I despise cold cuts.
There, it's out. Hungry Girl may adore them, and may recommend the salt bomb of a slice of turkey wrapped around a pickle as a good low-cal snack, but I cannot stand the slimy sheets.
I do eat dried, cured sausages such as pepperoni and salami, which are often lumped in with cold cuts, and on occasion you can get me to eat a sandwich made with some sort of cold beef, but for the most part, I would rather choke down a quart of boiled cabbage.
Thus, I have to get creative with sandwich fillings. While I enjoy chicken salad, egg salad, BLT, and grilled cheese sandwiches, I can't eat them every day: One, I need variety, and two, well, they're awfully rich. I like egg sandwiches (whole or whites only, with light cheese), too, but they require prep time I'm often not willing to give at lunch time.
Now that I have oven access and a renewed appreciation for vegetables, I decided to finally try out Alton Brown's recipe for roasted vegetable sandwich spread.
Yum. Numnumnum yummmm!
I've altered the recipe each time I've made it. You can throw in just about any vegetable you like, and when you purée them in the food processor with a block of light cream cheese, you'll end up with a delicious, slightly sweet yet savory spread.
I go heavy on the vegetables, which doesn't negatively affect the texture but does make the spread calorically lighter and more nutritious.
By the way, don't confuse this with vegetable-flavored cream cheese they sell in tubs at the supermarket and bagel shop. This spread has way more flavor and nutritious goodness.
Roasted Vegetable Spread
Source: Adapted from Alton Brown
2 red bell peppers, sliced
1 medium-to-large onion, cut into chunks
8 cloves garlic, peeled
2 carrots, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon oil
8 ounces light cream cheese or neufchatel cheese
1. Toss the vegetables with the oil. Roast at 400 degrees in a toaster oven or regular oven until the vegetables turn soft and brown at the edges, about 45 minutes. Allow the vegetables to cool.
2. Pulse the cooled vegetables with some salt and pepper in a food processor. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the cream cheese. Run the processor until you produce a smooth purée. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if necessary.
3. To serve, spread on toasted soft sandwich bread. Lick fingers. Enjoy.