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The Monte Cristo Sandwich for Dieters, and More About the Recipe that Inspired It.

Updated on February 3, 2022
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Vanessa earned her MA in English and Creative Writing from SNHU. She has been writing food articles since 2009.

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An Original Monte Cristo

By Infrogmation of New Orleans (Photo by Infrogmation) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-2.0 (, CC-BY-SA-2.5 ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://cr
By Infrogmation of New Orleans (Photo by Infrogmation) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-2.0 (, CC-BY-SA-2.5 ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://cr

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 sandwich
Calories 321
Calories from Fat45
% Daily Value *
Fat 5 g8%
Saturated fat 3 g15%
Unsaturated fat 2 g
Carbohydrates 41 g14%
Sugar 13 g
Fiber 7 g28%
Protein 21 g42%
Cholesterol 24 mg8%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Please Note: Nutritional information was calculated by using an online calculator. Levels may vary slightly according to the brands you use.

The Monte Cristo for Dieters (A Lightened-Up Sandwich Recipe)

One of our favorite sandwiches is the Monte Cristo. It is made with French toast or batter-dipped and deep fried. It is usually filled with turkey, ham and/or bacon and is often served with a dip of jam or maple syrup on the side.

This version is lightened up considerably but is every bit as tasty as the original.

For each sandwich, you will need:

1 egg white

1 tsp. of water

½ tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla

1 packet artificial sweetener

2 slices high fiber light bread (must have at least 3 grams fiber and 100 calories or less per 2 slices)

1 slice fat free cheese (any flavor)

1 serving light turkey breast (very low fat or no fat)

2 very thin slices of apple

2 very thin slices tomato

2 very thin slices red onion

In a small, fairly flat bowl, mix egg white, water, cinnamon, vanilla, and sweetener. Whisk until frothy.

Spray skillet with cooking spray. Place on high heat until fairly hot, then lower heat to medium. Layer cheese, turkey, apple, onion and tomato between slices of bread. Dip bread in egg mixture, one side at a time, until all of the egg mixture is absorbed and both slices are coated.

Place in hot pan and cook until the bread is browned. Turn and brown the other side.

Serve warm with a side of lite jelly or sugar free syrup.

The Sandwich: A Brief history


Bread is usually what makes a sandwich a sandwich. There are many types of bread, and they all have varying calorie counts and nutritional values. For example, a croissant is made mostly from butter and sugar. The average croissant (@50g.) is 180 calories and 10 fat grams, and that’s just getting started. Add to that some butter, and egg, a sausage and a slice of cheddar, and you’re in the I-definitely-shouldn’t-eat-this territory.

If you want to lighten up the bread part of your sandwich, here are some things that you should consider:

  • Many of the breads that you use come in lighter versions. Hamburger rolls, hot dog rolls, pita, sliced bread and bagels all have versions that have lower calories, lower fat and higher fiber. Look for versions that are virtually fat free, have three grams of fiber or more and 100 calories or less per serving. Don’t be fooled: a serving should be a whole roll or two slices. And do experiment; some of these breads are bland and tasteless, but the art of making light bread has come a long way in recent years, and some of them are really good.

  • Consider a whole grain bread but be careful! Not all whole grains are really whole grains. Also, many whole grains are worth it for the health benefits but will still be very high in fat, carbs or calories. Have a goal for the maximum nutritional values that you want for this part of your sandwich, and then stick to it. Read the nutrition labels carefully and check the ingredients. If these indicators are not what you are looking for, then it’s time to pass on it.

  • Make it a wrap! Many nutritionists and diet gurus these days are recommending that you skip the bread altogether (Yikes!) and make a sandwich into a lettuce wrap. Lettuce is a good wrap-around vegetable that has almost no calories. There are several light flat breads have a very large surface for stuffing yet can still meet your nutritional goals.

Another Original

By Istartedaids at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia CommonsAnother Original
By Istartedaids at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia CommonsAnother Original


Obviously, if you want to reduce the calorie count of your sandwich, you can't use condiments that are full of fat or sugar. Full fat mayonnaise or high sugar relish are a no-no. But there are some delicious ways that you can add moisture or flavor to your sandwiches. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Try the condiments that are known to have a no or low caloric content. For example, Dijon mustard has a very strong flavor, but its calorie content and its fat content is negligible. Consider hot sauce, steak sauce, ketchup, Dijonnaise, and soy sauce are just a few. There also hot or sweet peppers, pickles or relish in a no sugar variety.

  • Try making your own condiment blends. You can mix hot sauce with fat free mayonnaise, soy sauce with ketchup, or some jalapeño peppers with some sugar-free raspberry jam. Or consider adding some spices to your commercial sauces.

  • Make your own condiments. Finely chop fruits or vegetables and blend to make salsas or chutney. You can also process your light foods in a blender or food processor to create wonderful new sandwich spreads.

  • Use a half-teaspoon of your healthy oils for taste and lubrication. This will add fat calories but will add the benefits of omega 3 fatty acids.

Disney Kitchens Monte Cristo


Proteins also contribute a lot to the caloric content of a sandwich. Proteins can consist of meat or meat substitutes, cheese, fish, or eggs, vegan or bean products. There can be one protein that is the central taste of the sandwich, or there can be a mixture of many of them. Here are some suggestions to lighten up your protein:

  • Choose a fat-free or low-fat version of your favorite meat or cheese. Always read the nutritional labels on the food that you buy.

  • Don’t assume that a vegetarian meat substitute is low fat. Check the fat content on the label. Most vegetable proteins will be naturally lower in fat than animal products, but you need to know what was added during processing.

  • Use egg whites instead of whole eggs. All the fat is in the yolk. Season the egg whites before cooking them.

  • Use fish that is poached or baked instead of breaded or fried.

  • Consider making a sandwich without protein. Sandwiches made of only vegetables can be very low in calories as well.

Monte Cristo Sandwich

Another Monte Cristo
Another Monte Cristo | Source


Vegetables (and the occasional fruit) are at the heart of a lightened-up sandwich. They are filling and delicious. They can add an element of creamy, crunchy or soft. And, depending on how they are prepared, they can be the flavor note that defines the taste. Here are a few notes about sandwich vegetables:

  • Don’t use vegetables that are soaked in oil. If you must use oils, use only the healthy ones that are loaded with omega 3 fatty acids, and then keep it to a minimum (2 teaspoons or less.) Remember to keep track of the fat that you’re adding.

  • Pay attention to the notes on condiments.

  • Vegetables can be raw or cooked, but make sure you cook them in a healthy way. Steam or roast them, or fry them with no calorie cooking spray,

  • Season them liberally. Herbs and spices don't usually have any calories, and many of them have antioxidant properties. The taste boost can be explosive!

  • Experiment. Try some roasted asparagus or some poached pears in your sandwich. Try mixtures of tastes, like salty and sweet, or savory and tart. The idea is to learn what taste combinations can excite your palate without the added calories.

Cooking Methods

Not all sandwiches need to be cooked, but sometimes cooking can yield a very desirable result (as in the case of our Monte Cristo, above.) Cooking a sandwich can create a crisp crust, cook the meat or melt the cheese inside, or enhance the flavor. However, it can also result in a much higher calorie count. Here are a few tips on cooking:

  • Don’t fry sandwiches in oils or butter. Try nonstick cooking spray or use your best nonstick pan.

  • Use a grill that was coated with cooking spray. You can get that char taste if cooking over a fire.

  • Toast the bread in a toaster or oven before using.

  • Bake your sandwich. You can make an open-faced sandwich on a cookie sheet or wrap in foil and place it on an oven rack.

  • Use your sandwich press if you have one.


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