5 Ingredients: The Easiest Veggie Sandwich
A pound of meat piled high on two slices of bread can be a bit much on a hot summer day (or any day really). Go light -- and cook less -- by prepping my fresh veggie sandwich, which is filled with healthy nutrients and comes together in minutes.
To set this sandwich apart from all the rest, start with freshly baked bread. Store-bought brands can be tasty and convenient, but when you’re only working with 5 ingredients, you want them to be the best. For this recipe, I stopped by the Sono Baking Company and picked up a loaf of whole-wheat sourdough -- choose any whole grain variety for extra hunger-fighting fiber.
Can’t make it to the local bakery? Check out our tips for buying the best breads at the grocery store.
This is the secret ingredient. Just a little bit of smooth and creamy hummus adds amazing texture, flavor, protein and healthy fat -- way better than the saturated fat in mayo! I had some homemade hummus in the fridge, but you can also use store-bought. I like to buy the plain kind and jazz it up myself with fresh herbs, hot sauce or a spoonful of pesto.
Place bread slices on a plate (toasting is optional), and spread each with 1/2 tablespoon of hummus.
Fresh cucumbers add a cool crunch for virtually no calories (one cup has only 15, so pile them on). For sandwiches, I like to slice them lengthwise to prevent sliding –- use a hand-held mandoline for perfectly even cuts. Save leftovers for snacking or a cucumber salad. To take advantage of all the nutrients in cucumbers (including vitamins K and C), eat the skin. Just avoid the waxy ones –- go for the English or “hothouse” kinds or, better yet, get them fresh from the garden or a local farm.
‘Tis the season for fresh tomatoes! A few thin slices give this sammy color, mouthwatering flavor and some vitamin C. I used a plump and juicy heirloom tomato fresh from the farmers’ market.
Layer cucumber and tomato on one slice of bread and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
I love cheese, but it can be high in calories, fat and cholesterol. Thanks to low-fat versions (there are a ton of good ones available nowadays) you can enjoy tasty cheese without the worry. A mild cheese such as muenster or havarti adds creamy, cheesy goodness to this dish -- plus, some calcium and protein.
Lay one slice of cheese over the tomato. Top with the remaining slice of bread, cut in half and serve.
Learn more about how to buy the best low-fat cheeses.