I love good food almost as much as I love a good game. So what is more fun than when you can turn your meal into a game?!? Better than an ice breaker, which could include awkward questions or removal of shoes (don’t tell me you’ve never been subjected to the dreaded human knot game); the way someone puts together a sandwich tells you a lot about who they are. (As we learned on a previous season of The Bachelor, how one puts together a hot dog says a lot about them. Well, this is my version – without the roses, mystery tubular meat products, and egos.)
Sandwiches make perfect game food. You can create some friendly competition based on creativity of fillings, height of sandwich, most delicious spread; the possibilities are endless. I keep Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free mixes stocked for those impromptu invitations for picnics, dinner parties, brunch; really, anything that calls for a yummy gluten-free meal addition. It was a recent invitation to a Chicago lakefront picnic, where I was tasked with sandwiches, that inspiration struck for Polenta Bread. This was a hit, even with my non-food-sensitive friends who couldn’t tell the difference!
1 package Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Cornbread Mix
Follow the package directions with these exceptions:
- Use a 9” x 13” pan
- Use olive oil
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Heat oven as directed
Combine ingredients and mix as directed
Lightly grease your 9” x 13” pan
Pour batter into pan
Dampen hands with water and smooth out batter until it is evenly spread in the pan
Bake as directed, polenta bread will fluff up a bit when baking
For sandwiches: allow bread to cool. Cut into sandwich size squares, rectangles, or triangles. Slice bread in half and toast lightly in the oven before adding fillings. You can get 6-10 servings per pan, depending on how big you wish to make your sandwiches.
So, how does this delicious recipe become a sandwich game? Starting with Polenta Bread, ask your family, picnic partners, neighbors, or whoever gets a seat at your table to tell you their favorite sandwich filler (grilled portabellas, roasted turkey, pesto mayo, fresh veg, etc. Go wild!) Set out the bread and the assorted fillers and let everyone make their own sandwich. Encourage creativity; suggest your fellow diners try fillings they’ve never tried before, or have them make a sandwich for someone else at the table. Give prizes (I love me some prizes) – a bag of chips, a new sandwich box, a jump rope or sidewalk chalk, a couple of cookies…maybe not roses.
If ever there was an opportunity to play with your food – this is it!
Marisa Voorhees tells stories and shares recipes on her site The Food Sensitive Foodie. With a love of food that has roots in her earliest memories, Marisa creates recipes that are wheat free, gluten free and dairy free for all occasions. Marisa says, “For me, food is a great communicator; I can say more with it than I can say with words. Since I was little, I have never been one to cook just for myself. And as long as I am alive, I don’t believe anyone should suffer in a tasteless, solitary world. Life is too short and delicious for that.”