These healthy sandwich recipes are the best thing since sliced ​​bread – Triathlete

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What’s not to love about the humble sandwich? Whether you eat one at the office or to recover after your long drive, a sandwich is always there when you need it most. Undeniably, sandwiches are one of the original comfort foods.

But it’s all too easy to get trapped in a sandwich rut by falling back on the same yawning combinations of ingredients – deli ham and cheese, Again? And there’s nothing inherently wrong with a post-run PB+J, but it’s time to move on. A better approach to your all-important midday meal is to think of a sandwich as a blank slate: an endless opportunity to get creative with your toppings, from protein to spreads. Do this, and you’ll not only stimulate your taste buds, but you’ll also make it easier to grow your diet. In other words: don’t let your sandwich options go stale.

Below, we’ve stacked up some ultimate healthy sandwich recipes to give endurance athletes the portable meals that provide clutch nutrition and make it easy to bypass the deli counter. One bite of these taste bombs and your afternoon will be much brighter.

RELATED: A 3 week meal plan for triathletes in training 70.3

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Curried Salmon Salad with Spicy Beet Slaw

(Photo: Matthew Kadey)

Consider this sandwich recipe an improvement on the regular tuna salad. Canned salmon is higher in omega-3 fatty acids than a recent American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found can help increase life expectancy. Greek yogurt adds more muscle protein than mayonnaise and beets are high in nitrates which can help keep blood pressure numbers in the healthy range.

Pro Tip: Toasting your sandwich bread adds flavor and, most importantly, acts as a moisture barrier so you don’t have to suffer through another overwhelming soggy sandwich.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 small beets, grated
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1/3 cup cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. prepared horseradish
  • 2 tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 2 cans (6 oz) salmon, drained
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 8 slices whole grain bread, toasted

directions

  1. Place the beets, carrot, cilantro, horseradish, vinegar, sugar and a few pinches of salt in a bowl and massage gently with your hands. Let stand 30 minutes or more.
  2. In another bowl, break up the salmon into small pieces and stir in the yogurt, curry powder and lemon juice.
  3. Spread a quarter of the salmon mixture on a slice of toast, then top with a quarter of the coleslaw and a second slice of bread. Repeat with the rest of the ingredients for the other sandwiches.

RELATED: Need a healthy lunch to go? Make These Roasted Salmon Quinoa Salads

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Hot and Smoked Bean Wraps

A healthy sandwich recipe for vegetarian bean wraps
(Photo: Matthew Kadey)

A pinto bean puree offers a winning mix of plant-based protein and much-needed dietary fiber. Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are smoked and dried jalapeños rehydrated and canned in a sweet and tangy tomato purée. They add smoky heat to these wraps and add capsaicin, an anti-inflammatory compound that could be one of the main reasons eating more chili peppers is a recipe for longevity.

Pro tip: Higher in essential nutrients for runners, it’s always a good idea to choose whole-grain bread options for your sandwiches. But this is buyer beware. You want to make sure you select a brand that lists whole grain flour as whole wheat as the first ingredient instead of unbleached wheat flour which is just a euphemism for white flour.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked or canned pinto beans
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup sliced ​​roasted red pepper
  • 4 cups baby spinach or baby kale
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 4 whole grain wraps

directions

  1. Place beans, chipotle peppers, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, cumin, salt in a food processor container and blend into a chunky mixture.
  2. To assemble the wraps, spread the bean mixture on the bottom half of each wrap and top with roasted red pepper, avocado and baby lettuce. Roll up from the bottom, tucking in the sides as you go and halve on the bias.

RELATED: Take lunch to go with these tasty wraps

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Tempeh Sate Sandwich

A healthy sandwich recipe for tempeh satay sandwiches
(Photo: Matthew Kadey)

Consider it a delicious hybrid of satay and banh mi. Made from fermented soybeans, tempeh packs a lot of protein along with a meaty umami flavor that works well as an exciting substitute for deli meats. Peanut butter provides more recovery-boosting protein and heart-supporting monounsaturated fats.

Pro Tip: To keep a well-done sandwich together when slicing, use skewers to hold the sides in place and use a sharp serrated knife to slice it down the middle.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup carrots cut into matchsticks
  • 1 cup cucumber cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 cup radish, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 teaspoons Asian chili sauce, such as Sriracha
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 teaspoons canola, avocado or grapeseed oil
  • 1 package (8 oz) tempeh
  • 8 slices whole grain bread, toasted

directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk sugar and salt with 2 tablespoons hot water until sugar is dissolved. Stir in the rice vinegar. Add carrots, cucumber and radish; stir to coat and let stand at least 30 minutes.
  2. Combine peanut butter, soy sauce, chili sauce and lime juice. If necessary, stir in 1 tablespoon of warm water to achieve a smooth consistency.
  3. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add tempeh and cook until charred on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Thinly slice.
  4. To assemble a sandwich, spread some of the peanut butter mixture on two slices of bread. Top a slice of bread with a quarter of the tempeh and a quarter of the pickled vegetables. Top with second slice of bread, peanut butter side down.

RELATED: The Pros and Cons of Plant-Based Diets for Endurance Athletes

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Chicken Caprese

a healthy sandwich recipe for a chicken caprese sandwich
(Photo: Matthew Kadey)

This riff on a classic Italian salad won’t disappoint. As a healthier condiment, pesto is made with antioxidant-rich basil to boost better recovery. Most often, try replacing deli meats from the grocery store with slices of homemade meats like roast chicken breast or pork tenderloin. That way, your muscle-repairing proteins won’t come with sketchy preservatives.

Pro tip: Using soft cheeses like fresh mozzarella and goat cheese for your sandwiches can help cut a few calories because they contain more moisture than hard cheeses like cheddar.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup prepared pesto
  • 8 slices whole grain bread, toasted
  • 1 1/3 cup cooked sliced ​​chicken
  • 4 thick slices of fresh mozzarella
  • 1 beefsteak tomato, sliced
  • 4 teaspoons balsamic glaze

directions

  1. Spread about 2 teaspoons of pesto on a slice of bread.
  2. Top with 1/3 cup sliced ​​chicken, a slice of mozzarella and a slice of tomato.
  3. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon of balsamic glaze.
  4. Spread 2 teaspoons of pesto on a second slice of bread and place on the sandwich, pesto side down.

RELATED: 5 breads to get you excited about your next sandwich

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Halloumi grilled cheese

A healthy sandwich recipe for halloumi grilled cheese sandwich
(Photo: Matthew Kadey)

If you’re unfamiliar with this dairy import, halloumi is a cheese native to Cyprus with a firm, chewy, almost meaty texture that can withstand the heat of a grill or pan without melting. This makes it the ultimate – and literal! – grilled cheese, topped with a sweet-salty date sauce for some extra recovery carbs. Halloumi provides quality protein and bone-building calcium, while arugula is a source of nitrates that can improve muscle function.

Pro tip: Spread condiments or sauces on the top and bottom slices for a more even flavor distribution.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup dried pitted dates
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 block (8 oz) halloumi cheese
  • 1 C. olive oil
  • 1 C. italian seasoning
  • 1 C. lemon zest
  • 8 slices whole grain bread, toasted
  • 1 cup sliced ​​roasted red pepper
  • 2 cups arugula

directions

  1. Place the dates in a bowl, cover with warm water and soak for 30 minutes to soften. Reserve 3 tablespoons of soaking liquid and drain. Place the reserved soaking liquid, dates, garlic, balsamic vinegar, thyme, chili flakes and a pinch of salt in a food processor or blender and blend until almost smooth.
  2. Slice the halloumi lengthwise into four slices. In a small bowl, combine the Italian seasoning, lemon zest and olive oil. Brush the mixture over the halloumi slices. Heat the grill to medium heat and grease the grates. Cook halloumi slices until tender and grill marks appear, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Or heat the halloumi is a greased frying pan on the stove.
  3. To assemble a sandwich, spread about 2 tablespoons of the date mixture on a slice of bread. Top with a slice of cooked halloumi and a quarter of the roasted red pepper and arugula. Spread another 2 tablespoons of date puree on a second slice of bread and place on the sandwich.

RELATED: The Time-Saving Meal Plan for Busy Triathletes

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is an author, journalist and James Beard Award winner specializing in sports nutrition.

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