Our busy routine has forced us to think of food only in the ‘get in my belly’ context. We forget that food is fun, it has so many stories to tell and it is something to be cherished not gulped.
Adding colours to food make it enticing even for picky eaters and children. But while I wanted to make my sandwiches really colourful and attractive, I didn’t want to load them up with artificial food colouring. The ingredients in my three spreads are all real and nutritious foods that make the sandwiches very flavourful. The creamy green spread is very appetising with lots of herbs, lemon and tahini. The red sandwich spread is all sweet and sour tomato goodness. The yellow is from the gooey yumminess of baked sweet potato, mixed with sweet corn for texture and mustard for a flavour boost.
Nature has blessed us with so many colourful ingredients that, with a little imagination, you can use so many other fresh ingredients to create natural colours – beets for a brighter red, spinach for a darker green, carrots for orange hue and then there is a whole range of purple vegetables available in different seasons.
If you don’t want to keep it strictly vegetarian, you can add boiled eggs to the yellow spread and cold cuts of meat or cooked meat mince to the tomato based red spread.
Mayonnaise, butter and cream cheese can take place of tahini, if you are not keen on counting calories. Whole wheat bran bread can substitute white bread or you can use two kinds of breads for a more interesting finish.
1/2 cup mint leaves
A small bunch coriander leaves
1 green chilli pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons tahini paste, thick yogurt
2 medium tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon paprika powder
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 sweet potato
1 cup sweet corn
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 slices paneer or cottage cheese
Salt to taste
This Is What You Do:
For red spread – peel tomatoes. Add tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, paprika, brown sugar and salt to a blender or food processor. Make a smooth puree. Add olive oil to a small saucepan, add tomato puree and cook for 5-6 minutes till the liquid is reduced. Set aside to cool.
For yellow spread – bake or boil sweet potato. Mash it up till smooth. Boil sweet corn (if using canned sweet corn there is no need for boiling). Coarsely crush corn kernels. Mix with mashed sweet potatoes, mustard sauce, salt and black pepper.
Trim crust from bread slices.
Spread green mix on 3 bread slices.
Spread red mix on 3 bread slices.
Spread yellow mix on 3 bread slices.
Place slices spread with green mix on a tray, spread side up. Top them with yellow spread slices, spread side up. Top them with red spread slices, spread side up.
Place paneer or cottage cheese slices on top of red spread. Place the last three slices.
Cut sandwiches into triangles or rectangular halves.
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate till served, but no longer than a few hours.