Think Inside the Bun: Non-Boring Sandwich Ideas for the Lunch Box
By Julie Van Rosendaal, Dinner with Julie
Jan 27, 2017
Sandwiches have made an easy, inexpensive, portable meal since back in the 18th century, when the 4th Earl of Sandwich requested his valet bring him some meat tucked between two slices of bread. Sandwiches can be found in cuisines around the world, made using virtually any combination of ingredients, so long as they’re contained between a form of doughy carb you can hold in your hand.
There are the classics, of course — the PB & J, the grilled cheese, the ham and cheese, tuna melt, meatball sub and Montreal smoked meat. When assembling your own at home, whether for dinner or to pack up for lunch at work or school, there’s no need to limit yourself to sliced deli meats and cheese on sandwich bread. A couple slices, a bun, pita, naan or tortilla wrap can enclose just about anything — here are a few new sandwich ideas you may not have considered.
Egg Salad with a Mix-Ins
Everyone loves egg salad — hard boiled eggs, chopped and mashed with mayo, a dab of mustard, perhaps some finely chopped celery or gherkins. But if you have a couple extra slices of bacon to crumble in, they’ll elevate it to a whole new level. Spread it thickly on soft bread or buns so that the mixture doesn’t squish out the sides.
Try a thick stew or curry — leftover butter chicken is divine stuffed into a bun. If it’s too saucy, serve in with a knife and fork, sloppy Joe-style. Best of all, you don’t need much in the way of leftovers to make a sandwich.
A can of chickpeas can make an amazing sandwich, truly. Trinidadian doubles (this one is from the Calypso Roti Shop in Tofino, BC) are made with soft naan-type bread wrapped around curried chickpeas. To make your own, sauté a finely chopped onion in a skillet with some oil until they’re golden; add a couple crushed cloves of garlic, a drained can of chickpeas and a shake of curry powder or spoonful of paste. A handful of chopped cilantro is good too. Serve in soft naan bread with some hot sauce and cool yogurt, if you like.
If you haven’t had a coriander chutney sandwich, it’s surprisingly delicious! Spread fresh coriander chutney on buttered soft white bread, and that’s it. If you’re more of a traditionalist, add sliced or shredded roasted chicken too.
Breakfast Sandwiches for Lunch
Breakfast sandwiches aren’t only for breakfast — crack an egg into a buttered ramekin, add some grated cheese if you like, and cook in the microwave for a minute, or until set. Transfer to a toasted English muffin or biscuit with a slice of cheese or ham or a couple slices of bacon.
Grilled Cheese with a Twist
And if you are going grilled, consider adding extras along with your cheese — crumble in some bacon, spread some pesto on the inside or mayo spiked with sriracha on the outside, or pull apart that leftover short rib and tuck it in with old cheddar on sourdough for a grilled cheese sandwich you’ll never forget.
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