What can I put around my sandwich?
January 30, 2008 7:21 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to eat less bread. What else can I use to contain sandwiches?

I've decided to limit my bread intake and get most of my carbs from fruits and veggies. Problem is, I love sandwiches.

Are there any other food items I might use instead of bread to contain a sandwich?
posted by reenum to Food & Drink (32 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Wrap your sandwich ingredients in a giant crispy lettuce leaf.
posted by amyms at 7:24 PM on January 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Lettuce leaves work well as "wraps". Also you might want to try nori to hold the insides together.
posted by gomichild at 7:25 PM on January 30, 2008

Or put your ingredients between two low-carb rice cakes.
posted by amyms at 7:26 PM on January 30, 2008

Lettuce wraps are fantastic. I've also been known to use potato pancakes as small wraps.

Are you also ruling out things made with corn such as tortillas, tostados and taco shells?
posted by iconomy at 7:26 PM on January 30, 2008

You can try low Carb wraps, there are a variety of them with lots of fiber and many with low effective carb counts.

Lettuce works well, especially boat-shaped romaine leafs.

I've also wrapped my deli meat, cheese & lettuce around pickle spears and secured them with toothpicks.
posted by SoulOnIce at 7:28 PM on January 30, 2008

There are some really good low carb wraps out there, many of which include flax seed and still taste great. I remember using them to make 90 calorie personal pizzas.
posted by samsara at 7:33 PM on January 30, 2008

Best answer: Just staying away from yeasted bread products serves the same purpose. Just substitute a whole wheat pita and you'll be solid.
posted by doppleradar at 7:33 PM on January 30, 2008

If you're willing to settle for reduced bread instead of no bread, then how about pitas, or flour tortillas? You can wrap quite a lot in a single tortilla.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 7:36 PM on January 30, 2008

In-n-Out offers a burger protein-style. Its just a burger with lettuce instead of bread.
posted by vacapinta at 7:41 PM on January 30, 2008

Could the sandwich ingredients be used to top a salad? Not so great if you're craving a PB&J, but if it's cheese or cold cuts...
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:51 PM on January 30, 2008

All beef patties? Or steaks if you want to keep it lean!
posted by ignignokt at 8:03 PM on January 30, 2008

Best answer: If you can eat potatoes then give this a shot. Shred a nice sized russet potato. Squeeze all the juice out of it as best you can. Add good pinch of salt and some pepper along with a pinch of corn starch- lemon juice to keep it from oxidizing if you are moving slow. Give it a good mix. Add half of the potato to a skillet coated with some peanut oil and a bit of butter to help the potato brown. At the four minute mark add whatever it is you would put in your sandwich- I like ham and cheese- don't do lettuce but tomato works so does zucchini. Afterwards cover the addition with the remaining potato and flatten it out to cover the additional ingredients. Give it a nice pat to get the top flat add some salt. Cover the pan and allow it to cook for another 4 minutes. At the end of the 4 minutes slide the whole thing onto a plate. Take another plate and put it on top, invert the plates so that the top is now on the bottom. Add a bit more peanut oil and a small piece of butter, swirl to coat the pan and then put the potato back in the pan- this time cooking the other side. Allow it to go for about six to seven minutes. Remove from the potato to a wire rack (if you have one) and allow it to cool for about two minutes. Cut it up into wedges and enjoy your bread free sandwich- or what ever you might like to call it.
posted by bkeene12 at 8:04 PM on January 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Rice paper could work well as a wrapper too, especially if you use it to wrap a bunch of vegetables. They are paper thin, hard, dry, and translucent when you buy them, but all you need to do is put them in hot water for a couple of minutes to soften them up. Then you spread them out on a plate, lay your veggies on top, pull the rice paper tightly around them, and roll them up. Then you can eat them as is or with a dip of your choice. The starch of the rice paper really helps them stick together as they cool.

I made some tonight actually and I find that they wrap better and don't tear as easily when wet if you use two pieces of rice paper at once. There are lots of recipes for "cold spring rolls" online that can probably give you pictures and more filling ideas. It's a nice way to package what you'd normally put in a salad or a tall sandwich but it's probably not great for peanut butter and jelly... :)
posted by onoclea at 8:39 PM on January 30, 2008

Lettuce is boring. I use bok choy leaves or, my favorite, leaves of collard greens with the stem removed.
posted by dobbs at 8:45 PM on January 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

I like to use those Concord Food brand caramel apple wraps. You should be able to pick them up at your local supermarket. Load one up with meats, cheeses and condiments, wrap it tight, 20 seconds in the microwave, and you have got one serious quasi-panino.
posted by 1 at 9:15 PM on January 30, 2008

Best answer: Are there any other food items I might use instead of bread to contain a sandwich?

Rice cakes.
Rice paper.
Sliced roast beef.
Sturdy cheese.
Pop Tarts.
Canadian Bacon.
posted by wackybrit at 9:38 PM on January 30, 2008 [3 favorites]

Why limit bread? Whole grains have lots of trace minerals and other good stuff in them. If you're counting carbs, why not eat an open faced sandwich on one slice of bread instead of a traditional two slice sandwich? One slice of wheat bread only has 12 carbs in it.

If that's too many I'd go with the whole grain wrap over lettuce. That way you're still getting some of the nutrition from grains.
posted by red_lotus at 9:39 PM on January 30, 2008

wackybrit: You missed Jicama, which they use at a San Francisco restaurant named Lolo.
posted by vacapinta at 9:44 PM on January 30, 2008

Adding to the "thin carb-based wrappers" above, you could try naan.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 10:00 PM on January 30, 2008

How about rice paper (the kind used in Vietnamese summer rolls)? They're crazy cheap, easy to prep and a single wrap has very few carbs and calories. You can find them just about everywhere (in Boston, at least). I may experiment with a rice paper PB&J this evening!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 4:02 AM on January 31, 2008

You could look for inspiration in the raw food communities. There are many dehydrated cracker or bread recipes (like this). You do not need a dehydrator, just bake them in an oven on a very low temperature.

You do not mention reasons to limit your bread intake. There is an enourmous difference between different bread. Sprouted spelt bread, for example, is completely different from supermarket bread.
posted by davar at 4:42 AM on January 31, 2008

Response by poster: The main reason for limiting my bread intake is to help jump start my weight loss again. I'm stuck at around 20 lbs. above my ideal weight, and no matter how much I exercise, I don't seem to be losing the pounds.

A friend of mine suggested that going low-carb might help in this regard. Thus, the need for bread substitutes.
posted by reenum at 4:47 AM on January 31, 2008

reenum--I've been doing the same thing, for similar reasons. My primary approach recently has been to use veggies ... primarily, peppers. Banana peppers, bell peppers, that sort of thing. Not great for every kind of sandwich, to be sure, but for stuff like baba ghanooj, hummus, tuna, assorted veggies, etc., it's pretty awesome (more of a "boat" than a "sandwich", but still). Some of the low-carb diets also suggest some of what was mentioned above; rolling up some sliced meat and cheese, meat around a cheese stick (or the pickle suggestion) are popular.
posted by the luke parker fiasco at 5:29 AM on January 31, 2008

bread replacement? Easy: make your sandwhiches with slices of eggplant. It's delicious and healthy!
posted by milestogo at 6:53 AM on January 31, 2008

There are good carbs and bad carbs. Bad are refined carbs, such as those found in white bread. Good are found in whole grain breads. And they are good for you and can actually help you lose weight (if that's what's at the center of this).

Just as an extension of this, all high calorie foods are not bad. Avocados are very high in calories but are good for you. Of course, moderation is the key too.

I am not a nutritionist but that's what I've learned over the years.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 7:18 AM on January 31, 2008

thinly sliced portobello mushroom?

Cut bell pepper in half and layer/stuff it with sandwich stuff, eat it "open faced"?
posted by Black_Umbrella at 8:35 AM on January 31, 2008

Half sandwiches have actually worked really well for me. Go ahead and enjoy that sandwich (heck, as Warren Zevon says, enjoy every sandwich), but save half of it to enjoy tomorrow. Complement that half sandwich with a big ol' salad or a piece of fruit, and you've achieved all the goals you stated above.
posted by kristi at 9:53 AM on January 31, 2008

Another vote for rice paper.
posted by Acer_saccharum at 12:22 PM on January 31, 2008

Whole-wheat tortillas are good. Also there are some "light" breads on the market - they aren't as tasty as regular bread but they're lower-carb.
posted by radioamy at 12:41 PM on January 31, 2008

Try this recipe for a bread substitute made with just cream cheese, eggs and cream of tartar. They're a modfication of the original recipe for Atkins Revolution rolls but they work even better.
posted by peacheater at 12:47 PM on January 31, 2008

for what it's worth, I've never met anyone who could stay on a low carb diet, and many who tried gained a ridiculous amount of weight back after going off of it, myself included. I'm sure there are people out there who are steady low carbers but the failure of of this diet is quite ubiquitous.

I've lost weight (and maintained ideal weight for two years now) with small portions of whole foods like rice, lots of beans, vegetables, homemade granola, fruit, nuts, etc.

Whatever you do I hope it works for you! There's a lot of great ideas here.

Good luck!
posted by red_lotus at 1:04 PM on January 31, 2008

Peppridge Farm "Very Thin" bread is practically invisible, but it contains sandwiches nicely. I was embarking on a similar reduction of bread when I found it.
posted by gjc at 7:12 PM on January 31, 2008

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