Here we are on day 2 of the Engine 2 recipe review (wow, that entire sentence rhymed). So far, things are moving along just fine. I won't go into detail.
This ordeal has really forced me to be more organized as I've had to cook basically three meals a day and do that the evening beforehand. In theory, this is an excellent way to spend an evening and cut down on hangry cooking after work, but in reality, if I know what the food tastes like and I'm not impressed, it ruins my whole day.
Thankfully, we've only had one really bad recipe so far, and this is not one of them.
I love lunch. I hate when people throw this meal away as if it's an unecessary distraction throughout the day. Drinking a shake or smoothie for a meal? Give me a break. Salad with only a touch of dressing? Ridiculous. Part of what I've really come to enjoy about cooking so much from scratch is that I always have leftovers and therefore always have delicious lunches that oftentimes taste better the second time around.
So, I was dreading this diet's take on lunch.
***Let me be clear again: I do not like to diet nor do I agree with dieting. I do not think that a temporary change to your meal plan will give you any sort of results and I also celebrate every person's body shape the way it is at any time. So, when Matt told me he wanted to diet, instead of launching into my soapbox about my feelings on dieting, I thought I'd be proactive and look for a "diet" plan that I could sort of get on board with. Engine 2 is more of a cleanse that teaches you the impacts of certain foods on your body and invites you to respond after the "cleanse" is complete. If this means never touching a drop of oil? So be it. But I consider this a lesson in body listening rather than a lesson in denial of certain foods. It also tells me I can eat as much as I want as long as it's a safe food, which I appreciate. Mama don't like being hungry. EVER.***
Ok, off of soapbox, back to lunch.
I wanted to make something from the book that had sustenance and have never attempted a Panini before, so I thought: now's the time, now's your moment.
Did this turn out like a panini? Well, no not exactly. I used these whole grain bagels and also was scared I was burning them so I either frantically flipped them or turned down the heat every 2 seconds or so.
This was actually quite delicious, refreshing, and filling. Mine was a bit more green than I think it was supposed to be, but that's because I was using my green hummus. Even though they weren't exactly paninis, I would make these again, even if I wasn't on the E2D.
Here's the recipe for Ann's Panini with Hummus, Mushrooms, and Spinach from Engine 2 Diet:
8 ounces mushrooms
Bragg Liquid Aminos to taste
4 slices whole grain bread (or bagels in my scenario)
4 green onions, chopped into rounds
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
3 handfuls baby spinach
Saute the mushrooms on medium heat in a nonstick skillet for about 5 minutes or until soft. Season lightly with Bragg's. Spread all 4 bread slices thickly with hummus. Sprinkle two pieces of the bread with green onions and cilantro and reserve the other two pieces as sandwich tops. Using a slotted spoon to allow any liquid to drain away from the mushrooms, place them on top of the green onions. Put a handful of spinach on top of the mushrooms. Top the two sandwiches with the reserved pieces of bread, and press to seal.
Carefully place the sandwiches in a nonstick skillet. Place a heavy casserole dish on top of the sandwiches to flatten them. Cook the weighted sandwiches on one side over medium heat for about 5 minutes, taking care not to let them burn. Flip sandwiches and cook the other side in the same way. When done, paninis will be quite thin and browned on both sides (in theory).