Okay, so we all have things we are good at. That’s the great thing about people: our gifts. For instance, my husband is a natural at being patient. Me not so much. My mother-in-law is a gifted homemaker, adept at the art of ironing & bed-making like nothing I’ve ever seen. Me? Let’s just say I do make the bed every day and leave it at that.
As a creative person, I’ve always loved creating and making pretty pictures. That is why you can often catch me off in a daydream envisioning some composition of pretty things, be it in the garden, or on my body, or on plates or serving dishes. I think I’ve got a reasonably good handle on that stuff.
As my own ‘less is more’ journey has progressed in these past few years, there is admittedly one thing (by my standards) that I still struggle with. I am not afraid to say I am actually still downright bad at it.
That is packing for a trip. I always pack too much despite usually writing out a plan of just what I need. I start the week before and add or subtract items throughout that week like a girl who is afraid to bring the wrong stuffy to a sleepover – displaying feelings of worry or remorse over omitting perhaps the wrong item. Inevitably, I always bring more than I actually need. So this time I want it to be different. I’m trying to really really streamline. After all, what more do I need than a few books and a bathing suit and a cover up right?
I’ll let you know how I make out once I get there, but I’d love your tips on how you pack for vacations, particularly hot ones. We head to Hawaii on Saturday, and I hope to share with you all there just what we get up to, especially the goods at the local farmers markets and of course, the beach time!
You might wonder why I am sharing a sandwich today, as I’ve personally been enjoying a little clean eating time (read: no bread for me right now!). But though I’ve been living on bowls of steamed kale, I still need to provide food for my busy active family, and busy weekends are made wonderful with sandwiches like this.
Most Saturdays here at our house involve mellow mornings for us girls at home while the husband goes cycling. I’ve never mentioned it here, but he rides at a very high level, and often lands here at home after hours on the bike destroyed, and hungry. This is where old bread, a ripe avocado, and a few other fixings are life-savers, as an easy & nourishing lunch can be whipped up in minutes for anyone.
Less fussing over lunch time means delicious solutions in minutes. Fewer foods gone to waste means more good on the conscience. Fewer traditional mushy sandwiches means more excitement for the stand-bys, so lunch time is easy, delicious, & frugal.
More using what’s available means getting by on what you have. More pretty preparation means more enjoyment for those eating it. More plant-based sandwich options means fueling at mid-day stays healthy, regardless of energy output or activity level.
Broiled Chevre & Avocado Open-Faced Sandwich:
- any old bread slices (I used a ciabatta bun)
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- goat chevre or this vegan tofu blue cheese spread from Keepin’ it Kind
- ripe slices of avocado
- cherry tomatoes, washed & halved or slices of roma tomatoes
- greens of your choice: sprouts, baby kale, baby lettuce, arugula
- black pepper, salt & balsamic glaze (optional)
Turn on the oven to broil and lay your bread on a flat baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil on the bread (be generous) and pop the tray in the oven, somewhere in the middle (not on the top rack). Keeping an eye out while you prepare the rest of the sandwich ingredients, broil the bread slices for 1-2 minutes, until golden brown, like a giant crouton.
Quickly prepare the avocado, tomato, greens & whatever cheesy spread you are using for the base. When ready, remove the broiled bread from the oven and place on a cutting board or work surface.
To assemble, layer some Chevre or cheese equivalent on the toasted bread. Next, layer avocado slices on top and lightly sprinkle with salt if desired. Next, top with greens of choice and dot the sandwich with tomato. Transfer the open-faced sandwich (or sandwiches) to serving plates and top with black pepper and optional balsamic drizzle. Serve with a knife and fork for those sophisticated types who don’t eat with their hands (my hubby’s mom raised him right).
With that, I’d like to know if any of you share the same affliction I have for over-packing despite our best intentions. I recently spoke with my mom who shares the same problem too. Maybe it’s just a family thing who knows, but I am happy to know at least one of my daughters doesn’t struggle at all. I think this trip though I just might nail it, but I will definitely let you know about that!
What’s your favorite open-faced sandwich combo?
Next post is coming to you from the Big Island. 2 sleeps ’til Aloha…can’t wait!
Yours in Less,