Sandwich Ideas from Breads, Fillings and Spreads

Once upon a time sandwiches were boring affairs.  But all that has changed with the arrival of so many new bread varieties, fillings and spreads. 

No longer are sandwiches confined to just a few slices of white bread.  The vast array of different breads, rolls, bagels, flat breads, tortillas and wraps now available brings a new dimension to the humble sandwich elevating it to new culinary heights and means that finding new sandwich ideas is relatively easy.

But sandwiches, like everything else, can be made healthy or unhealthy.  To make your sandwiches healthier, use whole wheat or grain bread.   Rather than using butter try one of the reduced-fat margarine spreads.   When choosing fillings choose low fat cheeses and opt for lean cuts of meat such as ham, chicken or turkey.



Tips for Packing

How do you ensure that your lovingly prepared sandwiches last until lunchtime without becoming crushed or soggy?

  • Packing them in a plastic container will prevent them becoming crushed in overloaded school bags.
  • If the weather is warm and humid using an insulated bag with an ice pack will keep them much fresher and prevent fillings from spoiling.
sandwich in a lunch box

How to Avoid Soggy Sandwiches

Have you ever opened your lunch box to soggy sandwiches?  Not very nice or appetizing.  So how do you avoid the dreaded soggy sandwich?

  • The first trick is to form a barrier between the wet fillings and your bread.  Butter or margarine forms a natural barrier preventing moisture from seeping in.
  • If using condiments or spreads, place them between the meat and cheese rather than on the bread.
  • The other alternative of course is to pack the wet ingredients in a separate container and assemble the sandwich just before eating.


Breads

Ciabatta
Crisp, crusty Italian-style loaf.

Foccacia
Flat Italian loaves, can be split and filled. 

Naan
Indian bread.  Split and fill or use with dips.

sandwich bread

Pita Bread
Split and wrap fillings, or halve and fill pockets.

Pumpernickel
Danish, dark rye bread.  Top with savoury fillings.

Sourdough
A dense, yeast-free loaf, good for sandwiches and toast.


Sandwich Spreads

Butter can be high in saturated fat so you may want to avoid it.  But there are so many other low fat alternatives that are tasty and low in fat.

   Dips such as hummus or tzatziki
   Reduced-fat cream cheese
   Cottage cheese
   Chutney
   Peanut butter
   Mashed avocado
   Mayonnaise
   Pesto
   Guacamole



Sandwich Fillings

Sandwiches can be filled with almost any combination of cheese, meat and vegetables.  The trick is getting the right balance of flavor and texture while keeping the sandwiches fresh and appetizing. 

making sandwiches


Cheese

Soft cream cheese can be used as a spread or as part of the filling.        Slices of mild cheddar are ideal for children’s lunches and can be combined with almost any salad vegetable and other meats.

Meat/Fish Fillings

   Meatloaf
   Roast Beef
   Corned Beef
   Chicken
   Turkey
   Ham
   Tuna
   Salmon


Vegetarian Fillings

Sliced, grated or finely chopped   celery
   Tomatoes
   Gherkins
   Bean Sprouts
   Alfalfa
   Mushrooms
   Lettuce
   Radish
   Cucumber
   Carrot
   Spinach
   Green or red pepper
   Green onions

(Red onions have a very strong flavor and may be too potent for children’s lunch boxes)



Sandwich Recipes

Now it's time to put it all together.  Here are a few sandwich ideas to give you inspiration next time you are wondering what to prepare for school lunches.   Remember you can mix n’ match any of the above ingredients.

salad sandwich

Meat

  • Multigrain bread, sliced corned beef, mustard pickles, lettuce, tomato and Swiss cheese

  • White bread, roast beef, baby rocket, cheddar cheese and tomato chutney
  • Whole wheat bread, sliced meatloaf, chutney and cheese
  • Turkey slices with cranberry sauce, lettuce and alfalfa sprouts
  • Ham, mustard, semi sun-dried tomatoes and tasty cheddar cheese
  • BLT sandwich - Bacon, lettuce and tomato with mayonnaise
  • Ham, corn relish, sliced cucumber, cheddar cheese, alfalfa sprouts
  • Ham, pineapple, diced celery, grated cheese

Chicken Sandwich Recipes

  • Finely chopped chicken, diced celery and chopped almonds with cream cheese

  • Cooked shredded chicken, grated carrot, sliced green onion, finely chopped coriander leaves, mayonnaise
  • Cooked chicken, lettuce, corn kernels and mayonnaise

Tuna/Salmon Sandwich

  • Combine tuna with mayonnaise, top with baby spinach and sliced avocado.

  • Combine 1 can drained and flaked tuna with 1 can drained corn kernels, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon chopped curly parsley.
  • Rye bread, salmon, lemon, cream cheese, thinly sliced cucumber

Vegetarian Sandwich Ideas

  • Cream cheese, sultanas and grated carrot

  • Spread bread with peanut butter, top with sliced banana and drizzle over 2 teaspoons honey
  • Cheese and chive dip, grated cheddar cheese and sliced cucumber

Tip

Don’t forget to use fresh herbs such as coriander, chives, parsley and basil for extra flavor.



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