HEALTHY HACK: You don’t need to spend money on single-use kitchen equipment like a Panini maker. A hot pan and something heavy to weight down the sandwich is all you need. Double healthy hack: Frozen bread works well for Paninis and is a great way to always have fresh bread on hand.
1 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. dried basil
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 12-oz whole grain loaf bread, halved lengthwise
2 cups baby spinach leaves
2½ oz. goat cheese, crumbled
1 large tomato, sliced
olive oil cooking spray
In a medium bowl, combine olives, onion, garlic, basil, pepper flakes, and vinegar. Place the bread halves on a cutting board, cut side up and spoon olive mixture onto the bottom half of bread. Top with spinach, cheese, and tomato. Top with other half of bread and press down lightly to stick. Using a serrated knife, cut bread into 4 equal pieces. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat skillet with cooking spray and add sandwiches. Press down on sandwiches. Cook for 1½ to 2 minutes or until lightly golden on the bottom. Flip and cook for an additional two minutes or until browned on the bottom. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 2 minutes. This will allow sandwiches to heat throughout without getting too brown. Serves 4
NUTRITION: 368 calories; 13g fat (30.6% calories from fat); 14g protein; 50g carbohydrates; 4g dietary fiber; 19mg cholesterol; 803mg sodium.
LIVE IT TRACKER: 1/2 oz.-eq. meat, 3 oz.-eq. grain, 1/2 cup vegetable
This recipe is taken from Healthy Happy Cooking, available now in our online store.
Lisa Lewis is the author of Healthy Happy Cooking. Her cooking skills have been a part of First Place for Health wellness weeks and other events for many years. She provided recipes for 15 of the First Place for Health Bible studies and is a contributing author in Better Together and Healthy Holiday Living. She partners with community networks, including the Real Food Project, to provide free healthy cooking classes to communities.