This post was most recently updated on June 7th, 2018
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It’s hot outside. And turning on my oven is sure to make it hot inside, as well. But for some reason, my family wants to eat every day. (Go figure …) While finding light, summer friendly meals that please all my people can be a bit tricky, I do my best. One of my biggest summer cooking success stories is this yummy grilled veggie sandwich. It’s quick, simple, and can be cooked on the grill so it doesn’t heat up the kitchen.
The Back Story
Every year we plant a garden. And year after year, the. most. prolific. thing. in said garden is always zucchini and summer squash. In all honesty, my kids all hate squash. Really, really hate it. But since we have it, I’m always, always, always looking for new ways to sneak it into meals.
So this recipe actually started out as a desperate attempt to use up some of the squash I hadn’t been able to
pawn off share with friends and neighbors. Fortunately, it turned out to be one of the tastiest things we’d made from the dreaded zucchini.
Now, when town is a 20 mile trip, one learns to be creative in the kitchen: You don’t want to waste gas running back and forth for one ingredient. Soooo … on the evening I decided to make grilled summer vegetable wraps I discovered I had no tortillas. Discouraged, I dove into the freezer and unearthed some whole wheat Hoagie buns purchased from the bargain bread rack at the grocery store. And just like that – supper became grilled vegetable sandwiches instead.
Summer Friendly Meals: Grilled Garden Veggie Sandwiches
Here’s what I used:
- 1 medium sized garden fresh zucchini
- 1 medium sized yellow summer squash
- *A few* medium sized homegrown tomatoes & *quite a few* homegrown cherry tomatoes
- Several leaves of fresh basil
- 6 Whole Wheat Hoagie buns
- 1/2 cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese (not shown)
- Olive Oil
- Garlic Salt
- Italian Seasoning
- zipper bag – 1 gallon size
Here’s what I did:
- I washed & dried my veggies
- I cut the zucchini, & yellow squash lengthwise, and the tomatoes – all into 1/4″ thick slices
- I put the zucchini and squash in a gallon size zipper bag
- To the bag, I added 4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil, 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning, & 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt
- I zipped that puppy up and massaged the oil and seasonings into the squash slices, then set aside
- I brushed the insides of the Hoagie buns with Olive Oil
- I sent my husband out to grill the marinated squash 😉 He also lightly grilled the Hoagie buns so they would have a little crunch
Assemble the Sandwiches
On the bottom half of each Hoagie bun, I placed
- 1 slice of zucchini
- 1 slice yellow squash
- Fresh basil leaves
Extra yumminessShredded Mozzarella cheese
- The top of the Hoagie bun
[INSERT YOUR IMAGINED IMAGE OF WHAT
THE FINISHED SANDWICH LOOKED LIKE]
I apologize for not getting a picture of the finished product. They were beautiful – really beautiful. But my family was hungry and before I could stop them … well, the sandwiches were gone.
Add Your Favorite Sides
I served them with chips, cottage cheese and salad, which are our standard “sandwich accessories.” My children aren’t crazy about squash, but grilling it made the flavor and texture more appealing to them. They ate it all.
I think the cheese adds richness, too, which helped fool them into thinking about pizza toppings. With the Italian seasoning, the flavor profile of these sandwiches was fairly similar – just in case you need to call these ‘pizza sandwiches’ when you serve them to your kids. (wink)
Make It Your Own
You could absolutely use any kind of produce you love on these sandwiches. I think they would be delish with eggplant, grilled red peppers or sauteed onions. I also thought the combination of grilled and un-grilled ingredients was a nice twist – the tomatoes were so juicy and fresh against the smoky, garlicky, saltiness of the squash.
Next time, I might add some kind of crunchy element … maybe bacon or French fried onions. (I know, not healthy or homegrown, but … bacon!) You could experiment with different types of cheeses, seasonings on your grilled veggies, fancy dressings — whatever you think is delicious. Be adventurous! Some of my favorite recipes have developed out of experimentation.
Frugal Flexible Meal
These sandwiches are so versatile. For families who want to eat more meatless meals or who are trying to eat healthier, they are perfect. If you’re trying to eat healthy on a tight budget – they were SO cheap! Obviously, the veggies came from our garden, but the other ingredients were super affordable. Who isn’t looking for summer meals that won’t heat up the kitchen? Obviously, this is a fantastic way to use your own garden fresh produce. But even if you don’t plant a garden, maybe you want to plan a meal around your farmer’s market finds. A healthy, delicious, inexpensive meal that is super satisfying? Yes, please!
Cooking with fresh ingredients we’ve grown ourselves is a lot of fun for our family – it’s easily the best part of summer. I hope you’ll try these yummy grilled veggie sandwiches and tell me how you made them your own!
Love & Blessings,