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Sandwiches for Dinner

Break the bad-for-you fast food grip with convenient sandwich meals — no cooking required. What more can busy parents ask for?

Convenience! It’s the number one, most important factor for many families when it comes to dinnertime. With all the after school and evening activities ramping up, preparing meals can be a real struggle. It’s no wonder many parents turn to fast food and junk food…it’s quick, it’s cheap and it’s convenient.Sad to say, but good food choices often get thrown out the window when things get busy. That’s why I propose the ever-versatile sandwich as the quintessential “fast food” for dinner. Sandwiches are convenient, easy on the budget (if you nix the crab and caviar) and, best of all, cooking can be minimal or not required at all. What more can busy parents ask for?While you might think of sandwiches as lunchtime fare, they are also the perfect answer for a quick dinner. Here are the basics:

  • Choose good quality bread -- preferably whole grain. Vary your choices with pita, a sprouted grain bun, an English muffin, a sandwich loaf, sourdough or whole grain rolls. Don’t forget tortillas — wraps count as sandwiches in my book too!

  • Add a filling such as turkey, cheese, hummus, egg salad, tuna, sardines, tofu or avocado. Don’t go overboard on quantity, though. A “Dagwood” type sandwich may not be the most healthful choice.

  • Pile on plenty of delicious, fresh veggies like grated carrots, sliced cucumbers and colorful bell peppers, tomatoes, red onions and sautéed mushrooms. Tip: Visit our salad bar and fill a container with toppings to go.

  • Green it up! There’s a glorious gamut of gorgeous greens to give your sandwich color, flavor and a nutritional boost. Try baby spinach, arugula, watercress, fresh herbs, cabbage and a variety of lettuces.

Remember, convenience is key! It’s easier to forgo the fast food stops when you’ve got what you need on hand to make quick healthy sandwiches. Stock your pantry and fridge so this is as easy as 1-2-3.Here are a few ideas to take you beyond the basics. Feel free to experiment!

When I want a fast sandwich for dinner, I surrender to this personal favorite: Thin slices of grilled chicken breast, a few shavings of raw Manchego cheese (a favorite from Spain), avocado slices, and plenty of baby spinach and grilled fresh veggies piled high on whole grain bread. A little bit of heaven!Got a super sandwich idea that’s quick and convenient? Let me know.

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