We've all survived another winter (an especially cold one for many of us), and it's time to look forward to a variety of spring and summer outdoor activities. At my house these warmer-weather happenings often involve food. My family loves have to friends over for backyard cookouts, and we especially like to travel to several nearby state parks for a picnic lunch.
My teenage daughter fancies herself the family expert at making "Dagwood- style sandwiches for our picnic outings. We oblige her kitchen creativity in that each of us likes a different kind of meat and different condiments on our sandwiches. The best part of this sandwich saga is that we've been able to satisfy both our hunger and desire for good taste while still having a healthy lunch.
A healthy sandwich usually starts with the meat, and there are many choices of lean sandwich meats available. It used to be that if you wanted low-fat sliced meats for a sandwich you had to have turkey and chicken. Nowadays every supermarket deli has a complete section of low-fat sliced beef and ham, as well as the always-low-in-fat turkey and chicken.
Even in a meat-loving family like mine, we know that the meat is only a part of the sandwich. The following ingredients can have at least as much taste and nutritional impact as the meat.
Condiments. Mayonnaise has about as much fat and calories as a condiment can hold. With 100 calories and 11 grams of fat, a single tablespoon of mayo will add more fat to a sandwich than even the fattest lunch meat.
Nonfat mayonnaise eliminates the fat problem and slashes calories to just 10 per tablespoon. Other low-calorie and low- or no-fat alternatives include ketchup and mustard, as well as pickle relish and salsa. It should be noted that these items may, however, contain a significant mount of sodium.
Cheese. Instead of placing a slice of swiss in a sandwich and adding more than 100 calories and 8 grams of fat, you can substitute nonfat swiss, with no fat and as little as 40 calories per slice.