It’s back to school and that means I’m back in the sandwich-making game.
When I was a young whipper snapper going to school, I ate school lunch every day. Flying Saucers were a favorite—fried bologna with a dollop of mashed potatoes and topped with melted American cheese served in the tray that didn’t let anything touch.
There were maybe a handful of kids that took their lunch to school, showing off their Scooby Doo or Barbie lunchboxes with boring peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. But not me. PB&J’s were never on my lunch bucket list, and they’ve never been popular with my Smudge either.
I mean, why would Smudge even be tempted by a peanut butter sand when instead she gets layered beauties of freshness like this packed in her lunch every day.
My girl…she’s got it good. And I’m MORE than happy to provide them to her because it sets my mind at ease knowing she’s eating a healthy meal to keep that brainpower powered.
I’ve told you before about my sandwich-making prowess. I’m not gonna be bashful about it either, because I AM a killer sandwich maker.
When Arla asked me to come up with a sandwich featuring Arla Light cream cheese, I didn’t really have to think twice. I’ve made this Green Goddess cream cheese spread for all sorts of things: for dips with veggies, as a topper for crostini and sliced tomatoes, and stuffed in puckery bites of piquillo peppers.
But one of its real talents is as a slather of creaminess in lieu of mayonnaise and mustard for this healthy, vegetable-packed sandwich.
About the Recipe
The Green Goddess cream cheese mixture is flavored with just a hint of garlic and a load of fresh herbs I pulled straight from my garden. Flat leaf Italian parsley and basil provide the fresh herb taste while chives add the onion flavor and tarragon supplies a hint of licorice. A squeeze of lemon brightens the whole thing. You could easily use any other combination of fresh herbs or just a few of those I’ve included if that’s what you have on hand.
Arla cream cheese is easily spreadable so you can whip this up on a moments notice without the need of leaving the cream cheese out on the counter to soften making it a great option for early morning, bleary-eyed sandwich making by mom. We love Arla cream cheese, one, because it tastes great, and two, because it only has four ingredients: milk, cream, cheese culture and salt. That’s really all any cream cheese needs to be fresh and delicious. Plus, it’s free of any thickeners, artificial flavors and preservatives unlike other brands. It’s a simple choice for me to choose Arla.
Smudge has relayed to me multiple times she is NOT a fan of cooked spinach. No matter my coercing at how good cooked spinach is with just a little vinegar and salt and pepper on it, at this stage in her eating career it just isn’t happening.
So when she suggested the option to add it raw to her sandwiches instead, you can bet I jumped all of that, and it’s been the theme to just about every one of her lunchtime eating habits.
Like I mentioned in this post, the key to creating this sandwich is in it’s layering. The slather of cream cheese keeps the bread from becoming soggy and I vary layers of slippery ingredients with those that aren’t so each bite doesn’t turn into a sliding cascade of veggies.
I kept my sandwich in the green palette with veggies she loves. Of course you could sub red tomatoes for green, or add roasted red bell pepper instead of zucchini. Mix and match and make it how you like it.
The Green Goddess cream cheese spread pulls everything together no matter what hues you introduce to this sandwich situation.
- 1 7-ounce container Arla Light cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons Italian flat leaf parsley, minced
- 2 tablespoon basil leaves, minced
- 1 tablespoon tarragon leaves, minced
- 1½ teaspoons chives, minced
- 1 small garlic clove, pressed
- ¼ lemon, juiced
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 slices thick cut sandwich bread
- Extra virgin olive oil
- ½ zucchini, sliced
- Fresh baby spinach leaves
- Cucumber, very thinly sliced
- Heirloom green tomato, thickly sliced
- Avocado, pitted and slice
- Broccoli or alfalfa sprouts
- In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese, parsley, basil, tarragon, chives, garlic and lemon juice together. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, then set aside.
- Heat a grill pan over high heat. Brush the sliced zucchini with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook the sliced zucchini for about 3 minutes then flip and repeat with the other side. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.
- Spread one side of each slice of bread with the cream cheese mixture.
- Next, on two pieces of the bread, stack the vegetables over the cream cheese mixture in the following order: zucchini slices, baby spinach, cucumber slices, tomato slices and avocado. Season with a sprinkle of kosher salt and more freshly ground black pepper then top with sprouts. Place the top piece of bread over the sprouts, slice in half and serve. Reserve any extra cream cheese for another use or more sandwiches.
Have a great day, and I hope this recipe inspires you to get into the kitchen and make something good.
This post is part of a partnered series with Arla USA. As always, thank you for reading and supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.