A TV public service announcement about the opioid epidemic is airing in Central Ohio with the tag line “that doesn’t happen in the town of DENIAL.” It caused me to have an "aha moment" about The Nicer Slicer. I realized that I have been living in my own form of denial.
The other day I passed a display of Bagel Skinnies in the grocery store. I stopped to read the description, boasting of 110 calories per piece. I decided to buy a package and test it against The Nicer Slicer-- it was time to go “Game On” to compare the Skinnies against a toasted slicered bagel- one of the Slicer’s strongest recipes. Why had I walked by these displays for years and not answered the call the validate or disprove this obvious competition to the Nicer Slicer Trifecta of better taste, less calories and lower cost?
As advertised on the package, the calorie battle was being won by the skinny at 110 calories versus 130 for half a regular bagel. STRIKE ONE! Further review of the product showed the poppy and sesame seeds were baked into the skinnies and not on the surface like the regular bagel- BALL! Toasting the regular Everything bagel brings out the flavor of the seeds on the surface of the bagel… I don’t know if that qualifies as a strike, so we’ll call it a ball… Pitch count: 1 AND 1.
Now I am worried that I will suffer a strike out of our trifecta! At home in my kitchen I courageously approach the toaster. The skinnies toast… When they emerge from the toaster I note they are lighter than a regular bagel… I am thinking they are effectively the same size as a slicered quarter bagel from our slicer. Hamburgers are on the dinner menu, and I present two burgers to my teenage boys. They are Nicer Slicer converts and won’t eat a sandwich if the bread is not toasted and slicered. They take a bite. Silence, and other bite, silence.
I ask “So how is your hamburger?” Their replies were a lovely surprise and exposed the bagel skinnies as imposters - a weak substitute for the value proposition of The Nicer Slicer. They said, “These thin bagels are dry and bland and miss all the flavor of your normal slicered bagel bun. The seeds are baked into the bun and these are too dry. We will eat them, but please don’t serve them again!”
Surely this is a HIT! Possibly an in-field TRIPLE given that my testers made the point that these bagels do not compare to the taste of a slicered bagel. The heart the Nicer Slicer Advantage is the inside of the bagel stays soft and gooey. Slicering the toasted bagel exposes that lovely soft interior and holds it against the crunchy, nutty caramelized exterior of the toasted bagel. Slicered bagels are great hamburger buns! So, really I had been living in DENIAL- I should have tested these skinnies long ago.
I pull out the grocery receipt, and AHA! Now I see how we steal HOME! A package of 6 Everything Bagel Skinnies was $1.99 for 6 sliced skinnies- so you have 12 slices at 16 cents/slice. A bag of 6 normal Everything Bagels from the same store is $1.49. When you toast and slicer the bagels, you end up with 24 slices at 6 cents/slice. Bread for your hamburger bun using the Nicer Slicer works out to 12 cents/burger versus 32 cents/skinny bagel. More food for your grocery dollar, better taste… I’d say we have stolen HOME on this one!
Stick with your slicer- nothing beats it for sandwiches and improving flavor and cost! Satisfaction is improved with good taste, and the superior flavor makes the calorie issue in this case a non-event.
Happy slicering. We would love to have you reach out with recipe ideas and insights. Have a great summer.
All the best,
Founder, SB Schirmer Co., LLC
The best tofu “ricotta” and basil sandwich- all crispy, hot and amazing.This is an excellent recipe, loaded with flavor and crunchy goodness. The Nicer Slicer adds a fun twist. Not only do you used less bread, but by turning the slicered bread inside out, you add nutty crunchy goodness to the inside of the sandwich. The soft interior of the toasted slice is perfect for butter and grilling.
Servings: 3 Sandwiches Author: Lauren Hartmann
1/2 block extra firm tofu
1 to 2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Pinch of black pepper
3/4 cup marinara sauce
1/4 cup. fresh basil
6 Slices crusty bread, such as sourdough
1/4 cup vegan butter at room temperature, such as Earth Balance
Slicer and toast 3 slices of bread. Arrange on plate with toasted side up.
Place the tofu in a paper towel or kitchen towel, and squeeze it over the sink to get as much liquid out as you can. It will crumble, but no worries, you will be crumbling it anyways.
Crumble the tofu into a food processor or blender. Add garlic, nutritional yeast, olive oil, salt, lemon juice and pepper.
Process for a minute or so, scrapping down the sides as needed until it is smooth but with a little texture so it looks like ricotta cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning.
On each set of 2 slices, spread crunchy side of one piece with vegan ricotta mixture, the other crunchy side with marinara and a few pieces of basil. Put the sandwiches together with soft sides out.
Heat non stick pan to medium heat. Spread soft sides of sandwiches with additional vegan butter. Place in pan, cooking on each side for 3-5 minutes, reducing heat as needed. Flip and cook until bread is brown and crispy, hot and delicious. Serve immediately.
With two hungry, growing boys at my house, I'm always looking for healthy recipes that include protein. After poking around on Pinterest, I was inspired to create this breakfast sandwich. My focus group loved it!
Makes 4 Servings
2 tablespoons milk
Salt and pepper (to taste)
4 teaspoons butter (divided)
4 slices whole wheat bread
½ cup shredded cheddar-jack cheese
4 slices crispy cooked bacon
Step 1: Toast the wheat bread and use the Nicer Slicer to slicer each piece of toast into two pieces.
Step 2: In a medium bowl beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper until blended. Heat 1 teaspoon of butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture. As the eggs begin to set, gently pull them across the pan with a spatula, forming large flat folds. Continue cooking while pulling and folding the eggs until thickened no and visible liquid egg remains. Remove from the pan, set aside. Clean out the skillet.
Step 2: Heat the skillet to medium heat. Spread the remaining 4 teaspoons of butter the soft side of each slicered bread. Place 2 sandwiches in the skillet each topped with cheese, scrambled eggs, bacon.
Step 3: Cook sandwiches over medium heat, until browned on the bottom. Once they are browned on the bottom flip them over and cook until browned on the other side and the cheese has melted.
Travel tips: The LIttle Sandy sandwich My family has traveled regularly to Michigan and North Carolina from our home in Ohio for years. Long car trips are part of the adventure. This sandwich has been in our family for three generations. We call it the "The Little Sandy" since it was invented by my mom (whose name is Sandy also, but she's much smaller than me.) It makes great travel food!