Sandwich Meals

Sandwich Meals

Sandwich Meals

By Sallie Niehoff, R.D., L.D.

The benefit of a sandwich is "ease." With a little thought and a couple of extra ingredients, the quintessential sandwich becomes almost a meal. Just add a piece of fruit and a serving of milk and the meal becomes complete.

Don''t forget the ease. Buying many of your ingredients right off the salad bar saves time and waste. A quick stop at the deli and salad bar of your grocery can yield a variety of sandwiches. You also need to use the weekend, when you have more time, to make sandwich fillings or drain yogurt. Having ingredients ready in the refrigerator makes for a quick quesadilla or hot pita sandwich after work on weekdays.


Great taste and great nutrients come with this sandwich meal. Covered and refrigerated, the filling and salsa keep for several days so it''s easy to have this hot meal at a moment''s notice.

Makes: 4 servings (2 quesadillas; 2/3 cup salsa)

Nutritional information per serving: 436 calories, 21 grams of protein, 75 grams of carbohydrate, 11 grams of dietary fiber, 8 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 411 mg. of calcium and 1441 mg. of sodium.

Preparation time: 15 minutes. Cook time: 16 minutes.

  • 1 10-ounce package frozen, chopped spinach
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¾ cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 low-fat or fat-free taco-size flour tortillas
  • cooking spray
  • 2 ½ cups Zesty Salsa (recipe below)

To make filling: cook spinach according to microwave directions. Transfer to a colander to drain and cool. Meanwhile, microwave corn for 3 minutes; drain. When spinach has cooled, press to remove as much water as possible. In a medium bowl, combine spinach, corn, black beans, cheese and pepper.

To cook quesadilla: lightly spray a griddle with vegetable spray and place over medium-high heat. Place 1 tortilla on heated griddle and spoon ½ cup of filling over half of tortilla; fold tortilla over filling and cook 1 minute or until cheese melts and tortilla is lightly browned on the bottom. Carefully flip quesadilla and allow to cook an additional minute or until tortilla is lightly browned on second side. Repeat with remaining filling and tortillas. (I cook two at a time on my griddle)

To serve: slice each quesadilla into three triangles. Place six triangles on each of four plates; top with salsa.


Makes: 4 servings (about 2/3 cup per serving)

Nutritional information per serving: 37 calories, <1 gram of protein, 8 grams of carbohydrate, <1 gram of dietary fiber, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 51 mg calcium and 471 milligrams of sodium.

Preparation time : 5 minutes

  • 1 14.5-ounce can Red Gold Mexican Fiesta®, petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine tomatoes and cilantro.

Shopping List:

  • Spinach
  • Cheese
  • Cilantro
  • Corn
  • Tortillas
  • Black Beans
  • Cooking Spray
  • Pepper
  • Tomatoes


Selecting your veggies from the salad bar makes cooking easy. They are washed, sliced and chopped for you. Stir-fry for just minutes and then use to create a side dish, an addition to pasta or hot-meal sandwich.

Makes: 1 serving

Nutritional information per serving: 471 calories, 26 grams of protein, 83 grams of carbohydrate, 14 grams of dietary fiber, 7 grams of fat, 1 grams of saturated fat, 103 mg of calcium and 1913 milligrams of sodium.

Preparation time: 10 minutes. Cook time: 3 minutes.

  • ½ teaspoon olive or canola oil
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • ½ cup bell pepper slices
  • ¼ cup sliced onions
  • 1 wholewheat bagel, sliced and toasted (4 ½" diameter)
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced deli meat
  • 4 slices tomato
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Salt

Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Stir-fry spinach, bell pepper and onions for three minutes or until onions and peppers begin to soften.

To assemble sandwich, mound meat on bagel half, top with stir-fried vegetables and tomato slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and top with second bagel half.

Shopping list:

  • Olive oil
  • Spinach
  • Bell pepper
  • Onion
  • Tomato
  • Bagel
  • Deli meat
  • Salt & pepper

Definitely not your mother''s tuna salad! This crunchy tuna salad is a satisfying and colorful meal. Try substituting 3 hard-cooked eggs for the tuna & you have a delicious new twist on egg salad.

Makes: 3 servings (2 slices of bread, 1 cup salad greens and ¾ cup tuna salad)

Nutritional information per serving: 331 calories, 23 grams of protein, 32 grams of carbohydrate, 6 grams of dietary fiber, 14 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 92 mg of calcium and 560 mg. of sodium.

Preparation time: 15 minutes.


  • 7 ounces albacore tuna
  • 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup diced yellow bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup diced cucumber
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon of minced fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt & pepper
  • 6 slices whole grain bread, toasted and sliced diagonally
  • 3 cups mixed salad greens

In a medium bowl, combine tuna, diced vegetables and herb. In a separate bowl combine lemon juice and olive oil. Using a garlic press, press garlic into juice/oil mixture; add salt and pepper, to taste. Whisk dressing until well blended; pour dressing over salad mixture and toss gently.

To serve, arrange 4 toasted bread halves on each of 3 plates; top each with 1 cup salad greens and ¾ cup of salad.

Shopping list:

  • Tuna
  • Red bell pepper
  • Yellow bell pepper
  • Cucumber
  • Basil or dill
  • Lemon
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Salad greens
  • Bread

This Middle Eastern take on the sandwich is not only delicious but is also a good source of protein, calcium and anti-oxidants. I shortcut by keeping drained yogurt on hand in my refrigerator.

Makes: 4 servings (2 filled pita halves)

Nutritional information per serving: 365 calories, 20 grams of protein, 55 grams of carbohydrate, 10 grams of dietary fiber, 9 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 348 mg of calcium and 992 milligrams of sodium.

Preparation time : 20 minutes. Cook time: 28 minutes.

  • 1 cup fat-free, plain yogurt
  • 1 9-ounce package frozen, chopped greens (mustard, kale, collards or turnip)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 8 wholewheat pita halves (large)

Preheat oven to 350 ° .

Line a sieve with cheesecloth or a coffee filter and place over a bowl. Spoon yogurt into lined sieve and allow to drain while preparing remaining filling.

To prepare filling, cook greens according to package microwave directions; transfer to a colander to drain and cool. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat; add onion and garlic to skillet and sauté for three minutes or until onions are slightly translucent. Squeeze greens to remove as much water as possible. In a medium bowl, combine greens, onions/garlic, garbanzo beans, drained yogurt, feta cheese, allspice and pepper.

To assemble sandwich, spoon filling equally into pita halves. Stand pitas upright in a small baking dish. Bake in 350 ° oven for 15 minutes or until filling is thoroughly heated and pita is crisp.

Shopping List:

  • Yogurt
  • Greens
  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Feta cheese
  • Allspice
  • Pita halves
  • Salt & pepper

Dietitian and chef, Sallie Niehoff, is a food service manager and cooking class instructor for Floyd Memorial Hospital in New Albany, Indiana. Her specialty, recipe development and modification, relies heavily on her nutrition, food science and culinary arts education. Sallie can be reached via e-mail at or by phone: (812) 949-5797.