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Simple Things

While it’s easy to have a feeling of triumph after slaving over the stove for a complicated or involved dish, sometimes it’s the simplest meal that can bring the greatest satisfaction. It doesn’t have to be novel or fancy, but just plain good. It could be a perfectly cooked piece of fish, a burger grilled to the right level of doneness, or a simply dressed salad with just the right mix of ingredients. Recently for me, it was a sandwich.

simple things

I must confess that I love sandwiches — banh mi, muffulettas, hoagies, panini, doner kebabs. I could go on and on. I love the convenience, the variety, and dare I say, its healthfulness. Not all sandwiches need to be slathered with mayo, dripping with cheese, and packed with salty meats (now my stomach is grumbling). They can be healthy little affairs packed with roasted vegetables and drizzled with olive oil between slices of whole grain bread. If you play your cards right, you could even make sure you have something from all the major food groups in the right proportions. That last part is crucial. I was once told by someone that [Pizza Hut] pizza was an excellent way of eating from the major food groups. Too bad about the whole proportion thing.

I came back from the gym one day last week and I was starving. After frantically rummaging through my kitchen, I settled on making that pretty little sandwich that’s in the above photo. Instead of mayo, I decided to use smashed avocado, a trick I picked up when Rourke and I were down in Patagonia last year. It hit the spot and best of all, it took less than 15 minutes to make.

Chicken Sandwich with Mushrooms, Cheese, and Avocado
- serves 1 -

1 chicken cutlet, rinsed and patted dry, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 small clove garlic, minced
3-4 button mushrooms (brown or white), cleaned and sliced
1/2 small avocado, smashed with a pinch of salt added
2 slices whole grain bread
shredded cheese
olive or canola oil
black pepper

1. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a small skillet over medium heat. While the oil is warming up, prep your mushrooms and garlic.

2. While the oil is hot, add mushrooms, a pinch of salt, and saute until they begin to give up their water. Add the garlic and saute for an additional 30 seconds. Remove mushrooms and garlic to a plate.

3. In the same skillet, add another tsp of oil to the pan and when the oil is hot, add the chicken cutlet. This would be a good time to start toasting your bread. When the chicken starts to brown (approx 1 minute or so), flip the cutlet and sprinkle shredded cheese over the top and cover. Cook for an additional minute or so, until the cheese is melted and the chicken is cooked through.

4. To assemble, spread the avocado mash on one slice of toast, add the chicken cutlet, and then top with the mushrooms. Enjoy!

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