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Herb Mesa's Healthy Cuban Sandwich Recipe

Out of the Lunch Box: Herb Mesa's Healthy Cuban Sandwich

Herb Mesa went from a pudgy kid to a rock-hard personal chef and trainer. Known as "the energy chef," The Next Food Network Star finalist won viewers with his sentimental childhood stories and nutritious take on fat-laden favorites. We asked the father of two for a school lunch recipe that would keep kids on a good track and he offered up his Healthy Cuban Sandwich. This alternative to the traditional version, cuts calories while saving the favored Caribbean flavors. Pack this up in your youngster's lunch pail.
For the recipe,


Healthy Cuban Sandwich

Healthy Cuban Sandwich

Healthy Cuban Sandwich


  1. Healthy Cuban Sandwich
  2. 1 Multi-grain baguette
  3. 2-ounces Yellow Mustard or to taste
  4. 10 slices low-fat deli ham
  5. 10 slices low-fat deli turkey marinated in Cuban Vinaigrette
  6. 6 slices Swiss Cheese
  7. 2 dill pickles, sliced thinly
  8. 2 tsp low-fat mayonnaise
  1. Cuban Vinaigrette
  2. 2 tbs olive oil
  3. Juice of 1 lemon
  4. Salt and Pepper to taste
  5. ¼ tsp garlic powder
  6. ¼ tsp onion powder
  7. ¼ tsp cumin


Toss turkey in Cuban Vinaigrette. Slice baguette lengthwise. Build sandwich with yellow mustard on bottom piece of bread, layering ham, turkey, Swiss cheese, and pickle. Cut the sandwich into 4 equal portions. Lightly spread low-fat mayonnaise on outside of bread then place sandwich in Panini maker or follow the instructions below to build your own. Cook 3-4 minutes in Panini maker or 3-4 minutes on each side in the “build-your-own” version until golden brown. Once golden brown, remove from Panini maker and slice sandwich diagonally.

Build your own Panini maker:
Using a large non-stick skillet for the base, heat the pan over medium-high heat. Place sandwich in pan. Top with a heavy cooking pot (or two medium sized pots) to weight the sandwich down. The weight of the heavy cooking vessels will provide the “press.”

Lil's new mouthwatering Out of the Lunch Box feature continues with celebrity chefs and restaurateurs creating their ultimate sandwiches for elementary school kids. We can't wait to serve up all the amazing recipes!

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