I went to the doctor earlier this week and he confirmed my suspicions: I’m pregnant! This is big news for our family and explains the fatigue, nausea and sleepiness I’ve been experiencing lately. I won’t go into details, but I’ll say this: these past few weeks have been hard. Physically, I feel drained of energy and can hardly eat anything due to the nausea. Moreover, with mom absent and my husband at work till late every day, I often feel isolated, lonely, and I’m overwhelmed by anxiety and worries. I’ve been told I’ll feel better in the second trimester of my pregnancy. I hope that’s true – I really don’t like this new lethargic me. 🙁
Food-wise, being pregnant means I had to stop eating certain products, including deli meats. This part was hard – as you know, we are “panini aficionados,” and up until this week I used to eat deli meats on a daily basis. No more, though. I’ll have to come up with new lunch ideas for myself – or maybe I’ll still eat panini, but I won’t use any deli meats? I’m still wondering which way to go.
I may no longer be able to eat panini with deli meats, but I’m still more than happy to make them! Earlier in the week I made this Italian beef panino for my husband, using a few slices of American cheese I had in the fridge. The beef was on sale at the local Italian grocery store, so I bought some.
I was very happy with how this panino turned out, and so was my husband. Juicy Italian beef on fresh ciabatta bread, with mild American cheese and bold pepperoncini for an extra fiery kick – what’s not to like? 🙂
In the past I have used provolone cheese to make this a “100% Italian” panino. You can use provolone instead of American cheese if you have any available.
4 slices Italian beef
4 slices American or provolone cheese
2 pickled pepperoncini (use more for extra heat)
2 slices ciabatta bread
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Mmmm, the Italian beef looked so good!
Take the bread and brush it with the extra virgin olive oil. Roll the slices of Italian beef and put two slices on each slice of bread. Cut the slices of American cheese in half and arrange them uniformly on top of the beef. Slice the pepperoncini widthwise and put them on top of the cheese, on the bread that is going to form the basis of the panino. Place the other slice of bread (with the remaining beef and cheese) on top. Grill for 1-2 minutes or until the bread is golden-brown.
This is how the entire preparation process looks like:
Cut the panino in half and serve it with extra pepperoncini on the side.
This panino makes a great late dinner option for my husband, who needs quick and nutritious food when the gets back from work at night. The pepperoncini cuts through the richness of the beef and the cheese, making the panino light yet very tasty, and the ciabatta bread is the perfect vehicle for this abundance of flavors. If you’re a fan of heat and spiciness, use more pepperoncini to make a bold statement with your panino. Your stomach will thank you 🙂