7 Tips for Making a More Mindful Sandwich
Did you know that people in the United States eat an estimated 300 million sandwiches every day, and that 60% of those sandwiches are hamburgers (Mobile Cuisine)? We're dedicating this month of August to National Sandwich Month and just like we enjoy celebrating National Smoothie Day in June, we love any reason to celebrate a delicious day, especially if it includes a tasty treat. Whether you are reconnecting with Mother Nature and planning a summer picnic in the park, heading back to the office, or getting the kiddos ready for the back-to-school season, here are seven tips for making a more mindful sandwich.
#1 Add More Vegetables
An easy way to make a more mindful sandwich is by adding more vegetables. As is with salads, you can never have enough of a variety of veggies. Fresh vegetables lend a crunchy and refreshing flavor to sandwiches, so get creative. Anything goes and almost everything tastes better in sandwich form.
#2 Be Careful with Condiments
One of the best parts about making a sandwich is by topping it off with a smattering of condiments. Unfortunately, many condiment brands include added sugars, artificial colors and dyes, and sodium. In order to still add a tasty touch of flavor to your handcrafted sammies, use a more mindful sandwich spread like avocado, homemade hummus, or pesto sauce.
You can also skip the condiments altogether and use concentrated ingredients that pack a punch of flavor. If you are sandwich shopping on a budget, cooked ingredients, cured, and pickled foods are excellent options. Capers, caramelized onions, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes are all extremely potent in taste and relatively low in calories. Plus, you don’t need to use a lot of each to reap the reward of their irresistible flavors.
#3 Choose a Better Bread
Nothing says lunchtime like a sandwich, but if you are stuck in a rut and are using the same sandwich bread, you may be missing out. Not only do our taste buds crave variety, but so do our bodies. Eating a variety of foods ensures an array of nutrients our bodies need. Instead of banking on your basic whole-grain bread that you always use to build your sandwich, try something new like bread made from brown rice, whole barley, whole flax, or whole oat. All of these options are full of flavor and still provide a daily dose of fiber, just like whole-grain bread.
#4 Create an Open-Faced Sandwich
A super simple way to make a more mindful sandwich is by creating an open-faced sandwich. Instead of using two slices of bread, use only one. If you are looking to lose weight, this is an easy way to shave off some extra calories. Plus, less bread provides more space to stack your sandwich high with fun fillings like fresh vegetables, protein, and high-quality fat sources.
#5 Go Gluten-Free and Grain-Free
For some individuals, grains, especially those containing gluten, can cause digestive upset, inflammation, and other uncomfortable issues. If you are someone who practices a gluten-free lifestyle, make a more mindful sandwich using grain-free bread. There are a variety of brands to choose from that offer gluten-free and grain-free bread mixes made from almond flour, cassava flour, and chickpea flour, just to name a few.
You can also skip the bread altogether. Instead, opt for a large lettuce leaf from the farmers market. You can also use a pita wrap or a tortilla shell to create a handcrafted sandwich wrap instead of a homemade sandwich.
#6 Have Fun with Fillings
Similar to mixing up your sandwich bread, have fun with your sandwich fillings. Some of our more mindful sandwich filling favorites include:
- Black beans
- Grilled tofu
- Nut or seed butter
- Roasted vegetables
#7 Skip the Store-Bought Deli Meats
Store-bought deli meats are an easy low-lift way to add a protein source to a homemade sandwich, but unfortunately, prepackaged deli meats are often laden with sodium, sugar, and potentially other questionable ingredients. Skip the deli meats entirely and select a more mindful plant based protein option instead. Some great go-to’s are tofu, (smoked options are quite tasty), tempeh, beans and vegan burgers.
Looking for something convenient and quick? You can also use already prepared plant based proteins in your favorite health food store. Just make sure it is free of any added sodium.
Need more mindful sandwich recipes? Check out @MBVeganShare or join our CEO live @itsnolasnack every other Sunday when she shares some delicious and nutritious vegan recipes. Sunday, August 8th on Instagram (Now on Reels) she'll share a couple of tasty plant based sandwiches you'll want to make for you and your family. Don’t worry, even if you aren’t vegan, you will still enjoy these dishes.
BBQ Tofu Sandwich (made easy)
1 pack baked tofu (brands to try, Wildwood, Taifun, also try others)
2 Tbsp bbq sauce (or more if needed)
1/2 tsp onion powder
4 oz chopped green chilies (optional)
1/4 cup coleslaw
Use your favorite bread for this sandwich.
Directions: Remove baked (or smoked) tofu from package (or you can purchase firm tofu and cook in a 2 Tbsp olive oil until brown on both sides). Slice as desired, slim or thick, depending on what you like. Use no more than 150 grams (3/4 cup) for the correct serving size. Place cooked tofu in pan with the bbq sauce, onion powder, and green chilies (optional). Let warm up. Remove from pan and place on your favorite bread. Add 1/4 coleslaw. Your sandwich is complete. Chow!
Tag us @itsnolasnack so we can see your more mindful sandwiches!
Remember, we want you healthy and happy.