Our playground days of PB&Js may be long gone, but sandwiches are still the perfect lunch to pack in your bag or briefcase. After all, what other food is so filling, portable, delicious and easy? Here are some grown-up versions to take to your internship or job this summer. Don’t worry, anything that will make your coworkers gag — like tuna fish sandwiches — is not on the menu.
1. Greek Salad Pita Pockets
While we can’t give you a Greek getaway (or a Greek guy…), here’s a Mediterranean-inspired dish that will hit all of your food groups. You’ll get whole grains from the pita pocket, healthy fats from the Kalamata olives and olive oil, calcium and protein from the feta cheese and tons of veggie goodness.
Recipe adapted from Food.com
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped Kalamata olives
- Squirt of lemon juice
- 1 cup greens of your choice (try spinach or romaine)
- Handful of diced red onion
- 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 whole-wheat pita pocket
- In a bowl, whisk together the first three ingredients.
- Add the next four ingredients and toss to combine.
- Put the mixture in a small container and pack your pita in a plastic baggie.
- Once at work, fill the pockets with the salad.
2. Peanut Butter and Fruit Sushi
While we love the taste of sushi, the fishy breath you get afterwards? Not so much. Traditional sushi can also be loaded with sodium, mayonnaise-based sauces and nutrient-stripped white rice. Not only is this recipe full of protein, whole grains and fruit, but it’s adorable as well! If you’re missing some of the ingredients or you feel like experimenting, this would also be delicious with peaches, mango, blueberries and/or nuts.
Recipe adapted from The Kitchn
- 2 slices whole-wheat bread
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1 chopped apple or banana
- 1 tablespoon raisins
- Dash of cinnamon (optional)
- Spread a tablespoon of peanut butter on each slice of bread, making sure the bread is completely covered.
- Add your desired fillings horizontally to the bottom third of each slice.
- Roll from the bottom of the bread up.
- Slice into 5 or 6 pieces and pop into a plastic container.
3. Turkey, Brie and Apple Croissant
This gourmet sandwich is a delicious fusion of sweet and salty. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to put together, and when you only have five minutes between curling your hair and swigging down coffee in the morning, every second counts. If you’re vegetarian, this would be equally good sans the turkey — just substitute some fresh pear slices. Because the croissant and brie make it a bit decadent, choose a relatively light side dish, like baby carrots.
Recipe adapted from FITNESS Magazine
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 3 slices deli turkey
- 2 ounces Brie cheese (or cheddar or Havarti)
- 1/4 green apple, thinly sliced
- 1 croissant, halved
- In a small bowl, mix together the mustard and honey.
- Apply a thin layer of the spread to both pieces of the croissant.
- Layer the turkey, the Brie and the apple slices on the bottom croissant half.
4. Hawaiian English Muffin
Remember when your mother used to make you pizza English muffins with watery tomato sauce and greasy pepperoni slices? Well, sorry Mom, but our taste buds have gotten a bit more sophisticated since then. The protein in the ham and cheese will give you enough energy to power through the second half of your workday, while the fiber from the English muffin will keep you full and prevent over-snacking in the afternoon.
Recipe adapted from Parenting.com
- 2-3 slices deli ham
- 1/3 cup diced pineapple
- 1 slice mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
- 1 whole-wheat English muffin
- Halve the English muffin and top one side with the ham, the pineapple and the cheese.
- Drizzle the teriyaki sauce on top.
- Top with the other side of the muffin.
5. Veggie Burger Collard Wrap
The great thing about this wrap is that it’s vegan and vegetarian friendly! This recipe is also full of good-for-you ingredients: hummus, which helps lower your cholesterol; avocado, which has lots of healthy fats and tomato and collard greens, which both contain many essential nutrients. Make sure you choose an unprocessed veggie burger made primarily of grains and/or legumes.
Recipe adapted from Eating Bird Food
- 1 collard green leaf (or a butter lettuce leaf if you don’t have collard)
- 1 veggie burger
- 1 tablespoon hummus
- 1/4 an avocado, sliced
- Diced tomatoes
- Place the leaf on a flat surface.
- Using a knife, shave down the thick vertical stem until it’s approximately the same thickness as the rest of the leaf.
- Spread the hummus over the leaf.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and wrap up like a burrito.
Even if you’re no Top Chef, you’ll have no problem quickly putting together these nutritious and tasty sandwiches. Bonus: you won’t get afternoon regret from falling prey to the vending machine’s temptations. Bon appétit!