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Meatless Monday

Manhattan Veggie Sammy w/Chipotle Pepper Spread

Meatless Monday

It’s Meatless Monday, everyone! Well, it is in this house, anyway. 🙂 Not sure if I’ll post meatless recipes EVERY Monday, but I’m going to do my best. I’ve been pretty infatuated with vegetarian food lately, especially if you throw some crab or shrimp in there. 😀

Seriously, I’ve been craving vegetables for the past month, and have chosen vegetarian options over meat options more than I ever remember doing. Take, for instance, what happened when we walked into a deli in Manhattan during my recent trip to the east coast. It was somewhere near Grand Central Station. I can’t for the life of me remember right now what it was … Food Something. Wait! Food Exchange. Whew. I’ve still got a little memory left.

So the deli case was chock full of all these really amazing-looking sandwiches. Lots of turkey choices, and that’s almost always what I get. But right in the middle of all that meat, I saw this lone vegetarian option:

Veggie Sammy

I had to have it. And I did. The sandwich consisted of avocado, tomato, shredded carrots, sprouts, lettuce, and some elixir called “Chipotle Pepper Spread.” It may have been the best sandwich I’ve ever eaten. And I was so desperate to recreate it again back home that I asked the boy behind the counter what they put in the sauce. Apparently he was really paying attention during his deli-counter-boy-training, because he stood up a little taller, arranged his expression to look just regretful enough, and said, “I’m sorry. We’re not able to divulge that.” But he did glance left and right and then hand me an extra little cupful of the sauce. I think that was his unspoken way of saying, “I believe in you. Taste … go … recreate.”

I got home and I did just that. Because I was not going to live the rest of my life without that Manhattan Veggie Sammy w/Chipotle Pepper Spread (not the true name of my sandwich there, but the forever-after name of the sandwich I’ll be making in honor of that one) and I can’t quite afford to fly back there every time a craving sets in.

Manhattan Veggie Sammy w/Chipotle Pepper Spread

  • bread or pita
  • avocado
  • shredded carrots
  • sprouts
  • lettuce
  • tomatoes (I used Romas)
  • chipotle in adobo
  • mayo
  • garlic
  • chili powder

First, make the magic chipotle pepper spread. I just added stuff until I swooned, and when I came to again I wrote down everything that went in the blender. What tasted like perfection to me was: one cup of mayo, three chipotles in adobo, one garlic clove, 1/2 tsp chili powder. BUT THIS IS HOT. And if I’m the one saying “It’s hot,” you can be sure it’s probably too hot for you. I’d say try with two chipotles the first time. When you have grown up some more, you can add the third. Put it all in the blender and mix well.

Chipotle Pepper Spread

If you want your sandwich to taste especially wonderful, find some Romas that, when cut, look just like hearts. Like so many other puzzling mysteries, science has yet to figure out why this is the most tasty shape, but we’ve got our best minds working on it.

Tomato love

The sandwich I had in Manhattan came on a roll. I liked it in the pita too, but I think next time I’m going to go back to a whole-grain roll.

Spread a little of the chipotle pepper sauce inside the pita or on two slices of bread (or a roll). Now add all the rest of that goodness: avocado, sprouts, shredded carrots, lettuce, tomato.

Eat while watching something New Yorkish: Wall StreetKing Kong, Manhattan, Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, The Godfather … you get the idea.
Veggie Pita with Chipotle Pepper Spread


2 small red beets (about 4 oz.)
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. whole coriander seeds
2 cups loosely packed cilantro leaves, plus more to garnish
1 cup loosely packed mint leaves
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup 35% cream


Spray a small saute pan with cooking spray, and heat over medium high heat. Dice sausage into small disks and cook breakfast sausage along with diced onion.
Microwave, uncovered, on high for 1 minute. Remove mug and stir. Cook for an additional 1 minute, or until eggs are completely set! Remove from microwave.
Spray a small saut pan with cooking spray, and heat over medium high heat. Dice sausage into small disks and cook breakfast sausage along with diced onion.
Heat the oil in a casserole dish and sear the beef cubes over high heat until nicely browned. Season generously.
Mix in the flour and brown sugar. Mix well and cook for 1 more minute.
Add the onion, garlic, thyme, paprika, and mushrooms, and cook for 5 more minutes.
Pour in the mustard, beef broth, and cream. Cover and bake for 3 hours. Adjust the seasoning if needed and serve.

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