My poor mother. My entire childhood I proclaimed: I hate sandwiches! Not a single one made it into my lunch she lovingly made me everyday. I turned my nose up at them at friends' homes, wedding showers, birthday parties, family picnics and everywhere in between. I'm not sure I even tried a sandwich before deciding I hated them.
I probably would have never willingly tried one. In university a sweet friend offered to give me a drive home to my parents. It was an hour long drive and we were leaving straight from a morning exam I was writing. She picked me up on campus and with a huge smile, handed me a lovingly packed lunch. Inside was a sandwich.
I wish I could tell you that I turned to her and said "thank you so much! what a kind gesture" I wish I was that 20something girl. Alas, I turned to her and said "I hate sandwiches" The sadness on her face was striking and I knew I needed to heal that hurt fast. So, I did the only thing I could do: I ate the sandwich. And guess what? I liked it!
These days, most sandwiches I eat are vegetarian. The crazier the combination, the better. On this occasion I pulled together a southwest inspired sandwich. Smoky sweet potato with black beans, caremelized onions, monterey jack and some avocado. Throw in some cilantro and a hearty grain bread and even the biggest sandwich hater will have a hard time saying no to this one.
1 small sweet potato
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup black beans
1/2 cup carmelized onions
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp chipotle chile powder
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro
1 slice monterey jack cheese
ice burg lettuce
fresh multigrain bread
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel one sweet potato and slice into 1/4" rounds. Toss with cumin, paprika and olive oil. Roast on baking sheet for approximately 15 min, flipping at the halfway mark.
While sweet potatoes are roasting, prepare the black bean spread. In a food processor combine the beans, onions, lime juice, chipotle and cilantro. Pulse until mixed but some chunks remain.
On one slice of bread, spread 1/2 a slightly mashed avocado. On second slice of bread, spread black bean mixture. Top with sweet potato slices, cheese and some ice burg lettuce. Enjoy!