I like experimenting with meat alternatives, so I'm always picking up items at the grocery store that interest me. My local Whole Foods Market carries Sweet Earth Seitan (Wheat Meat) in a curry flavor, and since I'm keen on curry these days, I picked it up. I've had such great vegetarian sandwiches at some of the wonderful restaurants here in Los Angeles, such as Mendocino Farms, Veggie Grill, Native Foods and Juicy Ladies. The things they do with Tempeh, tofu and Seitan!
I made this panini on a Wednesday afternoon when I was feeling the need for a splurge... but being early in the New Year, I wanted to keep the cheese, bread and calories on the low side. In the top photo I used homemade sandwich bread from my friend Susan Valiant from Mabel's Kitchen in Fresno, CA., a thick, dense and salty white bread. The second version uses a lower calorie Sourdough bread from Francisco International from Ralph's supermarket. Each slice is 60 calories, and although the sandwich looks flatter after pressed, I assure you it's still delicious and satisfying.
4 slices sourdough bread (Francisco International Sourdough Sliced Bread)
1/4 cup Light shredded Mozzarella
2 oz gruyere cheese
2 pieces Sweet Earth Curried Seitan, sliced lengthwise as thin as possible
1/4 thin sliced red onion
1 cup Collard greens, sliced thin (Trader Joe's is actually selling packaged shredded collards right now)
1/2 medium zucchini, sliced thin on the diagonal
Olive oil spray
Heat skillet on medium high, add olive oil spray, add onion, then thin-sliced zucchini. Cook until onions and zucchini are browned then add collard greens. Toss until wilted, add seitan strips and cook a bit more until setean is warm. Set aside.
In panini press, oiled grill pan or on grill: spray olive oil on one side of each slice of bread. Add gruyere cheese on bottom, then add veg and seitan mixture. Add Low-fat cheese on top. Place second slice on top and press on grill until cheese melts and bread is browned to a nice crunch. If you don't have a paninii press, just use another pan or even your spatula to press it, and turn sandwich as each side gets brown.