Whether it's the recession or our increasing need for simplicity, sandwiches are having a moment. They're one of my favorite easy lunches and very healthy if you make them right. But it's important not to get stuck in an unhealthy or unimaginative sandwich rut.
Some healthy-sandwich strategies are obvious: avoid fried foods and super-oily sauces, opt for whole-grain bread instead of sliced white. But that's only the beginning. For my seven tips on making sandwiches that are both delicious and nutritious,
- Open it up! An open-faced sandwich made with one slice of wheat bread instead of two can save around 70 calories.
- Go green. In place of empty iceberg lettuce, opt for iron-rich greens like spinach or romaine. Try pressing a cup of raw spinach into a hot panini.
- Load up on veggies. Sneaking veggies into sandwiches is a great way to get your five a day. Think beyond tomatoes and add everything from roasted beets to cucumbers to carrots.
- And don't forget fruit! Similarly, you can increase your fruit intake through your sandwiches. I suggest sliced apples and cheese or figs and nut butter.
- Hold the mayo. I'm sure you know this, but here's a reminder: mustard is a much better choice. One ounce of yellow mustard has just 19 calories and one gram of fat, while the same amount of mayo packs 210 calories and 21 grams of fat.
- Speaking of mayo, try swapping it out for nonfat yogurt to make a healthier tuna or chicken salad.
- Don't say cheese. Rather than eliminating the creamy texture of cheese, replace it with sliced avocado. One ounce has just 45 calories and loads of healthy fat.