Tuesday, September 6, 2011

400 Best Sandwich Recipes, including Lunchbox Sushi

Lunchbox Sushi from 400 Best Sandwich Recipes by Alison Lewis.
Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books
Reading through Alison Lewis’ “400 Best Sandwich Recipes” (Robert Rose, 2011), I can’t help but think how lucky her kids are. Lewis is a nationally known recipe developer, accomplished cook and writer, a veteran of Southern Living magazine, and her book brims over with family-friendly recipes. She’s a busy mom with three active children, living in Birmingham, Alabama.

Just how did she decide to develop 400 sandwich recipes? She describes in the introduction to the book that her son suggested a cookbook of sandwich recipes as they were driving to the beach. When her editor suggested 400 recipes and producing a “bible” of sandwiches, “I laughed at first, then I was a little nervous,” Lewis wrote by email last week.

Lewis uses fresh, wholesome ingredients in her recipes, always with an eye on what’s appealing to children and how quality meals can be quickly assembled. This collection of recipes is a reminder that the original fast food, the portable vehicle called a sandiwch, can feed active families easily and well.

So how does a busy mom get healthy, tasty meals on the table? “I try to really plan ahead. With three super busy kids, you have to think ahead, prep ahead and involve kids in the menu planning process as well as getting them to cook with me in the kitchen,” Lewis says. “ I also make it a point to teach my kids how to make the healthiest food choices."

Lunchbox sushi by Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books
 A few of her Alison's tasty go-to sandwiches for weeknight cooking are Taco Burgers (a taco-seasoned burger with salsa, beans and cheese), Burgers with Grilled Onion and Smoked Cheddar, Lime Shrimp Tacos, Classic Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches.

This cookbook is also inspiration for kids old enough to pack their own lunchboxes. In fact there’s a chapter with 15 sandwiches that her kids love to pack themselves, including a Garden Tuna Checkerboard Sandwich, the enduring classic Peanut Butter and Jelly (we love PB and J in our house) and Sandwich on a Stick - bread, turkey, cheese, pickles and olives threaded on a skewer served with dipping mustard.

What's next for Alison Lewis? According to Alison, her mind is “always brewing” with creative culinary ideas. Check out her blog, Ingredients, Inc, for new recipes.

This is a fun sandwich from "400 Best Sandwich Recipes" I like the innovative use of tortillas to encase the roll, making it much easier to work with than the nori alone.

Lunch Box Sushi

Serves 4 to 6

1 teaspoon wasabi powder
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cups cooked sushi short-grain rice, cooled
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
1 teaspoon mayonnaise
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (optional)
6 (10-inch) white or whole wheat tortillas
6 sheets nori
1 ½ pounds cooked shrimp, chopped (or an equal amount of chopped, cooked white meat chicken)
1 cup chopped avocado
1 cup finely chopped cucumber
1/3 cup soy sauce

1. In a small bowl, combine wasabi and 1 teaspoon water. Add 2 tablespoons soy sauce and mix well.

2. In a medium bowl, combine rice, wasabi mixture, green onions, mayonnaise and hot pepper flakes, if using.

3. Line each tortilla with nori. Arrange rice mixture equally in center of each wrap. Add shrimp or chicken, avocado, and cucumber. Fold both ends over filling. Roll up and serve with soy sauce.

“400 Best Sandwich Recipes” by Alison Lewis (Robert Rose, 2011), 360 pages with index and 24 color photographs. Paperback, $24.95 list price. A review copy was provided by the publisher. All opinions are my own.

1 comment:

HapaMama said...

How fun! That lunchbox sushi actually looks like something my kids would eat. I love the way you styled it, too.