You’re at your desk or out working on the go, and it’s nearing noon. You look down into your chic designer lunch bag and what do you see? A very far-from-chic sandwich that is sure to bore your taste buds, if it even wins out over that nearest drive-through. To kick up your lunch bag sandwich and help you to favour your homemade meal over a quick fix from the takeout counter, we offer you these tips that will have you forgetting all about those bland baloney sandwich blues.
Take a trip away from your usual grocery store fridge aisle, and venture off to your local European market. Branch out from the cheese-wiz and Kraft singles, and partake in the cheeses that have made so many European countries famous. Try a slice of hardy Dutch Edam for your ham and cheese, or smear some rich Italian Mascarpone atop prosciutto and tomatoes. You can even turn a grilled cheese into a highbrow treat with a slice of pungent Swiss Raclette and a dash of nutmeg. Cheese is such a big part of many exotic cultures, so spend your lunch hour schooling your palate with some new cheese choices.
Nothing kicks up a sandwich quite like a tasty spread. Mayonnaise tends to be the go-to favorite for many of us, but after a while that “tangy-zip” can lack some thrill. Mediterranean and middle-eastern sauces and spreads like hummus, baba ghanoush, tzatziki, aioli, and tapenade are becoming popular items in grocery stores, with many being offered in a variety of flavours. Try adding spicy hummus to your chicken wrap, dolloping some garlicky aioli on your roast beef on a bun, or spreading a savoury olive tapenade on your salami sub.
Yellow mustard is also a common sandwich ingredient, and one that can eventually lose its appeal. Try switching from regular yellow mustard to a wine-infused Dijon to give that tired clubhouse some flavourful sophistication. Or bring the zing back to your ham sammy with a hot horseradish mustard. There are also many tasty sweet mustards, including the popular honey dill mustard, which pairs deliciously with good old chicken and turkey. By preparing your workday sandwich with a unique mustard, you can bring out all new flavours from the usual deli meats.
We all love a little crunch
A final way to rev up your sandwich is to add a great crunch. Lettuce and pickles are always good, but again, if you are looking for something new, there are many other crispy and crunchy options. Frizzled onions are becoming a popular sandwich feature, adding a hit of flavour and a satisfying crunch. For a little-less-greasy option, opt for a handful of spicy radish bean sprouts, shredded carrots, or thin apple slices. You can also go the good old-fashioned route and throw in some crispy potatoes chips. A tip for keeping your crunchy addition crunchy is to keep those ingredients separate, adding them to your sandwich just before eating.
The sandwich is a tried and true lunch option and makes for a very convenient, healthy, and satisfying workday meal. Keep your love for lunch hour strong by playing around with your sandwich ingredients, trying different breads, exploring new meats, adding exotic spreads and cheeses, and incorporating fresh seasonal produce.