Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Testing Out: PickyEaterBlog.com Kale, Garlic, and Caramelized Onions Panini

I stumbled upon pickyeaterblog.com recently and found a number of things I found delicious looking and very doable to make.

One of them being her Kale, Garlic, and Caramelized Onions Panini

Here's the link to the recipe: http://pickyeaterblog.com/kale-garlic-and-caramelized-onion-paninis/

There were one or two things I couldn't really do in the recipe, but nonetheless I "successfully" made the sandwich.

Let's break down the cost for my one sandwich. And I will also add in the cost of chicken breast if you choose to have that in your panini like I put in for my boyfriend's sandwich to make it more filling for a grown man who's hungry.

  • Multi-Grain sliced bread from Target ($3.99 for the loaf, used 2 slices therefore 80 cents)
  • Fontina Cheese Block (bought for $3 but will vary per store and how much you buy. Used 1oz so 43 cents)
  • Frozen baby kale (the bag cost me $2 but I only used 1 cup, therefore spent 25 cents)
  • Red Onions (One entire onion was $1 and I used some slices, therefore 10 cents max)
  • Garlic (A jar cost $3 I think and I used a spoonful instead of using fresh garlic. 10 cents max)
  • OPTIONAL: Chicken Breast (used 1/4lb piece at $1.88/lb therefore 47 cents)
  • NOTE: The recipe calls for red pepper flakes and the olive oil but I used cooking spray which barely uses any money and the red pepper flakes and salt I used were literally like a penny's worth so I didn't care to add it to the total cost.
GRAND TOTAL: $1.68 for one sandwich without chicken breast and $2.15 for the WITH chicken panini version 

Can we say, WOW! CHEAP and AFFORDABLE! Now, remember that when you buy the ingredients, you're buying the entire bottle. You're buying the entire package, etc. So the cost at the grocery if you don't already have these ingredients will set you back $15-20 at the get-go. But since you will be using the ingredients for many future recipes to come, it's worth the investment and the up front cost will divide up to the affordable portions that you use. 

And if you're wondering about calorie content, the pickyeaterblog.com estimates one sandwich to be 366 calories per sandwich, and mine actually turned out to be more or less 365 calories, so it's pretty on point despite using different bread than hers and probably a different brand of fontina cheese than hers. If you choose to add that 1/4 chicken breast meat, add on around 100-110 calories to total it to approx 465 calories. Pretty decent calorie intake I have to admit. Most subs are 800-900 calories alone, not including the chips and drink you probably eat with it.

Here's a picture of how my sandwich turned out, and you can visit that above link to compare how the pick eater blog's panini turned out.

 photo kalepanini_zps9f344c57.jpg

Pretty different huh? Her picture shows that the 1oz of cheese mouth-watering oozes out from the sandwich, whereas mine doesn't appear that delicious from first glance haha.


First of all, like I said above, my picture does NOT look like that delicious picture on that woman's blog. Mine didn't look thick and goey with cheese. HOWEVER, it tastes AMAZING. My boyfriend said "Thank you for dinner. It was DELICIOUS". Enough said. He loved it. Approved it. JACK POT.

I have to stress to you to MUST use fontina cheese as the recipe calls for. I've tasted other cheese in sandwiches and could barely taste the flavor, BUT with fontina cheese, there was a lot of flavor and brought the kale to life in the sandwich. The recipe calls for only 1oz of cheese and I measured it out exactly on my food scale and cut the block of cheese into little blocks so that I could evenly distribute it across the sandwich. Use more cheese if you wish but 1oz was sufficient, even though I DO prefer more cheese. But I won't use more cheese in the future because cheese is high in calories and I'm trying to eat more healthy.

Something I didn't do which probably could've enhanced the flavor was caramelizing the red onions. Honestly I tried frying up the onions in the olive oil like the recipe said to do, but my onions just turns out regular fried not caramelized. I must have missed a step in doing that or something. I couldn't taste the onions very much because I didn't add much, but next time I will attempt to figure out how to caramelize onions to pack on more flavor in this already delicious panini.

Oh, I also did not use fresh garlic which probably would've packed on extra flavor. I might try to use fresh garlic next time even though it takes me forever to peel garlic since I'm stubborn and don't use short cuts in peeling garlic. Next time I will use a short cut to peel them fast.

I don't have a designated panini maker so I used my George Foreman grill which was more than sufficient. On a side note, I don't really recommend the George Foreman grill because there is no control for temperature so you're stuck with one temperature which makes you prone to burning or perhaps not cooking something thoroughly. But I received it as a Christmas gift years ago from my sister, therefore I cherish this grill and appreciate her gift and have used this grill too many times to count. Don't get me wrong, this brand of a grill does the job, it's just not optimal that's all.

Anyway, back to the panini topic. I highly recommend this sandwich. It kept me decently full, especially for not eating any meat in it for my sandwich, but I have to say I got hungry at midnight because I wasn't asleep yet so as long as you sleep kind of early, you shouldn't feel the hunger kick in. I want to make this sandwich again soon. It was so good!

All in all, this sandwich was healthy, quick and easy to make, cheap and affordable, and TASTY. I am always on the hunt for that 3-combination of healthy, cheap, and tasty and surprisingly I found it in this sandwich! SUCCESS! *Fist pump*

So I want to thank you for stopping by my blog and reading my review of this recipe. I hope you found it helpful! If you have any suggestions please let me know!

Thank you!

See y'all later :)

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