The World Health Organization’s declaration that bacon, sausages and other processed meats are carcinogens and red meat may cause cancer, is an open invitation for us as a global community to reflect and change our eating habits.
It’s not news that excessive consumption of meat can be harmful to our health, especially when transformed through processes of salting, curing, fermenting, smoking, or subjected to other processes to enhance flavor or improve conservation.
We know that “we” eat too much, too often and too processed. It’s time to slow down and think about food as a way to nourish and sustain our bodies and environment and do away with this culture of “ready to eat” foods. It’s time to revamp our food culture and develop a new awareness in regards to food. We must change and recalibrate the time and dedication we give to food and food preparation. This may mean more time devoted to the kitchen, but reorganization of our time and planning will pay off in environmental sustainability and overcoming health issues – it’s time to recover the value of food.
I’m not going to be a steak stalwart and say to give up on meat completely, but we have swayed toward the side of excess and must recognize that meat is meant to be eaten in moderation, (not every day) and in its natural form, (not filled with preservatives etc.)
When it comes to packing lunches it is super easy to turn to lunch meat, but I’ve got 10 sandwiches that have lunch meat beat! Not only do these sandwiches taste great, but they are better for your health and still make packing a lunch simple and quick. Check ’em out:
1. Greek Salad Sandwich: If you think salads are boring think again, especially when you’ve got it wrapped between two slices of bread! Chickpeas are what packs this sandwich with protein and fiber making you feel full and satisfied. (via Martha Stewart)
2. Broiled Salmon Gyros: If this didn’t have you salivating over the cucumber and feta greek yogurt spread then I don’t know what will! Flaky, broiled, wild salmon will give you your dose of Omega 3’s for heart health and increasing your brain’s serotonin levels – goodbye winter blues. (via Aggie’s Kitchen)
3. Easy Double Bean Burgers With Avocado Cream: Okay, technically a burger does not contain the word sandwich, but it is held together by bread. Beans are unsung heroes, often left unnoticed, but these little legumes have huge health benefits. Just you wait, one bite and you’ll be hooked! In fact, I’ll be willing to bet that even when you make burgers with beef you’ll be mixing some beans in! (via How Sweet It Is)
4. Meatball Sub: Could have fooled me! Those meatballs bathed in marinara surrounded by crusty bread are actually made from lentils – yes, deliciously deceptive, protein-packed lentils. Try it, you’ll make it again and again, promise. (via One Green Planet)
5. Arnold Palmer Sandwich: You may not get lunch room points for being highbrow, but admit it: You love a good tuna, or egg salad sandwich. It’s okay, we get it, they’re simple and they taste great. So, why choose between one or the other? Make an Arnold Palmer and have both! (via Bon Appètit)
6. Mexican Mushroom and Spinach Torta: Head south of the border for a veggie version of Mexico’s infamous sandwich, the Torta. This hearty sandwich is for those who really need to eat! This mama is packed with greens and mushrooms, refried beans, pickled red onions, and spicy pickled jalapeños. (via Serious Eats)
7. Ultimate Veggie Sandwich: Yeah, we know what you’re thinking, veggies won’t fill me up! Well, you’re wrong, ’cause this veggie sandwich will. Loaded with spinach, cucumber, tomato, sprouts, avocado, roasted red peppers, red onion, and hummus. It’s the hummus that will stick with you until dinner thanks to chickpeas’ powerful protein and fiber. (via Two Peas and Their Pod)
8. Vegetarian Bahn Mi Sandwich with Sriracha Mayonnaise: Remember how I said that we may have to devote more time in our kitchen for good food? Don’t let the components of this sandwich turn you off, your taste buds would be highly disappointed! Save this for a #MeatlessMonday lunch and make the pickled veggies on Sunday night! (via Marin Mama Cooks)
9. Curried Quinoa Wrap with Spring Peas: Quinoa is a magical seed that’s not only a carb but also a complete protein and… it’s gluten-free. This curried wrap stuffed with avocado-citrus-carrot slaw, golden curried quinoa and bright green peas is sure to become a fave standby as it’s packed with irresistible flavor. (via Babble)
10. Open-Face Chicken Caprese Sandwiches: You see, I told you I wasn’t going to deprive you of meat! This yummy sandwich is made with real chicken – props to those who buy local, farm-raised, hormone and antibiotic free meat! This sandwich let’s you sink your teeth into deliciousness in just 15 minutes. (via Iowa Girl Eats)