingredients or if you don't like olives for example. 

Spanish Grilled Sandwiches
1 6 0z. jar marinated artichoke hearts
1 7 oz. jar roasted sweet red peppers, drained and cut into strips
2/3 cup jalapeno stuffed olives, sliced
1 onion, sliced and separated into rings
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. cumin
4 sandwich rolls or buns
1 lb. thinly sliced deli roast beef or pork
sliced provolone cheese
4 tsp. olive oil
Drain and chop artichokes, reserving marinade.  Combine marinade, artichokes, red peppers olives, onions  garlic, parsley, oregano and cumin.  Cover and chill 2 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally.  To make sandwiches, open buns and spread vegetable mixture on one half, top with meat and cheese.  Coat a very large skillet with 2 tsp. of olive oil.  Heat skillet over medium heat and add 2 sandwiches.  Weight sandwiches down with another heavy skillet so they are pressed flatter.  Cook until brown then flip and brown the other side.  Cook remaining sandwiches.

Some thick steak fries is a good side for this or if you don't want to heat the kitchen, serve a fruit salad.  In the meantime, remember to drink extra water or tea in this heat, particularly if you are going to be outside.  Make sure your kids drink too, and not just sodas.  You can get dehydrated quickly when it's this hot or heat exhaustion or heat stroke. 
Signs of heat exhaustion include: nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, headache, muscle cramps and dizziness. 
Signs of heat stroke which is more serious and requires immediate medical attention include: high body temperature, red, flushed, dry skin but no sweating, rapid pulse, difficulty breathing, confusion and seizures.

Don't forget about your pets.  Make sure they have shade and plenty of fresh water in this heat if they are outdoor pets.  A fan is very helpful too.  Animals can exhibit many of the same signs as humans when they have heat exhaustion or heat stroke.  Watch for heavy panting or difficulty breathing too.      

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