The subject of “veganism” has been hot lately, but with good reason. Recent publicity about the Sandwich ingredients in factory-made omnivores such as bacon (among other ingredients), dairy products, and chicken has put the new vegetarian/vegan movement in a tough spot. The feeling is that if these products can be labeled “humanely-shaped and sold without animal products, then why can’t they be labeled “vegan”? There’s a hard line to be drawn here, but there’s one critical issue that gets ignored by the majority of vegans – animal products should always be used whenever possible. There are substitutes for some things, so let’s get to it.
The first thing we’ll talk about is bread. Many vegetarians make the mistake of buying pre-made wheat sandwich bread. While this is fine (I use this in our house all the time), there are many other types of bread that are just as tasty and vegan. An alternative is to make your own artisan bakery bread. You’ll end up with a sandwich that’s just as tasty as anything you can find in a regular restaurant, and it’s more healthy too!
Another common sandwich ingredient that vegans usually overlook is cheese. Now I’m not talking about brie or parmesan, which are actually fine to eat on their own, but there are lots of vegan alternatives that taste just as nice. A quick search online will reveal plenty of delicious soy-based and Lacto-ovo cheeses. You can even make your own herb pesto! Another great herb pesto recipe is made with chickpea flour and tomato sauce and topped with sliced portobello mushrooms and olives.
Another important part of any good vegetarian meat and vegetable sandwich is the type of bread. A lot of vegetarians make the common mistake of substituting wheat bread for the vegan version. Although wheat bread is definitely cheaper than many other kinds of vegetable bread, it’s still far from being a real replacement.
For one thing, wheat bread is much fluffier than its vegan counterpart. It also lacks the fiber and nutritional benefits of the more natural vegetarian bread. Also, a whole grain sandwich is a healthier choice than a non-organic wheat sandwich. These are two reasons to stick with the wheat side of a vegetarian & vegan sandwich.
There are some excellent vegetarian meat & vegetable sandwich recipes out there, that taste just as good (and can be prepared in less than half the time!) as the traditional restaurant versions. One of my favorite sandwich ingredients is faux Swiss cheese because it has a wonderful texture that’s almost like a creamy parmesan. If you haven’t had a chance to try vegan cheese, it’s worth trying once – it might be the easiest and most economical way to incorporate great vegetarian meat & vegetable sandwich ingredients into your diet.
Another wonderful vegan meat & the veggie sandwich idea is a bean salad sandwich. Again, I love the combination of faux Swiss cheese and black beans. A great tip for this sandwich is to make sure you pre-heat the tortilla shell prior to placing any fillings into it – this will help prevent it from burning. You can use any number of fillings for this, but I prefer to keep things simple and keep the beans the entire time.
There are so many new vegetarian foods on the market today that you can easily find a great sandwich Ingredients idea. I love vegetables, so any chance I get to create a vegetarian meal is going to be a welcome change. If you’re not a vegetarian and are planning on eating meat, it can still be a fun and delicious sandwich for you to enjoy. But most importantly, it will allow you to incorporate something into your diet that has some health benefits. So even if you’re not a vegetarian, and even if you’re not a health-conscious person, I encourage you to look into some new vegan foods that you may be surprised by.