Quick and easy meals can be hard to come by, especially ones that don’t sacrifice flavor. Some creative and convenient options, such as this BALCMT Sandwich or Baked Pita Crisps, can serve as the starting point for an on-the-go snack or a full-blown meal.
Simple, Healthy Snacks and Sandwiches
(Family Features) Quick and easy meals can be hard to come by, especially ones that don’t sacrifice flavor. You don’t have to eat bland foods to provide your family a healthy and hearty, nutrient-filled diet. Some creative and convenient options can serve as the starting point for an on-the-go snack or a full-blown meal.
Sandwiches, like this recipe for a BALCMT Sandwich, can be one of the easiest ways to incorporate grains, which deliver shortfall nutrients like dietary fiber, iron and folate into your diet. Research from the Grain Foods Foundation shows about 95 percent of Americans do not meet dietary fiber intake recommendations. Whole grain foods, like bread, buns, rolls, pita and tortillas, can help supply your dietary fiber needs and aid in maintaining a healthy weight and lower cholesterol.
Additionally, enriched grains can play a key role in metabolism by helping the body release energy from protein, fat and carbohydrates, and are also essential for a healthy nervous system, productivity and cognitive development. The vitamins and minerals in enriched grains like folic acid are also critical for reducing the incidence of some birth defects while also promoting cell function and tissue growth.
Some healthier ways to build a snack include using leaner meats and lower sodium cheeses for a sandwich or adding more vegetables to your overall snacking habits. Another nutritious option, Baked Pita Crisps accompanied by Southwest Bean Dip, can help you curb hunger without blowing past your daily calorie count.
Find more recipes and tips for quick and flavorful meals at grainfoodsfoundation.org.
Recipe courtesy of Franz Bakery on behalf of the Grain Foods Foundation
Baked Pita Crisps
Recipe courtesy of the Grain Foods Foundation
Southwest Bean Dip:
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Grain Foods Foundation
(BPT) - A great sandwich is a delicious meal choice, which could be why about 60 percent of American adults eat at least one for lunch every week and 70 percent pack one or more in their children’s lunches, according to food industry trend-watching company Datassential. In fact, sandwiches are so popular and so common that at some point in the past you’ve probably made or eaten a lackluster sandwich.
However, every sandwich has the potential to be great — or at least better — says celebrity chef and sandwich expert Tom Colicchio.
Americans eat more cold-cut sandwiches than any other kind, while burgers, poultry, hot dogs, other meats and peanut butter and jelly round out the six most commonly eaten types of sandwiches, according to the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. Whatever you decide to put in your sandwich, always start with the freshest ingredients available, Colicchio advises. “There’s no substitute for a perfectly ripe piece of produce.”
“Create and customize sandwiches to fit your and your family’s palettes, not what the latest trends tell you to eat,” he says. “At the same time, don’t be afraid to experiment. One of the best things about sandwiches is the endless potential to create something new and delicious. If an experiment doesn’t work out, you can always try again tomorrow!”
In fact, more than one-third of consumers say they love sandwiches because of the ability to customize their meal by choosing from a variety of proteins, vegetables, cheeses and condiments, Datassential reports.
Building better sandwiches
“The architecture of a sandwich is as important as what you put in it,” Colicchio says. “I think there's an actual science behind building the better sandwich.” Colicchio, the James Beard Award-winning founder of Craft Hospitality and 'wichcraft, offers some tips to help ensure every sandwich you make is the best it can be:
* The bread is the foundation of every sandwich, and it should be as sturdy as it is delicious. You can find a variety of quality options from Arnold, Brownberry or Oroweat in the bread aisle of your local grocery store.
* When dealing with messier ingredients like roasted vegetables or condiments such as dressing, try lightly toasting or searing one side of each slice of bread in a pan atop the stove, until the side is crisp. Stack with the toasted sides facing in to help build a strong foundation for your sandwich.
* Build from the bottom up. Place the driest and heaviest ingredients on the bottom slice of bread first before adding toppings like lettuce and tomato. Spread condiments on the second slice of bread as the last step before topping the sandwich.
* For cold sandwiches, place the cheese next to the bread to help reinforce the stability of the sandwich. For hot sandwiches, place the cheese next to the meat so the flavors can interplay properly.
* To avoid sogginess and ensure consistent seasoning throughout, dress greens before placing them on the sandwich.
* Don’t go crazy with condiments. “The more you mix them, the more muddled the flavor becomes,” Colicchio says. “Pick one that will really accentuate the flavors you’re highlighting.”
* Finally, don’t overload your sandwich to ensure your ingredients won't fall out or leave a mess behind when you take a bite.
Bite into better
Looking for sandwich inspiration? The America’s Better Sandwich Contest, hosted by Arnold, Brownberry and Oroweat Breads, gives entrants the chance to hone their skills by creating delicious and nutritious sandwiches that feature the breads as the base. Visit www.americasbettersandwich.com for recipe inspiration, contest rules and to find out how to enter.
Meanwhile, try the contest's winning sandwich recipe from last year:
Moroccan Rainbow Carrot Sandwiches with Spicy Orange Dressing
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