Vegetarianism continues to grow in popularity throughout the world, with many people embracing this lifestyle due to issues surrounding the sustainability of meat production, ethical concerns about the treatment of animals, religious reasons and, of course, health concerns.
However, unfortunately, many cafes and sandwich shops have not adapted to these changes and their vegetarian meal and sandwich options continue to remain rather uninspired. Instead of suffering through another soggy cheese sandwich why not try making our delicious and healthy vegetarian sandwich options detailed below whenever you have a need for sandwiches.
Curried egg and cos lettuce sandwiches on rye bread
These are the perfect sandwiches for afternoon tea or when entertaining friends at home. Best of all they are very quick to prepare, giving you more time to spend with your family or guests.
They are also very nutritious and are a great source of protein, dietary fiber and vitamins A, D, E, zinc, iron, choline and folate. Be sure to make enough to go round, as these sandwiches are sure to be a hit and will not last long.
Yield: 24 triangle sandwiches
Preparation time: 15 minutes
• 4 hardboiled eggs (peeled)
• ¼ cup whole egg mayonnaise
• 2 tablespoons parsley (roughly chopped)
• 2.5 teaspoons curry powder
• 12 slices rye bread
• 1 cos lettuce roughly chopped
1. Mash eggs with whole egg mayonnaise and curry powder
2. Stir through parsley and season with salt and pepper
3. Divide filling between 6 slices of rye bread and add a slice of cos lettuce to each
4. Add top slice of rye bread, cut off crusts and cut sandwiches into quarters
Roast pumpkin and spinach sandwiches on whole wheat bread
If you are looking for a healthy and filling sandwich this should fit the bill. It is also vegan, as it contains no animal food or byproducts. They are packed with pumpkin which is high in beta carotene and contributes to eye health, in addition to this pumpkin and whole wheat bread are full of dietary fiber that will assist with promoting good bowel health and keeping you regular.
Yield: 8 sandwich triangles
Preparation and cooking time: approximately 45 minutes
• 850g pumpkin (peeled and deseeded)
• 60g baby spinach leaves
• 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
• 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 8 slices whole wheat bread
1. Preheat oven to 200°C
2. Line a baking tray with baking paper
3. Cut pumpkin into small cubes (2-3cm square) and place on tray
4. Splash pumpkin liberally with 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
5. Season pumpkin with salt and pepper
6. Roast pumpkin until golden brown and tender (approximately 30 minutes) and then allow to cool
7. Add pumpkin and baby spinach to a bowl
8. Whisk vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper together and then pour over pumpkin and baby spinach. Gently toss.
9. Divide pumpkin mixture between 4 slices of bread. Add sandwich tops with remaining slices. Cut sandwiches in half and serve.
Grilled Mushroom Sandwich
Something that is easy to prepare on the go is the grilled mushroom sandwich. Mushrooms are hearty, very low in calories but still filling. They contain essential antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber and are considered one of the world’s healthiest foods. Crimini mushrooms provide potassium, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, and folate. They also provide key nutrients at risk for deficiency in vegetarian and vegan diets, including zinc, choline, protein, and vitamin B12.
Simply grill mushrooms in a pan with either a little olive oil or vegan butter, add fresh garlic (straight from the clove so you get the heart healthy benefits of anthocyanins) sprinkle a little salt and cook until tender.
Pile cooked mushrooms over a hot French or whole grain roll (the whole grain is better).
Add hummus, mustard or mayo (vegetarians who eat eggs) as a condirment. You can also pile fresh vegetables, like lettuce, tomato and kale over the mushrooms. What a healthy sandwich!!
• Add any other vegetables you love to the pan, like onions, yellow, red, orange and green bell peppers.
• Add any herbs you love to the grilled vegetables, such as chives, oregano, basil or cumin.
This sandwich makes a great lunch or even dinner entree.
More and more people are embracing a vegetarian lifestyle; however, traditional vegetarian food options can often be bland and uninspiring. However, with a little planning and creativity vegetarian foods can satisfy even the most diehard carnivores.
When preparing sandwiches for your vegetarian friends, do yourself and your friends a favor and pass on the standard fare of cheese and salad or cheese and tomato sandwiches and try something a little more gourmet.
Your friends will appreciate your effort and you may even surprise yourself with how tasty meat free sandwiches can be. Best of all choosing vegetarian options some of the time can help you increase your intake of vegetables, which can help you live a long and healthy life without having to eat bland food.