Even if you do not own a Panini maker, and have nowhere to store one if you did, you don’t have to settle for the same old cold sandwiches day after day.
Traditionally, a Panini is a pressed masterpiece made with artisanal bread, veggies, meat and melted cheese. While normally high in fat and calories, you can slim yours down by following these tips:
- Avoid processed meats: Instead of using proteins like salami or pepperoni, choose leaner options such as smoked chicken, turkey pastrami or turkey ham.
- Pump up the vegetables: Add extra flavor and more filling by adding nutrient-dense fillings like baby spinach, sliced tomatoes and roasted peppers.
- Skip presliced cheese: Instead, use shaved Parmesan or pecorino or opt for a sprinkling of bold-tasting crumbles, such as Gorgonzola or feta.
- Keep tabs on bread: Instead of using Italian rolls, cut a crusty loaf into thin (1 ounce) slices.
- Stop slathering: Most Panini makers come with nonstick interiors, negating the need to spread butter or oil on the bread. If not, a light coating of nonstick spray will suffice nicely.
Now put the Panini concept to the test with this delicious recipe for a broccolini and onion Panini.
- 1 large red onion, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 6 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
- ½ pound Broccolini (Aspiration)
- 4 (1 ounce) slices ciabatta
- 2 (1 ounce) slices part-skim pepper Jack cheese
- Preheat oven to 450ᵒF
- Place onion in baking pan, spray with nonstick spray
- Add thyme and toss to coat
- Bake, stirring twice, until tender – 30 minutes
- Stir in olives
- Meanwhile, bring large saucepan of lightly salted water to boil. Add Broccolini and cook 3 minutes. Drain, pat dry with paper towels.
- Preheat Panini maker
- Divide onion mixture on 2 slices of bread. Top evenly with Broccolini, cheese and remaining bread