Sandwiches: the best thing since sliced bread. Wait… Don’t you need sliced bread to make a sandwich?! I think not!
Sandwiches are such an easy and quick go-to meal for kids and parents alike. They can run the gamut from your basic PB&J, to a gourmet, toasted number with spreads and fillings just bursting with exotic ingredients and flavors. In this house, sandwiches tend much more toward the basic end of the spectrum. Buuuuttt...that doesn’t mean they are made with your typical sandwich ingredients - starting with bread! This month's Recipe Redux theme is to show off a healthy upgrade to the traditional sandwich. Keep reading for my nutrition-savvy sandwich swaps!
I’ll be the first to admit bread is a serious weakness of mine. It’s one of my “red-light” foods. If it’s in the house, I end up eating way more of it than I’d like to, and it crowds out many of the more nutritious foods that I’d like to keep in my diet. It’s just SO good! The Mr. would also be the first to tell you that when bread is available, he’ll make sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, wiping out an entire loaf in a couple days...on his own. ;) There’s nothing wrong with bread, we just know that we make much more nutritious choices when we don’t have bread as an option. For this reason, we rarely buy bread or keep it in the house. We save our happy bread moments for times we eat out at restaurants, or when it’s homemade and extra special.
No bread?! Then how do we make sandwiches!? We just get a little crafty! Below is a recipe for one of my favorite ways to build an open-faced sandwich - on a rice cake! These filling and tasty stacks are generally consumed when the fridge/pantry offer no other options, Mom & Dad have zero energy to make a meal, or we're in a hurry, but neeeeed to eat - so, fairly often.
The rice cake adds a fun crunchy texture to the array of ingredients you can add to the top. We usually use whatever leftovers we have and throw these piles of sandwich-like heaven together for a quick snack or meal. The little man isn’t big enough to hold a sandwich yet, but he LOVES rice cakes and all of the ingredients we put on ours, so he gets a deconstructed version and just devours it!
Whether we use a rice cake or bread, I love the open-faced sandwich approach. You eat one slice of bread, instead of two, leaving more room for those delicious sandwich toppings with all the flavor. Bread can have great flavor, but it’s usually a vessel, rather than the star of the show, so why fill up on it?
Speaking of vessel - these open-faced rice cake sandwiches really can be whatever you want them to be, based on whatever ingredients you have on hand. The recipe below includes some pulled pork we had leftover from dinner the night before, and some really delicous, flavorful Hope Foods Coconut Curry hummus we usually keep in the house. Just get creative, throw some healthy ingredients together on top of your rice cake, and see how they turn out!
Coconut Curry Pulled Pork Open-Faced Sandwich
- 1 brown rice cake
- 1 Tbsp Thai Coconut Curry Hummus (I like the one from Hope Foods)
- ½ cup greens of choice (I love the Cruciferous Crunch blend from Trader Joe’s)
- ½ cup pulled pork
- Spread rice cake with hummus, then layer greens and pulled pork on top! That’s it! Enjoy the crunch!