This article is written by Julie Hambleton, nutrition and fitness expert and co-founder of The Taste Archives.
Ah the sandwich! A lunchtime staple since our moms first sent us off to school with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with the crusts removed. Of course, as we grew up, so did our sandwiches, graduating to classics such as ham and cheese, chicken salad, or perhaps even a reuben, when we feel like getting a little fancy.
Unfortunately, increasing amounts of information have been coming out showing how bread, the backbone of every sandwich, isn’t as good for us as originally marketed. Much of the wheat grown today is genetically modified and there is so much salt, sugar, and preservatives added to it that it hardly resembles what bread once was. Because of this, things like gluten and other intolerances and allergies are on the rise and forcing people to say goodbye to their convenient, tasty lunchtime go-to.
10 Great Sandwich Ideas That Use ZERO Bread
Here at the Hearty Soul, we are happy to report that going breadless doesn’t have to mean giving up sandwiches after all! We have come up with a list of bread alternatives that are healthy and satisfying. These are so good, in fact, you may like them even better than your traditional bun.
Collard greens are the perfect substitute for a tortilla or wheat wrap because they are large, sturdy, and with a relatively neutral flavor that allows you to fill them with just about anything! Things such as hummus, baba ganoush, and every veggie you can imagine make for a tasty, filling lunch. A personal favorite are leftover turkey dinner collard wraps: Complete with turkey and cranberry sauce.
Swiss Chard Wraps
Swiss chard is another big, leafy green that holds up well in a wrap. Try chicken or turkey with apples and a touch of sharp cheddar or leftover roast beef with cranberries and feta.
Boston Bib Lettuce Wraps
Boston bib lettuce is again large (hence the ‘bib’ part) and folds easily. Consider making chicken salad wraps, or get a touch of summer in by putting in some grilled chicken, onions, strawberries or other summer fruit.
Apple-wiches make for perfect snacks, breakfasts, or lunches. Pick your favorite sturdy crisp apple (Granny Smith or a Red Delicious work well here) and spread them with, well, whatever you want! Peanut butter, cheddar cheese, tuna salad, or fresh ricotta and a drizzle of honey are all scrumptious, healthy options.
Though this may sounds too good to be true, I assure you it is not. Making grain free, wheat free waffle bread is easy and there are plenty of options in terms of what you can make them with. Consider giving this plantain waffle bread a try, or if plantains aren’t your thing try this sweet potato version instead. The best part about waffle bread is you can make a big batch of it and freeze them.
Sweet Potato Toasts
Sweet potato toasts are the answer to every avo-toast lovers dreams. Not only that, but they make a great replacement for your morning peanut-butter and toast, and can easily replace bread or a bun in any burger or sandwich! You can make them easily in the toaster, in the oven if you’re looking to do large batches at once, and when I say the possibilities are endless, I truly mean it.
Cucumber subs are easy to make and have a satisfying crunch that regular old submarine sandwiches just don’t have. All you have to do is cut your cucumber in half, remove the center with the seeds in it using a spoon, and voila! You have a nice open pocket for whatever type of cucumber sub you’d like. Ham and cheese, tuna salad, salmon and avocado, BLT, whatever your “normal” sub toppings are, only on a cucumber instead.
If you’re someone who likes layers in their sandwiches, look no further than the eggplant. To make these fun and interesting bread alternatives, simply slice your eggplant into thin rounds, toss in a little oil, salt, and pepper, and bake in the oven until they are completely cooked. From there, take four rounds and layer them with your sandwich filling. Though these may be somewhat messier than a traditional sandwich, the best foods are the ones that you need to lick your fingers after eating anyways, right?
Cauliflower Bread Buns
Just when you thought you couldn’t do anymore with cauliflower, everyone’s favorite cruciferous vegetable is back in the form of a tasty, sturdy, grain-free burger bun. Whether you’re using them to replace your burger bun at your next backyard barbecue or to get some more vegetables into your regular office lunch, these cauliflower buns won’t disappoint.
Garbanzo beans aren’t just for hummus anymore! Also known as Socca, chickpea flatbread is a popular staple in the Cote D’Azur in France, and it’s no surprise why. It’s easy to make, inexpensive, versatile, and fits right in with their healthy mediterranean diet. You can use it to replace flat bread for dipping or for a bread replacement. Check out this recipe for simple socca.
Before You Go…
Giving up bread doesn’t have to be a horrible thing, and it doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying your favorite foods! With a little creativity and an open mind, you can still have healthy, easy, and fast lunches throughout the week that don’t leave you bloated, sluggish, or any other lasting health effects.
Share this article with your friends and family to show everyone how easy and fun going grain-free can be!