Sweet Potato Turkey Sandwiches and Chili-lime Cucumbers

I recently read something about how you could slice a sweet potato like bread, put it right in your toaster, and use it instead of bread, for sandwiches. I was intrigued enough to give it a try.

When I read into it, though, they said you’d have to par-cook the sweet potato or put it through 7 or 8 toaster cycles on the highest setting to cook it through. That seemed silly, so I baked an extra-fat sweet potato last night and this morning, sliced it and put it into the toaster. I tried it, at most, twice, but I don’t know if the fully baked sweet potato was cooked too much to work for this, or if the idea’s not that great. I sliced it and got it into the toaster okay, and it heated through, but it was hard to get the sweet potato out (it was falling apart, and even though it’s a good-sized potato, pretty deep in the toaster), and I frankly worried a lot about the juices dripping everywhere in the toaster. I served it for lunch smeared with the homemade mayo and with sliced turkey breast on top, like an open-faced sandwich. I’d say it was delicious, but it wasn’t what I was shooting for.

The other night, mostly out of curiosity, I also diced up an English cucumber and covered it with chili powder, a little salt, and the zest and juice of a lime. I’d heard Francis Lam mention it to a caller on the “Splendid Table” podcast, and I just happened to have a cucumber that needed using rather sooner than I was ready.  He said it was a Mexican-style snack that he found addictive. I’m typically for chili-lime, and thought cucumber would be a nice foil for them.

I liked it. It’s mild (my chili powder is not high quality) but unusual, and that it’s simple and without sugar (my default gotta-use-the-cucumber move is cucumber-tomato salad in rice vinegar with a pinch of sugar and dill) matches my needs right now pretty well. I went light on the salt and didn’t add more than one small lime’s juices. I knew the salt would force water out of the cucumbers (a good thing that tones down the tartness of the lime), so that a lot of “dressing” wasn’t necessary. When chilled, the cucumbers were very slightly salty with a light chili-lime flavor, but it’s an extremely low-cal way to approach them, pretty healthy, and they don’t overwhelm whatever you eat them with. They don’t taste very cucumber-y— that light, slightly sweet, fresh taste isn’t gone, but it does get covered by the other flavors. They’re slightly more crisp than I think they’d be without the salt forcing water out of them, even with the dressing on them, which is also nice on a warm day. Mom won’t eat cucumbers with the skins on, so I did peel them, but she made a face when she tasted it (I’m guessing the salt and the tartness of the lime was unexpected), so I think this will be one of many raw veggie dishes I make because I like raw veggies, not because she’ll join me in eating it.



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