Creative Sandwich Ideas
Quick and Easy Lunches
The sandwich. Is there any more quintessential lunchtime fare? Given that on average Americans consume almost 200 of them every year (nearly four every week and nearly 17 every month), it would seem the answer to this question is a resounding “no.” Whether cut down the middle or on the diagonal, with the crust or without, open-faced or double-stacked, we just can’t get enough of these satisfying eats.
What makes the sandwich so popular? No doubt it has to do with its convenience. After all, how long does it take to spread some mustard or mayo on two slices of bread and layer in some turkey? 30 seconds? 45? Maybe a minute at most – if you’re snacking on the turkey as you layer it on the bread.
However, I think the creativity and freedom a sandwich offers also plays a big part in its popularity. You can put pretty much anything between two slices of bread and call it a sandwich. Think of Elvis and his trademark PB, banana, and fried bacon sandwiches, or the Rutgers University grease trucks which pretty much offer an entire dinner (appetizer sometimes included) wrapped up in a roll.
While I’m not much for PB and bacon or for stuffing my sandwich so full I’d need a mile-wide mouth to eat it, I am all for experimentation. In that vein, here are a few concoctions to tickle your taste buds.
1. PB & P sandwich – Peanut butter and pickles that is (a friend and former co-worker’s favorite childhood treat). Okay this may sound just as strange as peanut butter and bacon, and more like a pregnancy craving than a culinary delight, but don’t turn your nose up so quickly. The juiciness of the pickle acts as a nice complement to the stickiness of the peanut butter, and the two flavors are not as polarizing as you might think. After all, what goes better with something salty than something sour (you’ve had salt and vinegar potato chips, right)?
2. Cottage cheese and ketchup sandwich – This is one of my favorite combinations. Ketchup goes great with just about anything, but the mild flavor and creamy texture of cottage cheese makes it a particularly good partner. Throw in some grilled chicken and use the mixture as a spread (almost like a very, very basic and somewhat healthier alternative to Russian dressing or “fry sauce” – which is mayo and ketchup mixed together).
3. Ice cream sandwich – No this doesn’t refer to merely eating a Good Humor treat for lunch, although it’s just as satisfying. Simply toast two slices of bread – whole wheat actually works pretty well – scoop on your favorite ice cream and enjoy. If you can have breakfast for dinner, why not have dessert for lunch?
4. Candy sandwich – So this may sound like a five-year-old’s idea of the perfect lunch, but every once in a while it’s good to embrace your inner child. This one works best – I think – with waffles instead of bread. You can use homemade or store-bought waffles. Just make sure they’re warm. Sandwich in some of your favorite candies (the “fun size” candy bars are ideal) and enjoy.
5. Yogurt sandwich – You may want to give this one a try after you’ve indulged in the ice cream and candy sandwiches. There’s not much to this sandwich – including calories – which makes it a nice, guilt-free break from the norm. Just spread your favorite yogurt – any flavor will do – on two pieces of toast (or a long roll) and indulge away. If you want a little crunch, add in some granola.