This may seem like an obvious choice, but I find that a lot of meat eaters have no idea what would go into a vegetarian sandwich. My usual response — “Um, anything but meat” — isn’t particularly helpful, so I thought I would post something a little more useful.
The most important thing about building a cruelty-free sandwich is choosing something adequately filling. There are two ways of doing this:
- Replace the meat with another protein/calorie source.
- Eat a really big sandwich.
I promise #2 is not a joke, but I’ll start with #1. The mistake a lot of new vegetarians and vegans make is just pulling the meat and/or cheese from between the sandwich bread and calling it good. That doesn’t cut it for a real appetite. Yes, a lettuce sandwich would be slimming, but it would also be sating for about two seconds. And nasty, let’s not forget about nasty. Here are my suggestions for building a more filling sandwich:
- Spread on a thick layer of hummus or another bean dip. This will add flavor and protein to the sandwich, as well as negate the need for other condiments.
- Slather on some guacamole. See above reason, substituting “fat” for “protein”.
- Add a slab of broiled or baked tofu or tempeh. Once again, they are good protein sources and they more closely mimic the taste and texture of meat, for those who miss that.
- You really can’t go wrong with a classic PB&J. Or PB and banana. Or any nut butter with any fruit. And I occasionally top my peanut butter with grated carrots. Just make sure your nut butters are natural — sugar and hydrogenated oils are not worth it, friends.
As for #2, quantity is important. You can eat tons more veggies for the same number of calories as meat or its non-vegan cohorts. So why not load up? If you normally eat half a six-inch foot-long meaty/cheesy/mayo-y sub, simply remove the animal products and load up on veggies plus vinaigrette or mustard. I call these sandwiches salad on bread, but is that really such a bad thing? Just make sure your bread (or wrap or whatever) is natural and contains plenty of fiber. For a really fun spin, try roasted or grilled veggies. They are phenomenal on a sandwich. With all the calories and fat you’ll save going animal-product-free, I totally won’t judge you if you can’t say no to the Lay’s potato chips. They’re my weakness, too.
I urge you to try out a tasty, filling vegan sandwich the next time you need a quick, easy meal.
What is your favorite meatless sandwich combination?