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Sandwiches: Tips, Tricks and Ideas

posted in Lunch, Main Dishes by Jessica Howard

A BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) has all the elements of a great sandwich: toasted bread, crunchy bacon, crisp lettuce and fresh tomato.

Making your own sandwiches for lunch saves money and calories. Sandwiches also make a super easy solution for dinner when you’re short on time. We’ll go over the basics and then get inspired with a list of sandwich ideas.There are a few secrets to building a great sandwich, and it doesn’t take a culinary degree to figure them out.

Keep it Fresh

If your workplace has a kitchen, bring the ingredients and store them in the fridge until lunch. Assemble your masterpiece when you’re ready to eat it, and say goodbye to soggy sandwiches. If this isn’t a possibility, use crustier breads, like baguette or ciabatta (rather than sliced bread) and layer ingredients like cheese or cold cuts around wetter ingredients, like tomato or lettuce.

Get Out of That Rut

There are so many choices when it comes to breads and sandwich fillings. For example, try a baguette with sharp cheese and mango chutney, or focaccia bread spread with pesto and fresh mozzarella. Instead of ham, try pastrami or corned beef. Rather than cheddar, try Swiss, provolone or brie. When it comes to bread, alternate between pita, wraps, rolls and buns, which can all be stored in the freezer until you’re ready to use them.

Try figuring out what you like about pricey gourmet sandwiches at the local cafe and see if you can copy them.

Here’s a pita pointer from Kathy: Put the filling on a piece of lettuce, then slide it into the pita.

Toast it or Warm it Up

Toasting will bring out the sweetness in the bread, and will warm up whatever filling you put on. Try toast with spreads like hummus or baba ghanouj. If you are going the ham-and-cheese route, try this twist: lay a few slices of ham and some grated cheese on a wrap; roll it up and microwave it for about 30 seconds. It’s warm, gooey and really good.

Consider New Condiments

Try mixing tuna with a creamy salad dressing instead of mayonnaise; spread the bread with red pepper jelly or barbecue sauce if you like a spicy kick. Go for tangy toppings like pickles and olives.

Sandwich Those Leftovers

Leftovers from last night’s dinner can make super sandwich fillings. Meatloaf is a natural for a hearty sandwich; or try pieces of grilled chicken or roast pork in your next wrap.

Get Your Vegetables

Rather than adding lettuce and tomato, try sliced cucumber, avocado, shredded carrot, alfalfa sprouts or sundried tomatoes. Roasted vegetables will taste even better the next day as part of a wrap or sandwich filling.

The Final Touch

Seasonings aren’t just for the stove top; they really make a difference in sandwiches. Start with good old salt and pepper, and try adding fresh herbs like basil leaves or coriander.

Fresh basil adds tons of flavor to a provolone cheese and tomato wrap.
Photo courtesy of Erica Heilmann, who blogs at Soul Sprout.

More Sandwich Ideas

  • Startcooking has already covered some classic sandwiches, like the BLT, the tuna sandwich, which gets some crunch from chopped celery, and the egg sandwich – try it with curry powder!
  • Veganalects explains how she puts together her favorite hummus sandwich.
  • Erica Heilmann, at the blog Soul Sprout, says one of her favorite sandwiches is a delicious wrap (pictured above) with tomato, provolone and fresh basil.
  • Here’s a guide to making a smoked salmon and brie sandwich from Mango and Tomato.
  • If you’ve got a bit more time, you might want to go for a Cuban sandwich or a grilled sandwich.
  • Anyone who wants to take a basic grilled cheese sandwich up a notch should take a look at this site with its amazing flavor combinations.
  • Here’s another one that involves the stove: Marlboro Man’s Second Favorite Sandwich calls for bacon, chicken and melted cheese. The photo tutorial shows exactly how it’s done and why it’s so delicious.
  • If you’ve got a sushi craving, here’s a tasty sandwich that’s inspired by the Philadelphia roll.

Tell us about your favorite sandwich!

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Kelly from Almost Frugal Food said:

These sandwich ideas look delicious- I’m clicking on the links right now to check them out!

Kathy Maister said:

Hi Kelly,

You really do know how to make a great sandwich!

Thanks for sharing!

Olga said:

Thank you for mentioning my salmon & brie sandwich :)

Kathy Maister said:

Olga that sandwich looks delicious! I love the sound of that red pepper paste made with capers and olive oil!
Great recipe!

Erica said:

Creative line-up of sandwiches! I am honored mine was included. Thanks!

Kathy Maister said:

No one needs to be stuck in the same sandwich rut with all these delicious options!

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