Tuesday, May 05, 2009


My mom is not a fan of your typical sandwich. She feels that the ratios of price to nutrition and price to fullness are too high. But Erinne and I do not make typical sandwiches.

In the past I have made a number of large sandwiches with many ingredients. If I recall correctly, during grad school I earned a small reputation for this. But it was always so difficult to pile everything on without the sandwich falling apart.

I recently realized that there is one ingredient in the sandwich that does not really need to be there. An ingredient that wastes space and does not provide as much flavor as everything else.

Last week we went on a picnic with some friends. Everyone brought their own sandwiches. The vegetarians brought some sandwiches that looked very delicious. Last night I went to the grocery store to pick up some deli meat to make lunch to take to work. Nothing was on sale, and nothing looked particularly delicious. And then I realized that the meat is totally unnecessary!

Here are things we like on our sandwiches:
  • Cream cheese
  • Avocado (Philip only)
  • Sprouts (alfalfa, bean)
  • Nuts (pecans, walnuts)
  • Marinated and grilled mushrooms
  • Grilled red onion
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant (Erinne only)
  • Spinach
Your typical lettuce is worthless on a sandwich. It takes up too much space and does not provide flavor. Darker, leafier greens are better, such as spinach or radish leaves.

We buy bread that is high in protein, and along with the cream cheese and nuts, this gives us as much protein as we would get from a meat sandwich. Plus we get lots of other nutrition that you would not get in a plain sandwich.


  1. Sandwiches without meat are very common here too. Ordering a sandwich with both meat and cheese is viewed as excessive. Typically, one decides first whether they want meat or cheese, and then decides the other toppings for a sandwich. There is a large focus on the bread as well.

    Dutch people eat small lunches. Laura's lunches are 2-3 single pieces of bread rolled in half, with either cheese, peanut butter, honey, or Nutella.

  2. When You listed the nuts, Pistachios came to mind with that combo.I agree with Laura, unless they are inadequate amounts, meat and cheese aren't necessary.