Chicken-Pesto Sandwiches and Feeding A Family with Different Diets

Pesto Sandwich -Vegetarian version
Buying and making meals at our house is a difficult task. Nine years ago I read about gluten and casein and their connection to autism and schizophrenia. That was such a major change in our menu. It wasn't long before I realized that to feed the whole family gluten and casein free was just too expensive, not to mention too difficult. So, I had to think of ways of cooking meals to accommodate both those who ate gluten/casein and those who did not. At first I just cooked two completely different meals, but that became too much very quickly. I had to learn how to make one meal go in two directions. Then a few years ago, my husband decided to become vegetarian. That threw another dietary issue to consider in meal planning. Again, at first we had two different meals going at the same time. Now, I am slowly learning how to make one  meal adaptable for everyone's needs. This sandwich is a good example of this.
The regular sandwich has chicken breast, Swiss cheese, grilled red peppers, pesto and spinach. For my gfcf kid, I use a gfcf bread, omit the cheese and pesto and use mayo instead. For my vegetarian husband, I omit the chicken. For my picky teenage son, who won't touch a vegetable, I just give him a chicken and cheese sandwich. It is adaptable for so many tastes. Now for the recipe, here it is in its regular form...

chicken-pesto sandwich with the works
1 loaf of Italian bread (or french, if you like a crunch)
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, (or use kettle cooked turkey breast or rotisserie chicken)
salt and pepper
olive oil
2 medium red bell peppers
1 1b. thin sliced Swiss cheese, provolone or mozzarella
1/3 cup prepared basil pesto (You can also mix this with equal amounts of mayo for a pesto mayo, if you prefer)
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, washed and stemmed

Cut bell peppers into 1/2 inch strips. Grill chicken and bell pepper slices with olive oil; salt and pepper to taste, turning as needed until chicken is cooked and bell peppers are tender.
To assemble sandwich, cut bread in half horizontally. Spread half of the presto (or pesto-mayo mixture) over cut side of bread bottom, cover with spinach leaves. Arrange chicken evenly over spinach; top with slices of Swiss cheese and bell pepper strips. Spread remaining pesto over bottom half. Cut each loaf into 4-8 sections.

This is a variation of the recipe at The Sisters Cafe.

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