Sandwiches are one of the staple lunch foods that you may have forgotten about because you got sick of your usual classic day in and day out. While some of the simple sandwiches can get boring, sandwiches themselves can be incredibly delicious, so maybe it’s time you were reminded of some fantastic sandwich variations to spice up your lunch (or dinner…or snack)!
- Bread, bun, or lettuce. The base is one of the most important elements of the sandwich. It holds all the delicious filling in place and can add some extra texture or flavour. When choosing a bread or a bun, read the nutrition label on the side of the packaging to determine serving size and aim for a bread that contains more fiber than sugar per slice. For the same type of bread, compare brands and choose the most wholesome (nutritious) selection.
- For a gluten-free and low-calorie option, reach for a head of lettuce and use one or two large chunks as your sandwich base – this adds crunch, vitamins, and keeps you away from the (often) calorie-dense bread!
The Flavour Enhancers (Spreads):
- Sandwich spreads can add a lot of satisfaction to your meal while also providing moisture and raising the flavour profile to the next level. However, spreads can often contain high amounts of sugar and salt. Read the ingredient label to choose a spread that limits these two ingredients
- Mustard is a staple sandwich spread – it is very low in calories, especially if you choose the whole-grain mustard options (delicious!)
- If you are feeling adventurous, try making your own pesto, hummus, sauce, or salsa and use that on your sandwich – making your own is almost always healthier than buying a processed version of a spread because you control what goes into it.
- Experiment to find your ideal spread combination, then remind yourself to use spreads in moderation. Serving sizes are always noted on the nutrition labels, so try to stick to them as much as possible.
The Good Stuff (Toppings):
- Lettuce, pickles, and tomato are classic sandwich toppers, but they also contain a lot of water and you risk your bread getting soggy if not eating the sandwich right away. To solve this, you can store them in a separate container and only add to the sandwich when ready to eat. Alternatively, you can experiment with other vegetables, like roasted red pepper, sliced fennel, spinach, shredded cabbage, or cucumber. See what combination you like, then go for it!
- Processed meats are the most common staple of any sandwich but be mindful not to consume too much! Cold cuts are loaded with salt and other additives to improve shelf life. Instead, try grilling a chicken breast and slicing it for your sandwich, or make a lean-cut roast and slice it for the week – not only will it contain less salt and preservatives, but roasts are also packed full of flavour, specific to what you like – bonus!
- As an alternative to meat, you can try making a chickpea or bean salad filling and spreading that in your sandwich.