Just Make a Sandwich
“My kids don’t eat a lot of vegetables because I’m not much of a veggie person,” a mom I know told me the other day.
I felt shocked, the way I do when I see a long line of cars waiting in a fast food drive-thru. I take for granted that since I grew out of my 18-year old diet of whatever junk I can find and pay for with quarters leftover from a laundromat trip that other adults have too. But that’s just not the case.
We all hear the advice to eat the rainbow (and no, ketchup and mustard don’t count for your colors) but it occurs to me that maybe people don’t know how easily it can be done.
Enter the sandwich.
No matter what your day looks like or how short you feel on time to make fresh food, you always have two minutes to make a sandwich. It will take less time than waiting in line to pay for your pre-made, store-bought, and preservative-laden convenience food.
Here’s a list of what you need:
- A small cooler bag and slicker pad. They’re affordable, you only have to buy them one time and the ice pack will keep the contents of the bag, that come in many stylish designs these days, cool until your lunch break.
- A loaf of bread. I prefer making my own but I have been known to buy a multi-grain or sprouted grain loaf from the store in a pinch. If you’re gluten-free there are a variety of commercial bread to support you or you can always pick up a pack of tortillas and make it a wrap.
- A selection of vegetables. Lettuce or another green like spinach along with tomato are the obvious choices but some other good options to switch it up and keep it interesting include: red pepper, cucumber, onion, sprouts or micro greens, grated carrots and beets, sautéed mushrooms, and the list goes on.
- A protein. If you’re a meat eater there’s the obvious pre-sliced lunch meat but you could also cook a roast or a couple chicken breasts in a crockpot over the weekend and use the leftover shredded meat for your lunches. If you’re going veggie, you could slice an avocado in half, leave the slices in the skin and squirt a little lemon juice on them to keep them fresh and green. Or use hummus. There are also a lot of meat substitutes out there but I try and use them sparingly and stick to real foods as much as possible.
- A small Tupperware for your condiment of choice. I use mainly Dijon mustard but you could easily mix it up with mayonnaise or use another spread like pesto or olive tapenade.
- A handful of small, washable containers. If you want to get everything ready the night before, put the veggies, protein and bread slices in separate containers. At lunchtime, it’s as easy as spreading your condiments, stacking your fillings, and chowing down.
Note: It’s a good idea to keep a set of cutlery in your cooler bag. Mine has a pocket on the outside to hold them.
Cheaper, healthier, and if you’re like my husband- it’s actually the perfect food.