Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pantry Sandwich

This four-ingredient sandwich is made entirely of items that could be stocked in your pantry! For some reason, this really fascinates me. Probably because I’m so used to having fresh ingredients in every meal. I love fresh ingredients, of course, but sometimes dinner just doesn’t work out as you planned, or you get snowed in, or something comes up, and you need good food that can be found in your pantry.

Justin and I cook all of our meals for the week on Saturday afternoons. Toward the end of our cooking spree last week, I announced that I was excited to use our new can opener since our previous one had stopped turning and you had to clunk, clunk, clunk all along the edge to open a can. He mentioned that it’s pretty amazing we spent hours cooking, and only once did we need to open a can.

I created this recipe soon after Justin and I moved into our new house. There were still boxes everywhere and we needed something for dinner. We hadn’t yet had the luxury of spending hours cooking fresh-ingredient meals in our new kitchen. I new we had a can of sardines and some whole wheat bread. We had eaten this combination before, and it works, but it’s not exciting. So I thought to myself, “Why don’t I add some sun-dried tomatoes and see what happens? And, oh! What about those pimiento-stuffed green olives that I don’t have any plans for?” Voila. The pantry sandwich was born. And now I schedule it into the rotation even if I’m not desperate for a pantry dinner. It makes cooking for the week even easier.

Sardines are high in Omega-3 fatty acids. If you buy U.S. sardines, they’re also sustainable (according to my handy Pocket Seafood Selector fish guide that you can download here). Olives are loaded with heart-healthy fats, and sun-dried tomatoes are high in lycopene, which is thought to prevent cancer. So, while this sandwich may seem indulgent, it does lots of great things for your body. Pair it with a low-fat side, such as a salad or minestrone soup, and you’re all set.

Pantry Sandwich
Makes 2 sandwiches

1 can sardines (1/2 cup)
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, minced
½ cup olives, chopped (I used pimiento-stuffed green olives, but I bet black olives or Kalamata olives would be equally tasty)
4 slices whole wheat bread
Butter, if desired

1) Mix together sardines, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives.

2) Lightly toast whole wheat bread, and spread a bit of butter on each slice.

3) Spread sardine mixture over bread and make into two sandwiches.

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