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Having a sandwich for lunch is so common that we tend to get in a rut when it comes to our choices. Ham and cheese, turkey, and/or peanut butter and jelly are staples for a reason—they taste good!  One of my personal favorites is unsalted peanut butter with sliced banana and a drizzle of honey on sprouted grain bread.  Sometimes I even skip the bread and just put my sandwich fillings like turkey and cheese in a large lettuce leaf for a lower carbohydrate “Turkey Wrap”.

sandwich

A sandwich can be a quick, portable, nutritious meal if thought out properly. The first suggestion I would make, however, is to check the nutrition facts label of your usual breads and wraps. Grains are the foundation of a healthy sandwich, and as the foundation, they should provide your body with the appropriate nutrients. Some may be high calorie and/or not the nutrient powerhouses we expect them to be.

In honor of National Sandwich Day on November 3rd, spend a little time this month to “up your game” when it comes to improving your sandwich choices.  This can be accomplished by incorporating some of the following suggestions:

  1. To add crunch and nutrition, try sliced red pepper, onions, snow peas, lettuce, spinach, kale, sliced cucumbers, shredded carrots, dill pickles, kimchi, apple or other fruit slices
  2. Instead of high calorie spreads, try hummus, salsa, light mayo, flavored mustards or a small avocado smashed
  3. For the protein source, use water packed tuna or chicken, nut butters (almond, peanut, cashew), diced or sliced hard boiled eggs, or leftovers like fried eggs, burgers, meatloaf, sliced chicken breast, and beans (whole or mashed)
  4. And for holding it all together, think outside the box with low calorie wraps, corn tortillas, flatbreads, whole grain or sprouted grain breads, pita, naan or large lettuce leaves

Feeling bold? Try this Chick Pea Sandwich or Pesto Grilled Cheese. Feeding a crowd? Easy BBQ Pork will be a snap!

Did you know you can freeze sandwiches? This makes prep time even easier. Just grab and go in the morning and enjoy!

Sources:

http://food.unl.edu/#sandwich

http://www.allrecipes.com

Written by:  Melissa Welker M.Ed., B.S., Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Fulton County, Maumee Valley EERA, welker.87@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Donna Green, Family & Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County, Erie Basin EERA, green.308@osu.edu

 

 

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The Possibilities are Endless

           The sandwich is a staple in the American diet.  With unlimited options, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year.  National Sandwich Day is celebrated on November 3 in recognition of John Montague, the fourth Earl of Sandwich.

As the story goes, Montague loved to gamble.  During a gambling spree, he instructed his servant to bring him meat tucked between two slices of bread, as to not interfere with his gambling game – he could eat with one hand and gamble with the other.  Another source states he invented the sandwich so that he wouldn’t have to take time out of his busy day to sit down to a full-course meal.  Regardless of which story you believe, the sandwich was born.

The sandwich, America’s mealtime favorite, is the ultimate convenience food.  A sandwich can be a hearty breakfast, mid-day meal or light dinner.  Like any of our favorite dishes, a sandwich can be really healthy or not so healthy at all.

You’ll be building healthier, fulfilling and delicious sandwiches in no time using this four-part formula.

Choose Whole Grain/Bread:  Choose 100 percent whole-grain for fiber.

  • Whole wheat tortilla, English muffin, baguette, pita bread, sandwich thins, waffle, pancake
  • Sprouted grain breads – found in larger specialty stores
  • Sourdough whole wheat or rye bread
  • Pumpernickel bread
  • Seeded whole grain bread
  • Oatmeal bread

Next add Filling: Pack in the protein with lean meats and meat alternatives.

  • Hummus (the varieties seem endless), refried beans or bean spreads
  • Smoked salmon
  • Shrimp or Tuna salad – go easy on the mayonnaise or use vinaigrette dressing
  • Chicken or egg salad – make with less mayonnaise, use a little hummus or Greek yogurt
  • Nut and seed butters – peanut, almond, cashew, sunflower, etc.
  • Deli meats – turkey breast, roast beef, ham (nitrate-free)
  • Turkey or Canadian bacon
  • Slices of cooked chicken or turkey
  • Cheese (be adventurous – stray from the ordinary)
  • Tofu or hard-cooked eggs
  • Cottage or Ricotta cheese

Pile on the Produce: Boost nutrition by piling on the vegetables and/or fruit – lettuce, tomatoes and onions are standard; don’t be afraid to try something different, there are so many options.

  • Roasted garlic and peppers (red, green, yellow, orange, purple)
  • Grilled Portobello mushrooms
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Fresh herbs
  • Arugula, baby spinach, watercress, and romaine (the darker the greens the better)
  • Avocado, cucumbers, radishes, mushrooms, bell peppers, turnips, scallions, cabbage or carrots
  • Sliced apples, pears, strawberries, plums, nectarines, sliced grapes or pineapple

Top with Condiments: Add flavor with “good fats”.

  • Low fat or light cream cheese
  • Dijon, honey, spicy, or German mustard
  • Barbecue and Chipotle sauce
  • Low fat or light mayonnaise
  • Low fat or light favorite salad dressing (easy does it)
  • Cranberry chutney or Apple butter

With a little creativity, the sandwich can be transformed into a perfect meal.

Here are a couple of easy sandwich ideas:

Lettuce Wrap – Spread a little salmon or tuna salad on a lettuce leaf, sprinkle with scallions, roll up and enjoy!

Open Face Whole Grain Waffle Sandwich – lightly toast 1 large whole-grain waffle.  Spread with 2 tbsp. peanut butter and top with tomato slices and enjoy!  This is my husband’s favorite summer go-to sandwich.

Sources:

It’s National Sandwich Day, by Lauren Torrisi, November 3, 2011 (Blog)

Build a Healthy Sandwich, by Alana Sugar, August 9, 2010 (Blog)

Build a Healthier Sandwich: Stack your favorite lunch option with protein, fruit and more for a healthier meal, by Abigail Cuffey

Build a Healthier Sandwich! , by Amanda Pressner – Advice from Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD, a   New York City-based dietitian and author of the F-Factor Diet.

Written by:  Cynthia R. Shuster, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Perry County, Ohio State University Extension, shuster.24@osu.edu.

Reviewers:

Liz Smith, M.S., R.D., L.D., OSU Extension NE Regional Program Specialist, SNAP-ED, smith.3993@osu.edu.

Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator Family & Consumer Sciences, Fayette County, Ohio State University Extension, brinkman.93@osu.edu.

Jenny Lindimore, Office Associate, Ohio State University Extension, Morgan County, lindimore.1@cfaes.osu.edu.

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