A recipe for a sandwich may seem like a contradiction. After all, sandwiches are probably the greatest of culinary improvisations—the first convenience food, the perfect carryall. Two pieces of bread with something tasty tucked in the center can be a complete meal in minutes (or less).
Sandwiches can be made from whole-grain breads, rolls, pitas, tortillas or flat breads. Can’t have gluten? No problem, as today there are many gluten-free bread options to choose from. For spreads, try homemade salad dressing, soy mayonnaise, chutneys, salsas, creamy tahini, or nut butters. Stuff sandwiches with combinations of wholefoods. Imagination is your best guide when making a sandwich.
And the humble sandwich is not just for lunch, you can make a hearty recovery sandwich for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Combine a sandwich with a bowl of soup and a side salad and you have a hearty, yet fast meal that can be made in 15 minutes or less, for those nights when you need to run out the door to go to a meeting.
But if you don’t have time to make soup, stock up on healthy canned or frozen soups. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but with a little research and some reading of labels, you can find healthy convenience foods for those busy nights. Another tip is when you do make soup, always freeze some for a busy night. In recovery, we need to try to cook once and eat twice. If we cook so we have leftovers, we can put them in the freezer so we won’t be tempted to eat fast food between work and a meeting as we will have our own healthy “fast foods” at home to eat.
You don’t know where to start? Think of what was your favorite sandwich and soup as a child. Was it grilled cheese and tomato soup? That’s a good place to start. Look for a tomato soup that’s organic or natural and is free of additives. Here are some suggestions:
- Tabatchnick brands have great frozen soups that are lower in sodium and fairly unprocessed compared to other commercial soups.
- If you are looking for canned soups, Here are some to look at: Campbells Yes! line has a great Tomato Carrot Bisque, Pacific Foods has an awesome Tomato Soup, Annie’s Homegrown has a very tasty Tomato Soup, Amy’s has a wonderful Cream of Tomato Soup, Imagine has a very good Tomato Cream Soup, or you can try Muir Glen’s wonderful Creamy Tomato Soup.
- As you can see there are many options available when you don’t have time to make your own soup. Always read the labels so you are familiar with the ingredients and to become aware of the serving sizes. Also, keep in mind that soup is higher in sodium than some foods and if you are sodium sensitive, canned soup may not be an option for you. As always avoid ingredients which you cannot tolerate (respect your food allergies/sensitivities).
- Canned soups can be heated in the microwave but make sure to read the label for the heating directions. Tip: If you use a deep bowl (28 ounces is good) and cover the soup, you will avoid making a mess in the microwave.
- When you have the time you can make a great adult version (that’s my name for it) of tomato soup using Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes. Just substitute the fire roasted tomatoes in your favorite tomato soup recipe.
Sandwiches can be a great way to get lots of wholefoods into your diet. They can be served cold or warm and cooked on a cast iron pan or a panini pan, the options are endless. Below is my favorite recipe for a grilled cheese sandwich to get you started.
Health and Happiness,
Mary P. Cheney, CHC
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Serve with your soup of choice (My favorites are tomato or butternut squash soups)
2 slices whole grain bread (or gluten-free bread)
2 slices of cheese (Cheddar, Muenster, or Cheddar Jack are great. Feel free to use two different cheeses)
A butter/olive oil spread or soft butter and olive oil to taste (2 to 4 teaspoons)
1. Assemble the bread and cheese to make a sandwich and butter the outer side of the sandwich (only one side is necessary).
2. Heat the oil or butter/olive oil spread in a small skillet on medium heat. Place the sandwich in the skillet butter side down and either flatten the sandwich down with a heavy small pot or press down with the spatula to flatten.
3. Cook for two minutes over medium-low heat until lightly brown. You can lift the edge of a corner to take a look to see if the sandwich is done.
4. Flip the sandwich when done and repeat. Cook until lightly brown and the cheese is melted.
5. Serve with your favorite soup and a side salad. Enjoy!
From: Food For Recovery 4th Edition: The Complete Nutritional Companion for Recovering from Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, and Eating Disorders
Copyright © 2018 by Mary P. Cheney, H.C., Joseph D. Beasley, M.D. and Susan Knightly