Katy Wilkens
Argentine Choripan Sourdough dinner rolls.

You Are What You Eat: Don’t cry for me—I’ll be in Argentina!

By Katie Wilkens

I’ll join my husband soon in Argentina where he will visit on business. The people of Argentina, the eighth-largest country in the world, enjoy a wide and varied cuisine. Argentinians eat a lot of meat, more than 120 pounds per person a year, and that number is actually lower than in the past!

I am looking forward to street food in Buenos Aires, Spanish-influenced food in the southern tip of the country and the hot, spicy food of indigenous peoples in the hot and humid north.

I also look forward to Italian food, such as wood-fired pizzas, homemade pastas and gnocchi. Argentina has perhaps the best Italian food outside of Italy, thanks to a huge influx of Italian immigrants in the 1900s.

Argentina reportedly also has the best ice cream, or gelato, in the world. I see it as my duty to thoroughly research the gelato. I will generously sample, take rigorous notes and report on the quality when I get back!
In the meantime, here is a recipe for choripan, an Argentinian sandwich consisting of a bread roll filled with a split, grilled sausage and topped with chimichurri, a sauce made of olive oil, parsley and garlic.

Argentine Choripan
Sourdough dinner rolls (heat and serve kind)
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup thinly sliced onions
1 sausage per person: Andouille, Italian or Bratwurst

Heat oven 350 degrees. Cut rolls in half. Following the package directions, heat until browned. Cut sausages in half and brown with onions in olive oil until onions are caramelized. Toast rolls for 1-2 minutes in the skillet, cut side down. Serve with sausage, onions and low-sodium chimichurri sauce.

Nutritional Information:
Calories: 310, Carbohydrates: 16 grams, Protein: 20 grams, Sodium: 591 milligrams

Chimichurri Sauce
½ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
¼ -½ cup fresh, flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano (or 2 teaspoons dried)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme (or 2 teaspoons dried)
2 tablespoons fresh green onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Put all in a food processor and pulse a few times, until the herbs are finely chopped. Let rest for 10 minutes and serve with sausage rolls.

Nutritional Information (per 2 tablespoons):
Calories: 139, Carbohydrates: 2 grams, Sodium: 2 milligrams

[Katy G. Wilkens is a registered dietitian and department head at Northwest Kidney Centers. A recipient of the Susan Knapp Excellence in Education Award from the National Kidney Foundation Council on Renal Nutrition, she has a Master of Science degree in nutritional sciences from the University of Washington.

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