Michigan in August is a magical place. Pair the crystal clear water of the lakes with good friends, dancing, and fried avocado tacos from a taco truck, and you’ve got a recipe for a memorable weekend. Oh yes, and an impromptu proposal. 😉
Unlike the lake I grew up on in New Jersey, Lake Charlevoix in Michigan was unbelievably clear. No seaweed to be found! You could see straight to the rocky bottom, though admittedly not as comfortable on the feet. I found a little slice of heaven in a nearby hammock, while the boys got lost in a Wes Anderson adventure on the water.
The following two photos don’t do the grand scale of Lake Michigan justice. It’s huge! Rex Beach could easily be mistaken for a beach along the Pacific Ocean in the Northwest. As soon as you enter the water, you quickly realize you are most certainly NOT in the Northwest, as the water is noticeably warmer. My Pacific Ocean adventures in Santa Cruz have consisted of me running in, and promptly out, of the frigid water. There’s a reason why all the surfers are in full body wetsuits!
Mmmm…sandwiches. This sandwich combines some of my favorite things all in one. Sun-dried tomatoes provide a little sweetness, the almond cheese a savory aspect, and spinach is always a good idea.
Health of the ingredients
Aside from being insanely tasty, the sandwich is also equally healthy. Isn’t it great when that happens?
- Almond Cheese – Protein, healthy fat, fiber, and vitamin E from the almonds. More healthy fat from the olive oil.
- Spinach – Iron, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, and so much more.
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes -Also lots of iron, vitamin K, and vitamin C. Since they’re dried they have higher concentrations of nutrients then fresh tomatoes. Lots more antioxidant lycopene! Fighting cancer one tomato at a time.
- Sprouted Bread – Lots of different whole grains in here provide protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Look for a bread variety with several types of grains (like Ezekiel brand), to get the widest variety of amino acids and vitamins/minerals.
Okay let’s eat!
Sun-Dried Tomato & Almond Cheese Spinach Sandwich
Yield – one sandwich
- 2 slices sprouted bread
- 2 tbl sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 tbl tbl almond cheese (storebought or using the recipe below)
- 2 big handfuls spinach
- 1 tsp avocado oil (a good high heat oil)
What to do:
- Bring a skillet to medium heat on the stove. Once the pan is warm, add the avocado oil and swirl around to ensure full coverage.
- Spread the almond cheese on the bread, layer on the spinach and sun-dried tomatoes, and place your sandwich in the pan.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook your sandwich for about 4 minutes on each side. Check the sandwich periodically to make sure your bread isn’t burning! Keeping the heat lower will allow the inside of the sandwich to warm through, without burning the bread.
Almond Cheese Recipe
Yield – about 2 cups
- 1 cup almonds, soaked overnight (about 8 hours, longer is fine too)
- 1 tbl olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
What to do:
- Soak the almonds in water overnight. Use a container about twice the size, since the almonds will expand as they soak and absorb the water.
- Drain the almonds after soaking, and place them in a high-power blender. Blend until smooth, then add the oil and salt. Done!
How simple was that?! Yes it takes a little forethought and planning ahead to soak the almonds, but once you’ve got them soaking there’s not much else to do. 🙂