Sunday, November 16, 2008

Portrait of the Muffin as a Young Sandwich

Muffins rock my world. And not just the cousin of that usurper confection, the pretentious cupcake. As much fun as muffins are with their little beer belly tops and fruity fillings, I also enjoy English muffins. I'm not really sure what qualifies English muffins as muffins in the first place, but I'm also not complaining. They are tasty with a little bit of jam, or something more savory like cream cheese, hummus, and peanut butter.

Since the Best Husband Ever and I bought a bulk-sized package of English muffins from Costco recently, they've been infiltrating every meal of the day. I love spreading a toasted English muffin with pumpkin butter for breakfast (or really any time -- pumpkin butter never tastes bad!), or making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich of it. Topping one of these puppies with a wedge of garlic Laughing Cow Swiss cheese when it's fresh from the toaster oven is heavenly.

The go-to sandwich of the week, however, involves hummus. So tangy, simple, and healthy, especially when it's extra garlicky! A standard English muffin hummus 'wich lunch is quick to prepare in the morning and keeps pretty well. Here's my sandwich-making technique!

First I spread each half of the English muffin with a tablespoon of hummus. I like to have a little more substance to a sandwich than hummus alone can provide, so I add some veggies. Sprouts and dill pickles are perfect, but I didn't have any on hand. Instead, I thinly sliced a mushroom and lay the pieces over one half of the muffin.

Then I added a couple of spoonfuls of pickled red cabbage. This will make the bread a little soggy (I try to keep the spoon as free from extraneous liquid as possible), but I like it that way!

Place the other half of the muffin on top of the vegetables and -- voila! You're done! Enjoy your amazing hummus sandwich! Some good variations might be to toast the muffin before building the sandwich, adding a slice of turkey, or sprinkling a little feta over the veggie toppings.

In this particular bento lunch, the spotlight sandwich generously shared the stage with a salad with peanut ginger dressing. I also packed some roasted Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and grapes, and some cottage cheese mixed with a spoonful of apple butter. A tasty lunch? You betcha!

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