School Fuel: Healthy Sandwich Recipes From Nino’s

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September is Back to School Month, and as your kids get smarter, so should your choices about what to put in their lunch boxes or on the dinner table.

Gone (but not forgotten) are the days when PB & J and plain ‘ole bologna sandwiches ruled the metal lunch boxes…

…when 25 cents was all the lunch money you needed, when you could even THINK about a “sandwich” swap, when apples were dessert and milk was THE drink of choice.

What’s “in” now are Gluten Free, No Trans-Fats, Low Carb, High Fiber, Power Bars, High Protein, Pro-Biotic and Whole Grains.

Time that parents used to spend in grocery store checkout lines reading the latest tabloids has been replaced with time in the aisles reading nutritional labels and ingredient lists to be sure their kids are eating healthy.

Parents like you know that by some measure, you (and your kids) literally “are” what you eat. And if your children are going to be successful in school, and in life, it all starts with the best “School Fuel” for your kids.

School Fuel: Healthy Sandwich Recipes From Nino’s

The power your kids need for learning is right in their lunch boxes.

At Nino’s, our aisles are filled with just such products–the ingredients, the prepared foods and the things you need to give your child the “right stuff.”

When it comes to sandwiches, there are three essential parts: the Bread, the Spread and the Filling.

Now, you certainly can trade off one healthy component for another a little less healthy, but for the sake of argument, let’s presume that all three of these “elements” are to be healthy choices. Also, it must be said that one person’s “healthy” does not necessarily subscribe to the next person’s definition. That is, the body needs some essential fats, sodium, and of course, calories. For some, however, regulating the intake of these products is a priority for their own personal health plans. It’s not a one-size-fits-all sandwich world.

Breaking the sandwich down to its three elements, the first is the Bread.

When you think of sandwiches, most people envision two pieces of bread with a hearty amount of lunch meat, cheese, lettuce and/or tomatoes protruding abundantly. And to tell you the truth, that’s not a “bad” or unhealthy sandwich either, depending on your choices.

But “bread” can be Lavosh, or Pita or a “Hi-Bread” like ®Flat Out bread. A sandwich can be square, an oval, a pocket or a wrap. There really are no rules as long as you can hold it in your hand and eat it without a fork.

Some of Nino’s many healthy bread choices include the following:

  • Flat Out brand Healthy Grain Low Fat, 0% Trans-Fat, 100-Calorie Bread, which is GREAT for Roll-Up style sandwich wraps. See more great Flat Out sandwich ideas from Nino’s right here: Flat Out Breads Flyer!
  • Mission brand Life Balance and Carb Balance 100% Whole Wheat soft-flour tortillas with 0% Trans-Fat and No Cholesterol
  • Paramount brand No Fat, Low Carb, Multi-Grain Lavash Wraps
  • Arnold’s Sandwich Thins 100% Whole Wheat, 100-Calorie buns.
  • Weight Watchers 100% Whole Wheat Bread

As for the Spreads, some of the most popular are:

  • Hellmann’s Lite Mayonnaise
  • Miracle Whip Light
  • For our Chicken Caesar Wrap, use Cardini’s Fat-Free Caesar Dressing.

And then, there are some spreads for those who wish to avoid dairy altogether, such as:

  • Olivio brand Olive Oil Spread
  • Earth Balance brand Soy Spreads

For the Fillings, of course, any produce is welcome, from ripe tomatoes and lettuces to roasted vegetables and fruit. As for cheeses, we have Marla brand Low-Fat Muenster, Low-Fat Lorraine Swiss, Kraft N0-Fat singles and literally hundreds of naturally cultured cheeses from around the world.

Looking for some healthy meat options? We have them too!

ALL Boar’s Head Brand products are Nitrate and Gluten Free. The brand also has a delicious Low Sodium Roast Beef and a “Classic” Low Sodium Chicken. Both are great lunch meat choices. Likewise, Dietz and Watson has its own “Lite” branded products, which are both low fat and low sodium, most notably, its turkey breast and ham.

Ok, now you have some healthy ingredient choices, next comes the build.

Keep in mind that great sandwiches can be made using some of the terrific products we make in our Gourmet to Go department. It’s less work for you and just one more way you can break up the monotony of traditional “lunch meat and bread” sandwiches.

Try one of these “great out-of-the-box” ideas:

Chicken Caesar Wrap

There are two ways you can go about this recipe; one is below, and the other is to simply pick up one of Nino’s Small Entrée Grilled Chicken Caesar Salads in our Produce Department refrigerator and turn it into a wrap stuffer. Everything you need is right in the salad container, including the dressing and the Parmesan Cheese. (Note: The Cardini’s Dressing in our Entrée Salads is not fat-free). Or you can use sliced lunch meat as described below with fat-free dressing:

  • 4 oz Boar’s Head “Classic” Low Sodium Chicken
  • ½ Cup Shredded Romaine Lettuce
  • ¼ Cup Diced Roma Tomato
  • 2 tsp Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 TBSP Cardini’s brand Fat-Free Caesar Dressing

Grilled Portobello With Roasted Vegetables & Muenster Cheese

Marinate Portobello cap in teriyaki and olive oil, and then grill or roast at 400 F until tender. Chill and leave whole. Spread both sides of the open Arnold’s Sandwich Thin bun with Olivio spread and layer with Portobello cap filled with chopped roasted vegetables, sliced tomato and Muenster cheese (Topping with shredded lettuce is optional.).

  • 1 Arnold’s Sandwich Thin (Bun)
  • 1 Large Portobello Mushroom Cap
  • 2 TBSP Teriyaki Sauce
  • 1 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 TBSP Olivio Spread
  • ½ Cup Nino’s Roasted Seasonal Vegetables (from our Gourmet to Go Counter)
  • ½ Roma Tomato, Thinly Sliced
  • 1 Slice Marla brand Low-Fat Muenster Cheese

Beef Fajita Wrap

Lay out flour tortilla and place the chopped Beef Fajita mixture at one end. On top of fajita mixture, place romaine, sour cream and salsa, and then roll up.

  • 1 Mission “Life Balance” Flour Tortilla Wrap
  • ½ Cup Nino’s Beef Fajitas with Peppers & Onions (from our Gourmet to Go Counter)
  • 1/3 Cup Romaine Lettuce (Shredded)
  • 2 TBSP Low-Fat Sour Cream
  • 2 TBSP Nino’s Santa Fe Style Black Bean & Corn Salsa

Greek Salad Pita Pocket

Similar to the Chicken Caesar, this Pita Pocket filling is as simple as purchasing our delicious Small Greek Entrée Salad in our Produce Department and stuffing your pita pocket. Everything you need–all the ingredients are right there! Nothing could be easier or more nutritious!

  • 1 Small Nino’s Greek Entrée Salad (Produce Section)
  • 1 Paramount brand Pita Pocket (No-Fat)
  • 2 TBSP Greek Salad Dressing

Last but not least, don’t forget that Nino’s has ALL the yogurts, all the energy bars and all the latest probiotic smoothies, waters and juices that your kids love.

Stop in and fuel up your kids for this upcoming school year.

It’s power for education.