Saturday, February 9, 2008

Deli Style Sandwiches

It's actually easy to prepare tasty low sodium sandwiches. The biggest problem is staying away from deli meats. I recall a conversation with a well-meaning friend after my husband's hospitalization. She assumed that since he had heart disease, his biggest restriction was fat content. So she gave me all kinds of advice on preparing low fat sandwiches from the lean prepared meats in the grocery deli case. Even though I told her several times that the salt content was too high for my husband to consume, she still didn't quite get it.

The good news is that there are some lower sodium deli options out there. You just need to look for them.

Low Sodium Deli Meats
Columbus Reduced Sodium Turkey Breast (2 oz. = 240 mg. sodium) can be found in packages at Trader Joe's. I can also buy Jennie-O Reduced Sodium Turkey Breast (2 oz. = 260 mg. sodium) from the full service deli at my local grocer store.

Yesterday I discovered that a new grocery store in my area carries Boar's Head meat products. The really exciting thing for me was finding Boar's Head Deluxe Low Sodium Cap-Off Top Round Roast Beef (2 oz. = 80 mg. sodium). Needless to say, I bought some of the roast beef. The store also carried Boar's Head Premium Lower Sodium Skinless Turkey Breast (2 oz. = 360 mg. sodium), but its salt content is higher than what I can get at other stores. (Boar's Head also has a NSA turkey breast that's only 55 mg sodium/serving, but unfortunately none of my local stores carries it.) The store also sell Boar's Head Branded Deluxe ham (2 oz. = 480 mg. sodium), but like the premium turkey, I can find other brands that are lower in sodium at my local store.

Low Sodium Bread
Homemade low salt bread or rolls make sandwiches special too. You can adapt most regular bread & roll recipes to lower sodium content. Use half the salt called for or even less. If you make a flavored bread or roll, you can get away with using much less salt and still have a tasty bread. Of course, sometimes, you want to be able to just pick up some bread at the grocery store. Alvarado Street No Salt Sprouted Multi Grain Bread (1 slice = 10mg. sodium) is available at my local grocery stores. Many stores sell Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9 Low Sodium Sprouted Grain Bread (1 slice = 0 mg. sodium). And Trader Joe's has their own unsalted bread too.

I like to add homemade caramelized onions and roasted peppers to sandwiches too. Last summer I grew poblano chiles. After harvesting them, I broiled them until the skins were charred. Then I removed the peels & seeds and froze them individually. You can do the same with red bell peppers.

Low Sodium Flavored Mayonnaise
In addition to the usual lettuce, tomatoes, & onions, I like to make flavored mayonnaise for sandwiches. I buy huge jars of Christopher Ranch Whole Peeled Garlic at Costco. I freeze half as is and roast the other half. I smash several thawed roasted garlic cloves with homemade mayo for a tasty sandwich spread. Sometimes I'll combine frozen homemade basil cubes with mayo. The easiest is mixing spice blends with mayonnaise. I especially like curry with chicken or turkey sandwiches. I've also used ground chipotle and even chili powder. Flavored mayo makes what could have been a bland sliced chicken sandwich unbelievably good.


Jenny said...

Hey Sue! Some great info here. I still have yet to char a pepper, don't know what I'm waiting for. Caramelized onions on sandwiches, yes, yes! And you're right about flavoring your mayo, makes all the difference. Chipotle mayo is one of my favorites, too.

shambo said...

Jenny, I roast poblano chili peppers and red bell peppers whenever they go on sale. I don't do them on my grill or stovetop. I just broil them in the oven. Pretty easy. Once peeled and seeded, I wrap them in plastic wrap & freeze. Both are great in sandwiches all by themselves or mashed into a pepper pesto spread with a bit of mayo. The problem I have with caramelized onions is that I want to eat the entire batch all by myself.