Sandwich inspiration (and my view on lunch meat)

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To be honest, I never really liked lunch meat that much anyway so it was very easy for me to stop buying it. The main reason we gave it up was because (especially after watching Food, Inc.) we made a decision to only eat locally raised meats. And have you ever seen someone slicing off pieces of deli meat at your local farmers’ market? Shortly after writing off all lunch meat I soon realized other good benefits would come from this decision as well. Like helping us to reduce our overall meat consumption, which is better for our health and environment anyway. So this is the reason I haven’t bought a pack of deli meat in over a year (or even missed it one bit), and as you can see it was quite a simple decision for us!

Grilled Caprese Sandwich with Balsamic Vinegar

With that being said, this change opened up a whole new window of opportunity when it came to sandwiches. But with anything, I can sometimes get in a rut. So I recently asked my wonderful facebook community to share their most favorite sandwich combinations, which helped inspire this fresh list of sandwich ideas below. Please also feel free to leave your ideas in the comments at the bottom!

Cold Sandwiches / Wraps

  • Hummus with cheese, avocado and veggies (like carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, bell peppers or tomatoes)
  • Egg salad (variations include: curry or chopped green olives)
  • Egg salad BLT (bacon, lettuce, and tomato)

    Egg Salad Sandwich

  • (Who doesn’t love) PB&J
  • Peanut butter and banana
  • Cream cheese and jelly
  • Sprouts, provolone, honey mustard and avocado
  • BLT with or without crabmeat
  • BLT with avocado and spicy mayonnaise on focaccia bread
  • Open faced with black bean hummus, roasted red bell peppers, and avocado
  • Brie cheese, thin slice of green apple, and homemade chicken salad with grapes and walnuts
  • Chicken, black bean dip, tomato and avocado with a little squeeze of lime
  • Open faced with tuna salad, melted provolone and a slice of tomato
  • Herbed cream cheese and cucumber
  • Pecan-raisin bread with granny smith apple, goat cheese and honey
  • Pimento cheese
  • Cheddar, tomato, cucumber, a little mayo, salt and pepper
  • Grilled chicken, baked apples and brie, fig jam and lettuce
  • Sliced cucumber, tomato, hard-boiled egg, mayo
  • Cream cheese on whole-wheat cinnamon raisin bread or banana bread

Hot / Grilled Sandwiches

  • Caprese (pictured above – great on bread or a pita)
  • Pimento cheese (yes…it is amazing served hot!)
  • Roasted veggies, pesto, and cheese
  • Grilled cheese with or without tomatoes (trick: sprinkle a tad bit of grated Parmesan just before the bread gets fully browned!)
  • Grilled swiss cheese and avocado
  • Grilled egg, cheese and tomato
  • Melted brie with thin sliced apple
  • Grilled veggie sandwich with garlic mayonnaise and feta
  • Mushroom, roasted bell pepper, goat cheese, and pesto panini


[Entered into Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday]

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99 comments to Sandwich inspiration (and my view on lunch meat)

  • Jules

    What about roast beef sandwich? We put a roast in the crock pot with cream of mushroom and cook it until it falls apart. Then use that as our ‘sliced meet’ with cheese, lettuces, a dressing, etc…

  • Anastacia

    Any tips are welcome – my husband loves his ham lunch meat sandwiches and has one everyday for lunch. He will eat PB&J once a week but doesn’t like chicken/turkey/tuna or veggies in his sandwich and says he needs a meat or he won’t feel full (exception is peanut butter). Any thoughts for helping him cut out the lunch meat??? Also doesn’t like the texture of beans and only likes small amounts of hummus spread thin so it’s not filling enough. He needs a cold sandwich for work. I haven’t tried egg salad sandwiches yet and if he likes that is it healthy to eat 4 days a week? thanks!!!!

    • Casey

      Cook a whole or 1/2 ham and slice it yourself?

    • Jessica

      I sometimes make pulled pork from a botson butt. It’s good with bbq sauce and cold. My husband likes it!

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Anastacia. If he doesn’t want to give up the ham, perhaps you can make sure the one you are using is free of nitrates and try and limit the number of times a week he has it. How about a grilled chicken or fresh turkey sandwich? I would say variety is key. Good luck. I hope he finds a few options he can enjoy. Jill

  • Susan

    I think my favorites are egg salad (preferably made with duck eggs) with baby spinach and avocado on a homemade Ezekiel bun and, in the “grilled” department, it’s gotta be grilled baby spinach, avocado (do you see a trend here) and some yummy local feta.

  • Lacy

    What about cooking a ham and slicing it yourself? Is that a healthier option? I know in lots of areas you can get local pork, ham, and sausage. I’m not a big ham fan, but at least you’d be skipping nitrates that way, right? Also, I’ve been eating cold pasta salads for lunch instead of a sandwich. A good one was homemade pesto, whole wheat pasta, and leftover shredded chicken from a crockpot whole chicken dinner. Simple and really good hot or cold.

  • Bethany

    One of my favorites is Peanut Butter with Cheese…especially a sharp cheddar. Mmmmm!

  • grilled cheese with sauteed spinach or squash or portabellos or apples or pears or asparagus…oh nevermind Grilled Cheese with ANYTHING clean!!! Check out my I LOVE Grilled Cheese board on Pinterest

  • Favorite sandwiches?
    Leftover grilled salmon with spinach and goat cheese in a wrap.
    Leftover steak, thinly sliced. Serve with balsamic pickled onions, leafy greens, a little pesto mayo, and some leftover cooked mushrooms… open faced on crunchy bread.
    Thinly sliced apple with peanut butter. Spread the pb on both pieces of bread to keep the apples crisp and unbrowned.
    Grilled veggies and goat cheese on arugula on a crispy whole grain roll. (best with balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil)

    lately i’ve been craving a meatloaf sandwich. but that requires making real-food meatloaf first.

  • Meta

    We’re in a bind… i’m lactose intolerant & my daughter has a milk protein allergy (which means no dairy), peanut (& treenuts), & egg. Are there honestly no luncheon meats that would work??? Deli sliced (at the store) is not an option for us because of cross-contamination with cheese. Perhaps, it will it just be something i close my eyes at.

    There are not any local meat farmers nearby to get our meat. We make it to Whole Foods about once every 3 months & do a stock up of my daughters special foods. The drive is about 45 minutes there & another 45 back. Thoughts, freezing??? Any ideas? We’re trying very hard to clean up our already healthy lifestyle & taking it to the next level.

  • Christin

    What all do you put in your egg salad?

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Christin. I know LIsa uses the Spectrum brand organic mayonnaise in her egg salad, but, in great moderation (probably only like once a month). Jill

  • Rhonda

    I love having new ideas for lunches, but I wonder how you keep the hot sandwiches warm? If you find a way to keep them warm, does that introduce the possiblity of having bacteria grow in the food from being at a room temperature setting for too long? just wondering, these are the things I think about when preparing my kids’ lunches!

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Rhonda. My kids actually eat the sandwiches that are supposed to be warm cold. They don’t care at all. That eliminates the potential for spoilage as well. Jill

  • LoLa

    One of my favorites is a “vegetarian reuben” inspired by one I had at a vegetarian restaurant in Green Bay, WI. (name escapes me, sorry) Saute some sliced mushrooms and onion until the mushroooms are brown and onions soft, add some sauerkraut and heat through. Pile onto some toasted pumpernickel or rye, add shredded enmental or swiss cheese and homemade sauce (mayo w/ketchup and a drop of tabasco). Yum!

  • Julie

    I love shredded chicken with pesto and grated parmesan cheese. Mix it all together, and it’s great in a pita, on bread or in a wrap!

  • All yummy ideas! I also love nutbutter and honey!

  • Kitt

    Wow, you guys use a ton of cheese and eggs. I’m conscious of it because I’m allergic to both those things :( I make a lot of similar sandwiches but without any cheese! I love subbing hummus and/or avocado for the creamy fattiness, or pickles and olives for something salty. One of my favorites is making “grilled avocado,” which is really just like a grilled cheese but with soft avocado between the bread slices (I like tomatoes in there too).

  • [...] Grilled chicken, baked apples and brie, fig jam and lettuce. [...]

  • Marsela

    What is your homemade chicken salad recipe?

  • Dennis

    Here is my favorite I buy from whole foods.

    Sonoma Chicken Salad

    1 cup mayonnaise
    4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
    5 teaspoons honey
    2 teaspoons poppy seeds
    Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
    2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    3/4 cup pecan pieces, toasted
    2 cups red seedless grapes
    3 stalks celery, thinly sliced


    In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, poppy seeds, salt and pepper.
    Refrigerate until ready to dress the salad. This can be prepared up to 2 days

    Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the chicken breasts in one layer in a baking
    dish with 1/2 cup water. Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes until completely
    cooked through. Remove cooked chicken breasts from pan, cool at room temperature
    for 10 minutes, then cover and refrigerate.

    When the chicken is cold, dice into bite-size chunks and transfer to a large
    bowl. Stir in pecans, grapes, celery and dressing.
    Serves 6

  • Gloria

    My favorite chicken salad recipe is a staple in Venezuelan cuisine. It has boiled chicken breast (shredded), chopped avocado, chopped cilantro, mayo, lime juice, salt and pepper. It can be used in sandwich, or corn tortillas for a “cold” taco. It is great as an appetizer with tortilla chips as well.

  • [...] sandwich for lunch and in case you need some ideas of what to make check out the list on this post: Sandwich Inspiration Recommended: Krups Panini [...]

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