Make Your Own: Panini Sandwiches (aka Grown-up Grilled Cheese)

Happy Saturday ya’ll. This weekend is off to a good start. Last night the bf and I made quite possibly the most delicious lobster (with garlic butter of course!) and asparagus on the grill. Seriously. so. amazing! Recipe to come :)

As for today, after teaching two yoga class (and one unexpectedly!) I was beyond hungry by the time I got home. So I whipped up one of my favorite lunches, a panini sandwich. Every time I make one, I’m like “why don’t I make this more often?!”. Anyway, they are perfect because you can put anything and everything in them. If you don’t have a panini press, you can just as easily make this in a frying pan over the stove.

Here’s what you need to put together a perfect panini:

1) Bread: I like whole grain or ciabatta the best, but any of your favorites will work! You can even use gluten-free bread, if that’s your thing :)

2) Cheese: Goat cheese, feta cheese, cheddar, gouda, gruyere…so many choices! Softer or easily melted cheeses work best, and feel free to mix a couple of your favs together! If you don’t eat cheese for whatever reason (lactose intolerant, dairy allergy, vegan, etc.) you can certainly omit as well.

3) Veggies: In my opinion, the best part. I love avocado, tomatoes, mushrooms, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, the list goes on. Add a couple of your favorites, the more the merrier in my opinion!

4) Sauces: Mayo, mustard, pesto, whatever you like! My personal favorite is chipotle mayo (we add chipotles to regular mayo in a food processor, mmm mmm).

5) Meat: This one is definitely optional (as when I’m cooking for myself I don’t usually include meat!). Rotisserie chicken is my favorite. So easy to debone a whole chicken and use the remainders for a bunch of different dishes (like this one here!). You could also add in some good prosciutto. Just look for meats without nitrates or other additives!

A couple of my favorite combos:

Chipotle Chicken: Rotisserie chicken, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, chipotle mayo, on ciabatta bread

Fancy Grilled Cheese: Avocado, tomato, cheddar cheese, sunflower seeds, on multi-grain bread

Ham ‘n Cheese: Prosciutto, gouda, green apple (or pear), arugula, on sourdough bread

Grown-up BLT: Bacon, spinach, tomato, cheddar cheese, dijon mustard, on whole wheat bread

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 Tomato, avocado, mushroom, with goat brie on whole grain bread 

Enjoy! :)

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