on the menu : beet + goat cheese paninis

BEET + GOAT CHEESE PANINIS

You know how some people like breakfast for dinner?  What about lunch for dinner?  Paninis are an easy, quick, and tasty addition to your mid-week ‘I’m too busy to cook’ menu.  You can still make a healthy and hearty meal out of sandwiching ingredients between two slices of bread.

This rendition is a sweet and savory version.  The combination of what goes into this panini is pretty classic in terms of flavor combinations – beet, goat cheese, apple, onion.  You could easily throw these ingredients into a salad bowl and call it a day but the appeal of a sandwich is that you get to experience a bite of all ingredients at once.  Furthermore, the beauty of a panini lies in its uncanny ability to ooze and meld anything within the sandwich.

Opt for sprouted grain bread to keep the meal whole grain friendly.  Add as much or as little goat cheese as you desire.  Yes, cheese is cheese, but goat cheese is much more fair game in the whole food “bible.”

I’ve posted plenty of beet recipes by now and if I still haven’t convinced you to give them a try, I’m hoping this one will do the trick.  Fifth time’s a charm :).

INGREDIENTS:

  • Beets (4)
  • Red Onion (1)
  • Apple (1)
  • Dried Cranberries (3 tbsp)
  • Salad Greens (Handful)
  • Sprouted Grain Bread (6)
  • Creamy Balsamic Vinegar (2 tsp)
  • Goat Cheese
  • Oil
  • Salt + Pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Prep the beets by roasting and peeling in advance.  Slice them into equal-sized pieces (about 1/4-inch thick) and set aside.
  2. Finely julienne the red onion and thinly slice up the apple (peel on, de-cored).
  3. Drizzle some oil into a skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and apples, season with salt + pepper, and allow the onions to caramelize and apples to soften.
  4. Add balsamic vinegar to the skillet and toss the ingredients.  Lower the heat to a simmer.
  5. Slice up the goat cheese into equal-sized pieces (about the same as the beets).
  6. Prep your griddle or Panini maker by pre-heating it and spraying with olive oil.
  7. Assemble your sandwiches by layering the ingredients – I started with goat cheese, then added cranberries, then the beets, then the sautéed onions + apples – but it’s completely up to you which order you pursue!
  8. Grill each side of the Panini for about 3-4 minutes.  Serve immediately with a side salad utilizing any left-over ingredients that didn’t make it into your sandwiches.
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