Where I used to work in Los Angeles, on Wilshire blvd, we had a great little cafe downstairs, called "The Garden Cafe". We all used to trundle off to get a sandwich or a salad for lunch. They had a fantastic arugula and pear salad that I'd get on most days, but so many more temptations if I wanted to eat meat. They had this amazing Barbecue Chicken Panini that had bbq sauce, cilantro, and red onion which they served on a grilled ciabbatta with melted cheese. It was so good, I wished they had a vegetarian version. So now, I'm here working at home, and I finally have it. It's pretty simple, really. I just substituted tofu chicken strips (I like the ones from "Beyond Meat" and I ramped up the veggies by adding some sautéed collard greens & shaved brussels sprouts.
After this, I'm cutting out the cheese in my life. Umm, somewhat...
"Beyond Meat" Southwest Flavor Chick'n Strips (Available at Whole Foods)
1/4 red onion
Small handful of chopped cilantro
1/4 cup Barbecue Sauce
1 cup leafy greens such as slivered collard greens, kale or shaved brussels sprouts
2 small ciabatta rolls
1 oz Gruyere cheese
1 oz light mozzarella
Mix together in small bowl Chick'n strips, sliced onion, cilantro and bbq sauce. Sauté the leafy greens with part of the red onion and set aside. Spray olive oil on outside of roll. On the bottom half of roll, layer on the gruyere, chick'n mix, greens, and then mozzarella before covering with other half. In lightly oiled grill pan, or panini press, heat until cheese melts, flipping halfway through. There you go. I use the light mozzarella to hold the calories down. MAKES 2 PANINIS.