Any way you stack them, sandwiches are an easy and affordable dinnertime option. As the school year kicks into high gear with homework, field trips and after-school activities, quick and creative meals that are also well-rounded can be difficult to dream up. Scheduling a weekly sandwich night is a healthy and simple time-saver the whole family will love.
The perfect use for leftovers
Serve up warm and crusty rolls stuffed with leftovers from the night before. To prepare, just chop the top off of your family’s favorite sandwich rolls. Hollow out the middle, brush the inside of the bread with a little olive oil and stuff with filling made from yesterday’s meal. Grilled veggies, chopped grilled chicken or even slices of ham combined with a mixture of cream cheese and shredded cheese make delicious and easy fillings. Broil three to six inches from the heat source for three to five minutes, or until filling is warm and the top of the sandwich is beginning to brown.
Switch up your sandwich and salad night by combining the two. Salad-stuffed pita pockets are a fun and portable way to make sure everyone eats and enjoys their vegetables. Try out different fillings, such as grilled chicken salad or a combination of hummus, cucumbers, red peppers and onion. This grilled steak pita recipe is a protein-packed meal that also offers energy and metabolism-boosting nutrients such as iron, zinc and B vitamins.
Offer up grilled greens as a spin on the conventional grilled cheese. Layer greens such as sautéed spinach, kale, broccoli and zucchini between two layers of a good, gooey melting cheese (such as gruyere) on your favorite whole-grain bread and prepare as you would a grilled cheese. Take this dinner all the way by serving iced green tea with a lime wedge and mixing green food coloring into mashed potatoes. This well-rounded meal is sure to entertain and may even open up young minds and stomachs to new vegetables.
An alternative to nuggets
Dressed with the right trimmings, a grilled-chicken sandwich may just stand a chance to compete for your children’s love of nuggets while offering tastes that the adults in the household will enjoy, too. Grilled chicken pairs well with a multitude of different flavors, so choose those that suit your family’s tastes best. If you’re partial to Southwestern-style cooking, try topping with a black-bean spread, avocado and pepper jack cheese. Or make it Cuban-style with a slice of ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard. Go Hawaiian with a big slice of grilled pineapple and a little honey-mustard. There are plenty of healthy, diet-friendly, customizable options to try.
Check out this recipe for Open-Faced Chicken Sandwiches >>
Make a sweet treat that still offers plenty of nutritious goodness. After all, just because it’s technically dessert doesn’t mean that it has to consist solely of empty calories. Spread something sweet, such as Nutella, onto two slices of whole-grain bread, and slide sliced bananas or strawberries in between for a nutritious and satisfying sweet. When serving a sandwich as dessert, cut it into smaller portions — such as quarters or long sandwich fingers.