Soup up my lunch: turkey sandwich and salad

Top picture: my lunch; Bottom picture (clockwise from top): Brianna’s dressing, “Primo Taglio” turkey slices, cheddar cheese, Fage 2% greek yogurt, EarthGrains 100% natural thins, organic baby spinach

Thanks to everyone who commented on Pimp my lunch: tuna melt. Your feedback was *amazing* — I can’t thank you enough. There is much for me to learn about eating better in general. Please know that I am learning new things right along with you too.
I submit to you my lunch today (Monday). On the last lunch post, some of you questioned my “thin” bread so I wanted to show you the brand “EarthGrains” (no HFCS – high fructose corn syrup). My husband bought it unprompted by me (!). The cheese is the store brand that I’m trying to use up. The brand of the deli turkey is “PrimoTaglio” — there were no nitrates in it. BUT those two slices contained 510 mg of sodium (21% of my daily requirement — as much as any microwave meal)!!! I’m floored. What do you eat in your sandwiches?
I could have jazzed up the sandwich with a slice of tomato… By the way did I tell you I only started eating tomatoes when I was 25? I disliked them, but I started eating them to increase my daily veggie by one. Truly though I do have to “hide” them in a sandwich to eat them. Or I will eat them with fresh mozzarella, but that is a special treat.

The Yoplait I ate last time did have HFCS in it — I shouldn’t have been surprised since I didn’t read the label. I’m done with Yoplait now that I know that. Instead I bought greek yogurt based on your suggestions (even though I have had it before and I’m not a fan). I have to force it down because of the thick, extra clumpy texture. I wanted to drizzle honey on it, but I couldn’t find my honey in the cupboard or in the fridge door! I know I have some…it’s just a matter of finding it. Where do you store your honey?

The salad is in a deep bowl (I’m not sure you can tell from the shot). I sprinkled raspberries (organic) and walnuts on the spinach leaves (like I said before I’m not a fan of plain lettuce). I bought new poppyseed dressing (we have some vinagrettes in the fridge – eh) and it was tasty (I’ve had the Brianna’s brand before – good stuff). I enjoyed every mouthful of today’s salad. And I made the salad again for dinner.

I know this lunch is better than my “tuna melt” meal. Today I felt full until around 4 pm, which is longer than any of the school lunches I ate during the school year. On the other hand, demands at home are less than working at school so it’s possible I didn’t burn as many calories. I welcome your thoughts and feedback on what I ate for lunch!

“Pimp my lunch” is going to be a regular feature this summer. If you would like to participate by posting your lunch and having readers critique your midday meal, fill out the little linky form below. Make sure to post the link to your actual blog post. I’m looking forward to seeing what you are making at home (and giving you feedback if I can think of anything to improve).

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63 thoughts on “Soup up my lunch: turkey sandwich and salad

  1. I can get lots of different styles of plain yogurt here. Most of them are less chunky (particularly Nancy's).
    If you like tomato and fresh mozzarella, you could always make sandwiches out of that.

  2. As was suggested earlier, wrap your lunch meat (turkey) with cheese and nibble on that. I place a piece of turkey and swiss cheese, with a bit of spicy mustard onto a romaine lettuce leaf and roll it up. Tastes great! Egg salad on lettuce, tuna salad on lettuce. My honey is stored on a pantry shelf right next to my syrup.

    If you want a "hot" roll-up, steam some fresh broccoli (you can substitute thawed frozen broccoli spears) and set aside. On your cutting board take a piece of turkey lunch meat, place a piece of swiss cheese onto the lunch meat. Now place broccoli spears along the width of the lunch meat, roll up and place into a shallow baking dish. Cover with gravy and bake (you're really just heating and melting the cheese). You can add more cheese on top, if you wish. Serve with a large side salad. Once you have "baked" this, it is easily transportable to work in a container and can be reheated in a microwave.

    @bookbliss — Applesauce can be made at home in a crock pot/slow cooker and you can control what is added as a sweetener. Once you've made the applesauce, you can can using the water bath method and have for months to come. I also make apple butter in my crock pot and can it using the water bath method.

  3. Try reading Tara Parker Pope and her 'Well' column online in the New York Times, lots of stuff will change. For example, deli meat is not necessarily the best option. Why not bake a couple of chicken breasts and use that meat during the week? Lots less salt in what you cook yourself.

  4. Folks certainly do have strong opinions about yogurt, don't we? It's hilarious 🙂 So, I'll add my own two cents: I agree with the poster Kim above that Siggi's brand skyr (the Icelandic yogurt – I think technically it may be more of cheese, but it has live cultures). TONS of protein. NO fat. Thick and creamy (not lumpy). A nice tang. And interesting flavors (like pomegranate, grapefruit, and ginger & orange).

    Pricey? Definitely. Worth it? I think so 🙂

    Your lunch looks delicious, by the way. Thanks for posting!

  5. honey – in the panty, it does not need to be kept cold. If it crystalizes, then just heat it up in a warm water (of course if it's in a glass jar) Buy from a local market to get local honey.

    i believe greek yogurt has more protein in it than the regular stuff. And stirring it and putting fruit in it are good.

    applesauce – i make myself and just add cinnamon and vanilla. sometimes add a little nutmeg. tastes great and does not need sugar.

  6. I would have loved for people to have kicked up this fuss years ago when I was at school. The lunches on this side of the pond anyway have not got any worse than they used to be, but now the kids are being forced into healthy eating at school. It's just about 17 years too late for me…

  7. I love the idea from a reader about making your own lunch meat –I'm definitely going to go that route. My husband needs to avoid salt, but he loves turkey sandwiches, I think he could eat them for every meal.

    We make our own honey –my husband keeps bees. So we sort of do have honey all over 🙂

    I also started growing my own sprouts this past year –both bean and greens. It is so incredibly easy, and I know they're fresh. (Sprout People have great how-to videos, just google them.)

  8. So many people talk about making your own lunch meat or apple sauce, but not baking your own bread. It's really not that hard, especially with a bread maker. Zojurushi happens to be a good brand. All you have to do is measure out ingredients and select a cycle. If you can't afford a bread maker, it is still not that hard to make bread by hand. We take some time on the weekend and make a five loaf batch of whole wheat bread that happens to freeze really well. When you make your own bread you have utter control of what goes in it, and you are guaranteed not to have any add ins or preservatives in it. One of my favorite special kinds to make is a cinnamon cranberry loaf that makes wonderful toast.

  9. A note on the yogurt comment by Lisa…

    Greek yogurt is probably higher in protein, again, because of the concentration you're eating…not because of any special processing or cows.

    Think about it If you take any food and draw-off most of its water, but keep the serving size the same, you're getting more of everything that was already in there (protein, fat, calories, etc.). Sure, fat-free is fat-free regardless, which is why I mentioned the 2% version being more fat by volume than American-style yogurt.

    Incidentally, the same happens with dried fruit. Take the water out of a fruit and you're concentrating the sugar, vitamins, etc., into a smaller "package". If you eat 10 dried apricots in place of 2 fresh ones, you're getting 5 times the nutrition in the same serving.

    Mind you, none of this is a bad thing and I absolutely love Greek-style yogurt. I was only pointing out that there's nothing fundamentally more healthy about it than with a good quality American-style yogurt that has been strained (provided the farm-to-table practices are equal, of course).

  10. It's sad that so many people hate tomatoes, but I don't blame them. I can't stand so-called "fresh" tomatoes from the store.

    But now I'm feasting on vine-riped tomatoes from my garden every day. No comparison. If I can't get home grown or farmer's market tomatoes I just go without.

    Tomatoes are one of the easiest veggies to grow. You can have one plant on a balcony in a pot and get enough tomatoes for a few salads and sandwiches. More people should give it a try. The only thing is maybe your taste buds won't be used to a tomato that has flavor and it might be a shock at first. But don't diss tomatoes until you've actually tried a real one so you'll at least know what they actually taste like.

  11. I don't like sandwiches at all, so I make a big batch of soup every Sunday to take for lunches all week. It's usually homemade broth with whatever veggies are starting to look questionable and 2-ish cups of beans (cooked from dry with 1 tbsp. salt). It's very filling and I make it in the crockpot during the summer so I don't heat up the whole apartment. Because everything is homemade or added to the soup from its natural state, I am completely in control of salt, sweeteners, cholesterol, etc. I highly recommend it. To transport it to work, once the soup has cooled, I ladle it into single-serving bowls and stick it in the freezer to avoid leaking on my way to the office.

    As for the yogurt, I have what sound like similar texture issues. I recommend Chobani Greek Yogurt. I usually get the vanilla or strawberry flavors and I find that there are very few chunks in the strawberry and the vanilla smooths out with a little stirring. I had the same revelation with the Yoplait yogurt a few years ago and for a while I ate the Light-and-Fit Dannon (the citrusy flavors and the vanilla have no chunks) because I couldn't find a better alternative. But I was given Chobani at a swimming event a a year or so ago and I was so hungry after the swim that I decided to give it a shot. These days, I alternate between the Chobani and Dannon, because the Dannon is about 1/3 the price of the Chobani, but I prefer the Chobani.

    And I am right there with you about the tomatoes. Cooked – yes. On a sandwich or salad – if I have to. Raw? Ew. 🙂

  12. I'm pretty sure a bunch of people already mentioned the idea of adding fruit to your greek yogurt. But if you still don't want the taste of plain yogurt, then there is another option – make your own fruit flavored yogurt…

    Just take any fruit(s) of your choice and toss them in a blender, pulsing them until you have the desired consistancy (DO NOT add any liquids to your fruit), adding a few spoonfuls of sugar or honey to the "puree" if desired. Then all you do is swirl the stuff (as much as you want) into your greek yogurt, and ta-da! Fruit yogurt without all the junk! 🙂

    – Yiran

  13. If you don't like the greek yoghurt, try Israeli! It's common to find in grocery stores that cater to whatever Jewish Community is in your area. It's called Labneh. I can't tell you if it will have HFCS, but I find it a good middle ground between the "cheesiness" of Greek and the runny American types. Israelis eat all sorts of spreadable white dairy products, usually at all 3 meals! Your average lunch here is a cucumber (small type), Tomato, bread roll and white cheese (Eshed or similar. thinner than sour cream). It seems that they could use some creative ideas too!

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