lunch

Fig & Cheddar Turkey Melt

I'm not a huge sandwich girl.  I don't typically pack one for lunch at work or come home on a Saturday and throw one together.  However, I know that sandwiches can be part of a quick and simple, fueling and nutritious meal when on the go and pressed for time, if thrown together correctly.

With that said, this weekend I decided to give the sandwich a try.  I decided to embrace it but embrace it with a twist.  I wanted to escape the every-day turkey on wheat with lettuce, tomato and mustard so I took a minute and thought about some of my favorite ingredients and determined what I already had in my pantry.  It had also just watched a show on the Food Network where the chefs discussed how the key to a great dish is simplicity and so I aimed to follow their guidance and keep the ingredients minimal but still memorable.  And what I came up with, I think, is a win.  It's very simple but the flavors contrast and complement well, supporting those Food Network chef's theory on food simplicity.    The peppery arugula combined with the sharpness from the cheddar cheese are balanced with the touch of sweetness from the fig preserves, and all of this is held together by my favorite bread, the Flax & Chia Seed bread from Central Market, for a sandwich that is, to me, delicious & exciting with every bite. 

So here you go - my Fig & Cheddar Turkey Melt...

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

 

Fig & Cheddar Turkey  Melt

INGREDIENTS:

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  • 2 slices whole grain bread (I used by favorite bread from Central Market - flax & chia)

  • 2 teaspoons fig preserves

  • 2 ounces deli turkey

  • 1 1/2 slices sharp cheddar cheese

  • 1/2 cup fresh arugula


DIRECTIONS:

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1. Toast both slices of bread in a toaster (or in a 350 degree oven, 5 minutes per side).

2. Add the fig preserves to one side of one slice of the toasted bread.

3. Add the sliced turkey to the other slice of toasted bread.

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4. Place the slice of toasted bread with turkey onto a baking sheet.

5. Top turkey with the cheese slices, making sure to cover the turkey with the cheese in an even layer.

(I lined the baking sheet with foil for easier clean-up)

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6. Turn the oven from Bake to Broil (broil on High).

7. Place the baking sheet in oven & broil for about 3 minutes until cheese is hot & melting over the turkey.

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8. Remove sandwich half from the oven.

9. Place heated sandwich half on your serving plate & top with the fresh arugula.

10. Top arugula with the second slice of toasted bread spread with the fig preserves.

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10. Slice your sandwich, serve and enjoy!!

WHAT'S IN THIS?!?!

Arugula - vitamin K, vitamin A

Turkey -  protein, nicain, vitamin B6, iron, phosphorus, sodium, zinc, selenium

Cheese -  protein, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, riboflavin, vitamin A, zinc, selenium

Dried Figs - potassium, fiber, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese

Bread  - flaxseed = fiber, thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese, omega 3's                       ;             chia seeds = fiber, omega 3's, protein, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese

Confetti Chicken Salad

Life as a Grad Student while also being a Dietetic Intern does not allow for much free time.  As I experimented with dishes I could quickly prepare ahead of time that I could then throw in a lunch box as I ran out the door in the mornings, I soon realized my love and appreciation for a good chicken salad.  If made well, it can be a completely satisfying and energizing meal to keep you going well into the afternoon.

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This has been my most recent and maybe favorite sweeter variety to date (I have a list of go-to sweet and go-to savory salads).  With it's hearty chunks of roasted chicken, diced sweet bell peppers, crunchy celery and tart dried cherries all combined together by a creamy orange - tarragon dressing (made with low fat Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise) it captures all the senses and leaves you energized and satisfied instead of stuffed and sluggish to get you through your meetings, your workouts, your games or your errands - whatever lies ahead.  I like to think of it as a healthier, colorful, and satisfying spin on the traditional chicken salad.

So, here you go...  my color-packed, flavor-packed Confetti Chicken Salad.

Happy Fueling!

 

Confetti Chicken Salad

Serves 3 to 4;  Serving Size = 1 cup

INGREDIENTS:

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  • 1.5 - 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast (should make about 3 cups cooked diced)

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Sea Salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper + more to taste

  • 3/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon

  • 1/4 cup dried chopped cherries

  • 1/2 cup chopped orange bell peppers

  • 1/2 cup chopped celery


DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Drizzle the chicken with 2 teaspoons olive oil, sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt and less than 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and bake for 30 - 40 minutes until no longer pink inside and juices run clear.

  3. While the chicken cooks, combine the yogurt, honey, orange juice, tarragon, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon of salt in a medium bowl. Store the dressing in the refrigerator to keep cold.

  4. Once the chicken is cooked, allow to cool for about 10 minutes and then chop and place in a large bowl.

  5. Add the dressing to the chicken and mix well to combine.

  6. Add the celery, peppers and cherries and mix well again to combine all ingredients.

  7. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

  8. Enjoy!


Serve it Again!  This chicken salad is great because it can be served over a bed of mixed greens, stuffed in a whole - wheat pita or rolled up in a wrap.  Try it all different ways to put a spin on the same core recipe throughout the week!


NUTRITION FACTS (per serving):

Calories 270,  Protein 36 g,  Carb 22 g,  Total Fat 4 g (1 g sat, 1 g mono, 1 g poly),                  Added Sugar 13 g,  Sodium 678 mg,  Cholesterol 99 mg,  Potassium 603 mg,  Calcium 80 mg