When ordering a vegetarian sandwich while dining out, quite often the main ingredient in it is cheese … or even three cheeses! That can certainly make it delicious. But if you’re anything like me, one of the reasons to choose a vegetarian sandwich is for fresh plant-based ingredients and a burst of healthfulness. But how do you get enough protein? Here’s my super simple (and tasty!) handmade pick that’s got a nice punch of protein.
Since I live in the middle of Williamsburg, Brooklyn (aka “hipsterville”), I thought this vegan sandwich was deserving of a “hipster” title. That’s where it was brought to life, after all! It starts with seeded whole grain bread that you can enjoy fresh or grilled. I often just grill up the bread on a cast iron grill pan that sits on my stovetop. (I like this sandwich with Dave’s Killer 21 Whole Grains & Seeds Organic Bread partly because it provides 5 grams of protein per slice!) Then it’s stuffed with these goodies: lemony baby arugula, crisp red onion, fragrant fresh basil, and creamy Hass avocado. And perhaps most interesting, it’s got a my protein-packed “secret ingredient” … hemp seed spread! I make it simply by mixing 2 tablespoons raw shelled hemp seeds with 1 tablespoon hummus.
While you can’t order this up, it’s so easy to make this satisfying sandwich yourself if you’ve got 10 minutes to spare! And if you’ve got 15 minutes, go ahead and glam up the sandwich further, like with a large grilled Portabella mushroom cap. (HINT: A perfect pick for Meatless Monday!)
Calories saved: 72
Why it’s better for you? Fiber, omega 3s, and plenty of plant-based goodness!
- 2 tablespoons raw shelled hemp seeds
- 1 tablespoon hummus
- 2 slices seeded whole grain bread, fresh or grilled
- 4 large fresh basil leaves
- 1 large thin slice red onion, separated into rings
- 1/4 Hass avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup packed fresh baby arugula
- 3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Stir together the hemp seeds and hummus to form a paste in a small bowl. Spread onto 1 slice of the bread.
- Top with the basil, onion, avocado, salt, and pepper.
- Toss together the arugula and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Add to the sandwich.
- Top with remaining bread slice and serve.
Per serving: 450 calories, 19g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 570mg sodium, 53g total carbohydrate, 15g dietary fiber, 12g sugars, 19g protein
The “Before” Version
Compare to Potbelly Sandwich Shop Vegetarian Sandwich
Per serving: 522 calories, 22g total fat, 13g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 57mg cholesterol, 990mg sodium, 57g total carbohydrate, 6g dietary fiber, 4g sugars, 29g protein
- Choose bread for your sandwich wisely; it should be tasty on its own—and ideally packed with nutritional richness (including protein) and cuisine interest.
- Go beyond mustard or mayo and create your own sandwich spread that marries well with the other ingredients and enhances the sandwich experience, like my hemp seed spread made simply with hummus and hemp seeds.
- Be sure your sandwich has a balance of textures, like creamy and crisp.