Rustic Italian Chicken Sandwich

Here is a simple rustic Italian chicken sandwich recipe that's affordable and easy to prepare. I purchase a loaf of freshly baked bread from our local bakery, which yields 4 good-sized sandwiches. My favorite breads include poppyseed (as shown in the picture), sesame seed, and of course, Italian.

It's best to marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes to infuse the Italian dressing flavor. It's even better if you can marinate for a few hours. This Italian chicken sandwich is perfect for lunch or dinner and is always a favorite at family gatherings. 

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Servings: 4
Marinate time: 30 minutes to 2 hours
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minute


1 loaf Italian bread, quartered
1-1/2 cups bottled Italian Dressing
4 (4-ounce) Chicken Breasts
1 medium Tomato, sliced
4 Romaine lettuce leaves, chopped
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. Pour Italian dressing into a resealable plastic bag. Add chicken breasts and gently massage dressing into each piece. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2 hours. 

2. Slice bread loaf lengthwise, then cut into 4 sections. Wrap in foil and set aside.

3. Slice tomato and chop lettuce; set aside.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

5. Heat a large skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade and place in skillet. Cook for 6-7 minutes per side, until no longer pink.

6. While the chicken is cooking, place bread in oven and heat for 7-8 minutes.

7. Assemble sandwiches and sprinkle each chicken breast with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately. Pairs well with chips and a pickle spear!



Homestyle Beef Manhattan Sandwich

Homestyle Beef Manhattan sandwiches are one of my all time favorites. Stuffed with juicy meat, creamy mashed potatoes, a soft Kaiser roll and tons of gravy, beef manhattan's make a complete meal. Well, almost. It's always a good idea to serve with a side of veggies, a yummy salad or tasty slices of fruit.

I've enjoyed homestyle beef manhattan sandwiches for as long as I can remember. I recently discovered a decadent recipe for Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich at The Pioneer Woman Cooks blog. After making it according to the recipe, I realized this sandwich was perfect for making Beef Manhattan sandwiches. It was a huge hit and today, I'd like to share the recipe with you.

I'm a huge advocate for copyright laws and refuse to publish another food blogger's recipe. So, you will need to obtain the Marlboro Man's Favorite Recipe and then follow the remaining cooking instructions.


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Serves 4
Prep Time: 30 minutes


Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich Recipe

Mashed Potatoes Recipe:

2 large Idaho Potatoes, washed and chopped into 1-inch cubes
2 quarts water
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4 cup whole milk or half-and-half
2 tablespoons butter
4 Kaiser Rolls
1 jar Homestyle Beef Gravy


1. Cook Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich recipe according to directions.
2. In 3-quart saucepan, add potatoes and salt. Bring to a boil. Cook uncovered for 12-15 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender.
3. Drain potatoes in colander. Transfer to mixing bowl. Add butter and milk or half-and-half.
4. Using hand mixer, mash potatoes until creamy. Add additional milk if desired.
5. Slice Kaiser buns in half. Top with meat mixture. Add 1/2 cup mashed potatoes. Top with gravy and top of Kaiser roll. Serve with veggie side dish, tossed salad or fruit slices. Enjoy!

Beef Manhattan Sandwich

Gourmet Bacon Lettuce Tomato Sandwich Recipe: BLT Never Tasted So Good!

I am a huge fan of Bacon Lettuce Tomato Sandwiches. As a child, my mom served BLT sandwiches at least once a week. She grew the lettuce and tomato in her garden and mom's BLTs were always bursting with flavor. After moving away from home it was hard to create a sandwich that tasted as good as mom's.

Yesterday, I had a craving for bacon lettuce tomato sandwiches. It's been at least a year since I last ate one and I wanted something spectacular. I'm probably one of the most frugal people you will ever meet and I can't stand waste; especially when it comes to food.

We had a few slices of leftover lunch meat and a tiny portion of Brie cheese. My mind went into overdrive as I concocted the following recipe on-the-fly. Personally, I think it's one of the best BLTs I've ever consumed. I hope you enjoy it too!

I cooked everything using a flat electric griddle. The same results can be obtained by using a skillet and toasting the bread, or by baking the bacon. If you have never baked bacon, it's super easy to do. Simply line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, place the bacon on the sheet and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 18 minutes; flipping slices halfway through.


Gourmet Bacon Lettuce Tomato Sandwich Recipe

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Serves: 2
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 to 12 minutes


4 slices Italian bread
8 slices Bacon
2 slices Deli Ham
2 slices Deli Pastrami
2 slices Deli Salami
1 small Tomato, sliced thin
3 Romaine lettuce leaves, chopped
3 Tablespoons Butter (or margarine)
4 slices Brie cheese, cut about 1/4-inch thick

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat electric griddle to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place bacon slices on griddle and cook for 4 minutes; flip bacon and cook 4 more minutes or until desired crispness.
  3. While bacon is cooking, prepare Romaine lettuce and tomatoes.
  4. Place butter in microwave-safe dish. Heat in microwave for about 30 seconds or until butter melts.
  5. Using a pastry brush, coat one side of each slice of bread with butter.
  6. Place 2 paper towels on a plate and transfer bacon from griddle to allow grease to drain.
  7. Using a spatula, push bacon grease into the griddle's grease container.
  8. Reduce griddle heat to 350 degrees. 
  9. Place deli meat slices on one side of griddle. Cook for 1-1/2 minutes per side.
  10. Place bread, buttered side down on other side of griddle.
  11. Place 2 slices of Brie cheese on bread and allow to melt.
  12. Add 4 strips bacon to each remaining bread slice.
  13. Top with deli meats.
  14. Using a butter knife, spread Brie cheese from edge to edge of the bread.
  15. Add lettuce and tomato on top of deli meats.
  16. Place brie cheese side of bread on top of the BLT sandwich.
  17. Transfer to serving plate. Cut in half and serve immediately.

Serve with seasoned fries, potato chips, potato salad, cole slaw or fruit cup.


Vegetarian Chickpea Burgers

In light of the recent massive beef recall, many people are seriously considering becoming a Vegetarian. I'm one of them. In fact, I was a Vegetarian for several years. It wasn't until I met my husband that I converted back to a meat and potatoes kind of girl. But, the more I hear and learn about tainted meat, the less I desire to eat it.

As you may recall, several years ago I worked as a chef for a health food store. One of our most popular dishes was known as a Nut Burger. Made from a variety of nuts and shaped into patties, these burgers are packed with protein, essential fatty acids and they taste amazingly delicious.

My favorite way to serve them is on a lightly toasted whole wheat sesame seed bun with Dijon mustard and pickle slices. Just as with a regular hamburger, you can top Nut Burgers with your favorite condiments including mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, pickles and even cheese.

While I no longer have the recipe for the Original Nut Burgers, I have created one that is similar and tastes nearly identical to the ones we sold at the health food store. These are made using chickpeas, also known as Garbanzo beans. For best results, these burgers should be cooked on the grill or under a broiler. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!


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Serves 8
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10-14 minutes


2 small Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 teaspoon Sunflower or Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 medium Green Onions (or Scallions), white and green parts cut into 1-inch strips
1 15-ounce can Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1/2 cup Ketchup
1/4 cup Sunflower seeds, toasted and ground into a coarse powder in spice grinder or blender
1-1/2 cups plain Bread Crumbs
Sea Salt (to taste)


  1. Add 3 to 4 inches of water to a large saucepan. Add potatoes to a steamer basket, cover and bring water to a boil. Cook until tender, 15 to 18 minutes.
  2. Drain potatoes and transfer to a small bowl. Mash with a fork.
  3. Transfer 1-1/2 cups mashed potatoes to the workbowl of a food processor.
  4. Heat oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add scallions and cook until limp, 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Add scallions, chickpeas, ketchup, and ground sunflower seeds to food processor. Pulse on and off several times until ingredients are well blended.
  6. Transfer mixture from food processor to large bowl. Add bread crumbs. Mix by hand using a large spoon until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  7. Season with salt to taste. Mixture will be moist, but should hold together well.
  8. Divide and shape mixture into eight patties approximately 3-inches across and 1/2-inch thick. Add extra bread crumbs if patties don't hold their shape.
  9. Prepare grill or preheat broiler.
  10. If using a grill, place patties on vegetable grid to avoid sticking. If using the broiler, place patties on a broiler pan or large cookie sheet lined with lightly oiled piece of aluminum foil.
  11. Grill over medium-hot coals or broil 3 to 6 inches from heat until lightly browned, approximately 5 to 7 minutes per side.
  12. Check often to prevent burning. Remove from heat. Transfer to serving platter and serve with favorite toppings and condiments.


More Grilled Gourmet Lunch Meat Sandwich Recipes

I am a huge fan of grilled gourmet lunch meat sandwiches. My favorite brand of lunchmeat is Boar's Head, but I also like Hormel's Natural Choice and Hillshire Farms Deli Select. Making grilled gourmet lunchmeat sandwiches is super simple and only requires a few minutes of time. With a few basic ingredients, you can have a mouth-watering delicacy that will tantalize your taste buds and make your stomach smile!

Grilled gourmet lunch meat sandwiches can be served on just about any kind of bread you like. If you're counting calories, consider using a tortilla wrap. Tortilla wraps are available in multiple flavors including whole wheat, spinach, and sundried tomato (my personal fav!).

Thomas' Bagelbread Squares are perfect for creating grilled gourmet lunchmeat sandwiches. Available in Plain, Whole Wheat and Everything (to die for!), Bagelbread Squares are cholesterol free and low fat with zero trans fat.

I used the Everything Bagelbread Squares to create the following grilled gourmet lunchmeat sandwiches. However, you can use any type of bread you prefer.

Grilled Gourmet Lunch Meat Sandwiches Recipe
Serves 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5-7 minutes


2 Thomas' "Everything" Bagelbread Squares (cut in half)
6 slices Brown Sugar Ham
6 slices Mesquite Turkey
6 slices Pastrami
2 slices Bleu Cheese (slices should be about 1/4-inch thick)
1 Tablespoon Butter, melted


  1. Preheat skillet or griddle to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush melted butter on inside of each bagel.
  3. Arrange meat slices in skillet or on the griddle.
  4. Heat meat slices until they start to curl on the edges.
  5. Once meat slices are heated, stack 2 slices of each meat on top of one another and move to the side of skillet or griddle.
  6. Place bagel slices with butter side down onto skillet or griddle.
  7. Once bagel slices turn light brown in color, flip them over and add meat slices on top of two bagel halves.
  8. Top meat slices with bleu cheese.
  9. Place the bagel top onto the meat and cheese.
  10. Heat for about 30 seconds on each side.
  11. Remove from heat, transfer to plate and serve immediately.

Below is a photo of how I arranged the meat slices. My husband says I am anal retentive, but I think the meat slices look pretty - don't you??


Below is a photo of the end result:


Click here for more grilled gourmet lunchmeat sandwich recipes.

Gourmet Hamburger Recipes

Gourmet hamburgers are always a big hit at Labor Day parties and I found some recipes that are sure to delight your tastebuds. Everyone has their own special style of creating gourmet burgers and there really is no right or wrong way, as long as it turns out juicy.

Although sirloin makes a tasty burger, it also tends to make a dry burger. When using sirloin add some type of liquid such as Worchershire, Soy or Dale's Seasoning to the mix. Ground beef that contains 20 to 30 percent fat will make a juicy burger, but they tend to shrink up. You can lose as much as 20 percent of the volume during cooking, so be sure to add extra meat to your patties.

Ground turkey or chicken are good choices for those who are watching their fat and calorie intake. Simply replace either meat for ground red meat in your favorite gourmet burger recipe. Make note that turkey and chicken tend to get mushy, so add a small amount of bread crumbs and an egg to provide elasticity.

When grilling gourmet hamburgers select coarse ground meat as it will hold up better over the hot coals. Finely ground meat has a tendency to turn mushy and fall apart. Adding large chunks of vegetables such as onions and green peppers can cause your gourmet burger to crumble. If you decide to add vegetables, be certain to finely chop and incorporate ingredients well.

Sargento Cheese offers a free brochure that includes a variety of gourmet hamburger recipes. Indulge in Island Jerk Burgers with Habanero Lime Coleslaw, Steakhouse Peppercorn Mushroom Burgers, Tuscan Olive Burgers, or Southwest Caesar Burgers.

In addition to gourmet hamburger recipes, Sargento Cheese offers a variety of free instant download recipes, along with an entire recipe collection at their website. To obtain your free gourmet hamburger recipes, sign up for their free newsletter, watch cooking videos and more, visit their website at

Wishing you a safe, happy and fun Labor Day!


Gourmet Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches Recipe

Gourmet Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches are the perfect Hurricane Party food; particularly, if children are present. Everybody loves PB&J and it definitely ranks at the top of comfort foods. Additionally, sandwiches can be prepared a day or two ahead of time, which can come in handy if the power goes out. Wrap individual sandwiches in plastic wrap to retain freshness.

Gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwiches can be served on just about any type of bread. Most people prefer using pre-sliced bread, but there's no reason you can't cut your own. Some people like to grill them, while others like them plain. If you decide to grill them, you'll need to have melted butter on hand.

Feel free to substitute items and create your own unique version of gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. When serving at a party, offer a variety of breads, both chunky and smooth peanut butters, and a selection of jellies and jams. Set up a buffet and include bowls of "toppings" such as raisins, chocolate chips, chili peppers, marshmallow creme, sunflower seeds, etc.

Sliced fruits are excellent to add to the toppings buffet. Bananas, strawberries, kiwis, mandarin oranges, grapes and mangoes are popular selections.

A fun way to keep guests occupied during the storm is to engage in a gourmet peanut bully and jelly sandwich creation competition. Guests create their own concoction and people vote for their favorite. Prizes are award to the top competitors. Kids are particularly fond of this game, but be forewarned -- things can get messy!


Gourmet Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Recipe

Serves 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes or less


2 slices Sourdough bread
1-2 Tablespoons Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter by Peanut Butter & Co.
1-2 Tablespoons Raspberry Preserves
1 Tablespoon Macadamia nuts, chopped
1 teaspoon shredded Coconut, toasted*

*To toast coconut, melt 1/4-teaspoon of butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add coconut and mix with butter. Stir constantly until lightly browned.


Spread peanut butter on one piece of bread and raspberry preserves on the other. Top with macadamia nuts and shredded coconut; put bread slices together and Enjoy!

How to Create a Gourmet Lunch for Under $5.00

Here is a recipe for a delicious and healthy gourmet lunch that you can create for around $5.00. You can use any type of lunch meat. My personal favorite is the Boar's Head brand. Although a little more expensive than commercial brands, Boar's Head meats do not contain by-products, cereals or fillers. Once you wrap your lips around Boar's Head luncheon meats, you'll never settle for less.

Healthy lunch

Yield: 1 serving
Prep Time: 10 minutes


1 Toufayan Wheat wrap
3 slices Black Forest Smoked Ham (thin, deli sliced)
3 slices Pastrami (thin, deli sliced)
1 slice White American cheese
2-3 slices Tomato, sliced thin
Deli mustard, to taste

Fruit side dish:
1/4 mini Watermelon, rind removed, sliced
1/4 Mango, skin removed, sliced
1/2 Kiwi fruit, skin removed, sliced


  1. Spread deli mustard on wheat wrap.
  2. Place ham, pastrami, cheese and tomato slices on top of wrap.
  3. Fold one side of wrap, up and over ingredients. Roll wrap up, making certain the fold stays in place.
  4. Garnish plate with fruit slices.
  5. Serve immediately.

You can eat this meal for lunch or dinner. You could even eat it for breakfast if you so desire. This is a great brown bag option and is considerably healthier for you than greasy fast food.



Turn Grill Into Pizza Oven

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Grilled Gourmet Lunch Meat Sandwiches

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I love to experiment in the kitchen. Several years ago I had the pleasure of working as a prep chef in a popular health food store and later went to work at a prestigious private Country Club. I picked up a lot of techniques and discovered just how much fun food can be!

Last weekend we were a little low on groceries and I decided to see what I could whip up with what was lurking around in the fridge and pantry. I found one-half of a poppy seed baguette, half a package of pastrami and 1/3-package of brown sugar ham lunch meat; half a jar of sundried tomato pesto; and 1/2-cup of shredded Cheddar cheese.

Believe it or not, these make a very tasty gourmet sandwich. I'm sure you could use most any type of bread, lunch meat or cheese, but keep the pesto. That's the part that makes it gourmet! To make these grilled gourmet lunch meat sandwiches, follow these simple instructions:

Grilled Gourmet Lunch Meat Sandwiches

  1. Preheat a griddle (or skillet) to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Melt about 1 tablespoon of butter and using a pastry brush, lightly coat one side of each baguette slice.
  3. Lightly spread sundried tomato pesto on the opposite side of each baguette slice.
  4. Place 3-6 slices of meat per sandwich on the griddle.
  5. Place each baguette slice, butter side down, on the griddle.
  6. Sprinkle a small amount of shredded cheese onto the pesto side of each slice of bread.
  7. Place 2-3 pieces of the heated lunch meat on top of each slice of bread. This helps to melt the cheese.
  8. Place two slices of bread, along with the meat & cheese together. Then using a spatula, flatten the sandwich out.
  9. Remove from griddle, transfer to a plate and enjoy!








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