Most work days I rely on quick made wraps and sandwiches to get me through the middle of my day. Sandwiches are a great way to get creative and you can individualize them for each family member which is ideal for those of us with toddlers. Just remember, your little one may still want what’s on your plate in the end!
Keeping ingredients prepared and ready-to-go at a moment’s notice is your best bet for throwing together quick sandwich meals. Consider keeping small fruit salads (enough for 2), applesauce, crackers or chopped veggies prepared for quick sides as well. For the sandwich ingredients, you may purchase the following to keep your plant-based sandwiches packed with nutrition:
- Hummus: try a variety of flavors and purchase small containers to prevent it from spoiling. While it may seem wasteful to purchase small prepackaged items, in the end, most homes will have less food waste doing so.
- Or, try other bean dips. You can quickly make your own by mashing canned beans with a fork until smooth then adding a bit of salt, pepper, and powdered garlic or onion. Many beans taste great this way, so try a variety to find your family’s favorites.
- Guacamole: aim for minimal additives to keep the taste more neutral and suitable as a sandwich spread; again, purchase small containers to prevent spoilage.
- Vegan mayonnaise to add creaminess. Just 1 teaspoon per bread slice adds quite a bit of creaminess.
- Avocado: make your own avocado spread by mashing 1 medium or large avocado and adding a pinch of salt, pepper, and dried garlic plus a squeeze of lemon juice. If you like the taste of cilantro and/or parsley or chives, add in 1 teaspoon of finely chopped herb.
- Tomato: slice very thinly for young eaters; they should be easy to mash against the roof of the mouth with your tongue.
- An alternative is roasted peeled bell peppers which you can find in jars. These are easy for young eaters to chew, however, they have a stronger taste so start slowly. You can finely chop them and mix them with the bean spread.
- Lettuce: purchase “live” varieties to keep them fresh longer; these are known as “head” lettuce and you’ll see them still attached to the root still.
- Cucumber: peel them for young eaters to easily chew (eat the skins if you like!). Thinly slice them to add a refreshing but easy to tear layer to your sandwich.
That’s all you need to throw together quick meals in a pinch. I have personally noticed that on days I eat sandwiches with hummus and other bean spreads that I have made, my hunger level goes way down and my satiety is twice as long as any other meal. I believe it is the combination of protein and fiber that help. Coming from someone who is always distracted by food, this is a much appreciated side effect, especially on days I need to focus for many hours in a row on work.
- For our hummus lettuce and tomato sandwich below we started by lightly toasting 2 slices of gluten free bread. Since we store these in the refrigerator, it makes the pieces easier to spread the hummus on when toasted, and the taste is enhanced with a light toasting.
- We then spread 1 teaspoon of Vegenaise on each slice of bread.
- We topped that layer with 1 tablespoon of plain hummus on each slice.
- We thinly sliced 1 Roma tomato and topped each slice with that.
- We washed and dried 5 butter lettuce leaves and added those.
- Then we closed our sandwich by pressing the two heavily loaded pieces together and using a bread knife slowly sawed through the sandwich to maintain its structure.
Happy Eating All!