How To Build The Perfect Sandwich
The secret to preparing a healthy sandwich comes down to some basic strategic planning. All chefs do it in restaurants when they need to prepare for service, and it’s no different when you’re preparing food for yourself or for your kids at home.
Set out a basic menu plan at the start of the week, knowing pretty much what you’ll be eating for most meals is the key. Try and keep it fresh and always include quality protein and plenty of vegetables as this forms the base of any healthy eating plan and it will also help keep you full and energised. Remember – Think about what you feed yourself and your kids and whether it has a positive or a negative effect to their health.
BUILD THE PERFECT SANDWICH
1 Choose your wrapping
Stick to quality low GI 100 % whole-grain breads or wraps, that are high in fibre and free from preservatives or anything artificial. Always check the back label of ingredients as many are loaded with sodium, sugar, colours and refined white flour. If you’re feeling adventurous, try roasted vegetables such as eggplant or use large leaves of lettuce, cabbage, or kale that make terrific wraps for your fillings and perfect for those with wheat or gluten intolerances and paleo eating plans. “Remember, the wrapping forms the foundation of a healthy sandwich and if you’re making it a part of your lunch every day, it can lay the foundations to your overall health.”
Rye bread / whole grain
Multigrain Sourdough / Spelt / Oat
Gluten free – quinoa, almond, seed, buckwheat etc
Whole grain or gluten free wraps
Kale – Cabbage – Lettuce – roasted eggplant – portobello mushroom
2 Choose your spread
Try using heart healthy and natural plant based spreads like smashed avocado, which is at the top of my list, purely because it’s high in good mono-unsaturated / anti-inflammatory fats that can help cut cholesterol. Other great choices are roasted pumpkin, hummus or tahini, nut paste, cottage cheese, ricotta, mustard, or any of my skinny dip recipes.
hummus / baba ghanoush
Smashed Roasted vegetables
Almond / Macadamia nut butter
3 Stuff it with protein
Add quality protein that will keep you full and energised for most of the day. Sources such as smashed beans, nut paste, frittata, boiled or smashed eggs, organic roast chicken, grass fed beef, tinned tuna, wild salmon, sardines, green burgers or earth burgers from my site make a terrific filling. Go easy on the processed meats, which are high in sodium as well as nitrites and nitrates.(These are manufactured mainly for use as a food preservative, and both nitrates and nitrites are used extensively to enhance the colour and extend the shelf life of processed meats) Studies show that consumption of processed meat is associated with an increased risk for developing heart disease and Cancer.
Beans/ Lentils / Peas
Organic Tempeh / organic tofu
Organic / free range egg (scrambled, boiled, frittata)
Ricotta / cottage cheese
Fish (wild salmon, tuna, sardines)
Organic grass fed beef / Organic chicken / Game
Nuts / Seeds / Nut paste
4 Add Veggies for extra goodness
Eat the colours of the rainbow – veggies such as spinach,kale, lettuce, rocket, alfalfa, carrot, tomato, roasted capsicum, sweet potato, beetroot, avocado, pumpkin, herbs etc will add quality nutrients your body needs for optimum health. The health benefits from following a diet rich in vegetables include weight loss, diabetes control, lowered insulin secretion, improved sports performance, and a reduced risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and cancer.
Kale, Spinach, Leafy Greens
Zucchini, Cucumber, Watercress
Tomato, Capsicum etc
5 Add a little love
I love to top my wraps or sandwiches with extras such as freshly ground black pepper which contains an active ingredient called piperline that is known to enhance digestion and work as an anti-inflammatory. A sprinkle of walnuts or chia seeds add crunch + omega 3 or a good handful of pumpkin seeds for zinc or goji berry for extra antioxidants and a little yum factor. A squeeze of lime, dollop of salsa verde or drizzle of dressing can add that finishing touch.
Freshly chopped garden herbs