The Task Tamer

Don't put it down, put it away!

Teri 07/13/2015 Comments

Many people who know me or are clients seem to assume that I am a neat freak. Let me show you a secret:




Yep, that is an actual shelf in one of my kitchen cupboards. I like to think we all have junk “drawers”. Where else do you store the extra batteries, pens, rubber bands, coupons, birthday cake candles, etc.? Okay, some people might actually have an assigned place for them, but my assigned place is the bottom shelf with the other miscellany. That way I know exactly where they are! The problem starts when the junk drawer becomes two drawers. And then a cabinet. And then two cabinets. And then a room. You get the idea. A recent article in the paper by Les Moore (talk about a name that works!) spoke about the health benefits of having a neat house. He states that “Those who live in neat surroundings are calmer and less stressed than those who don’t.”


Do you have a dumping spot in your house where the mail, magazines, keys, etc. can accumulate? In our house the dining room table is a natural spot for this. It also happens to be where we eat all our meals. My husband has learned that when we sit down for dinner I need to have the table cleared of anything not associated with dinner. Eating amongst all the clutter will give me heartburn! In college I needed to have my desk completely organized in order to study. Otherwise I would just think about what a mess it was and I couldn't concentrate on my books. Even when I go to bed I like to make an attempt at straightening up my clothes and dresser top so that I can sleep without thinking about the chaos I will wake up to in the morning. 


I realize not everyone is like this! After reading Mr. Moore’s article, though, I want to let you know there are benefits to trying to stay tidy. These include better health, less stress and improved optimism. This doesn't mean I am giving up my junk drawer. It does mean I am going to continue to live by the phrase “don’t put it down, put it away.” Hey, even the junk has a place to be put away! 


Remember, if you need some help getting organized I can help! I am the Task Tamer after all!


This week’s recipe is for a sandwich I made last week. I posted a recipe for Tofu Banh Mi sandwiches back in February and then I came across this recipe for Portobello Banh Mi Sandwiches. They are very different takes on a popular Vietnamese sandwich. The term banh mi actually refers to the bread it is served on, kind of like sushi means rice, not raw fish. This particular recipe is a little closer to the traditional Vietnamese sandwich because it uses pickled carrots, cilantro, mayo, daikon and cucumbers. Remember, if you don't like, don’t have or can’t find any of the ingredients, just leave them off. There is plenty of flavor in this sandwich! Don't let the long ingredient list scare you. Most of the items go into a marinade.


Vietnamese Portobello Sandwiches

Adapted from Kiss My Bowl

Makes 2 sandwiches 



1/2 carrot, grated

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

2 large portobello mushrooms, cleaned and slicedport sandwich

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons Liquid Aminos (or low sodium soy sauce or tamari)

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

small knob of ginger, peeled

pinch of crushed pepper flakes (more if you like spice)

1/4 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped or crushed

small daikon, thinly sliced

small cucumber, thinly sliced

Mayo of choice


Fresh cilantro, mint and basil, chopped (should have about 1/4 cup)

2 whole wheat ciabatta rolls or other roll of choice



  1. Place carrots in a small, heat proof bowl. Bring 1/2 cup water, apple cider vinegar and sugar to a boil. Once the sugar is dissolved, pour over carrots and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange mushroom slices in an oven proof dish, so that they lay flat.
  3. Whisk together 1/4 cup water, aminos, oils and rice vinegar. Grate the ginger into mix and add the pepper flakes. Pour over the mushrooms, making sure they are all coated. Roast for 20 minutes, flipping once. You want them to be juicy and soft, not dried out. You may need to roast them longer to get desired texture.
  4. Drain the carrots but don't dry them. You want to taste the pickling juice a little.
  5. Slice your rolls and spread on mayo and Sriracha. Arrange mushroom slices on sandwich. Top with carrots, daikon and cucumber. Sprinkle herbs and peanuts over the last layer. 
  6. Enjoy!

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