Who says you need a bun, bread or torilla to enjoy fresh, seasonal healthy sandwiches?
That's right; vegetables can serve as sturdy, taste-filled sandwich toppers and bases. Certain vegetables are insanely stackable and are amazing at holding together whatever fillers you stuff in 'em. We've tracked down three breadless, healthy sandwiches (and an Organic Authority article that gives you a crash course on breadless, healthy sandwiches) that we're betting you and your taste buds are going to love.
Yield: 2 servings
4 portabella mushroom caps with stems removed
3 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 thin slices halloumi
2 thick slices tomato
Sea salt and pepper
1 handful basil leaves
*Always use local or organic ingredients when able.
Heat a grill to medium-high heat (around 450 degrees Fahrenheit). Wash your mushroom caps and dry them. In a shallow bowl, combine balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Place mushrooms, gill side down, in the mixture.
Once your grill is hot, place the mushrooms on the grill, gill-side first, for about 5 minutes, or until they start to sweat. Flip and grill 2-3 minutes more. Add the halloumi to the grill and grill 2 minutes on each side, over relatively high heat until grill marks form on the cheese, and it becomes soft and pliable. Sprinkle salt and pepper onto the tomato to taste.
Assemble the sandwich with the mushroom as the bun, the halloumi cheese as the burger, and the lightly salted tomato and fresh basil leaves as filler. Wrap and serve hot.
Notes from the author: For a vegetarian meal, find a vegetarian halloumi made with non-animal rennet. Also: Wrap these sandwiches before serving or plan to eat them with a knife and fork -- they are a bit slippery.
Breadless Eggplant and Avocado Sandwich, via Kale with Love
Yield: 1 sandwich
2 long slices of eggplant, 1/4 inch thick each
1 tomato, sliced
1/2 avocado, sliced
2 pieces lettuce of your choice
Yellow mustard to taste
Place eggplant pieces under broiler for 2 minutes, remove and cool. Stack the tomato, avocado, lettuce and mustard on the first piece of eggplant as you would if you were making something like a BLT. Top the no-bun sandwich with the second piece of eggplant, cut in half, and enjoy.
No-Bun Tomato, Mozzarella and Asparagus Sandwich Stack, via It's All Food and Wine
1 bunch of fresh asparagus, halved length ways and cut to 5 cm lengths
1 large ball of mozzarella cheese, sliced
2 large tomatoes, sliced
Bunch of fresh basil leaves
Using a steamer, or a small saucepan, steam, or boil asparagus until it's just tender, drain and set aside. On your plates: Create your stack with mozzarella first then asparagus (place the warm asparagus next to the cheese melts -- it will help hold the stack together). Then add the tomato and a layer of basil leaves, repeat and use a skewer (if necessary) to hold the stack in shape. Any asparagus left over can be served on the side. Drizzle with balsamic glaze.
No-Bun, Healthy Sandwich Ideas, via Organic Authority
- Fill your sandwich inside lettuce wraps: Use large iceberg or romaine lettuce. Find a large outer leaf without brown or soft spots, and give it a light rinse. When dry, fill with your sandwich ingredients.
- Stuff your sandwich inside a vegetable (as shown above) or fruit: Hollow out a large tomato or avocado and stuff the inside with sandwich ingredients.
- Use sliced, sturdy vegetables as the “bread slices” for your sandwich. Using round slices of solid, sturdy vegetables, such as zucchini squash or cucumbers, you can make bite-sized sandwiches without much modification.
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