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Old 02-27-2011, 07:13 PM   #1
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Need ideas for lunch special sandwiches & entrees

My husband & I own a small cafe. We are located inside a gym type setting. We have a salad bar, homemade soups & 2 specials daily. We are only open 8-3 m-f. We try to put healthy options out there but honestly we sell more chocolate chip cookies & coconut cream pie. We do alot of wraps, flatbreads & low carb options. We don't have an outside sighn or seperate entrance. The cafe is mostly limited to members. Although our catering does real well.
My question is does anyone have any unique sanwich ideas or entree special ideas. Your imput would be most appreciated.

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Old 02-27-2011, 07:41 PM   #2
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Welcome to DC! With Spring coming (faster, please!), how about a pasta primavera with one of the Smart Balance noodles, like Ronzoni? Zucchini lasagna, using the squash thinly sliced lengthwise as the "noodles"? Falafel in pita, with tabbouleh and yogurt? Bento boxes?
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:50 PM   #3
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tHAKS THOSE ARE SOME GREAT IDEAS. I REALLY LIKE THE LASAGNA ONE.
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:10 PM   #4
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Maybe a vegertarian wrap using grilled portabella mushrooms instead of meat. If the mushrooms are marinated in wine first they can be as good as a steak.
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:22 PM   #5
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The portabella mushroom wrap is a great idea. I've also tried portabellas marinated in Italian dressing grilled on bagel flats.

Keep the great ides coming!
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:23 PM   #6
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Zucchini, when young and tender, make great noodle substitutes in all sorts of applications. You can make zucchini fettuccine and top with any number of sinful things and still have folks feeling virtuous as well as well fed.
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:33 PM   #7
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Does the zuchini break up when you try to use it for fettichini?
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simonbaker View Post
Does the zuchini break up when you try to use it for fettichini?
Al dente is your friend! After the mandoline and slice action, I blanch it, then shock. To reheat for serving, taste a bit and see how long to reheat/further cook it. It is really just a matter of seconds to get it cooked, without making a mess of it, but once it is blanched, the plating goes like silk.
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:01 PM   #9
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Sounds great I'll try it this week. Thank you!
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:18 PM   #10
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Here's one that is a much requested favorite here: Crispy Tofu and Greens.

Take a cake of tofu and set it in boiling water, then remove from the heat. After at least 10 minutes, and pretty much at your convenience over the next hour, remove the tofu from the water; par boiling makes it much firmer. Cut the tofu into 8 pieces; I do 4 horizontal slices and then a diagonal to make triangles; they're pretty on a plate.

Marinate the parboiled tofu in a mixture of 1/3 C soy sauce, 1/4 C rice vinegar (watered white vinegar isn't as good, but will substitute), 1 T finely minced fresh ginger, and 1/8 t cayenne. Marinate at least 10 minutes, turning once. There is no reason I can think of not to marinate however long is convenient; you won't change the protein structure.

While marinating, make the sauce base out of 3 T soy sauce, 1/4 C dry sherry, 2 t rice vinegar and 2 t honey. Also during the marinating, prepare the greens by shredding 6-9 cups of napa, kale, fresh spinach, mustard, whatever strikes your fancy, the budget and the market; bigger shred for fast cooking, finer for slow obviously.


Take the tofu from the marinade and dredge in cornstarch, then fry till crispy in oil - more than a film, less than a 1/4 inch. At home for the family, I put the tofu in a warm oven while I make the greens; you will want to fiddle with the sequence for restaurant service, I am sure. You will also want 1 C of thinly sliced onion and about 2 t of sliced garlic for the greens part.

Fry the onion and garlic in a large skillet with about 3 T oil, until clear. Add the greens and fry until wilted and reduced, but not done. Add the sauce mixture and the remaining marinade and cook until tender. Depending on the greens and the oddities of how the weather has been, you may want to stir in a little cornstarch slurry to tighten them up. Top a plate of greens with 2 pieces of tofu for lunch or three for dinner.

This is amazingly unlike what most folks think of when they think tofu
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