For the freshest-tasting lunch possible, swap out the bread for sturdy collards and use creamy bean spread and crunchy veggies as a tasty filling. It’s like eating a hand-held salad. These wraps can be prepared the night before.
Gluten-Free Sandwich Perfection
Here’s how to create a great sandwich from the bottom up.
For a bigger shot of nutrients, look for gluten-free loaves made primarily with whole grains like brown rice and gluten-free ancient grains.
Mix & Match
No sandwich should be one-dimensional. Aim to hit a few different flavor points, like salty, sweet, sour and spicy, and multiple textures, like crunchy pickled vegetables and creamy spreads.
A Toast to Toast
Toasting adds a depth of flavor to gluten-free bread and acts as a moisture barrier that helps prevent soggy sandwiches. Toasting is particularly important if you’re assembling sandwiches ahead of time.
Top & Bottom
Slather condiments or sauces on both the top and bottom slices of your bread for a more even distribution of flavor.
Think beyond the deli counter for sandwich protein. Options include slices of steak, chicken and other uncured meats you’ve cooked yourself, as well as beans, high-quality canned fish and eggs (if tolerated).
Aim to stuff your sandwiches with deep-color vegetables, including dark leafy greens, red pepper, carrots and tomatoes. These low-calorie veggies are nutritional standouts, rich in disease-thwarting antioxidants.
Dress to Impress
For brighter flavor, toss greens like arugula and spinach with a splash of oil and acid (such as vinegar or lemon juice) before placing them on your sandwich.
Slice of Life
To keep your sandwich contents (like ketchup) from dribbling out when slicing, use bamboo skewers to hold the sides in place and use a sharp serrated knife to cut the sandwich down the middle.
Make-and-take sandwiches should be wrapped to keep all the contents together. To create less waste for a more environmentally friendly lunch, wrap sandwiches in a reusable cloth napkin and secure them with string. Alternatively, use a store-bought sandwich pouch made with organic materials. Malleable beeswax wraps, made by companies such as Abeego, will wrap around your sandwich snuggly and can be easily washed and reused.
If heat-sensitive items like meat or mayonnaise are involved, be sure to keep sandwiches thoroughly chilled.
More Interesting and Delicious Sandwich Recipes
Contributing chef Matthew Kadey, RD is a registered dietitian and food writer. He is author of The Muffin Tin Chef (Ulysses Press), The No-Cook, No-Bake Cookbook (Ulysses Press) and Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports and Adventure (VeloPress).Yields 25
- 2 cups cooked or canned white navy beans (rinsed and drained if canned)
- 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 large collard green leaves
- 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 large carrot, sliced into match-sticks
- 1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
- 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1Using a food processor, blend together navy beans, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper.
2To prepare a wrap, cut off the firm white stalks from the bottom of 2 collard leaves. With a sharp knife, fillet off the thickest parts of the remaining stalks that run down the backside of the leaves.
3Place collard leaves with stalk ends at opposite sides and partially overlap the leaves. Spread some of the bean mixture down the center and top it with a quarter of the bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers and parsley. Drizzle some vinegar over the vegetables.
4Beginning at the bottom, tightly roll up the leaves, tucking in the sides as you go. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
5To serve, cut wraps in half on a bias.