the sandwich that changed my life, part three

by Holly on November 14, 2010

in lunch,recipes,tutorial

When you encounter The Sandwich That Changed Your Life, you want to eat it everyday.

You don’t care that it costs $7.95.

You don’t care that if you ate one a week for an entire year, it would total up to more than $400 of your hard-earned money.

You don’t care that you’d lose whatever is left of your Everythingtarian pride. Because those gorgeous layers of orange butternut squash, ooey gooey goat cheese and rich balsamic gastrique smooshed between two pieces of grilled bread is worth it.

Unfortunately, I don’t have $400 to spend on sandwiches. I’m trying to keep my finances balanced like a responsible 20-something gal, and somehow, paying for my monthly electricity bill trumps sandwiches – even the very special one that changed my life.

With such an unfair predicament before me, I figured I could do one of two things: either go to Madison Sourdough, eat the sandwich in protest and wear my North Face fleece, winter jacket, two pairs of socks, sweatpants, ear muffs and double scarves everyday in my apartment from now until the spring.

Or, I could get creative.

I’ll take creativity for $500 Alex.

The question is: “The Healthy Everythingtarian’s cost-saving replica of The Sandwich That Changed Her Life.”

The correct answer: what is Roasted Butternut Squash Sandwich with Goat Cheese and Maple Pear Balsamic Gastrique?

First things first: maple pear balsamic gastrique.

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, dissolve 1/3 cup maple sugar in 1/3 cup water. While the mixture dissolves and comes to a low boil, finely dice 1 Bartlett pear and measure out 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar.

When your sugar water comes to a boil, turn the heat to low, and add the pears and vinegar to the pan. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is reduced by half.

Strain out the pears and revel in your slightly thick syrup that tastes absolutely fantastic.

While your gastrique cools (gastrique, by the way, is a French term for the reduction of vinegar or wine, sugar and fruit), peel and slice a butternut squash into 1/4-inch discs.

You can also take a plethora of photos of your butternut squash like a crazy woman, if you so choose.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss your butternut squash rounds in 1 tsp. EVOO and a generous pinch of salt. Arrange on a baking sheet, and cook for 15 minutes. Flip, and cook an additional 15 minutes. While the squash finishes roasting, take two slices of Ezekiel bread and lightly butter one side on each slice.

Grab your buttered bread. Grab your goat cheese. Grab your gastrique. Grab your roasted butternut squash from the oven.

It’s go time.

Butter side down, stack one slice of bread with 5 to 6 squash rounds, drizzle 1 tbsp. of gastrique over the squash, crumble one ounce of goat cheese over the top and smoosh down with the other slice of bread, butter side up.

Let the heat do its thang for 4 to 6 minutes on each side, until it is golden brown and the cheese is melted. Cut your sandwich on the diagonal (like Mama E always used to do), and prepare to devour.

While I don’t want to compare the actual sandwich with my replication, I thought it only fair for you to see the Madison Sourdough version…

…as well as my version…

Which one is better you ask?


Honestly, I could not believe how close in flavor, texture and and taste I got to the original. I am not even kidding you when I say I ate this in three minutes flat. Quite frankly, I’m lucky I even captured any pictures of my concoction, because it was that dang good.

I don’t want to toot my horn or anything.

But knowing I can now recreate The Sandwich That Changed My Life for a fraction of the price and within the confines of my own kitchen has done exactly that: changed my life.

Toot toot.


Erica November 14, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Yayyyy! Great job on the recreate- looks pretty darn close (in my opinion!). Just the thought of goat cheese melting on butternut squash makes me hungry.

glidingcalm November 14, 2010 at 4:20 pm


Amanda November 14, 2010 at 4:26 pm

That looks incredible! I love butternut squash but haven’t had it in a sandwich yet. I’ve got to change that.

Matt November 14, 2010 at 4:30 pm

That seriously looks awesome. I NEED ONE ASAP.

Madeline - Greens and Jeans November 14, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Those looks oh so incredibly good. I had a sweet potato and feta sandwich the other day that looks like it could be besties with your life changing sandwich

crunchy granola gal November 14, 2010 at 4:34 pm

I LOVE recreating restaurant dishes at home! It’s hard work, but you’ve certainly stepped up to the plate and hit a saaaweeeeet home run. For reals. I’m comin’ over for sandwiches one Sunday- which Sunday, that will remain a surprise. I’ll bring the prosecco and maybe some artisan bread for the sammies. Cool?

Curtis November 14, 2010 at 5:06 pm

That’s a good look’n sandwich! I’m a huge advocate for butternut squash. Delicious and nutritious. I’m using it in my cereal tomorrow…just kidding.

Teri [a foodie stays fit] November 14, 2010 at 5:23 pm

um WOW. That sounds amazing.

Joanna November 14, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Thank you for posting this recipe! I can’t wait to try it!

katie November 14, 2010 at 5:33 pm


Lynn @ The Actors Diet November 14, 2010 at 5:47 pm

glad it worked out! i love when that happens. i like the new layout too, by the way :)

Lauren November 14, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Oh my Holly, you are an angel for sharing this creation with the rest of the world. THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

Adam November 14, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Start your own cafe. Today. You will never look back. Trust me, with some of the sandwich combinations you could come up with, i bet you would be a hit in no time flat. You could call it Health-E Bistro. I will invest. Between your personality, your hair, your fresh cooking skills… I smell a food network series! And all because of one sandwich recreation. I think i have all of the ingredients for this, but i am slightly intimidated by the reduction. I will let you know how it turns out :)

chelsey @ clean eating chelsey November 14, 2010 at 6:24 pm


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) November 14, 2010 at 7:23 pm

This is my FAVE LAYOUT of yours. This is a keeper! I love this one…love it

Love that you recreated a sammie that changed your life.

And arent you fancy with all these wonderful food pics…and all those perfect laid out bnut squash on the cutting board. Great foodie art!

Maya November 14, 2010 at 7:30 pm

The maple pear balsamic gastrique is brilliant. Very creative! I take it you had a great weekend with the likes of this sandwich around!

julie November 14, 2010 at 7:56 pm

toot it girlfraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand!!!! when am i coming over for lunch?

Carbzilla November 14, 2010 at 8:44 pm

WOw – that is an insane sandwich!

We have pride left? I ran around like a nut at a GROCERY STORE OPENING, cutting in and out of the blue hairs getting their free samples, just so I could find the Sahalie Snacks rep. I have no. pride. left.

Damaris @Kitchen Corners November 14, 2010 at 9:19 pm

You should totally toot your horn. Look at the awesomeness that you just re-created. Be proud!

elise November 14, 2010 at 9:44 pm

this looks good as balls. damn girl. im pissed your effing job didnt fall through.

Katie November 14, 2010 at 10:24 pm

I can’t believe you got a photo of that sando before biting into it. Girl, you’ve got willpower.

Mama Pea November 15, 2010 at 12:00 am

Oh yes. I like this layout A. LOT.

janetha November 15, 2010 at 12:36 am

TOOT TOOT! I will toot your horn. And I will make your sandwich. And I will eat it.

Carrie (Moves 'N Munchies) November 15, 2010 at 12:36 am

holy butternut squash!…..

Jen November 15, 2010 at 5:36 am

I LOVE when I can re-create something at home and it still tastes as good as the original! Great job!!! I think I may have to try this sandwich goodie :)


Sami November 15, 2010 at 7:53 am

i’ve got to admit…i like your other layout better. not sure why, but the mint green color seemed so you :) this is cute too. whatever makes your healthyeverythintariannesss happy ;) ha. after that sandwich recreation, i think you have reached a new level of genius, too. so congrats! :P xo.

Susan November 15, 2010 at 10:13 am

Ooooh, the gatrique is soooo fancy!! I want to try this. I bet the leftover pears were delish as well.

LOVE the new layout!

Megan (Braise the Roof) November 15, 2010 at 11:56 am

Well done! Replicating dishes from restaurants is one of my very favorite things to do. This may make me sound sort of sad, but you know what? I’m owning it. Remember that chicken/eggplant/mozzarella thing that I made for my boyfriend? It was a huge success and I felt like a rockstar. :)

Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) November 15, 2010 at 11:58 am

The sandwich. The photos. All look amazing! I have a butternut squash just awaiting to be devoured in sandwich form :)

Marci November 15, 2010 at 12:43 pm

That sandwich looks awesome! Way to recreate it! I like the Thesis theme too.

emily (a nutritionist eats) November 15, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Love all of those ingredients and I can only imagine how they come together in a sandwich!

Angela (the diet book junkie) November 15, 2010 at 4:29 pm

looks fantastic!! my favourite pizza has all those ingredients, i highly recommend :)

erin November 15, 2010 at 4:36 pm

This sandwich looks amazing…so amazing that I went to the store and picked up another butternut squash to make it for lunch one day this week…Very excited!!!

Mary (A Merry Life) November 15, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Great job! Yours looks really good and it’s awesome to hear that you got really close to the original taste and texture and everything.

Mallory November 15, 2010 at 6:17 pm

you… (and your recipes)… complete me.

Eden November 15, 2010 at 8:23 pm

My screen has lick marks on it thanks to this post. I’ll forgive you when you make me a sandwich.

Diana @ frontyardfoodie November 15, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Oh my goodness that looks amazing! Way to save money and eat the same thing.

Lindsey @ Eat, Read, Run November 16, 2010 at 1:11 pm

So glad you made it! I knew you could. It looks fab. But boy – that is one intense sandwich to make. What effort. I guess they are within their rights to charge $7+ for that sammy.

marie November 16, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Awesome! I love reverse engineering recipes!

And thanks for sharing this. I’ve got to try that gastrique, and I’ve got some pears that need using, so how perfect is that?!?

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: