Toasted Ham and Swiss with Fresh Figs and Vidalia Jam

Toasted Ham and Swiss with Fresh Figs and Vidalia Jam
Serves 1

This is a combination of many flavors,  but it works!

2 slices rye bread
Coarse German mustard
Vidalia jam
Arugula (or other greens)
1 ounce shaved ham
1 ounce Swiss cheese
2 figs, sliced

  1. Toast the bread.
  2. Spread mustard on one slice, Vidalia jam on the other. Layer the other ingredients in order.
I’m not going to give nutritional data, because this is too variable. Use more or less mustard or jam. Different meats (turkey or pancetta) would change the numbers, as will the different breads. 
This recipe is meant to stimulate your imagination.

Open Faced Tuna Melt

Open Faced Tuna Melt
Serves 2

1 can (5 ounce) tuna
1 tablespoon minced onion
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
2 slices rye bread, toasted
4 strips of cooked bacon
1/2 avocado, sliced
2 slices cheese (your choice, I used a marbled slice of Colby-Jack)

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Mix tuna, onion and mayo.
  3. Top each slice of toast with arugula. 
  4. Spread tuna mix over the arugula. 
  5. Lay the bacon on the tuna, then the avocado, and top with cheese.
  6. Place in oven for 1-2 minutes, or until the cheese melts.
Nutritional data: 
Calories:          380
Fat:                23.6g
Sat fat:             8.1g
Chol:           68.1mg
Sodium:    624.7mg
Carbs:            18.6g
Fiber:               2.7g
Protein:          28.3g

Served with a side of Snapea Crisps. A crunchy and tasty side instead of the more traditional potato chip. Healthier, too.

Baked Eggs in Ham “Flowers”

Baked Egg in Ham “Flower”
Serves 1

1 ounce shaved ham (2-4 slices)
1 egg
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400F
Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.
Line the tin with ham slices.

Carefully crack egg into the ham flower.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the egg is set. Remove before it is fully cooked, it will continue to cook for about 3 minutes after removing.

When done the yolk should be thick and hot, but still fluid.

I served it on a toasted whole grain English Muffin, topped with a slice of horseradish cheddar and a drizzle of coarse German mustard.


Nutritional data (as I served it):
Calories:       373
Fat:             20.5g
Sat fat:          9.8g
Chol:         416mg
Sodium:    855mg
Carbs:         14.3g
Fiber:               2g
Protein:       31.7g

Kicked-Up Grilled Cheese

This was one of my entries into the 2014 Mezzetta Make That Sandwich contest.

A good grilled cheese is a common comfort food, and to be honest, one of my favorite meals when the weather is cold and dreary. On my podcast, Make Your Someday Today, I ask my guests several food questions, and one is to discover their comfort food. It is refreshing to hear that many people have similarities, all over the world. For many people it is carb-related foods. Find out what Ilias in Greece, Steve in CanadaAlastair in Ireland, Ani in Armenia, Berni in Minneapolis and Chester in Tennessee prefers! Then listen to my 15 other guests!

Kicked Up Grilled Cheese
Serves 1

1 large slice of hearty bread (or 2 smaller slices) I used a single slice of homemade artisan bread
1 tablespoon low fat mayonnaise
2 slices Swiss cheese
1 ounce Mezzetta Gourmet Deli Roasted Bell Pepper strips & Caramelized Onions
1 ounce Mezzetta Gourmet Deli Sweet and Hot Pepper Rings

½ ounce (4 pieces) Mezzetta Cocktail Onions, chopped

  1. Preheat non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  2. Assemble sandwich (bread, 1 slice of cheese, Roasted Pepper & Onions, Sweet & Hot Pepper rings, chopped Cocktail Onions, remaining slice of cheese, final piece of bread)
  3. Spread half the mayo on the outer side of one piece of bread. Season with a touch of black pepper. Lay mayo-side on the skillet.
  4. Spread the second piece of bread with mayo.
  5. Carefully turn the sandwich when the edge starts to brown (2-3 minutes).
  6. Let the second side brown (another 2-3 minutes.)
  7. Serve.

Nutritional Data:
Calories:          315
Fat:                12.2g
Sat fat:             4.1g
Chol:             24mg
Sodium:   774.5mg
Carbs:           41.8g
Fiber:              3.8g
Protein:         12.3g

Baked Eggs in Potato Cups

Baked Eggs in Potato Cups
Serve 2

This is a great way to use a leftover baked potato. If you don’t have any left, you can easily microwave a potato in about 5 minutes, while getting your morning coffee ready.

1 large potato
2 eggs
1 slice of cheese
salt and pepper as needed
Sriracha sauce (or your preference)

Preheat oven to 450F
Cut baked potato in half the long way.
Scoop out most of the potato, leaving less than a 1/4 inch of potato.

Season with salt and pepper (if needed).
Crack an egg into the potato cup. You may not have room for all of the white (depends on the size of the potato.
Place 1/2 slice of cheese over egg.
Bake for 8-12 minutes (8 will be very soft-cooked and 12 minutes will be fully hard cooked.)
Drizzle with Sriracha and let cool for a couple minutes.

    Nutritional data (approximate, as different sized potatoes, scooped out more or less will change this):
    Calories:            187
    Fat:                   8.9g
    Sat fat:              3.9g
    Chol:          199.5mg
    Sodium:       93.3mg
    Carb:               15.4g
    Fiber:                1.4g
    Protein:           11.4g

    Grilled Jalapeno Poppers

    Grilled Jalapeno Poppers
    Makes 4 servings (4 halves each)
    8 jalapenos, halved and seeded
    4 tablespoons goat cheese (or low fat cream cheese)
    4 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
    4 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
    4 tablespoons minced green onion
    1.  Prepare jalapenos. If your hands are sensitive, wear gloves.
    2.  Fill each half with approximately 1 tablespoon of the filling.
    3.  Preheat the grill.
    4.  Place peppers on grill, over direct heat, skin-side down. 
    5.  Remove peppers when the skin begins to char.
    6.  Serve warm or cold.
    Nutritional Data
    Calories:           64
    Fat:                 3.0g
    Sat fat:            1.7g
    Chol:             10mg
    Sodium:       120mg
    Carbs:             5.2g
    Fiber:              0.9g

    Protein:           4.5g 

    Rustic Meal: Sausages, Veggies and Polenta

    Rustic Meal

    I’m not going to tell you how to make this entire meal, nor the nutritional data for everything. The sausage nutrition will change with every choice, and your choices will change from region to region, from city to city.

    Choice is a common topic on my podcast Make Your Someday Today. We are all confronted with challenges, and most are in the form of choices. Planning in advance makes choosing easier.

    Your grilled veggies can be altered to your preference. I used baby zucchini, white button mushrooms, an onion, and two red bell peppers. I cut them into similar sizes, tossed them with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and herbs, then grilled them over high direct heat until caramelized.

    But the polenta requires a recipe and instructions. I’ve made mistakes with polenta; there is a secret.

    Jalapeno-Cheddar Polenta
    Serves 10+

    4 cups liquid (I used 2 bottles beer–24 ounces, or three cups + 1 cup water)
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup regular polenta (not quick cooking)
    1/2 cup diced onion
    1 (or more) diced jalapeno
    1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese.

    1. Bring liquid to a rolling boil. 
    2. Add onion and jalapeno. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
    3. Turn the heat up and bring back to a rolling boil.
    4. SLOWLY and STEADILY add the polenta, stirring constantly. (This is where I made earlier mistakes. I just dumped it in. Don’t do that!) When you are finished adding the polenta, reduce heat to medium.
    5. Let boil for 3-5 minutes, stirring once a minute, or until desire consistency.
    6. Lay out a 3 foot sheet of waxed paper. Spray with cooking spray.
    7. Pour polenta over wax paper. Spread to approximately 1/2 inch thickness. Let cool 30-60 minutes.
    8. Using a round biscuit cutter or other device, cut into circles. (Or cut into squares.)
    9. At this point, they are ready to fry for immediate service, or refrigerate for later use.
    10. If you are going to immediately serve them, preheat a non-stick skillet over med-high heat.
    11. Spray with cooking spray. Lay cut polenta cakes into the skillet (or griddle) and cook until beginning to brown, 1-3 minutes. 
    12. Flip and cook the other side.
    13. Serve immediately with butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, applesauce or sour cream.
    Nutritional data:
    Calories:         99
    Fat:               1.9g
    Sat fat:          1.2g
    Chol:          5.9mg
    Sodium:    96.3mg
    Carbs:         12.5g
    Fiber:            0.5g
    Protein:         2.6g
    Make Your Someday Today is a twice-weekly podcast, where we talk to successful people in all walks of life and around the world on Monday, and then on Thursday, I take a specific message from the previous guest and give my “Trevitorial”, where I help you apply that message to your life. The entire purpose of the show is to help all of us overcome our challenges and fears and become the person we want to be, the person we deserve to be.

    Grown Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

    Grown Up Grilled Cheese
    Serves 1

    This is the sort of “Comfort Food” that my guests on my Make Your Someday Today podcast will talk about in our interviews. Comfort foods do just that. They make us feel safe, secure and warm. They tell us that everything will be all right, that success will arrive, but only if we get moving toward.

    2 slices of your preferred bread
    2 slices of your preferred cheese
    2-3 slices of tomato
    1 jalapeno cut into strips
    1/4 avocado, sliced
    1 teaspoon Vegemite (optional)
    1 tablespoon mayonnaise

    1. Prepare your ingredients. Preheat non-stick griddle or skillet.
    2. Spread the Vegemite on one slice of cheese (optional).
    3. Spread the mayonnaise on one side of each slice of bread.
    4. Lay the bread mayo-side DOWN on griddle.
    5. Lay the Vegemite spread cheese on the bread, Vegemite down.
    6. Arrange the remaining ingredients on the cheese.
    7. Top with second piece of cheese and bread, mayo-side UP.
    8. Grilled until the edge gets brown (2-4 minutes, depending on the heat.)
    9. With a spatula, carefully flip and grill the second side.

    Nutritional data:
    Calories:       274
    Fat:             16.8g
    Sat fat:          5.7g
    Chol:           25mg
    Sodium:     354mg
    Carbs:            25g
    Fiber:            6.9g
    Protein:          14g

    Please be aware that those nutritional numbers are specific to my sandwich. Adding to deleting ingredients, using different cheese, or not using Vegemite will change all the numbers.

    Served with Wisco Disco, a great American Amber Ale

    Make Your Someday Today is a twice-weekly podcast, where we talk to successful people in all walks of life and around the world on Monday, and then on Thursday, I take a specific message from the previous guest and give my “Trevitorial”, where I help you apply that message to your life. The entire purpose of the show is to help all of us overcome our challenges and fears and become the person we want to be, the person we deserve to be.

    Chocolate Crepes, Filled with Sweet Ricotta

    Chocolate Crepes, Filled with Sweet Ricotta
    Serves 8

    1/2 cup flour
    2 tablespoons cocoa
    1 tablespoon Splenda (or you can use any other non-calorie sweetener, or table sugar)
    8 ounces (250g) low fat ricotta cheese (approximately 1 cup)
    2 tablespoons Splenda  (or you can use any other non-calorie sweetener, or table sugar)
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 egg
    1/2 cup milk
    1/4 cup water
    1 tsp melted butter

    1. Combine flour, cacao and sugar in a small bowl.
    2. Mix together ricotta, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl. Set aside.
    3. Combine milk, water, egg and melted butter in a blend. Pulse to mix. 
    4. Add flour mixture, and process until smooth. The batter will be like thin pancake batter.
    5. Preheat a non-stick 6″ skillet over medium high heat.
    6. When hot, spray lightly with cooking spray, and pour a scant 1/4 cup of batter in the middle of the skillet. Immediately pick the skillet up and tilt/turn it until the batter coats the surface. 
    7. Return to heat. When the edges start to curl (approximately 1 minute) carefully flip. 
    8. Cook another 30 seconds. Remove and lay on wax paper that you previously lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Do not skip that step. They WILL stick to wax paper as they cool.
    9. Repeat with remaining batter.
    10. When all are cooked, spread about 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture over the surface and roll. Set aside and repeat until finished.
    11. Cut into 1 inch long pieces and serve. 
    Nutritional data:
    Calories:       96
    Fat:             3.6g
    Sat fat:        1.8g
    Chol:         43mg
    Sodium:     45mg
    Carbs:         9.6g
    Fiber:             1g
    Protein:       5.1g

    Okay. A question for you! Would you consider this a dessert or a breakfast? Why? Please leave a comment below!

    Grilled Pizzas (Version 2)

    Each Serves 1

    Cheesy Garlic Bread
    1 teaspoon olive oil
    1 clove garlic, mashed and minced
    2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) shredded mozzarella cheese

    Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza
    One half of a large hamburger bun
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
    1 slice medium onion, grilled
    1 ounce browned ground beef
    1 slice cheddar cheese

    Reuben Pizza
    One half of a large hamburger bun
    1 tablespoon low fat mayonnaise
    1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
    1 ounces deli corned beef
    2 tablespoons sauerkraut
    1 slice Swiss cheese

    Philly Cheesesteak Pizza
    One half of a large hamburger bun
    1 teaspoon olive oil
    Your preferred herb blend (I used Penzey’s Sunny Paris.)
    2 ounces sliced beef
    1 ounce fire-roasted sweet bell peppers
    1 slice medium onion, grilled
    2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) shredded mozzarella cheese

    Chicken-Basil Sausage Pizza
    One half of a large hamburger bun
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
    1/2 of cooked chicken sausage (Al Fresco All Natural Sun-Dried Tomato is great), sliced
    1 slice medium onion, grilled
    2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella

    Pepperoni Pizza
    One half of a large hamburger bun
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
    Your preferred herbs (I used Penzey’s Tuscan Sunset.)
    7 slices pepperoni
    2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella


    1. Preheat grill on high for 10 minutes.
    2. For each pizza, spread the sauce/oil on the bun, and then top with the ingredients in that order.
    3. Place on grill, over indirect heat (only half the burners on–pizzas go over the cold burners.)
    4. Grill until the cheese gets melted.

    Nutritional data:
                   Cheesy      Bacon     Reuben     Philly   Chicken   Pepperoni
                     Bread     Cheese                                  Sausage        

    Calories       146          292          317          215        182           143

    Fat:             7.8g         15.3g       21.6g         9.8g      6.4g           7.2g
    Sat fat:        2.2g              8g         7.5g         2.9g      2.5g          3.1g
    Chol:        7.5mg         55mg        50mg      43mg     40mg        19mg
    Sodium:   223mg       356mg      907mg     295mg   434mg      359mg
    Carbs:       14.6g         2 1.2g       17.3g       14.7g       18g        13.2g
    Fiber:          0.4g              2g            2g         1.2g      1.9g          1.3g
    Protein:          5g         17.4g           12g       17.4g    12.6g          6.3g

    From the top center, moving clockwise:  Cheesy Garlic Bread, Bacon Cheeseburger, 
    Reuben, Philly Cheesesteak, Chicken Sausage, Pepperoni.

    How to grill an onion slice:

    Slice onion thickly. Slide a skewer through as shown. Brush with a bit of oil. Grill until finished.

    Tasting notes:

    1. The Cheesy Garlic bread needed more garlic and maybe a bit more cheese.
    2. The Reuben was killer!
    3. The rest were all very good and simple.
    4. I found that toasting the bread before making the pizza (as in the previous recipes) is an unnecessary step.
    5. Using hamburger buns in this manner will allow everyone to make their own pizza exactly as they want it (or them?) All it will take is a supply of sauces and various toppings for a very simple pizza party.