Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday Feature - Sandwich ideas

I'm not a bread person and I can pass it up easily, unless it's a nice crusty specialty bread or sourdough. Then I love it toasted and topped with butter, avocado and salt. But alas, all of the above are high calorie and high sodium.

To me, sandwich bread is there to keep the mayo off your fingers. I usually pack a salad for my lunch at work, but that can become same-ol'-same-ol'. And if I'm going somewhere without a fridge, then a sandwich is what I'll pack. I'm always looking for other ways to pack a lunch, cut calories and add flavor.

Currently, I'm using corn tortillas in place of bread. On the NuVal scale (nutritional value compared to calories*) corn tortillas are 91 and flour tortillas are around 20. But corn tortillas need to be cooked in some way to make their dry texture palatable. In the past I've always fried them in oil, but I wanted to get away from that extra fat, so now I spritz them with a little cooking spray and put them in the toaster oven. They come out nice and soft or crunchy depending on the time in the oven. Sometimes I sprinkle  a tablespoon of grated cheddar on top. I still use flour tortillas occasionally when I want to make burritos or wraps. I also use pitas and fill them with just about any sandwich ingredients. Below are some recipes for a tortilla wrap and pita sandwich. 

BTW, I made the St. Patrick's Day cupcakes that I posted a couple of weeks ago and they disappeared at my work pot luck. I did half with the German chocolate frosting and half with the vanilla cream frosting, which I dyed green by mixing in green sprinkles.

*NuVal is a scale to help consumers choose nutritious foods. The nutrient content is compared to the calorie content of a food and the higher the number the more nutritious the food is per calorie. Many supermarkets now post these numbers on the shelves next to the price tags. Check it out

Banish Boring Sandwiches
Boost your kitchen creativity with unexpectedly craveable sandwiches

(Family Features) It’s time to break out of your ordinary lunch routine and make boring turkey sandwiches a thing of the past. With a few innovative tricks, you can turn any regular sandwich into a delicious and satisfying meal.

Versatile and delicious, a sandwich is perfect for any occasion, whether you’re sitting down with the family or packing for a lunch on the go. And you don’t have to be a professional chef to take a classic sandwich and turn it into a tasty meal. Try these simple tips and recipes to help boost your creativity in the kitchen:

—There are things better than sliced bread: Give your sandwich a makeover by piling your favorite fixings on a better bread option, such as focaccia, tortillas or whole wheat pita. The sky’s the limit.

—Smart substitutions: Lose the calories, but keep the taste of your favorite BLT by using new Hidden Valley Bacon Ranch sandwich spread instead of mayo — you’ll get all the same flavor with a third of the calories.

—Repurpose your leftovers: Make extra meat and vegetables for dinner, and use them for tomorrow’s lunch by placing leftovers between two pieces of your favorite bread.

—Turkey sandwiches don’t have to be boring: Add walnuts, avocado or apple slices to jazz up a childhood favorite.

—Go veggie: For the perfect Meatless Monday, try a sandwich on whole wheat bread with slices of avocado and tomato, topped with your favorite cheese — an instant vegetarian masterpiece.

For more ways to turn a sandwich into something unexpectedly craveable, visit.

Italian Wraps
Makes: 1 serving
Prep time: 15 minutes

    • 1/2       cup shredded rotisserie chicken
    • 1/2       cup finely sliced spinach leaves
    • 1/4       cup shredded mozzarella cheese
    • 1          tablespoon finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
    • 1/2       teaspoon chopped fresh basil
    • 2          tablespoons Hidden Valley Oven Roasted Garlic Parmesan Sandwich Spread & Dip, or more to taste
    • 1          10-inch sun-dried tomato basil wrap

Stir together chicken, spinach, cheese, tomatoes, basil and sandwich spread. Spoon onto wrap and spread to edges; roll up. For entertaining, slice into 1-inch pinwheels.

Salmon Pita
Makes: 2 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
    • 6          ounces fresh salmon fillet, cooked and chilled (about 1 cup flaked) or 1 pouch (5 ounces) ready-to-eat premium wild caught pink salmon, skinless and boneless
    • 2          tablespoons minced shallot or red onion
    • 2          tablespoons minced celery
    • 1          teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1/4       cup Hidden Valley Oven-Roasted Garlic Parmesan Sandwich Spread & Dip
    • 2          pita pockets
    • 1          slice iceberg lettuce, optional

Flake salmon; stir in shallots, celery and lemon juice. Add sandwich spread and gently stir to combine. Fill pockets with salmon mixture and lettuce slice.

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