15 no-cheese, no-ham sandwich ideas

Anyone who knows me knows that, for health and energy reasons, I’m not a big bread fan. I used to be, years ago. Baking is what got me started in the kitchen in the first place, and for years I could not pass by a boulangerie without devouring half its tantalising offering right there and then.

The bread obsession has gradually come to an end as I discovered how much lighter and more energising a breadless style of eating was. But this is a story for a different posting. Until I convert the rest of the world to eating less bread, here is at least a list of ideas to tempt you away from the ham and cheese dead-end in your sandwich (especially if you live in Holland, as I do).

To get maximum goodness out of your sandwich choose wholemeal bread rich with seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, linseed). Vary your bread intake: try spelt, rye or mixed grain bread. Buy organic, and skip bread with a list of ingredients you can’t pronounce or understand.

As a base for your sandwich, where needed, use butter, mustard, organic mayonnaise or extra virgin olive oil.

  1. Houmous (chickpea pate) and grated carrot
  2. Tapenade (green or black olive pate) with sliced tomato, green onions and alfalfa sprouts.
  3. Sun-dried tomato paste, slices of cucumber and tomato, chives
  4. Fresh pesto sauce (never out of a long shelf life jar, it’s disgusting!) with slices of hard-boiled egg and tomato
  5. Avocado – net, with some lemon juice, salt and pepper
  6. Generous amount of rocket, then slices of avocado and hard-boiled egg; use mustard instead of butter.
  7. Avocado and banana (you’ll be amazed how delicious these two are together)
  8. Hazelnut paste (like peanut butter, only made with hazelnuts) with lots of shredded lettuce.
  9. Cashew nut or almond paste (like peanut butter, but made with cashew nuts/almonds) – on its own, or with plenty of crunchy lettuce.
  10. Tahini (sesame seed paste) with watercress and slices of cucumber (in certain supermarkets and at Middle Eastern grocers you can get tahini made into spread with lemon juice and garlic. Try it: delicious and very high in calcium).
  11. Smoked mackerel with pickled cucumber (with as few E-numbers as you can find).
  12. Herb omelette (made with plenty of chopped parsley and coriander) topped with a generous amount of chives and leek sprouts (or any other sprouts you can find)
  13. Fried, marinated tofu slices with spring onion, shredded carrot and cress.
  14. Smoked tofu slices with rocket and alfalfa sprouts

And after two weeks without cheese or ham in sight, a small allowance…

15. Slices of cooked beetroot (not ready cooked, it’s nasty) with rocket and a smearing of soft goat’s cheese.

Bon appétit!

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