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Ultimate Vegetarian Club Sandwich

In case you didn’t know, road trips are sort of my family’s thing. So much so in fact, that the 4 of us and our dog have now embarked on TWO epic cross-country road trips together! Whether you are planning a long road trip or a quick in-town day trip we have lots of knowledge to share with you. From apps for your phone that make planning a breeze to road-trip-ready recipes like my Ultimate Vegetarian Club Sandwich made with 2 types of Tillamook cheese it is all here, just waiting on you to decide to go on an adventure!

{{ The recipe and post for this Ultimate Vegetarian Club Sandwich was made in partnership with Tillamook. We received product and compensation in exchange for it. Opinions are always our own. If we don’t love it, you don’t hear about it. Thanks for your continued support! }}

3 halves of ultimate vegetarian club sandwich stacked on a plate.

Last June, we left Long Beach, California and embarked on a 2959 mile road trip that would span 2 weeks and inevitably land us here in our new home of Atlanta, Georgia.

Our adventure took us from the beach in Southern California to hiking in Sedona, Arizona, and into Santa Fe, New Mexico. Then we dropped down to the White Sands Desert to sled down the sand dunes before heading into Texas to experience the artsy town of Marfa, Austin, the Space Center in Houston, and the Gulf in Galveston! From there we trekked to New Orleans for a little Cajun cooking and finally on into Birmingham, Alabama for a few weeks to visit my parents. It was the road trip of a lifetime, complete with amazing sight seeing stops and lots of great roadside eats! 
 
A picnic scene in fort of an old red saw mill with a water fall. There are 2 teenage girls and a small bowl at a pop up picnic table enjoying sandwiches and a game.
 
We have reminisced about that family road trip a lot with Salome, the lovely German exchange student that has been living with us this year, and I honestly believe if she wasn’t scheduled to go back home to Germany in a few short weeks we would probably hit the open road this summer to show her what a true American road trip feels like. Since we don’t have that kind of time we decided to take a local in-town road trip to a roadside destination we have all passed by before, but have never actually stopped, Starr’s Mill. 
 
Starrs Mill red saw mill sits next to a water fall.
For this in-town road trip, I’m serving up my Ultimate Vegetarian Club Sandwich, root vegetable chips, fresh fruit, and the cutest little kid-friendly cheese tray you’ve ever seen!  

Here are my TOP 5 tips for planning, executing, and eating on an epic road trip!!

A picnic table with a redan black woven blanket over it. There is a blue silicone sandwich bag on top with a vegetarian club sandwich inside and a stainless steel bento box full of chips.
  • Make a commitment. || Forget disposable picnic gear and invest in a few nicer food storage containers that will last you for years to come. My road trip tool kit has reusable silicone sandwich bags, bee’s wax wrap, and stainless steel bento boxes. We always stash a few blankets in our car for impromptu roadside picnics, but if we are on a local day trip like this one I always pack our vintage collapsible picnic table! The kid’s love sitting at it and I love that it practically folds flat for hauling and keeps our food up off of the ground. 
a woman taking a picture of a picnic scene with her iphone
  • There’s an app for that! || We have discovered a few apps that we use over and over! From planning our route, to selecting interesting attractions along the way (I’m looking at you Banana Museum!), even deciding how many miles you will travel each day, and MOST IMPORTANTLY: finding the next exit with a clean bathroom – these FREE apps keep us sane on the road! 
  1. Road Trippers|| This app was the key to our amazing cross country trek last year! It helps you discover wonderful “off the beaten path” places to visit. It streamlines discovery, planning, booking and navigation into an engaging and intuitive app.
  1. iExit|| iExit helps you decide where to take pit stops when traveling US interstates. It uses your device’s location to determine where you are on the highway, and then displays all of the gas, lodging, bathroom, and dining options on upcoming exits in real time.
A waffled grilled cheese, a bento box filled with green olives, ,candied pecans, crackers, and Tillamook cheese cubes.
  • K.I.S.S. || When it comes to what foods you should pack for your road trip try to remember the K.I.S.S. method and keep it simple, just pack quality foods you all love. Trust me, this is not the time to try out a new curried potato salad recipe you found on Pinterest!                                                                                                                                                                                           Sandwiches are our go-to roadside eat – they are easy to build, totally make a-headable, and they’re perfectly portable. On this trek my vegetable loving girls and I devoured Ultimate Veggie Club Sandwiches that were piled high with TWO types of Tillamook Farmstyle Thick Cut Sliced Cheese, medium white cheddar and sharp cheddar, lightly dressed arugula, eggplant bacon, heirloom tomatoes, citrus pickled onions, and a rosemary white bean hummus that will knock your socks off! The flavor in every single bite of this sandwich is out of this world thanks to superior ingredients like Tillamook cheese. Tillamook cheese is made with only the highest quality ingredients which ensures a richer, more complex flavor in the final product which truly shines through in this sandwich! While the girls and I piled our sandwiches high, the fruit bandit enjoyed a classic Waffled Grilled Cheese sandwich made with Tillamook Farmstyle Thick Cut Sliced Cheese. (FYI: That’s a grilled cheese made in the waffle iron!) To share I packed a mix of fruit and a snack box cheese plate complete with olives, candied pecans, rice crackers, dried fruit, and Tillamook Cape Meares Cheddar cubes. Literally, something for everyone, while being SUPER easy.
A picnic table is set up with sandwiches, watermelon, sliced fresh strawberries and peaches, and a game of bananagrams.
  •  Save the screen for the car! || Pack entertainment that doesn’t require a screen! There is nothing worse than spending hours planning a fun road trip only to see your family staring at their screens when you get there! I keep a deck of playing cards and a bag of Bananagrams in my glove box as well as a few baseballs and mitts in the trunk to always have at the ready for road side stops. 

A young boy picking up trash in front of an old saw mill.

  • Leave it better than you found it!|| Look, we are all here on this beautiful planet trying to explore and experience all that we can. It’s heartbreaking to see trash and litter strewn about beautiful locations like Starr’s Mill. Everywhere we visit we make a point to pick up the litter around the area. Just be sure to have antibacterial wipes or lotion at the ready to clean up your hands and keep a close eye on what small kiddos are picking up, you don’t want them touching anything hazardous. 

A pile of vegetarian club sandwiches are stacked on a wooden board. There are 2 packages of Tillampook cheese next to the sandwiches.

Want to recreate this sandwich for your next road trip or for tonight’s dinner?Click here to see where you can find Tillamook products near you! 

If you’ve made this Ultimate Vegetarian Club Sandwich or any of the other recipes on our site, don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you thought in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKINSTAGRAMTWITTER, and PINTEREST to see more delicious food, design, and decor.
 
Close up image of 2 ultimate vegetarian club sandwiches staked on top of each other. It layers like this; br4ead, white bean hummus, cheddar cheese, arugula, bread, white bean hummus, yellow and red heirloom tomato slices, eggplant bacon slices, a slice of white cheddar cheese and another slice of bread.
 
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Close up image of 2 ultimate vegetarian club sandwiches staked on top of each other. It layers like this; br4ead, white bean hummus, cheddar cheese, arugula, bread, white bean hummus, yellow and red heirloom tomato slices, eggplant bacon slices, a slice of white cheddar cheese and another slice of bread.

Ultimate Vegetarian Club Sandwich

  • Author: This Mess is Ours
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: Assembled
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

For the citrus pickled onions

1/2 cup very thinly sliced red onion

juice of 1 large Naval orange

juice of 2 limes

For the rosemary white bean hummus

1 (15-ounce) can Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 tablespoon rosemary needles

1 clove garlic, minced

juice of half of a large lemon

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup olive oil

To assemble

12 slices of toasted gluten free bread

2 cups arugula dressed with 2 tablespoons Caesar dressing

4 slices Tillamook Farmstyle Thick Cut Medium White Cheddar Sliced Cheese

8 slices heirloom tomato

8 slices crispy eggplant bacon

4 slices Tillamook Farmstyle Thick Cut Sharp Cheddar Sliced Cheese


Instructions

Make the citrus pickled onions

Combine the onions and citrus juices in a bowl and allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes.

Make the rosemary white bean hummus

Combine the first 5 ingredients in the bowl of a food processor then process while drizzling in the olive oil slowly. Process until smooth, season taste.

Build the Vegetarian Club Sandwich

Place a slice of toasted bread on a work surface. Spread with a layer of rosemary white bean hummus then top with a 1/4 of the dressed arugula. Top it with a slice of Tillamook Medium White Cheddar Cheese and another slice of toasted bread. Slather that bread with hummus then layer on tomato slices, citrus pickled onions, eggplant bacon and a slice of Tillamook Sharp Cheddar Cheese. Serve immediately or pack for traveling.

 

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ABOUT MEG

Meg van der Kruik is the writer, mother, photographer, designer, cook and creative spirit behind This Mess is Ours. After her infant son was diagnosed with a gluten allergy, she dedicated herself to learning to make meals the whole family would love. It’s a bit of a mess – cooking for a vegetarian and three meat-eaters with a range of gluten + dairy sensitivities, but she manages to bring them together every night around their little family table.