Wednesday, 13 June 2012

6 sandwich alternatives

My son loves sandwiches. He would list them amongst his favourite meals. I make him a sandwich for lunch most days Monday to Friday. He never has two of the same fillings in any given week but I'm aware that his lunch repertoire, whilst to his enjoyment, is lacking in variety.

A sandwich is quick to prepare, generally pretty healthy and can often be thrown together with even the barest of cupboards or fridges. Thinking beyond sandwiches, you're often talking about a bit of advance preparation so you can see why a sandwich is my default ;-).

However, in an attempt to take a break from the sandwiches more days than I do currently, I decided to put some thought into other options that are fairly quick, easy, healthy and delicious. Here are my 6 sandwich alternatives:

- savoury muffins: these can be a great way of incorporating some vegetables into something that is fun to eat and easy to bake. You could make them the night before or the morning of, depending on your schedule. Serve with some tomato wedges and cucumber/carrot/celery sticks. Here are a few ideas for muffin recipes - I like the sound of the carrot, spinach and cumin ones!

- substantial salad: a green-based salad doesn't fill me up and my son does not care for lettuce leaves so I like to make rice/quinoa/pasta salads which are yummy and filling. You could cook extra rice/quinoa/pasta the night before and then throw together a salad by adding some of the following: chopped tomato/cucumber, cheese cubed or grated, grated carrot, tinned sweetcorn, tinned beans, tinned puy lentils, hard-boiled eggs, nuts, seeds.....

- quiche: a little less healthy due to the fat in the pastry but still fine every now and then. Some fillings I like are simple cheese and onion, broccoli, asparagus, and mushroom. Depending on your baking skills and time, you could buy ready-made pastry rather than making your own. Make at a weekend or in an evening. Could be cut into portions and some frozen.

- eggs: omelette or scrambled eggs best lend themselves to vegetables being included (either cooked in with the eggs or on the side). This is a fairly quick option to cook on the spot before eating.

- dips:  beans or chickpeas can be whizzed up into a healthy dip by adding a bit of natural yoghurt and some seasoning (you  may also need a little oil or water to thin it down). Hummous is very easy to make at home and there are lots of tasty vegetable dips you could try too (baba ganoush springs to mind). Cut up some raw veggies to dip in. Breadsticks or pitta breads are good too.

- soup: not something I am cooking much at the moment due to it being summer but I love a warming bowl of soup for lunch in the winter especially. Healthy, hearty and easy to make even with minimal ingredients at home.

What do you typically make for you and your children at lunch time? Any other suggestions to add to my six?
photo credit


  1. I wish my daughter would eat sandwiches! I was very green in the early days and thought I would be failing her in some way if I didn't produce vegetable-rich meals for both lunch and dinner. I now struggle to get her to eat anything cold - she just loves hot food. I therefore tend to produce a vegetable cous cous or throw in some fish fingers, again with a bit of mixed veg. I LOVE the look of those Carrot, spinach and cumin muffins too. In fact we might even give them a go today!

    1. Interesting about your daughter not being keen on cold foods. Vegetable cous cous is one of my go-to meals I have to say!

  2. Savoury muffins sound good! I'm a big fan of soup and salad as my daughter eats gluten-free. We tried not to replace the wheat with other refined grains but to use wholesome alternatives like brown rice, nuts, or baked potatoes. I can find a brown rice couscous here that's really good. My son, though, is a huge fan of sandwiches.:)

    Bon appétit!


    1. A brown rice couscous sounds great! Good that you turned to wholesome alterntaives to wheat and those you've listed are all ones we enjoy in our family too. Yummy!


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