Ever since I was medium-sized I’ve been eating the guts out of my sandwiches and leaving the bread behind. Part of this is because I grew up eating sandwiches made with my mother’s whole-grain, crammed-with-seeds, infinitely varied and interesting homemade bread, and once I was on my own (and emphatically NOT baking all my own bread) no other bread could measure up. And part of it was a simple love for sandwich guts.
Which is handy these days, given that bread is one of the five forbidden foods. But I still eat lots of sandwich guts, now with totally different ways to hold them together. Here are a few that you might enjoy, as well as a few tips on how to make them foods you can eat with your hands:
My all-time favorite gut. Guts. Whatever. Anyway, I buy those sandwich slices and roll up sprouts, spinach, red pepper slices, pear wedges, and even hummus in them. For added fun and goofiness, use toothpicks to hold your cheese rolls together. Messy, delicious, wonderful.
Still a fave. And I grew up eating the real, just-ground, gotta-stir-it-up kind, and I still love it. I grind my own at Whole Foods, and I think you can acually get it at the regular grocery stores now, too. Eat it with celery sticks, apple slices, and even a few (it’s a bread, so go easy) pretzels.
Home-grown Tomato, Bufala Mozzarella, and Fresh Basil
Warm tomatoes from the garden, a fresh, pretty little round bufala (look in the deli section for these treasures), and a handful of fragrant green basil leaves (look in your grocery by the tomatoes, or grow your own) make the best sandwich guts ever invented by the Italians. I put lots of freshly ground black pepper on mine. They alternate slices of tomato, mozzarella, and basil leaves on a plate, then drizzle the whole thing with olive oil. You’ll hear it called insalata caprese, and this is what they eat in heaven. Oh, yeah — I don’t eat this with my hands, but I would if there were no forks around!
Lots of restaurants are doing chicken in lettuce wraps these days. Or maybe they always did and I’m just starting to notice them. For theirs P.F. Chang’s uses iceberg lettuce, which has no redeeming nutritional value (see Rethink Your Salad, comment section), so I use cooked kale that’s been chilled in the fridge. You could also use that curly purply Romaine lettuce. Load your greenies with chicken, pesto, even some radish or carrot slices.
I hate all “lunch meat”. It tastes fakey and feels slimy. It’s usually over-salted and it just doesn’t compare with a real slice of turkey straight off the breast, or even a slice off a ham. I’m actually willing to purchase turkey breasts and cook them just so that I never have to eat a slice of lunch meat again. I buy pre-sliced hams as well. I will even pay ridiculous prices ($9 per pound, here) once in a while for some roast beef from a deli counter. Anything to avoid lunch meat.
Try your turkey chopped, mixed with fresh tarragon (our grocery has it in the specialty refrigerated section) and a bit of plain yogurt. You can add green apple, red pear, or even some red grapes to make this really sing. I eat it with celery stalks. Talk about great guts!
What are your favorite guts? Leave me a comment!