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12:21 PM Mon, Sept. 24th

‘Sandwich Queen’ reigns supreme ... again

Spiced Caribbean Chicken Sandwich is a winner.


Spiced Caribbean Chicken Sandwich is a winner.


Spiced Caribbean Chicken Sandwich

Mango Black Bean Topping:

1/3 cup finely chopped mangoes

1/4 cup cooked black beans, well-rinsed and drained

2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell peppers

1-1/2 tablespoons roasted, salted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/16 teaspoon cinnamon

Sweet Potato Mash:

3/4 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes

1/8 teaspoon jerk seasoning blend

Caribbean Chicken:

1 cup cooked shredded chicken breasts

1 tablespoon mango or apricot jam

1/4 teaspoon jerk seasoning blend

1/8 teaspoon salt

4 slices Oroweat Healthfull Nuts and Seeds Bread

3/4 cup fresh baby spinach leaves

To prepare black bean mixture, mix mangoes, beans, peppers, pepitas, cilantro, oil, lemon juice, and cinnamon in small bowl.

To prepare sweet potato mash, combine sweet potatoes and jerk seasoning in small microwave-safe bowl; mix well. Heat in microwave on HIGH for 1 minute.

To prepare chicken, mix chicken, jam, jerk seasoning and salt in small microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave on HIGH for 1 minute; stir.

To assemble sandwiches, place 4 slices bread on flat surface. Spread hot sweet potatoes on one side of each slice of bread. Top 2 slices with spinach and then chicken mixture; spread evenly and gently flatten. Then top evenly with mango mixture. Top with remaining 2 slices of bread, sweet potato side down, pressing down gently. Makes 2 sandwiches. Serve immediately.

Fast ‘N’ Fresh Curried Chicken Salad Sandwich

4 slices of Arnold® Whole Grains 100% Whole Wheat bread

1/3 c. nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1 1/2 tbsp. apricot jam

1 tbsp. nonfat mayonnaise

1/2 tsp. curry powder

1/8 tsp. sea salt

3/4 c. chopped cooked chicken breasts

1/4 c. quartered seedless green grapes

3 tbsp. matchstick-cut (or coarsely shredded) carrots

3 tbsp. thinly sliced celery

3 tbsp. toasted slivered almonds

3 tbsp. golden raisins

1/2 medium apple, thinly sliced

1/2 c. packed fresh baby spinach leaves

Combine yogurt, jam, mayonnaise, curry, and salt in a medium bowl; mix well. Remove and reserve 2 tablespoons. Add chicken, grapes, carrots, celery, almonds, and raisins to yogurt mixture in bowl; mix well. To assemble sandwiches, place 2 slices bread on flat surface. Divide chicken salad on each, spreading evenly. Top evenly with apple slices and spinach. Spread reserved yogurt on one side of each of the 2 remaining slices of bread; place on top, yogurt side in. Cut each in half and serve.

Folks who know longtime Prescott resident Mary Hawkes might be tempted to call her the Sandwich Queen.

Hawkes’ Spiced Caribbean Chicken Sandwich recipe was recently selected a category winner in Oroweat’s “America’s Better Sandwich” Contest.

Launched in June, the contest encouraged sandwich lovers to submit their favorite recipes to five available categories: State Favorites, Fueling Good, Open-Faced Artistry, Breakfast in Bread and Creative Classics. More than 2,900 Americans entered; in October, 15 individuals – including Hawkes - were named finalists.

“It’s a really tasty and healthy sandwich,” she said of the entry, which won the contest’s “Fueling Good” category.

The sandwich features Caribbean-spiced chicken, a sweet and tangy mango-black bean topping and a sweet potato mash.

The sweet potato, used in place of a mayo or mustard spread, gives the sandwich both a more complex flavor and a nutritional boost, she said.

“I like experimenting with different foods and recipes,” Hawkes said, explaining that she loves Mediterranean, Southwestern and Caribbean flavor profiles.

One day, she began brainstorming: What would a sandwich with a Caribbean flavor profile look like?

“That was my inspiration for working on this recipe,” she said, adding that she imagined it was sweet, salty and spicy. “You can get a lot of different flavors in there.”

Of course, the recipe calls for Oroweat bread – the company’s Healthfull Nuts and Seeds loaf.

“We’ve purchased Oroweat bread for decades. It’s one of our favorite breads,” Hawkes said, explaining she buys different varieties. “Any of the healthy breads are going to work with that, of course.”

Need a time-saving tip? Use rotisserie chicken instead of cooking up breasts from scratch, she suggested.

This isn’t Hawkes’ first contest win. In 2014, her Fast ’N’ Fresh Curried Chicken Salad Sandwich captured both the Fueling Good category and the grand prize.

She said she didn’t enter last year, but “this year I felt inspired, so I gave it a try again.”

“I feel really thrilled and honored that they chose one of my other recipes as the category winner,” Hawkes said.

She wanted to thank the community for its support. The Courier’s Need 2 Know included info about the contest and the sandwich, and the exposure no doubt garnered some votes.

“With a portion of my winnings, I’ll be making a donation to a local food-based charity,” she said.

The contest also fought hunger on a national scale: For every eligible recipe submitted during the entry period and every vote cast during the voting period, Oroweat donated a loaf of bread to Feeding America. In all, more than 6,500 loaves went to the contest’s official charitable partner.

“It was definitely more than in all the other years combined,” said Michelle Michaels of Coyne PR, public relations firm for the contest.

Hawkes’ other plans for the $5,000 prize include home improvement projects.

“I’ll do something fun with it, too, but it’ll just come in handy for some home repairs,” Hawkes said.