I’ve only got a few more lunch recipes to pump out, so if you have any special requests, speak now or forever hold your peace! Ok, maybe not forever, it’s not like the blog is shutting down the second Vegan Mofo is over…but I’d love to squeeze in any lunch wishes you might have, just think of me as your fairy godmother, but except for granting wishes all I can do is make you a sandwich, and tell you how pretty you look today.
I figured it was about time I pulled out old faithful. A sandwich that everybody has probably eaten at some point in their lives. A sandwich that combines the two most perfect foods into one creamy, salty, sweet sandwich of epic proportions. Yes my friends, I’m referring to the PB&J.Now you all know how to make a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, and if you don’t, well, I don’t even know how to respond to that..you pour, pour, deprived human being.
Putting a PB&J together is pretty much the most brain-numbingly easy thing to make in the world and I’m 100% happy scoffing down a peanut butter heavy (so my pb is the same thickness of the bread, what of it?) raspberry jam slathered whole wheat sandwich. I’m pretty sure I could eat one of those every single day, and never get sick of it, but since 99.9999% of the population isn’t me, I’m guessing not everyone likes eating the same thing over and over and over again. It tends to get a little lackluster. So today I decided to take the perfect food combo and totally mess it up. You know those people who tell you you shouldn’t mess with perfection, well to them I say “pffft, whatever dude.”To make my revamped PB&J, first I got some thick pieces of whole grain bread, I know white is usually the bread of choice but I’m a sucker for a hearty grain-filled bread. I slathered each piece with peanut butter (obviously), then topped one slice with jam and the other with agave. I keep hearing about this Bee Free Honee stuff, that’s supposed to be as close to honey as it gets, so if you happen to have some feel free to use that instead. I sliced up some fresh strawberries and placed them on the jam slice, dusted it all with cinnamon, added a layer of banana slices, then some more cinnamon and then gave it all another squeeze of agave (I likes it sweet). To make my already awesome sandwich even awesomer, I pulled out my beloved Panini grill, and cooked it just until the bread became all crunchy and those beautiful grill marks were nicely browned.
My friends, this is where it’s at. It was so crunchy, gooey, salty and sweet, I’m starting to think all sandwiches should be grilled. To go with it, my cooler bag was packed with some carrots and homemade hummus, since I figured eating a couple vegetables probably wouldn’t kill me and one of the those Thai Peanut Primal Strips, because peanut, duh! Talk about a protein packed lunch.
Lunch Lady Tips:
- Don’t like peanut butter or you’re afraid it will kill you if you eat it? Switch it up with some other nut or seed butters, almond, cashew, hazelnut, they’re all good. Or avoid nuts altogether with Soy Nut butter or Peabutter.
- Want to jazz up your pb&j? Try some interesting breads, whole wheat sourdough banana, maple oat or even molasses raisin are some fun alternatives. Add some fresh fruit, such as sliced apple, strawberries, cherries, banana or pears. Or change up the jam, pineapple, apple butter, blueberry, hell, even pumpkin butter might work.
- Pack it with care – you don’t want to open your sandwich only to find peanut butter squished out all over the place, so make sure you pack it so that it won’t get damaged in transit.
GRILLED PB, BANANA & STRAWBERRY SANDWICH
A sweet, salty, creamy peanut butter sandwich, that's stuffed full of jam and fresh fruit, then grilled to perfection.Author: The Vegan Cookbook Aficionado
- 2 slices good quality bread
- Smooth or chunky natural peanut butter
- Raspberry or strawberry jam
- 1 to 2 strawberries, destemmed and sliced
- 1 banana, sliced
1. Preheat your panini grill.
2. Take both slices of bread and slather them in peanut butter. Take one slice and spread on as much or as little jam as you’d like. Take the other slice and drizzle with agave. Place strawberry slices evenly over one slice of bread, then dust with cinnamon, top the strawberries with an even layer of banana slices and sprinkle again with cinnamon. Drizzle with more agave if you’d like, then top with the remaining slice of bread.
3. Place in the panini press, carefully close (you don’t want your sandwich sliding apart) and cook until the bread is toasted and crisp, with golden brown grill marks, and the peanut butter has gone all gooey, about 5 to 8 minutes.
4. Remove from the grill, let it cool for a minute so that you don’t burn yourself with liquid hot peanut butter, cut in half and destroy!
Want to see more PB&J inspiration? Check out An Unrefined Vegan where she’s spending an entire month posting PB&J recipes. I’m seriously dying over here, so many things bookmarked!