Katie's Healthy Bites: Pep Up Your Sandwiches
If you're like me, you're always looking for ways to make lunch more exciting. It seems like the mid-day meal can't compete with our busy schedules and endless to-do lists. A sandwich is a simple solution, but there's no need for it to be the same-old PB&J or turkey with cheese. Here are five basic sandwiches that all have a special twist.
I love tzatziki but never thought to use it as a condiment until recently. Its creamy yogurt is a great mayo substitute, and the bits of lemon and cucumber brighten the sandwich's flavor. For this dish, trade the salty lunch meat for thinly sliced, fresh roasted turkey breast. On average, a deli slice of turkey can have about 500 milligrams -- yikes!
1 tablespoon tzatziki (*recipe below; you can also buy packaged versions)
Place the turkey, roasted pepper and tomato slice into a toasted or fresh pita, drizzle with the tzatziki and enjoy.
Calories: 221; Fat: 6.6 grams; Saturated Fat: 1.7 grams; Protein: 24.4 grams; Carbohydrates: 17.7 grams; Cholesterol: 54.8 milligrams; Sodium: 360 milligrams
Combine oil and lemon juice in a medium mixing bowl. Fold the yogurt in slowly. Add the garlic (adjust the amount per your preference) and the cucumber. Refrigerate for 1 hour to allow flavors to combine.
Calories: 13.75; Fat: .67 grams; Saturated Fat: .21 grams; Protein: .79 grams; Carbohydrates: 1.22 grams; Cholesterol: 85 milligrams; Sodium: 10 milligrams; Fiber: .05 grams
Roast Beef with Dijon and Horseradish (shown above)
This is one of my husband's favorites. We give the classic roast beef sandwich a kick with spicy horseradish and Dijon mustard and then cool it down a bit with crunchy cucumbers. Again, skip the lunch meat deli slices and opt for fresh pieces of roast beef, if possible.
In a small bowl, mix together the Dijon mustard and horseradish. Spread the mix inside the pita. Fill the pita with remaining ingredients and enjoy.
Calories: 233; Fat: 5.31 grams; Saturated Fat: 1.59 grams; Protein: 27.2 grams; Carbohydrates: 17 grams; Cholesterol: 61.2 milligrams; Sodium: 547 milligrams; Fiber: 2 grams
Cranberry, Apple, Pumpkin Seed & Almond Butter Sandwich
Switch out that tired PB&J for this treat. You can get creative and toss in raisins, sunflower seeds and even slivered almonds (but go easy on the extra seeds and nuts). This sandwich might seem a bit high in fat, but it is the heart-healthy unsaturated kind.
Spread almond butter on a slice of bread and sprinkle with cranberries and pumpkin seeds. Top with apple slices and other slice of bread.
Calories: 267; Fat: 12.2 grams; Saturated Fat: 1 gram; Protein: 8.23 grams; Carbohydrates: 33 grams; Cholesterol: 0 grams; Sodium: 182 milligrams; Fiber: 4.6 grams
This is a great lunch for leftovers. Just set aside thin pieces of grilled flank steak (or try bison steak for fewer fat and cholesterol), and add all of your favorite burrito fillings for a satisfying meal.
Layer the ingredients inside of the wrap. Roll it up, slice it in half (if you prefer) and serve.
Calories: 279; Fat: 7.6 grams; Saturated Fat: 2.76 grams; Protein: 27.4 grams; Carbohydrates: 25.2 grams; Cholesterol: 41.6 milligrams; Sodium: 260.6 milligrams; Fiber: 2.2 grams
Here's a meat-free option that doesn't include a nut butter. The tangy goat cheese complements the savory pesto and sweet vegetables. If you make your own pesto, try limiting the salt; it can cut down some of the sodium in this recipe.
2 slices of Italian bread (preferably whole grain), cut into 3/4-inch slices
Spread pesto on one slice of bread and goat cheese on the other. Top one slice with the remaining ingredients, put the two slices together and serve.
Calories: 191; Fat: 6.8grams; Saturated Fat: 2.8 grams; Protein: 7.4 grams; Carbohydrates: 25 grams; Cholesterol: 8 milligrams; Sodium: 485 milligrams; Fiber: 1.8 grams