Lunch. The word can send a shudder through every man or woman who is in charge of packing a lunchbox for either themselves or their school-aged children. For adults, taking your own lunch to work is a great way of saving money and cutting out the “unknown” ingredients that may be in the local food court or café options. And for kids, taking a lunchbox is necessary unless they’re going to order from the canteen every day.
Sandwiches are a lunchtime staple here in Australia. They’re quick to make, relatively cheap and can be mass-produced if you happen to be a parent of many. Unfortunately, they also have a bad reputation. Hands up who here has looked at their rather uninspiring ham sandwich in the office lunchroom, sighed, then gone out to get a burger with a mate?
Recently, I was one of those people. Lunchtime would roll around and I just couldn’t get enthusiastic about eating a sandwich. So I went grocery shopping. I bought all sorts of tasty things then set about making sandwiches I could actually enjoy, that made me think about them all morning as I ploughed through my work and answered an endless pile of emails. And now, I’m sharing those great sandwiches with you. Whether you’re an adult taking lunch to work or a parent packing what feels like a million lunchboxes, some of these ideas are sure to inspire you.
20 Tasty Sandwich Recipes
The Classic BLT: Bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise.
The New Club Sandwich: Chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado and Dijon mustard.
Tuna Zest: Mix a mini tin of tuna (drained) with a couple of spoons of mayonnaise, a tiny amount of grated lemon zest and some black pepper.
The Hot Ploughman: Branston pickle, Hot English mustard and lots of sharp cheddar cheese.
Sweet Dreams Are Made of Cheese: Mix a mini Philadelphia cream cheese tub with a heaped tablespoon of ricotta, a teaspoon of honey, some chopped raisins and chopped walnuts – smear over a bagel.
Italian Chicken and Salad Wrap: Chicken, lettuce or spinach, grated carrot, grated cheese, finely diced red onion, pine nuts, fresh parsley leaves, a small sprinkling of dried oregano and mayonnaise or aioli.
Lamb Slam: Leftover roast lamb, capsicum or sundried tomato pesto and cheese – put in a tortilla and toast it.
The Wolowitz: Pastrami, cream cheese, American mustard and sliced pickled cucumber.
Ham, Interrupted: Ham, cheese, mashed avocado and a sprinkling of cracked black pepper.
Bruschetta Breeze: Rocket, tomato, torn bocconcini and finely shredded basil in a toasted Turkish bread roll.
Roast Beef Roll: Thinly sliced roast beef or silverside, spinach leaves, tomato chutney and cheese (I recommend you toast this).
Banana Nutter: Peanut butter, sliced banana and a tiny drizzle of honey – use seed bread if you can.
Capri Dream: Salami, char-grilled capsicum (you can buy these in jars from the supermarket), cheese, basil and mayonnaise – I use an olive bread here.
Bolero Blitz: Prosciutto, tomato, mushrooms, cheese and rocket – put in a tortilla and toast it!
The Joey Tribbiani: Leftover bolognaise sauce and cheese – use a sturdy bread such as ciabatta or a crusty bread roll which you can hollow out a little to hold more filling. (Warning: Don’t wear white if you eat this.)
Vegorama: Spinach, tomato, crumbled feta, sliced olives, char-grilled capsicum and a sprinkle of dried oregano. Mayo or aioli is optional.
Kicking Tuna: A mini tin of chilli-infused tuna (drained), lettuce, cucumber and cream cheese.
Talking Turkey: Sliced or shredded turkey, rocket, cucumber and capsicum or basil pesto.
Indian Summer: Mix shredded chicken, a teaspoon of tandoori paste, two tablespoons of finely diced cucumber with a couple of heaped tablespoons of natural yoghurt then put the whole lot in a crusty bread roll.
5th Avenue Darling: Baby spinach leaves, crumbled blue cheese and chopped walnuts sprinkled with a tiny amount of nutmeg, salt and pepper. Rye or pumpernickel bread is recommended.
Don’t forget that there are heaps of bread options – wholemeal, white, ciabatta, rye, gluten-free wraps, bagels, Vita-Weats, Turkish bread, tortillas, English muffins, bread with herbs, bread with olives, bread with seeds! There are so many choices out there and it’s the same with condiments so don’t feel constrained by the recommendations I make.
It’s easy to get creative with sandwiches – don’t get stuck in a rut and take the same old plain ham sandwich to work every day. Try something new and you’ll find yourself looking forward to a great lunch.
What’s your favourite sandwich combination?