Nutrient-Rich Salad with Homemade Greek Feta Dressing

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No-guilt salad and dressing made with mostly organic ingredients that will surely meet your daily intake of vitamins and minerals. 

I know I have been posting sweets and hearty dishes lately, so it’s time for some serious healthy eats y’all. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. So, I want to eat lighter meals until then. It would be a good excuse to use the vegetables in the fridge while they are still fresh. Continue reading

Tahini Melt Sandwich

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Hi everyone!   I hope you are all in good spirit.  Today is the middle of the week and probably the only day left to stock up on food good for at least two to three days if you live in the East Coast.  According to the forecast, we are going to experience yet another snow storm beginning tonight until Thursday.  I’m guessing most schools will not be opened.  I hope you are ready for it.

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Anyway, I am soo excited about this recipe.   Oh, my goodness!  You have no idea!  As I was browsing through the “International food” aisle at a grocery store, I found this item/product called, Tahini.  It’s simply ground Sesame seeds and its own oil in it (others add and use olive oil).  It’s organic and would be excellent for the recipe I planned on making again.  So, I bought it.  I didn’t think much of it until I was at the doctor’s office waiting for my turn to be called.  The light bulb just went off!   “I found it!  I found it! oh, my goodness! I found it”.  Now, you’re probably saying so what if you found tahini?  Well, it’s not that exactly.  I finally found  a substitute for peanut butter!  My children can finally eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich using tahini.  I don’t have to cook three different meals for dinner tonight.  I can make the recipe I planned to make again (I wasn’t happy with the photos last time) with the sauce I adapted from Curls and Carrots!!! I can finally finish my post.  How cool is that?  It’s way too cool for me.  If you have children with peanut allergies, you will understand why, especially if their choices are limited to meat and few fruits and vegetables.  Little J and A are not allergic to Sesame seeds!   Hurray!  I found it! 

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To make this sandwich, you will need a ripe banana  ( the one with a few brown spots on the peel) and a cup of melted bittersweet chocolate chips to make this delectable sandwich.  You can microwave the chocolate chips for about 20 seconds (stopping and stirring between 10 seconds interval) so you don’t scorch it. Of course, you can also make it with strawberries or both.  A strawberry- banana melt.  It would be so delicious!  I’m going to make it with both strawberry and banana and post it here next time.  You will also need a skillet to grill the sandwich.  Grilling both sides of the sandwich made it more flavorful and addicting.  The banana tasted like it was fried and the added crunch when you take a bite was refreshing  and the oozing melted chocolates made it really divine.  Little J and A were in heaven.  I heard “oohs” and “mm” and little J adamantly refused to share. 🙂

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BEFORE GRILLING

There’s a trick to this sandwich, an awesome trick that makes this sandwich unique compared to the usual banana sandwich with peanut butter.  But before you start, line a tray or cookie sheet with parchment paper; set aside.   Cut the banana in an angle then dip one slice at a time in melted chocolates.  You can use a fork to lift the banana.  Place them in the tray or cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or until the melted chocolates hardened and no chocolate remain on the parchment paper when you lift them.  You don’t have to do this extra step, but it was how this sandwich was done.  If you want the easy way, you can just cut the banana and put them in between the sandwich and drizzle it with chocolate fudge or syrup.  But believe me, you would want to make it this way.  You slather  both slices of bread with tahini; put some of the chocolate coated banana slices on top then put the other slice bread with tahini side down and grill it.  That’s when the magic happens. Before scrolling down, look at the above photo.  Now, scroll down.

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AFTER GRILLING
Oooh….mouthwatering Tahini Melt Sandwich. Yum!

See the magic?  The chocolates melted while grilling (of course because of the heat) and dripped to the side a bit. Looking at the photo above, it’s calling me “eat me, eat me!”   This delectable sandwich is great for children and adult alike.  I hope this sandwich makes it on your “favorite snack” list  because it certainly made it on mine.

For instructions on how to grill the sandwich click here.

That’s all for now.  I’ll leave you drooling on the sandwich. :))

Food for thought:

Did you know banana is an herb plant?   Yes!  And it’s the largest in the world.  Banana plants are part of the lily family. They have large, green leaves, and each plant’s top has a terminal inflorescence with purple bracts that open daily to form a bunch, or hand, of banana fruit.

If you like this post, don’t forget to Subscribe to get the latest recipes.  Have a good day!

~Anna B.

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©annascuisine.wordpress.com (2013-2014)   Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material herein without expressed and written consent from this blog’s author, Annabelle Bedell, is strictly and completely prohibited.

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Fresh Berry Tea Sandwiches (4th of July Tea Sandwiches)

Remember I mentioned my children and I like to munch on strawberries and Brie cheese for a snack?  Well, I’m still recuperating from  the flu and I didn’t feel like cooking anything and my children were demanding lunch.  I thought of grilled cheese with strawberries and blueberries, but it still involved cooking.  That is when I thought of making our favorite snack into sandwiches.   These sandwiches not only look good but they are also refreshing and nutritious.  It didn’t dawn on me until I took some pictures that these tea sandwiches had 4th of July colors; red, white, and blue!  That’s when these sandwiches earned its name, 4th of July Tea Sandwiches.   An excellent party food for children.

Ingredients:

  • white, wheat, rye, or any bread of your choice
  • Fresh blueberries
  • Fresh Strawberries, thinly sliced
  • Mild, Milky Brie Cheese, thinly cut
  • honey (optional)

Preparation Methods:

  • Layer the sandwich with honey, brie cheese, blueberries and strawberries, then brie cheese again.  This will keep the fruits in place even after cutting.
  • Trim the crust and cut into pieces.  Serve wrap with wax paper or as is.
  • Enjoy with your favorite tea or coffee.

An excellent variation to this sandwich is to grill it and you have a Fresh Berry Grilled Cheese Sandwich.

©annascuisine.wordpress.com (2014)   Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material herein without expressed and written consent from this blog’s author, Annabelle Bedell, is strictly and completely prohibited.

Baked Turkey Slider Patties

Note:   If  this recipe or the variations mentioned herein inspire you to use as a guide to create your own, please be considerate and credit annascuisine.wordpress.com.  Thank you!

Here’s a perfect party food, especially tailgating or barbecue that’s lighter than beef hamburger sliders.  They are delicious, healthier, and easy to prepare.

IMG_20140106_162637_658 I remember a time when we had leftover turkey from Thanksgiving.  I stir-fried the turkey with garlic and herbs such as fresh sage. It was incredibly delicious.  Sage is an excellent herb complement to turkey as well as thyme.  Both are important  elements in this delicious recipe.

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We don’t own a grill at the moment, so I opted for baking these sliders.  I love baking food lately simply because it involves minimal attention.  I just pop them in the oven, put the timer on and done!  However, you can grill or pan-grill these sliders if you prefer.  They’re delicious either way. These are perfect portions for children and adult alike who are on a “portion control” diet; an important concept when you are trying to lose weight.

Ingredients:

  • Ground turkey breast (20 oz./ 1.25 lbs.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/8 cup sage, chiffonade
  • 1/2 cup onions, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon thyme, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika (optional)
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sesame oil

Some people don’t like paprika or spicy food, so you can omit them if you prefer.  For juicy sliders, do not overcook the patties.

Preparation Methods:

  • Place the ground turkey in a medium bowl.  Set aside.
  • Heat skillet over medium heat and coat with 2 tablespoons olive oil when hot.
  • Add the garlic and onions and saute until garlic turn brown and onions are translucent.  Add sage and thyme and cook just until fragrant. Remove from heat.
  • Add into the bowl with turkey along with the red pepper flakes and mix to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.
  • Portion the mixture into small patties about 2 tablespoonfuls each.
  •  Place them on a baking dish coated with baking spray.  Lightly drizzle each patties with Sesame oil.
  • Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes depending on your oven.
  • Serve on small buns, ciabatta, or focacia with all your favorite toppings or additions such as a slice of tomato, cheese, thinly sliced onions rings, lettuce and barbecue sauce or ketchup.

VARIATIONS:

You can also use this recipe for turkey meatballs appetizer, for  spaghetti or any pasta dish, or turkey balls sandwiches.

Enjoy!

©annascuisine.wordpress.com (2014)   Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material herein without expressed and written consent from this blog’s author, Annabelle Bedell, is strictly and completely prohibited.

Meatless Bibimbap Rolls

Note:   If  this recipe inspired you to use as a guide to make your own, please be considerate and credit annascuisine.wordpress.com.  Thank you!

Quinoa, scrambled egg whites, watercress, pickled cucumber, bean sprouts, and kimchi in rice paper wrappers.  Meatless but packed with protein  and fiber.  Oh, so good!

This idea had been in my mind for a while and would not just go away, so I decided to blog about it.  As soon as I discovered quinoa and its benefits, I thought of substituting rice in Bibimbap recipe with quinoa and eggs whites instead of  whole eggs, omit the meat and wrap them with rice paper.  I can make them ahead of time, cover with damp cloth and just grab one whenever I get hungry.  But, I dismissed the idea because I didn’t feel like making them at that time.   However, I am constantly reminded of it that I finally made them today.  A perfect, healthy “grab-and-go” food.  These healthier version of Bibimbap is sure a crowd pleaser among Asians and a new favorite to vegetarians. 🙂

You can omit the kimchi if you don’t like it spicy.   The good thing about kimchi is you can store it in the fridge for  a very long time.   As for the other ingredients, I have some leftover rice paper wrappers that’s taking up space in my pantry and I really don’t want to keep them for a very long time.   I didn’t add any red pepper paste simply because I didn’t have any,  but still tasted good without it.  The seasonings in watercress, pickled cucumber, kimchi, and eggs were sufficient for me, but you can add the paste if you prefer or serve it on the side.  You can either have them as an appetizer, lunch, snack, or if you are adventurous like me, you can have them for breakfast as well.  🙂

A good variation for meat lovers is to add beef cooked in bulgogi sauce or chicken, tofu, and shrimp for seafood bibimbap.  🙂

Ingredients:

  • 3 egg whites, scrambled
  • olive oil
  • 1 bunch of watercress
  • Sesame oil
  • Cooked quinoa
  • Sesame seeds
  • salt to taste
  • store-bought pickled cucumber
  • prepared bean sprouts
  • prepared Kimchi
  • Rice paper
  • A bowl (large enough to fit the rice paper wrappers) of warm water
  • Red pepper paste (available at Asian food markets)

Preparation Methods:

  • Heat skillet over medium heat and coat with Sesame oil when hot.  Add the watercress and stir-fry until somewhat wilted.  Season with salt and sprinkle with Sesame seeds.  Remove and set aside.
  • In a separate skillet over medium heat, cook the eggs using the olive oil and season with salt.  Remove and set aside.
  • Make the Bi Bim Bap rolls.
  • Working one at a time, moisten rice paper by  dipping it in warm water.  Remove and place in a clean surface or a cutting board.
  • Fill and layer the quinoa, eggs, watercress, cucumber, bean sprouts, kimchi and red pepper paste.
  • Fold the rice paper wrapper over and roll once.  Fold both sides and roll all the way.  Lightly press down to seal the roll.
  • Cut in half or as is.  Share and enjoy! 🙂

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Pesto Tomato and Quinoa Salad

Note:   If  this recipe inspired you to use as a guide to make your own, please be considerate and credit annascuisine.wordpress.com.  Thank you!

These tomatoes are so brilliantly red, sweet, and delicious and were handpicked right from the vine.   They looked very ripe, but still have the crunch when you take a bite which is really refreshing.  You can also use this salad as stuffing for grilled cheese sandwich, which by the way, the best stuffed grilled cheese sandwich I’ve ever had.  See recipe below.

I have been circling around the kitchen trying to look for something to eat for breakfast.  I see oatmeal, pancakes, cereal, just the typical food everyone normally consumes everyday.  But, I wanted something refreshing without leaving me that feeling of “I want something else”.  Then I saw these brilliantly red tomatoes screaming to be eaten.  However, they looked too beautiful to eat.  :D

I normally use tomatoes when I make salsa or sandwiches for my family, but that’s going to be a lot of sandwiches if I have to use all these tomatoes.  I don’t have that many people to feed.  I don’t feel like making salsa today either.

While I was cooking an egg for breakfast,   I remember my mother would always make tomato salad to complement eggs and seafood anytime of the day.  It was so refreshing and I thought it would go very well with the boiled egg.  Then the quinoa and pesto came to mind.  When I’m a bit downcast, I cook and eat rice with anything.  It’s my “go to” comfort food in time like today.  To substitute rice, quinoa would be it.  I bought some “ready-to-eat” quinoa the other day and it would be a perfect addition to the tomato salad and the basil pesto as the perfect seasoning.  A superb outcome.  This would be a great side dish to seafood and chicken or better yet, stuffing in between grilled cheese sandwich.  🙂

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Ingredients for the salad:

  • 1 serving of cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 3 large vine ripe tomatoes
  • 1 boiled egg
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Preparation Methods:

Cut the tomatoes in bite pieces.  Place in a bowl.  Add the basil pesto.

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Mix until well incorporated.

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Add the quinoa.

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Mix well to combine.

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Serve with boiled eggs.   Smile it’s good for you :)

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Stuffed Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Ingredients:  2 slices multigrain bread, 2 tablespoons pesto basil, 1 slice cheddar cheese, 1 creamy white cheese, pesto tomato and quinoa salad, butter.

Preparation Methods:

  • Butter one side of bread.  Add and layer pesto sauce, white cheese, cheddar cheese, tomato and quinoa salad and another  creamy white cheese.
  • Place the bread with the butter side down on the skillet and cook over very low heat.
  • Put the other bread on top of the cheese.  Press down the bread to flattened (Panini style) while cooking.   When the bread at the bottom turned brown, butter the top side of the bread. Flip over to the other side.
  • Cover the skillet with a lid.  (This will melt the cheese faster)
  • Brown until the cheese is all melted.

I was supposed to give my husband the other half of the sandwich, but it was so good I ended up eating the entire sandwich. 😀

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As I was editing/proofreading my post, my husband saw the pictured above. He asked why I didn’t make one for him.  I scrolled back up and had him read my comment (above the picture).  He said he really wanted one because it looks so good.  To compensate, I went down to the kitchen and made one.  Fortunately, I had one scoop of the tomato and quinoa salad left. I used a slice of white bread and a slice of multigrain bread.  He’s eating it as I try to finish this post. 🙂  Here’s the other half of what I’ve made for him.   This gives me an idea about breakfast tomorrow.  Mmm…I’m definitely making it!  🙂

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Cheesy Steak Sandwich

Everyone knows what a steak sandwich is.   One would immediately think it’s shredded beef seasoned and cooked with onions and bell peppers placed in between a hoagie roll with mayonnaise and cheese. However, so many think that it’s very complicated to make.  You have no idea how easy it is.

When it comes to making a steak sandwich, I’d rather prepare it at home rather than buying one.   I can’t eat steak, but I love a steak sandwich with lots of onions and bell peppers and smothered with cheese.  I dislike it when the cheese is just placed at the bottom or on top layer of the sandwich.

I have been preparing it this way for as long as I can remember; so cheesy and so appetizing you just want to devour it!   Mm-mm…good!

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Okay, let’s make it.  Prepare the ingredients.

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*Note:  Depending on the heat of your stove, cooking time may require adjustments.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag with four pieces of frozen shredded sirloin steak plus 1 piece ( available at Costco. )
  • 4 slices of Havarti cheese or Provolone cheese
  • 4 pieces of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, sliced lengthwise
  • 2 hoagies rolls
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • mayonnaise (optional)

Cooking Instructions:

Heat a skillet with a lid over medium-high heat and add the shredded beef.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Cover and let cook for 7 minutes* or until the shredded beef sweats and turns brown.

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Remove the lid and separate the beef. Cover. Let cook for 2 minutes.

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Remove the lid.  Push the cooked shredded beef to the side of the skillet.

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Wipe the skillet with paper towels to remove excess fat.

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Turn down heat to medium and add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes.*  Then, add the onions and bell peppers.

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Stir-fry for two minutes.  Cover and let cook for additional 2 minutes.*  Turn off heat.

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Add the cheese.

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Cover for 1minute or until cheese melts.

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I wish I took a picture, so i could show you how cheesy it was, but the cheese was melting so fast I didn’t want it to melt to a point where it will end up at the bottom of the pan.

Immediately, scoop the cooked shredded steak with melted cheese and place in between the hoagie roll with mayonnaise.

I bet you feel hungry just by looking at it.  I could see you salivating.  Okay, go make it to appease your hunger.  Enjoy!  🙂

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Super Easy Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Okay, you’re probably thinking, who doesn’t know how to make grilled cheese sandwich?  It’s a classic and everyone knows how to prepare it.  Well, you might be surprised.  There are some people out there who are just learning how to cook or who never cooked in their entire lives. Making a grilled cheese sandwich might be the very first thing they can learn how to prepare. 🙂  Here’s what I make at home and my children really love it!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of white or any bread you prefer
  • 1 slice Haverty creamy white cheese*
  • 1 slice Cheddar cheese or smoke Gouda cheese
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

Preparation methods:

  • Heat a non-stick skillet over low heat.
  • Butter (1 1/2 tablespoons) one side of bread.
  • Place the bread with the butter side down on the skillet.  Add both cheeses on top of the bread.
  • Butter one side of the other slice of bread and place on top of the cheese, butter side up.
  • Cover the skillet with a lid.  (This will melt the cheese faster)
  • Remove the lid.  Flip over to the other side. Do not cover.  Brown until the cheese is all melted.
  • Serve immediately.

*Note;  You can purchase the Haverty cheese at Costco.  It’s a deli style cheese.  It’s really creamy and delicious, especially on steak sandwiches. 

©annascuisine.wordpress.com (2013)   Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material herein without expressed and written consent from this blog’s author, Annabelle Bedell, is strictly and completely prohibited.

Stir-fry Barbecue Steak Sandwich

As a mother of two young boys, I’m all about simple, fast and easy when it comes to cooking, especially when I have to prepare two dishes at a time.  There might be some days when I have extra time and would not mind preparing a more complicated recipe, but I prefer preparing simple and easy meals often.

We had a healthy dinner last night.  Unfortunately, my youngest son is allergic to seafood and could not eat fish.  Sometimes, I have to cook three different meals at a time just to accommodate everyone in my family.

My son had chicken for lunch, so I made him barbecue steak sandwich for dinner.   This dish is easy and made with very few ingredients and it’s ready in less than 30 minutes.*

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Prepare the ingredients.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb. chuck roast or top sirloin or chicken, thinly cut across the grain
  • 3/4 cup Cattlemen’s Kansas Style barbecue sauce or a barbecue sauce of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 slice of Havarti creamy deli style white cheese
  • Ciabata roll or flour tortilla
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream or plain yogurt (optional)
  • lettuce (optional)
  • sliced or chopped tomatoes (optional)

*Note:  Depending on the heat of your stove, cooking time may require adjustment.

Directions:

Preheat a skillet with a lid over medium-high heat and coat with olive oil when hot.  Add the garlic and onions and saute until translucent about 1 minute.

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Add the meat and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

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Cover and let cook until the meat starts to sweat about 1 to 2 minutes.

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Stir and continue to cook  for another 2 minutes . Cover.DSCN7286

Remove the lid.  Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce and stir until well incorporated.  Cover and let cook for 4 minutes.

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Remove the lid and stir-fry until the sauce evaporates about 2 minutes. Reduce heat  to LOW at this time.

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Add the barbecue sauce and stir-fry until the sauce is well incorporated about 2 minutes.

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Continue to stir-fry until the barbecue sauce thickens and caramelized or turned to darker color about 5 to 7 minutes.

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Turn off heat.  Cut the ciabata roll lengthwise  without cutting it all the way and place the cooked steak in between. Place cheese on top of the steak and melt the cheese in a 350 degree oven.

DSCN7315Remember, do not leave the sandwich in the oven for too long or it will burn.  Turn off the oven and let heat melts the cheese about 2 to 4 minutes*.  You can add tomato slices and lettuce if you prefer.  For the steak wraps, add 1 tablespoon of sour cream or yogurt and chopped tomatoes and lettuce with the barbecue steak in the center of the flour tortilla and fold the tortilla over.  Roll once.  Gather the sides of the flour tortilla and fold.  Roll up to secure.  Cut in half and serve immediately with fruits or chips. Enjoy.

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*Note:  Due to variations in ALL ovens, cooking time may require adjustment.

If you like this post or my blog, don’t forget to Subscribe or Follow to get the latest recipes.  Thank you!

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©annascuisine.wordpress.com (2013)   Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material herein without expressed and written consent from this blog’s author, Annabelle Bedell, is strictly and completely prohibited.

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