5 meatless sandwiches for Meatless Monday

avocadosandwichWhy do vegetarian and vegan meals have to be so complicated?  It’s a very good question, because a lot of the resistance to giving up meat is the idea that you’ll have to spend hours in the kitchen slaving over complicated meatless recipes.  Not to mention cleaning up dozens of pots and utensils afterwards.  And unfortunately recipe websites that feature meatless cooking just add to that impression.   Consider some Pinterest offerings:

  • lentil meatballs with pesto
  • baked zucchini fries with onion dipping sauce
  • Broccoli parmesan fritters
  • stuffed squash blossoms
  • artichoke and feta tarts

The list goes on.  None of it as easy as throwing a chicken breast on the grill and making a tossed green salad.  So unless you have several hours each evening to cook, after a long day at work, none of these recipes is going to inspire except as something to gawk at.

The other problem is this: almost all of these recipes are intended to be used as an evening meal.  They all require considerable preparation time, so they don’t really work as lunch.  If you want to eat a meatless lunch, you could have a yogurt or vegetarian leftovers or a salad or a PB & J.  There just isn’t a lot of advice on meatless sandwiches that are interesting and appealing.

If you would like to bring your own meatless sandwiches for lunch, here are some ideas.  You can vary the ingredients to your taste preferences or budget as necessary.  The first step is to choose great tasting bread, preferably with some whole grain content.  But don’t just limit yourself to sliced bread.  Mini ciabattas, pita, bagels and sub rolls can all be substituted.

  1. Sliced avocado, Jack cheese, roasted chili or roasted red pepper, lettuce and tomato
  2. Cashew butter or tahini with sprouts and thin sliced cucumbers
  3. Tomato, arugula, mushrooms, fresh basil, mozzarella
  4. Hummus, cucumbers, grated carrots, lettuce and fresh cilantro
  5. Goat cheese, sunflower seeds, sun dried tomatoes and lettuce

If you’ve got the ingredients handy, all of these can be put together quickly in the morning.  No cooking or messy, fussy food prep required.  And none of these ingredients are so exotic that that you can’t find them at the grocery store.  In other words, you don’t need to buy any of it at Whole Foods unless you want to.

Or course, you can always just make a PB & J, or slap some cheese on two pieces of bread.  But if you’re going to be serious about eating less meat, it’s a good idea to introduce some variety into your diet.  These sandwiches feature a high protein ingredient, as well as a variety of vegetables, to improve the nutrient content.  Just add bread.

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