August is National Sandwich Month – and I’d like to celebrate it by finding new versions of my old favorites.
The common theory of how the sandwich was invented goes back to the year 1762, when the 4th Earl of Sandwich didn’t want to stop gambling long enough for a sit-down meal and his hosts put meat and cheese between two slices of bread so he could multitask. Another theory is the Jewish religious leader Hillel the Elder (born around 110 BC) invented a “sandwich” during the observance of Passover: lamb and herbs on soft Matzo. I’ll bet every culture has its own sandwich story.
And because of that diversity, there are many versions of a sandwich. Oh, yes: bread always comes to mind. But you can use a tortilla, a pita, naan (East Indian flatbread), portabella cap or even a leaf of lettuce if you’d like. The other thing, I love about a sandwich, is that it’s a way for me to sneak more vegetables into my day. Here’s an example of a wrap recipe with chicken, vegetables and fruit.
Need more reasons to make your own “fast food?” A study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition done on Americans eating out at restaurants vs. eating at home showed total energy, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium intake were much higher at a restaurants. In addition, you know the sandwich is made exactly the way you like it!
Now that the farmers’ markets are in full swing, let’s get out there and find some innovative ways to fill our “bread” of choice. For more assistance improving your health by making quick and easy meals at home, ask for a referral to your VA PACT (primary care) dietitian. We’d love to see you!
Anne L. Koth, is a registered dietitian at the Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.