Building a Smarter Sandwich Series
Topic: Building a Smarter Sandwich
Title: Building a Smarter Sandwich - Nutritionists share their favorite ways to build a healthier sammie.
The following is an excerpt from an article in FoodNetwork.com by Toby Amidor, M.S., R.D., C.D.N.
Sandwiches are a quick and easy way to get a meal on the table or pack it to-go, but that doesn’t mean they’re always healthy. Gobs of mayo, piles of luncheon meat, and oversized slices of bread can sabotage any sandwich. I turned to nutrition experts around the country to get see how they like to build their better-for-you sammies.
Chickpea Salad Sandwich
My favorite “healthier" sandwich is my Chickpea Salad Sandwich. Being a vegetarian, it’s really hard to find a good meat-free sandwich that isn’t just cheese, lettuce and tomato. I’m always envious of people who can open a can of tuna and throw together a tuna salad sandwich, which is why I created this meatless alternative. The recipe is simple—smash some chickpeas in the food processor, mix with some chopped carrots and onion, and add a binder. Instead of mayo, I like to use a mixture of cottage cheese and avocado for protein and healthy fats. It’s a filling lunch that tastes fantastic, keeps me full all afternoon and doesn’t contain any meat!
Almond Butter Wrap with Blueberry Chia Jam
I love spreading almond butter on a whole grain wrap with homemade blueberry chia jam (literally frozen blueberries defrosted and mixed with chia seeds to make it gel). You're getting filling plant-based protein, healthy fats and fiber from the almond butter as well as antioxidants from the blueberries that promote better memory and overall brain health.
I make a healthier, vegan BLT by using "tempeh bacon" which is made by marinating tempeh in olive oil, low-sodium soy sauce, maple syrup, liquid smoke, ground cumin and black pepper. I pan fry the slices for a few minutes then place it between two toasted pieces of whole wheat bread along with romaine lettuce, tomato, and fresh avocado!
Smashed Bean Sandwich
My quick go-to lately has been a smashed bean sandwich. Half a cup of just about any cooked beans (black, pinto, garbanzo, kidney, adzuki) rinsed and drained. Add a dash of salt and pepper, a squeeze of your favorite citrus juice, dash of hot sauce (or seasoning of choice), roughly smash and spread on bread, a pita pocket or a tortilla. Add 1/3 of a sliced avocado, shredded carrots, baby arugula or spinach, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers or radishes (or any other combination of fresh veggies you love)! This makes a healthier version than commercial hummus because it contains less fat and has more protein and fiber.
A go-to sandwich option at my house is tuna salad because I always have a can of tuna on hand! Tuna salad is often high in fat since it’s made with loads of mayonnaise. To help cut saturated fat and save some calories, I swap out the mayo for a mix of plain Greek yogurt and avocado. These two ingredients give the tuna salad a creamy consistency with a boost of healthy monounsaturated fats and protein! I like to top my sandwiches with plenty of fresh veggies like cucumbers, bell peppers, spinach, tomatoes, and maybe more avocado (because it's just SO good!).