Satisfy His Appetite and Save Your Waistline


Last week I wrote a guest post for Dana @ My Little Celebration about how to satisfy your husband’s appetite and save your waistline at the same time.

I don’t know about you, but when I got married (in addition to serving up gobs of chicken and bad peanut noodles) I wanted to make Ben cupcakes, brownies and his favorite manly-man meals allthetime to make him sublimely happy. :)

Only problem was, I joined in on the fun and ended up being the only half to gain nearly 7 pounds of newlywed "happy weight". :cry:

Not cool!

Pretty quickly I learned some tricks of the trade to satisfy Ben’s voracious appetite, and save my waistline at the same time. Check out my tips on Dana’s blog, and make this meal that will satisfy both him and her for dinner – Napa Valley Panini!


The inspiration behind this flavor-packed sandwich comes from Granite City’s Napa Valley Burger. Ben and I had dinner there on Saturday night and I ordered the burger which came juicy and piled high on tender foccacia. Itwasthebestburgerever. EVER!

In order to lighten it up, but still make it yummy enough for Ben to enjoy, I decided to recreate it at home on whole-wheat bread and substitute chicken for beef.

Here we go!

1. Lightly butter 2 thick-cut, whole-wheat bread slices (I used Great Harvest Honey-Whole Wheat bread.) Slather one side with avocado spread made by mashing 1 avocado with a little garlic salt and the juice of half a lime.


2. Slice a cooked chicken breast in half lengthwise, then in half width wise, so it lies flat on the bread.


I used Smart Chicken. Natural chicken raised without antibiotics, with no artificial ingredients. Dig.


3. Pile on some whisper-thin slices of Prosciutto.


4. Add strips of sun-dried tomatoes.


5. Top with fresh mozzarella cheese. 


6. Griddle!


7. Clean!


8. Rejoice! :D


Tip: I always let my panini/griddled sandwiches rest for a minute or two before slicing so they don’t fall apart, and I always let them rest on a cooling rack. If you lay them on a cutting board or plate, the bottom gets soggy. No!


Look at those layers!


Melty cheese, creamy avocado, 


and those sweet & salty punches from sun-dried tomato and prosciutto. LOVE!


Granite City has the option to get your burgers with fries, so I made my own healthy, fantastical version: roasted teeny tiny potatoes.


LOOK AT THEM!!!!! Even teenier than last time!!!


Ahem, sorry. I just luuuurve me some miniature things. ;)


Tossed with 1 teaspoon olive oil and tons of garlic salt (in case you haven’t noticed, me and garlic salt are like this. I practically never use regular salt when I’m cooking anymore!) then roasted at 410 degrees for 30 minutes, shaking the pan half way through.


The skins PoP when you bite into them, followed by silky-smooth, creamy insides, yum!!!!


In other news, omgtheregothetornadosirensIhavetogoNOW!!!!!


Do you cook differently for your significant other and/or children, thank for yourself? Ever make completely separate dishes to satisfy you both?

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  1. Whenever The Coach comes over, he usually just throws some chicken onto the stove to go with whatever I’m having. All I have to say is “couscous” and he’s drooling ;) I love the idea of that sandwich, though – all the flavors sound like they go together perfectly!

  2. Lauren 03.22.2011

    This sounds awesome! I give you mad wife props for recreating this. ;)

  3. Molly 03.22.2011

    that panini looks amazing! Hope everything goes well with the tornado sirens in WDM!

  4. I enjoyed your guest post on Dana’s blog–nice job!

    It definitely is hard not to fall into the trap of wanting to make food to please your spouse and still not gain weight.

    I love making grilled sandwiches!! They are so quick and easy!!

  5. jennyv 03.22.2011

    You have me missing GC… can’t wait to return to IA! I’ll be wearing comfy pants and heading straight to their brunch buffet ;)

  6. Lindsey 03.22.2011

    Mmmm!! Granite City! Stay safe! I live near Sioux City, IA… it’s dark and gray, but nothing that serious here! Hope it stays away!

  7. Oh my those potatoes are so cute and they look amazng!! Thanks for the wire rack idea too, everytime i make egg sandwiches the bottom bread gets soggy… do you think this would solve that problem?

    Thankfully my boyfriend and I like the exact same foods! He usually just eats twice as much as me!

  8. What a unique and tasty sandwich!

  9. yum! my husband fortunately likes healthy meals, so we’ve both lost weight (totally unintentionally) after getting married :)

  10. Tessa 03.22.2011

    Love your guest post. The alternate snacks thing sounds like a great idea! Luckily, my husband will eat just about everything that I put in front of him, but I am insanely jealous of the big bowl of ice cream that he can down every night and not gain an ounce!

    These sandwiches look great. I really want to get a panini maker!

  11. Those potatoes are awesome! And that panini is making me hungry! Yummmmm

  12. Emily 03.22.2011

    Your guest post was very enjoyable. I have been blessed with a husband who eats everything from tempeh to pumpkin to quinoa. He actually makes us our own alfalfa and mung bean sprouts! He also rarely craves dessert like yours truly, so he is pretty often a healthier eater than me. I am so grateful that I don’t have to make separate rice or add chicken to his dishes, but your tips are great!

    Also, I hope that the tornado sirens cease and you stay safe!

  13. Britt 03.22.2011

    Ugh every time my boyfriend eats it’s like he’s never seen food before. There is no such thing as leftovers! I usually make him a version of whatever I’m making w/ more calories (add cheese and what not) and a lighter version for me. Works out well most the time.

  14. This idea is the whole basis for my blog Healthy Honey, Hungry Hubby! My husband eats A TON!

    That panini looks amazing.

  15. I’m really lucky in that my husband will eat absolutely anything that I cook and love it. He isn’t a typical meat and potatoes guy, so I can cook anything I want to eat and he’ll happily scarf it down. This makes it really easy to be healthy! If he was eating crap all the time, I would probably have a hard time avoiding it.

  16. Yum, looks tasty!
    Tornado sirens you say? Are you going to get hit with this snow storm as well? Minneapolis is estimated for 4-8 inches. BOO!!!!

  17. Seeta 03.22.2011

    I’ve had the Napa Valley Chicken Sandwich at GC, and I saw those extra cute teeny tiny potatoes last Tuesday at TJ’s!

    I wonder what would work instead of avocado. I’m allergic, so I’m thinking of going with goat cheese and forgoing the mozz . . .

  18. Mac 03.22.2011

    I bake all my boyfriends favorite dishes and other delicious ones, which needs to stop or my waistline will do the same thing yours did early in your relationship… it is nice to have every meal you make absolutely adored by the one you love though :)

  19. My girl friend said she ate a beat the other night for dinner, a beat that is it. I cannot remember when I ate a single item for dinner, oh wait I can, it was before I was feeding my husband and kids.

    I try to give myself smaller portions then my husband and make sure I fill up on veggies it works in theory but I need to try harder.

    Happy cooking, happy running,

  20. Kristen 03.23.2011

    I like to cook things that only take about 30 min to prepare or anything where you do it all in advance and then pop it in the oven. Made that chicken dish again last night (the one with the balsalmic reduction and carm. onions) but this time for the inlaws too and they loved it.
    question: that organic chicken…do they have some of that in HyVee? When we move back I might not be at a trader joes right away and wanted to know Hyvee’s organic selections.
    second, where did you get your panini grill. I’d love to get the hubby one!

  21. Stephanie 03.23.2011

    this might be THE perfect sandwich for after my run on sunday!!!
    Grocery store… here I come!

  22. Anna @ ciaotochow 03.23.2011

    Wow — this Napa Valley Panini looks so delish — I am missing my panini maker NOW more than ever! I can guarantee you I’ll whip up this bad boy the week I return home to my Breville ‘nini maker :)

  23. Oh I totally needed this post! I am currently working on breaking my bad “eat like my boyfriend” habits! Your panini looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it.

  24. Hope 03.23.2011

    I am totally with you 100% on garlic salt! I LOVE that stuff! It takes SO good on roasted potatoes and veggies! I cannot get enough of it! That panini looks so good! I really want to buy a panini maker. I love how it makes sandwiches look. Those potatoes are so freaking cute! :)

  25. nicole 03.23.2011

    ooo I love those teeny tiny potatoes. I make them all the time.
    I now wish we had a panani maker…

  26. Bridget 03.23.2011

    My husband had to teach me some of his favorite recipes. I grew up in a plain Jane eating household with many food rules and his was typical Iowa farm boy eating. So we weren’t a match made in kitchen heaven. However, we’ve met in the middle and now it’s all good! I do make something separate for myself because I eat 99% vegetarian. I have such difficulty digesting certain things but my kids and husband just eat and eat away. I can’t wait to find those teeny tiny potatoes!

  27. I definitely don’t alter my eating habits for my boyfriend. If at all….he is the one that asks for a smaller portion. But then again…he does have bigger lunches and breakfasts than me. He has taught me some old school italian recipes so in a way he did influence my cooking habits.

    Thanks for the tip on the post panini cool down!!

  28. Meg 03.23.2011

    I don’t change what I cook for my boyfriend for the most part…we have very similar tastes. We eat the same thing but I just eat less most of the time.

  29. ashley 03.23.2011

    I’m lucky in that my boyfriend will eat anything. That being said, I do cook differenlty for him because the recipes I make him pretty much always include meat which I almost never cook for just myself.

  30. Erika MC 03.23.2011

    Yes! I usually have to make two different suppers every night. My husband does not share the same love of healthy eating that I do. I try to still keep his healthy, but I have to hide it more :) Also, where did you get those cooling racks? I’ve been looking for some just like that and can’t find them.

  31. Lindsey 03.23.2011

    My boyfriend is very kind and eats pretty much everything I put in front of him, and claims to like it all too. He just usually has a much larger portion than me. I’m a firm believer in everything in moderation. But I do have trouble remembering that when it comes to dessert…

  32. McKenzie 03.23.2011

    I hear ya on the marriage weight gain and trying to satisfy both palates. My trouble comes at the grocery store. We shop together and at the check out, I find out he somehow snuck cookies and ice cream and pizza into the cart. But he ends up eating a few bites of these items and I finish off the container! Or we are being lazy and I cook something simple but healthy and he turns around and makes cheesy ‘dillas or mac & cheese. Then I eat both our meals…yikes!

    I love all your recipe ideas by the way. And those potatoes look amazing!

  33. Stephanie Clement 03.23.2011

    Oh Kristin! You’re just the best!! I went and read the article and it was so, so great! I’m getting married in July (holycowimsoexcited!!) and my Matty and I live together already, so I cook all the time…but I totally get the wanting to make the most fabulous dinners all the time! In fact, I don’t need to worry (well, lets hope) about the “happy weight” because I religiously follow your blog among others and think I have found a really great balance.

    and check this: I even say “this is an IowaGirl meal!” and so Matt got really interested to the woman behind all the magic, and now he reads too!!! You’re really the best…I mean that in the least creepy way possible :-D Have a great day!!

  34. Jamie 03.23.2011

    I did the potatoes today! Very yum! Saw them at TJ’s this morning :)

  35. A.J. 03.24.2011

    Oh yes, I cook very differently for my boyfriend than for myself. I’ve made some very fattening treats for him, which I would never make for myself. I have attempted to cook a couple healthier dishes, but they have not gone over as well as the non-healthy ones. This part of your guest post definitely rang true for me: “If you try and serve your meat and potatoes husband grilled tofu on a bed of steamed spinach and brown rice (yep, I’ve done it,) it’s not going to go over well no matter how you try and spin it.” Hopefully when I settle down with a significant other, I will be able to find a nice balance between healthy/satisfying the male appetite.

  36. […] I love it when everybody wins. Which reminds me, here’s how to satisfy your man’s appetite AND save your waistline. […]

  37. Amanda 08.06.2011

    i work at granite city…. and this looks much better than our napa! well done. ;)

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