Smokin’ Good — Part II

I’m starting to come to the conclusion that if food is good, it’s even better smoked.

This past summer, I bought a Masterbuilt smoker from Cabela’s. The first month or so, I did a bit of smoking, mostly salmon fillets. Then, I set the smoker aside to tend to gardening chores. And then came hunting.

With things finally settling down a bit, I’m back in the smoking mode. And with the results I’ve been having, it appears that this winter could be one to be remembered for a lot of delicious smoked food.

My most recent endeavors have involved elk sausage (half elk, half pork) rings and pheasant legs and thighs. Normally, I steam my sausage rings a bit before browning them in a little butter in a cast-iron frying pan. Occasionally, I’ve grilled them. The pheasant most often is baked, grilled or used in a barbecue sauce, a kind of pulled porked-type dish.

That changed the last couple of nights. The first, I smoked four rings of sausage, followed the next day by a dozen or so pheasant legs and thighs (attached). The pheasant was marinated for an hour or so in a teriyaki, soy, honey and hoison sauce combination. Both times, I used mesquite wood chips. The results were fantastic. Just about everyone who sampled the smoked meat concurred.

I’m not going to stop with meat. I’ve decided to try smoking all sorts of fish and seafood over the next couple of months. One of my first attempts is going to be the following recipe, which calls for smoking shrimp that’s wrapped in prosciutto. I can hardly wait.

Smoked Shrimp Wrapped in Prosciutto
1 pound peeled, deveined large shrimp with tail segment intact
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
8 to 10 thin slices prosciutto
2 tablespoons cherry or apple wood chips
Pat shrimp dry and place on rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle each shrimp with few grains salt, a grinding of pepper, and a few bits of rosemary. Turn shrimp over and season other side the same way.
Separate prosciutto slices and cut them lengthwise into ½- to ¾-inch-wide strips. You need as many strips as you have shrimp. Do not trim off the fat. Wrap each shrimp with a prosciutto strip, leaving the tail exposed.
Set up smoker following manufacturer’s instructions. Place 2 tablespoons of the desired wood chips in center of pan, or as directed in instructions. Place the try directly on top of the wood chips, and then place rack on top of tray.
Line up shrimp on rack in an orderly fashion. Close smoker and turn heat to medium, or follow manufacturer’s directions. Set the timer for 12 minutes.
Turn off heat when timer goes off. Wearing oven mitts, open smoker, lift shrimp from smoker with tongs and arrange on platter. Serve at once.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 232 calories, 40 percent of calories from fat, 17 grams protein, 1.5 grams carbohydrates,10.1 grams fat (3.1 grams saturated), 95 milligrams cholesterol, 998 milligrams sodium, 0.2 grams fiber.
Yield: 6 appetizer servings.

Buffalo Chili

I recently went through my four freezers,  alternately defrosting each one, putting their contents in four coolers while the process was taking place.

While on this mission, I put the newer stuff on the bottom and the older on the top after all of the ice was removed from the freezers. I came to the conclusion that we probably could live quite comfortably on the contents, most of which came from my garden or hunting trips.

But there was one commodity that came from neither — about 5 to 10 pounds of ground bison. I procured this from one of my co-workers, whose parents used to raise buffalo. I like the ground bison because it is leaner and heartier than ground beef (it’s lower in fat and cholesterol). And the cost is considerably lower than if I would buy it in the supermarket, where it’s becoming commonplace.

One of my favorite uses for ground bison is in chili. And with winter in the wings, the following recipe for buffalo chili, along with one for cornbread, will go a long ways to warming you up on a cold day.

Buffalo Chili
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pounds ground buffalo meat
½ medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 poblano or Anaheim pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
Sea salt, to taste
Ground pepper, to taste
1 14.5-ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
2/3 cup low-sodium beef broth
½ tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo
1 bay leaf
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can  red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 bunch green onions, green parts only, sliced in rounds, for garnish
Chopped cilantro, for garnish
In a large pot (about 4-quart capacity) with a lid, heat oil over medium heat and add ground buffalo meat. Brown meat, breaking it up as it cooks. Cook for about 5 minutes or until all meat is browned. Remove from pot and discard excess fat, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the pot.
Add the onion, red and green bell peppers and poblano pepper and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, scraping bottom from time to time to get all the browned bits of meat folded in with the vegetables. Add the jalapeno pepper and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add the garlic, cook for another minute and then add cumin, oregano, coriander, ancho chili powder, salt and pepper. Let spices cook for another minute, stirring.
Return browned meat to the pot. Stir in tomatoes and beef broth, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, adobo sauce and bay leaf, stir and bring to a boil. Once boiling, taste sauce and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to a slow simmer, cover with a lid and cook for about 30 minutes. Add beans and continue simmering, covered, for another 10 minutes or until beans are warmed through. Remove and discard bay leaf.
Serve in bowls and garnish with green onions and chopped cilantro.
Yield: Serves 8.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 340 calories (19 percent from fat), 7 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 35 grams carbohydrates, 35 grams protein, 900 milligrams sodium, 55 milligrams cholesterol, 10 grams fiber.

Buttermilk Cornbread
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup unbleached pastry flour or sifted all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tablespoon honey
4 tablespoons melted butter, more for the baking dish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch-square baking pan.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cornmeal; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk with eggs and honey. Whisk in the melted butter. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry until just combined. Pour batter into the pan. Bake 30 minutes until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Yield: Serves 9.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 190 calories (38 percent from fat), 8 grams fat (4.5 grams saturated), 23 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein, 450 milligrams sodium, 65 milligrams cholesterol, 1 gram fiber.

Spaghetti Meat Sauce and Homemade Pasta

I’ve discovered that hunting and pasta go together. I’m sure the same could be true for any outdoor activity that makes a person work up an appetite that only pasta can come close to safisfying.

When we were out elk hunting in Colorado earlier this month, co-worker Mark Young brought a pheasant casserole with pasta for one of our meals up in the mountains. We gobbled that up quickly after a long day in the bush.

 And the past two weekends, when we were pheasant hunting in western North Dakota, his brother, Terry, was the author of a very tasty pheasant pasta soup that we had over the course of a couple of days. And I fixed a meat sauce with elk burger, tomatoes and onions from my garden, a little garlic and a few spices (oregano, basil and thyme) to top some spaghetti for another supper.

Those tasty pasta meals did wonders to restore some of the carbs we burned up while walking in search of game and enjoying the great outdoors.

While perusing my food sources this morning, I came across the following recipes for homemade pasta and spaghetti sauce. I might have to tuck them away for a future hunting trip. Or maybe have them tonight — just for the heck of it.

After all, it’s still National Pasta Month!  

Spaghetti Sauce
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 pound ground beef
½ pound hot or mild Italian sausage, uncooked
5 cloves garlic, pressed
4 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 ounces red wine
3 16-ounce cans tomato sauce
6 ounces tomato paste
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
Warm oil and butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add onion and mushrooms, and saute until golden brown, stirring occasionally.
In another pan, brown ground beef and Italian sausage. Add garlic, parsley, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Add wine, and steam 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, carrots, celery, cooked onions and mushrooms to meat. Bring to boiling. Cover and cook over low heat 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Yield: Serves 12.

Homemade Egg Noodles
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 egg white
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cold water
In the bowl of a food processor, using a metal blade, place flour, egg, egg white, oil and salt. Turn on food processor to mix ingredients. Slowly pour cold water into mix, while processor is running, until dough forms a ball. Let dough ball continue to process for one minute to knead. Place dough in a plastic bag to rest for 10 minutes before rolling it out.
When rolling it out, add lots of flour to keep it from sticking together. To cut pasta, follow manufacturer’s directions for pasta maker.
Yield: Serves 4.
To make by hand: Place flour in a large bowl. Make a well in center and add egg, egg white, oil and salt. Mix together until dough can be gathered into rough ball. Add a little water if necessary. Knead dough on floured board 10 minutes. Dough should be smooth, shiny and elastic. Place dough ball in a plastic bag to rest for 10 minutes before rolling it out.

Celebrate Pasta With Soup

In case you missed it, October is National Pasta Month. And in North Dakota, it’s Pasta Lovers’ Week.

To celebrate, the Herald once again is participating in the North Dakota Wheat Commission’s "Use Your Noodle" crossword puzzle contest. In Wednesday’s Herald, the Food Page will feature the popular contest.

Readers who submit a correctly completed puzzle have a chance to win a “Premium Pasta from the Prairie” T-shirt from the Wheat Commission, a pasta server from the U.S. Durum Growers Association and pasta from Dakota Growers Pasta Co. and Philadelphia Macaroni Co. You can read about it at www.grandforksherald.com/event/tag/group/Features/tag/food/ after midnight.

The contest is not open to online readers of the Herald, so you’ll have to buy a newspaper if you want to participate. But if you’re just interested in the recipes that accompany the contest, you’re in luck. They’ll also be online.

And if you want a sampling of what’s coming up, here’s a soup recipe that’s sure to pique your interest.

Chicken, Spinach and Whole Wheat Tortellini Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup sliced celery
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
9 ounces fresh or frozen 100% whole wheat cheese tortellini
1 14½-ounce can no-salt added diced tomatoes, with their liquid0
8 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 egg
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and black pepper to taste
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and saute 3 minutes. Add the shredded chicken, crushed red pepper flakes if using, broth and water; bring to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook halfway, about 5 minutes for frozen pasta, less for fresh.
Add the tomatoes along with their liquid and reduce the heat to a simmer and cook just until the pasta is tender, about 4 minutes.
Stir in the spinach and heat through, about 1 minute. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg and Parmesan cheese and drizzle into the soup and cook, stirring, about 3 minutes more. Season with pepper and salt, if desired. Remove from heat and serve.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 407 calories (33 percent from fat), 15 grams fat (5 grams saturated), 38 grams carbohydrates, 32 grams protein, 561 milligrams sodium, 122 milligrams cholesterol, 7 grams fiber.

Pheasants Forever

The wily ringneck is one of the most versatile game birds around when it comes to cooking.
And because of that, I’ll never get tired of eating pheasant.

And if a recent hunting trip to western North Dakota is any indication, I’ll be dining on the bird several times this winter.

My favorite way to fix pheasant is baked with wild rice (recipe follows). It’s one of my specialties.

 However, there are several other ways I like to use pheasants. The leg and thigh meat are excellent in a homemade barbecue sauce, and I would be at a loss without the great broth that comes as the result of cooking the backbones and necks of the bird. I use it in soups and other dishes that call for chicken broth.

And I can’t forget about the grilling aspect. There is nothing like grilled pheasant that’s been marinated in a teriyaki, honey and orange juice mixture, spiced up with a little onion, garlic and rosemary.

I just hope when old age sets in and hunting no longer is an option, my friends will remember me after a successful hunt.

Baked Pheasant
6 to 8 deboned pheasant breasts
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
2 cups wild rice
1 10½-ounce can cream of mushroom with roasted garlic soup
1 cup red wine
½ cup cooking sherry
½ pint half and half
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon Louisiana Cajun seasoning
½ cup olive oil
1 cup water
Mix the flour, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper and Louisiana Cajun spice in a bowl. Roll Pheasant breasts in flour mixture and brown in olive oil.
Mix the onions, garlic, celery, mushrooms and wild rice with red wine, soup and water in a large roasting pan. When you are finished browning the breasts, place them atop the wild rice mixture. Deglaze the frying pan with the cooking sherry and pour over the pheasants. Cover with cream.
Bake at 350 degrees for 3 hours or until done. If rice mixture gets a little dry, occasionally add some water. Serve with a vegetable and salad.

Chili Time

Anyone who’s lived in North Dakota knows that when falls rolls around, one day the weather can gorgeous and the next horrendous. All you have to do is look back to September, when we had record highs, and compare that with what it’s been like in October.

We’re probably going to get some more nice days before winter (sigh) sets in, but chances are they’ll be few and far between.

To me, that signals chili season. Having just returned from a successful Colorado elk hunt, I’m just dying to make a pot of chili with some of my newly acquired game. There’s nothing like a bowl of hot chili to warm you up on a cool fall day.

 

Here’s a time-saving, slow-cooker chili recipe I came across recently from Certified Angus Beef LLC. It calls for beef, but you could substitute just about any other red meat, including venison, elk or buffalo.
 

Hyde Park Chili
3 pounds Certified Angus Beef bottom round or chuck roast, cut into ½-inch cubes
¼ cup canola oil
3 large onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 15-ounce can black beans
1 can chopped green chilies
2 to 3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional toppings: avocado slices, diced green peppers, shredded cheddar cheese, diced scallions or sour cream
Heat oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Season beef with salt and pepper. Brown beef cubes in 1 pound batches for 3 to 4 minutes per batch; transfer beef to slow cooker after browning.
Add onions and garlic to the pan. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes over medium heat until pan comes clean from the softening onions. Transfer to the slow cooker. Stir in cumin, oregano, chili powder, sugar, tomatoes, beans, green chilies and jalapenos. Cover and cook on low for about 8 hours.
Serve and garnish with optional toppings. Goes great with cornbread.
Yield: Serves 8.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 408 calories, 17 grams fat (4 grams saturated), 106 milligrams cholesterol, 20 grams carbohydrates; no dietary fiber, 44 grams protein, 724 milligrams sodium, 7 percent % daily value iron (based on 2,000 calorie diet).

Pork and Apples — A Heavenly Pairing

Have you ever wondered why people pair pork with apples?

One account I read said that if you think about the timing of hog-butchering (usually in the fall), it’s no accident that cooks have been pairing pork with apples for so long. Back in the old days, both were at their best at this time of the year — the pork fat and greasy and the apples crisp and sweet or tart.

Another person suggested that it was because pork was a mainstay of people in northern Europe and apples were the only fruit available to them in the cold climate.

Regardless of the reason, that combination still is popular. One co-worker told me he insists on having applesauce whenever he eats roast pork. In fact, he’s even made a believer out of his grown-up son.

I can relate to that. I remember times as a kid when we’d have applesauce with a Sunday pork roast dinner. I’m pretty sure it was a my dad’s insistence.

I’m thinking about pairing the two for an upcoming meal or two. I started thinking about it after my friends, Mac and Bettye Salisbury, recently gave me a big bag of Harrelson apples. They’ll go nicely with some fresh chops that I plan to pick up on my next hunting trip to Westby, Mont.

Another friend, Al Ekness, owns a grocery store there and supplies it with his own fresh pork. Over the years, I’ve purchased pork by the half from Al on occasion, and more recently, have bought 5 to 10 pounds of his lean and delicious smoked bacon while on hunting trips.

The following pork-apple recipe looks perfect for my plans. 

Pork Chops with Sage-Apple Stuffing
STUFFING:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/3 cup diced onion
1/3 cup diced celery
2 cups dried bread cubes (or small croutons)
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup diced apple
¼ cup golden raisins, optional
2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage leaves or 2 teaspoons rubbed sage
¼ cup vegetable broth or chicken broth
PORK:
4 bone-in pork chops (at least 1-inch-thick), about 2 pounds trimmed of fat
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped pecans
1 large apple (such as Honeycrisp or Harrelson), peeled, diced
½ cup fat-free or regular half-and-half mixed with 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
To make the stuffing: In a large skillet, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Scrape into a bowl and add the bread cubes, salt and pepper, apple, raisins, if using, and sage.
Lightly moisten with the broth, mix thoroughly and set aside.
To prepare the pork: Cut a 2-inch-wide slit in the side of the chop opposite the bone, cutting almost but not all the way through, making a pocket. Evenly divide the stuffing mixture and stuff it in each chop. Do not overstuff the chops or the stuffing will fall out. You may have some left over that you can serve on the side. You can secure the pocket closed with toothpicks if needed.
Season both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chops and brown on one side, about 3 minutes. Carefully turn and brown on the other side. Transfer pork chops (set skillet aside) to a baking dish and cover with foil. Baked about 40 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chops, or until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 155 degrees. Remove from oven and keep covered.
In the same skillet the chops were browned in, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the pecans and saute 2 minutes. Add the diced apple and saute until it caramelizes. Reduce the heat slightly and slowly whisk in the half-and-half and maple syrup.
Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the sauce with some of the diced apples and pecans over each pork chop and serve.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 398 calories (57 percent from fat), 25 grams fat (6 grams saturated), 25 grams carbohydrates, 19 grams protein, 396 milligrams sodium , 61 milligrams cholesterol, 3 grams fiber.

Hashing It Over

I’ve always been a fan of hash. When I was growing up, my mom used to make hash once every week or two. Mostly, she made it from leftover beef roast from Sunday’s dinner.

I remember helping her make it sometimes. She would get the hand grinder out and push through the beef, some potatoes, an onion and sometimes carrots. She then would mix in some leftover gravy and a little water and bake it in the oven until the top  was crispy. We always would serve the hash topped with a soft-boiled egg. I used to use ketchup on mine.

This past weekend, I made some hash. I used leftover chicken, potatoes, carrots, an onion, a few raw green beans, a couple of stalks of celery and a chunk of zucchini. I then mixed in the leftover gravy. It was quite a concoction. But it sure was good.

I used a hand grinder that Mom had picked up at a garage sale a few years back, and it worked like a charm. It won’t be the last time I use it.

Here is a recipe for turkey hash, which is based on some tips from TV’s Rachael Ray. It’s so simple that you could use it anytime you have leftover chicken or turkey. And you could throw in any veggies that you have on hand.

Turkey Hash
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (divided use)
¾ pound chopped cooked turkey breast (about 3 cups)
2 cups leftover vegetables (green beans, sweet potatoes or other)
1 cup tomatillo salsa
1 cup shredded sharp reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
2 whole wheat rolls
2 eggs
Heat toaster oven to 350 degrees. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turkey, vegetables and salsa. Cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes to warm through. Scatter the cheese on top and cover with a lid. Cook 1 minute or until cheese melts.
Place rolls in oven to warm.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a second skillet over medium-high heat. Crack the eggs into the skillet. Fry until desired doneness.
Spoon hash onto 2 plates and top each portion with a fried egg. Serve with rolls.
Yielld Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 625 calories (26 percent from fat), 18.1 grams fat (5.5 grams saturated, 8.7 grams monounsaturated), 339 milligrams cholesterol, 68.2 grams protein, 44.7 grams carbohydrates, 8.1 grams fiber, 1,256 milligrams sodium.

 

Simple Sandwiches

Sometimes, even the simplest things to make are the most satisfying to eat.

A case in point is the other night, when Therese had to work late because of parent-teacher conferences at her school. That was fine with me, since we had a ton of leftovers.

With still had the better part of a tasty Dakota Harvest Bakers loaf of bread remaining in the cupboard and some leftover pheasant and chicken in the refrigerator, I decided on a sandwich. To accompany it, there was just enough three-bean salad to complete the meal.

I put pheasant on one slice of toast and chicken on the other. Besides a little butter, I opted for a topping that also included Miracle Whip, a slice of tomato and some bread and butter pickles. It was delicious.

When Therese got home, she also decided to have the same (sans the tomato) because it looked so good.

Of course, when you make a sandwich such as this, the possibilities are endless. You could use any kind of leftover meat as well as vegetables like green peppers and cucumbers, just to name a couple. Or it could be as simple as one of Therese’s favorites — peanut butter, Miracle Whip and sweet pickles on toast.

Here are a couple of other sandwich ideas, in case you’ve become inspired.  

Italian Tuna Sandwich
1 6-ounce can tuna in water, well drained
2 tablespoons low-fat or regular mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ rib celery, minced
½ teaspoon drained capers, chopped
8 slices French bread (cut each slice on diagonal about ½-inch thick), toasted
12 leaves arugula or spinach
Combine tuna, mayonnaise, onion, parsley, lemon juice, celery and capers in small bowl. Spread tuna mixture on top of four slices of bread. Top each with 3 leaves arugula. Top with remaining slice of bread.
For the lunch bag, wrap sandwiches in wax paper or plastic wrap. Or pack toasted bread and tuna salad separately to prevent toast becoming soggy. Keep cool.
Yield: Serves 2.
Approximate nutrition analysis per sandwich: 410 calories, 11 percent of calories from fat, 4.8 grams fat (0.9 grams saturated), 25 milligrams cholesterol, 1,070 milligrams sodium, 58 grams carbohydrates, 31 grams protein, 3.7 grams fiber.

Mediterranean Turkey Wraps
2 12-inch flour tortillas, room temperature
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 ounces smoked turkey
10 kalamata olives, pitted, chopped
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted (see note)
2 tablespoons each: diced roasted red pepper, chopped basil
2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
Spread one side of each tortilla with 1 tablespoon of the mayonnaise. Top with turkey. Sprinkle olives, pine nuts, red pepper, basil and cheese on top, leaving 1-inch border all around.
Fold each side over filling by ½-inch; roll up tightly starting from unfolded end. For the lunch bag, wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Keep cool.
Note: To toast pine nuts, place on baking sheet. Toast in 425-degree oven until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
Yield: Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per sandwich: 575 calories, 51 percent of calories from fat, 33 grams fat (9 grams saturated), 55 milligrams cholesterol, 1,635 milligrams sodium, 48 grams carbohydrates, 24 grams protein, 4.3 grams fiber.

Asian Chicken and Peanut Butter Sandwich
4 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
2 pita breads, halved
4 leaves leaf curly lettuce
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
½ apple, thinly sliced
Combine peanut butter and teriyaki sauce in small bowl; spread on inside of each pita half.
Stuff each pita with lettuce, cilantro, chicken and apple. For lunch bag, wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Keep cool.
Yield: Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per sandwich: 530 calories, 38 percent of calories from fat, 23 grams fat (5 grams saturated), 60 milligrams cholesterol, 1,215 milligrams sodium, 49 grams carbohydrates, 36 grams protein, 5 grams fiber.

Mozzarella, Tomato and Pesto on Ciabatta
4 slices ciabatta
4 tablespoons prepared pesto
4 ounces fresh mozzarella
1 tomato, thinly sliced
2 leaves red leaf lettuce
Spread each slice of bread with 1 tablespoon of the pesto.
Top two of the bread slices with mozzarella, tomato and lettuce. Cover sandwich with remaining two slices. For the lunch bag, wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
Yield: Serves 2.
Approximate nutrition analysis per sandwich: 495 calories, 53 percent of calories from fat, 29 grams fat (12 grams saturated), 55 milligrams cholesterol, 675 milligrams sodium, 36 grams carbohydrates, 22 grams protein, 3.4 grams fiber.