For those of you cutting back on breads, be it for health reasons, allergy reasons, or just trying to get more vegetables in your diet, it can be a struggle to find alternatives to sandwiches. It’s no secret that eating a sandwich or burger has a different feel to it than using a fork and picking at your salad (no matter how good it tastes!) So to get that sandwich feel back, try one of these great ideas to mix up the look of your lunch, dinner, or even snack!
- Lettuce Wraps: use romaine or Bibb lettuce as a substitute for a tortilla or bread slices. Need some ideas for fillings? Try a burger-set-up, BLT, taco or fajita theme, tuna salad, or Asian based fillings.
- Collard Wraps: you can use these raw or slightly steamed to make them a little softer and more malleable. Be sure to remove the spine on each leaf using a paring knife. Once ready, try them with red pepper, hummus and assorted vegetables and add some protein to feel fuller longer.
- Cucumber subs: cut a cucumber in half lengthwise, scoop out the middle, and top it with anything you like! Inspirations might be Italian (think about a big Italian sub with the different meats, cheeses, pepperoncinis, olives, and peppers!) or sea-based using salmon and cream cheese.
- Portabella mushroom caps: these are pretty great at replacing hamburger buns due to their size and shape. To prepare: remove the stem and brush the caps with olive oil, place them on a small baking sheet gill side up and roast for 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to allow them to cool, release their juices and dry a bit. Then use them just as you would a hamburger bun.
- Thick cut roasted sweet potato buns: cut sweet potatoes into ½ inch slices lengthwise, place on a small baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil or coconut oil, and place in a 400°F oven for 5 minutes. Flip them over and roast another 5 minutes. Top with your choice of meat (such as broiled turkey burger or fish) along with a leafy green like spinach or lettuce leaves. Top with another sweet potato slice and put a skewer or toothpick through it to keep it all together for a perfect nutrient packed ‘burger.’
- Apple slices: for a lighter option or even a snack option, cut apple slices so they look like bagels (cut apple horizontally into thin slices while cutting out the middle) and fill with your favorite nut butter. Perfect for the kid in you…or your kids!
Written by Brooke Brandeberry, MS, CN, LMHCA
Image sources: http://www.livingchirpy.com/2016/low-carb-club-cucumber-sub/