The L-Plate Vegetarian
Sandwiches and packed lunches
Instead of the usual brown or white sandwiches, try using
some of the other breads available in the supermarkets: oatmeal;
rye; malted brown; softgrain or French bread. If you’re
feeling adventurous there are several flavoured breads available
now such as Cheese & Onion or Tomato & Basil, Black
Olive or Sundried Tomato Ciabatta (an Italian bread made with
olive oil). Or try using crusty rolls (the in-store bakeries
have lots of different ones) or pitta bread – a flat
Greek bread available everywhere that opens up like a pocket – good
for stuffing with messy fillings!
Sometimes it’s hard to think up different sandwich fillings
so here are some ideas to liven up those lunch boxes!
Peanut butter: With sliced cucumber, salad or even with jam
(this is a very popular American sandwich filling, try it and
you’ll be surprised how nice it is!).
Hummus (sometimes spelt houmous): This is
a blend of chick peas and garlic etc. Buy it in tubs from the
chilled cabinet or deli counters in all supermarkets. It’s
really good spread thickly with grated carrot and salad, tomatoes
or sliced olives – particularly good stuffed in pitta
Vegetable Patés: Cauldron Foods Mushroom & Tarragon
and Tomato, Lentil and Basil are really tasty and are in most
supermarkets or health food shops. Plus they’ve three
new organic flavours including Organic Spiced, Roasted Parsnip & Carrot
Paté. Also try Tesco’s Mushroom Paté. Serve
on toast or in a sandwich with sliced cucumber, tomato, salad
etc, or plain crisps (yes, actually in the sandwich but add
at the last minute for more crunch!).
Vegetarian Sandwich Spreads: Heinz Original
Sandwich Spread or Co-op Traditional Sandwich Spread. Tartex
is the name of a vegan sandwich spread sold in several tasty
flavours in tubes from Holland & Barrett, health food shops
and some supermarkets. Try Red Pepper and Mushroom flavours.
Marmite: With cucumber or thinly sliced cheese.
|A few tips on making sandwiches
|Use any marg or spread that is suitable
for vegetarians and spread on one side of both slices of
bread to stop your sandwiches becoming soggy! Or if you are
putting mayonnaise or salad cream in them and you don’t
want the extra marg, spread your bread with that instead.
Plamil do a fabulous Egg-Free Mayonnaise that’s available
|Ready to Eats
| There are lots of ready made salads
like coleslaw, three bean salad, potato salad etc. in tubs.
These are all in the deli section/chilled cabinets. Try
serving them with fresh salad leaves and crusty bread,
or add to a packed lunch.
Vegetarian cheeses: Sainburys and Safeway
have impressive selections but there are loads of different
types of vegetarian cheeses available everywhere (always check
the packet for the veggie symbol). Here are just a few that
we found, apart from ordinary Cheddar of course: Red Leicester;
Wensleydale; Cheshire; Caerphilly; Camembert; Brie; Mozzarella;
Goats Cheese and Stilton. Try adding Branston Sandwich pickle,
or for a change try Branston Chilli or Tomato pickle, Mango
Chutney or any other fruity chutney, Safeway’s range
is great: Hot & Spicy Mango; Peach; Spicy Fruit or Tomato.
Grate and mix Cheddar with mayonnaise or salad cream and chopped
celery or sliced apple – this may sound odd but it is
really good (slice and add apple only at the last minute or
it will go brown).
Cream cheese or cottage cheese: With sliced
cucumber, grapes, grated carrot, salad, tomatoes (be adventurous
and try sundried tomatoes – sold in jars of oil) or raisins.
Philadelphia is the popular choice for cream cheese because
the plain and low fat flavours also come in lunchbox-size mini
tubs, and the plain range is also available with Chives; Garlic & Herb
and Tomato & Basil.
Veggie sausages and chutney: Cook sausages
following directions on the packet, slice and add chutneys
or relishes. Try Bick’s Sweetcorn, Tangy Onion or Hamburger
Relish (all supermarkets should have their own range of relishes
in loads of different flavours) or try Mustard Piccalilli,
Avocado: Slice a ripe avocado, sprinkle with
lemon juice to stop it going brown and add tomato or salad.
Mozzarella cheese is also a great combination with avocado.
Try not to leave peeled avocados hanging around too long as
the flesh can discolour. There’s also a spicy avocado
dip called Guacamole (sold in tubs at the chilled cabinets
or deli counters of supermarkets) that makes a great sandwich
Veggie chicken/ham/bacon/roast beef: Yes,
it’s true, if you like the taste of meat, there are now
several different makes of pretend meat in the shops: Redwood
make Cheatin’ Meat Chicken, Ham, Turkey, Bacon Rashers
and Roast Beef. Also look out for their chicken style cheatin’ barbecue
bites, five-spice bites and tikka bites. Morning Star make
Back Bacon and Streaky Strips bacon slices. All bacon substitutes
need to be grilled or fried before using, but the ham, chicken
and roast beef are eaten cold. Try adding salad and mayonnaise
to the ham, chicken or roast beef, and add tomato ketchup or
brown sauce to your bacon sarnie. All are available from Holland & Barrett,
health food shops and most supermarkets. Redwood also provide
an online shopping service (see here).
Quorn is a chicken style product made from
mushroom protein and vegetable flavourings bound together with
egg white. We found several of the Quorn products contain free-range
egg albumen as opposed to battery, including the Quorn roast,
mince, pieces, deli slices, paté and rashers.
Nutella – delicious chocolate/nut spread
(all the supermarkets have their own brands too): Try with
sliced banana. (Or why not try mashed banana on its own – delicious
Snacks for Packed Lunches
The deli counters or chilled cabinets in supermarkets have
lots of finger sized nibbles including vegetable samosas (spicy
vegetable filled pastry triangles); Falafel (little round balls
made from chick peas – scrummy!); Onion Bhajis or Pakoras
(little balls made with fried onions & veg), vegetable
spring rolls etc. We’re impressed with the Indian Selection
pack from Waitrose. You get four mini-size treats: Samosa,
Onion Bhaji, Vegetable Pakora and Aloo (potato) Tikki.
Dips are good in packed lunches – try Hummus, Tzaziki
(a garlicky yoghurt dip), Salsa (spicy tomato dip) or any of
the dips from the chilled counters (check they are suitable
for veggies). Dip in crisps (Kettle Chips are particularly
tasty and come in many veggie flavours), tortilla chips, breadsticks,
slices of pitta bread or crudities (sticks of cut up vegetables:
carrots, celery, cucumber, peppers, mushrooms etc). Good ones
include: Asda Cheese & Chive or Sour Cream & Chive
dip and Waitrose Fresh Aubergine dip or for something a bit
spicier try Somerfield Coriander Dip. Primula also make a range
of dips that don’t have to be refrigerated until they
are opened: Nacho Cheese, Garlic & Herb, Hot Salsa etc.
But if you can’t make that final decision most supermarkets
also produce packs containing three or four flavours, often
with a low-fat option, so every tastebud is catered for.
Instead of packets of crisps try some of the following ideas
as snack alternatives: popcorn; ready cooked Sharwoods poppadoms
or packets of mini poppadoms; mini boxes of Sun Maid raisins – one
item from the huge range of packet dried fruit; mixed nuts
or roasted nuts – KP Nuts now come in great little tubes
including Chilli, Dry Roasted and Salt & Vinegar flavours.
Also try sunflower seeds – a high source of calcium
which is very important in any diet. Dried fruit fans should
look out for Sundora Snack Packs, you can get apricots; prunes
or an exotic mix with mangos and papaya etc. Also from Sundora
is their low fat frutti max, soft, succulent apple pieces flavoured
with toffee, fizzy orange, strawberry or fruits of the forest.
These are available in supermarkets, but your local health
food shop will probably have a larger selection.
Safeway have a great range of healthy snacks in handy little
packets, either dried fruit (similar selection to the above)
or fresh fruit and vegetables, depending on the time of year,
but we found grapes, strawberries, baby carrots, cucumbers
and cherry tomatoes. But why not just grab a banana or an apple!
Everyone knows that when you’re just having one of those
days a piece of fruit means nothing unless it’s coated
in velvety chocolate, and thankfully most chocolate is suitable
for veggies. But if you’re feeling more indulgent why
not pick up a bar from Green & Black’s Organic range
which includes cherry, almond and mint, and also vegan products
too. Don’t forget Viva! also sells a huge range of vegan
chocolate, fudge and even sweeties, just call 0117 944 1000
for a Gifts For Life catalogue! So whatever weight you add
to your hips you’ll lose instantly off your conscience!
Instead of chocolate, why not try a slightly healthier but
just as tasty option such as: Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain bars;
Seeds of Change Organic Cereal Bars; Cadburys Brunch bars;
Frusli muesli & fruit bars; Jordan’s Original Crunchy
bars; Zaps fruit bars or Sesame Snaps. This is just a small
selection of what’s available and you should be able
to find loads more in your local health food shop, such as
Yaoh’s Organic Raw Food Hemp bar and Euroviva’s
Rebar bar which contains eight servings of organic fruit and
These days you can find lots of interesting snack foods suitable
for vegetarians in the supermarket. These are good as a treat
once in a while, as they are quite expensive: cheese or pizza
flavour Cheese Strings; Dairylea Dunkers, a portion of cream
cheese with a choice of either bread sticks, jumbo chip sticks
or pizza flavour dipping sticks. Fruit fans may also like to
try Del Monte Fruitini, little cans of fruit pieces in juice,
jelly or thick sauce; don’t worry you won’t need
a tin opener – they have a ring-pull! Plus, it’s
worth checking out the range of fresh fruit that’s prepared
and ready to enjoy. Waitrose offer a good selection including
fresh pineapple and a ‘Melon Medley’ – three
types of Seasonal Melon.
See also the ‘Salads’ section for ideas on some
of the ready made salads you can buy from the deli counters/chilled
cabinets which are great for packed lunches, or a healthy snack.
Next Section: Hot Snacks and Tinned Food