Monday, November 26, 2012


Lunch is the most fun you can have at a meal. Whereas for breakfast and dinner you actually have to cook stuff to be creative, at lunch you don't. Have to cook that is. It took me a long time to realize this fact. I know you're scratching your head trying to understand where I'm coming from. So to quote Desi Arnaz, "Let me splain."

When I was my daughter's age, I was not very adventurous with my sandwiches at lunch. I rarely deviated from either ham and cheese or bologna and cheese. The cheese had to be American and the condiments had to be either mayo or mustard, and the bread had to be white.

It wasn't until I got to be much older (like in my mid-to-late twenties) to appreciate using other kinds of meats and cheeses.

Just ham you say? How 'bout we tack on some roast beef or some chicken or some genoa salami.

Bologna? How 'bout some liverwurst or pepperoni? Or even corned beef?

White? How 'bout rye, or wheat, or pumpernickel? How 'bout a miami onion roll?

Mustard? How 'bout spicy mustard or whole grain mustard?

Mayo? Well, we couldn't really deviate much from mayo.

Other condiments? Sure. Relishes and other stuff like that.

What about veggies?

Ahhhhhh veggies...I had a serious hate/hate/semi-love relationship with veggies while growing up. Corn was the only cooked veggie that I ate on a consistent basis. Onions came much, much later. It took me a very long time to even think of putting veggies on my sandwiches and even now, I do not use the traditional veggies when I make a sandwich.

To give you a good idea on how my tastes and creativity have evolved throughout the decades, I want to describe to you what goes into and how I create a typical sandwich for myself.

For starters, I usually use only one type of meat and one type of cheese when I make a sandwich (calories). For today's lesson, we'll go with oven roasted turkey breast and sliced colby-jack cheese. From the side refrigerator door, we'll pull out mayo and minced garlic; from my personal pantry, a bottle of crushed red pepper; from the bread drawer, a small flour tortilla.

So after setting up our work area (paper towel on counter), we lay out our tortilla. My personal preference is to lay out the cheese first, followed by exactly three slices of meat. No more and no less. Then we take three forkfuls of minced garlic and spread it around the meat. A slathering of mayo on the other half of the tortilla and a generous sprinkling of crushed red pepper all over the meat. By the time this bad boy is ready to eat some twelve hours later (lunch at work), the flavors have blended so much that my taste buds go on overload.

I often make bizarre sandwiches like this, so that my lunch at work isn't so predictable (which if you're a diabetic, becomes increasingly predictable).

To give you another bizarre sandwich concoction that I created for lunch this past week, I had rotisserie chicken and spreadable cheese on white, with whole grain mustard and peppercilli relish. The possibilities are unlimited in what you can use to create a sandwich that takes into consideration all of the strange foods that you've come to like and appreciate as an adult.

So my friends, if you're a sandwich eater, what kind of creativity burst forth from your imagination to your plate at lunch time?


  1. My good dear friends. Today has been the Monday from hell. You all left me wonderful comments on my post today, and stupidly, after I had checked them off, I hit "delete" instead of "publish".

    However, I will try my very best to answer the comments that were left behind by everyone.

    My deepest and most sincerest apologies to everyone who had left me comments.

    In no particular order of importance as I'm going on memory here, here are my answers, and my apologies if I don't quite remember your question correctly.

    Granny Annie: Sometimes being plain and consistent with our sandwiches helps bring back fond memories of what was simple and good in life.

    But yes, I agree you can get a bit creative with breakfast. I don't get that creative with my breakfast since everything I have is basically frozen/pre-made.

    Joe: I have a love/hate relationship with BLT's. While I love BLT's, I'm not that overly fond of tomatoes. I can only have them in small amounts and they definitely can't be soggy. They have to be slightly firm for me eat them.

    Lynn: I'm sorry, I can't quite remember what you said about sandwiches except about bringing them to work.

    It's funny, but the only time I really eat sandwiches is at work. On the weekends, I'll eat anything but.

    Bearman: I've only gotten to like avocado very late in life. Never cared much for it as a fruit and definitely didn't eat as a condiment for any kind of meal while growing up. It's only been in the last year or so that I've enjoyed having it with my Mexican food.

    Charles: Most of what I create is definitely not for someone who has to watch their calories and/or their sugars. :D

    But I have gotten better at watching what my caloric intake is at lunch time. So long as I can keep it between 500-750, I'm doing okay.

    M: Crushed red pepper is da bomb. This was definitely a condiment that I got to appreciate way late in life, and one thing that I did learn is this:

    Never inhale the scent when you're cooking with it. Just like getting a face full of pepper spray.

    Debra: Yours sounded very good. I was always curious on what Brie cheese tasted like, but never wanted to spend that much money to buy something that I might not have liked.

  2. You've got a good memory! I hope Tuesday goes better, LOL!

  3. Debra: My excellent memory has been both a blessing (at home) and a curse (at work). This was simply the icing on the fallen souffle that was my Monday.

    I thank you for the good wishes and understanding. :D

  4. Delicious idea, G.B.! I love Italian subs (ham, provolone, salami, on seeded white bread, w/ lettuce, tomato and may), corned beef on rye w/ mustard, grilled ham and cheese, and egg salad sandwiches. I'm not as creative as you, but I might just try one or two of you concoctions ;) Hmmm....I'm thinking you need to published a sandwich recipe book :)

  5. ironically, lunch is my LEAST creative meal of the day...roast beef with mozzarella cheese, or turkey bologna with Doritos crushed between or ham/turkey deli slices among some rotating combo of bread; whole wheat, 7 grain, milk & honey (a favorite), honey oat, and the occasional buttermilk.

    Day after day after day after day after..Saturday is pizza.

  6. Andrea: Thanks for stopping by.

    All of those sound really good and I've had those in one form or another over the years.

    It's really easy to be creative with your sandwiches. If you have stuff that you truly love, whether its meat, cheese, veggies or condiments, why not throw it together?

    Darth: IDK, never thought of putting crushed Doritos in my sandwich, which to me sounds a little creative.

    Love pizza. Can't eat it 'cause it has too much sugar (sauce, dough) in it.

  7. I had to come back and comment about Darth Weasel's comment. We also crush chips in our sandwiches. We call then "smashed sandwiches" and will use Doritos, potato chips, pork rinds, etc. How great to know we aren't the only ones. When I say "we" and I mean my children and I. NOT my spouse. He believes we are unstable for doing this.

  8. G.A.: Thanks for coming back.

    Smashed sandwiches sound great. I had a speciality burger a few weeks ago that featured smashed potato chips between the patties.

    Unstable? Perish the thought. I've gotten comments like that from my wife and children as well for some of the strange things I would put into my sandwiches.

    I should give that a try tomorrow. Certainly would liven things up.

  9. Not unstable...very wise. It adds "crunch" to an otherwise dreary food source. Good choice, GA

  10. I am a boring lunch eater. Lunch at work is either 8pm or after 11pm. I only bring n eat natural Peanut Butter with bananas on 100% whole wheat bread because it doesn't upset my stomach. I look at a moving conveyor belt, while stepping back n forth for hours on end.
    Day Off lunch is all day long, almost anything. Yay! (but no deli meats, or mayo!)

  11. Snaggle: I feel your pain.

    Being a diabetic means that I don't have too much variation of what I can eat for lunch. I have to watch my calories and sugars at the same time.

    But I'm glad to hear that you can get somewhat creative on your off days. :D

  12. Mmmmmm... I really like the idea of adding minced garlic to a sandwich -- I've never tried that!

    I've grown to love veggies a lot more in the last ten years than I ever did before -- even things I hated as a kid. I love making hummus and veggie wraps -- hummus on a tortilla, with whatever vegetables I have in the house... spinach, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, whatever. Sometimes I'll throw some cheese in there, too. But every now and then, I'll eat chicken or turkey -- if I'd been home for Thanksgiving, I would've been eating leftover turkey sandwiches for days... :)

  13. Lisa: Garlic is definitely an acquired taste. I'll actually pick some marinated garlic at the supermarket and have that with marinated mozarella cheese balls.

    I've tried hummus, but it did not appeal to me. Still, there are a few veggies that I will eat on a sandwich: green peppers, onions of all kinds, cucumbers/pickles, and certain kinds of relish.

    The peppercilli is basically chopped green tomatos, and its really good.


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