The Sandwich Goes Upscale


Tired of the same old turkey sandwich? Try these upscale sandwich recipes for a change of pace.

There’s something here for everyone, from peppered steak and roasted pork tenderloin for meat lovers to vegetarian options like Egg & Cucumber and Tuscany Meatless sandwiches.

Peppered Steak Sandwiches With Caramelized Onions and Light Horseradish Sauce

Journal as: 2 slices bread + 1/2 cup vegetables + 1 serving lean meat with 1 teaspoon fat

3 1-inch-thick filet mignon steaks (beef tenderloin steaks), about 1 1/4 pound total*
2 teaspoons canola oil, divided use
Freshly ground salt and pepper
1 large sweet onion (or 2 small ones), cut in half and thinly sliced
2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms (or use sliced regular mushrooms, or chopped portabellas)
1/2 cup water or low-sodium beef broth
2 1/2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
2 teaspoons white (or creamed) horseradish
4 French, sourdough, or submarine rolls (part whole-wheat, if available)

*Note: If the filet mignon is 1 1/2 inch thick, have your butcher cut in half lengthwise to make 3/4-inch steaks (these will cook a little more quickly).

  • Add a teaspoon of canola oil to a medium nonstick frying pan or skillet, and let it get nice and hot over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, salt and pepper both sides of each steak (heavier on the pepper than the salt). Add steaks to the pan, and cook to desired doneness (about 5-6 minutes per side for medium-well). Use a fork to remove steaks to a plate (keep the steak juices in the pan for use later).
  • Add the remaining teaspoon of oil to a large, nonstick skillet and sauté the onion slices over medium-high heat until golden (about 5 minutes). Add the mushroom slices, 1/2 cup broth or water, and all the juices from the steak pan. Continue to cook the onions and mushrooms, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Put light mayonnaise and horseradish in a custard cup and stir to blend well.
  • Place the bottoms of your sandwich rolls on a serving plate. Spread horseradish sauce on top of each. Top each with steak slices and the onion/mushroom mixture, then place tops on the sandwiches.

Yield: 4 sandwiches

Per sandwich: 393 calories, 30 g protein, 33 g carbohydrate, 15 g fat (4 g saturated fat, 5.2 g monounsaturated fat, 1.5 g polyunsaturated fat), 70 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 430 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 36%.

Roasted Pork Loin & Chutney Sandwich

Journal as: 2 slices of bread + 1 serving of lean meat with 1 teaspoon fat + 2 teaspoons jam

Most supermarkets carry several types of chutney; choose whichever flavor sounds good to you. I found tomato-pear, mango, and cranberry chutney at my neighborhood grocery store.

1 large pork tenderloin (about 1.25 pounds)
1 teaspoon olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon or more)
Freshly ground salt (about 1/4 teaspoon)
1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves)
8 slices bread of choice (such as sourdough), or 4 rustic-style sandwich rolls, sliced open
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
1/2 cup chutney

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line the bottom of a roasting pan (or 9×13-inch baking pan) with foil. Rub the outside of the pork tenderloin with the olive oil, and place in the center of the foil-lined pan. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and thyme evenly on the outside of the tenderloin.
  • Roast, uncovered until cooked throughout, 40-50 minutes. Set aside to cool for about 5 minutes, then cut into 1/4-inch slices.
  • Spread about 1 1/2 teaspoon of the mustard on each of the bottom slices of bread (or roll halves). Arrange pork slices on top of the mustard.
  • Spread about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of the chutney on each of the top bread slices, then assemble the sandwiches. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 sandwiches

Per sandwich: 419 calories, 38 g protein, 46.5 g carbohydrate, 9 g fat (2.6 g , 4.3 g monounsaturated fat, 1.5 g polyunsaturated fat), 80 mg cholesterol, 5.3 g fiber, 800 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 19%.

Smoked Salmon Sandwich With Scallion Cream Cheese

Journal as: 2 slices bread + 2 ounces low-fat cheese + 1/2 serving fatty fish with no added fat.

4 ounces of light cream cheese
1 scallion (the white and light green parts), finely chopped
5 slices of dark rye bread
3.5 ounces of smoked salmon (or lox) thinly sliced
1 head Belgium endive, leaves separated, washed, and dried well

  • Beat light cream cheese and chopped scallion together in a small bowl with an electric mixer or by hand. Spread the mixture thinly on one side of each slice of bread (all 5 slices).
  • Layer the salmon over the cream-cheese mixture on 2 1/2 of the slices (cut one of the slices in half). Then top the salmon evenly with the endive leaves.
  • Place the remaining bread slices (including the half-slice) over each sandwich and press down firmly. Wrap well, and keep chilled in refrigerator until ready to serve. Cut the rest of the sandwiches in half before serving.

Yield: 5 half sandwiches

Per half sandwich: 280 calories, 16 g protein, 28 g carbohydrate, 10 g fat (5.6 g saturated fat, 2 g monounsaturated fat, 0.10 g polyunsaturated fat), 30 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 820 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 35%.

Egg & Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

Journal as: 2 slices bread + 1 egg without added fat + 1 teaspoon of light or regular margarine

2 large hard-boiled eggs (use higher-omega-3 eggs, if available), cooled and peeled
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fat-free half-and-half
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves
Freshly ground pepper and salt to taste
4 small slices of 100% whole-wheat bread
About 2/3 cup thinly sliced English cucumber, with or without peel
2 teaspoons less-fat margarine (such as Take Control, with 8 grams of fat per tablespoon)

  • Grate or chop the eggs and put them in a small bowl.
  • Stir in the mayonnaise, half-and-half, and fresh mint, and stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Spread mixture on 2 slices of the bread. Top with the sliced cucumber.
  • Spread a teaspoon of less-fat margarine on one side of the remaining slices of bread. Top the egg mixture with the margarine side of these bread slices to make 2 sandwiches. Cut each into 4 triangles and serve.

Yield: 2 sandwiches (4 tea triangles each)

Per sandwich: 300 calories, 14 g protein, 36 g carbohydrate, 11 g fat (3 g saturated fat, 3.8 g monounsaturated fat, 2.2 g polyunsaturated fat), 212 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 500 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 33%.

Tuscany Meatless Sandwiches

Journal as: 2 slices bread + 2 ounces of low-fat cheese + 1/2 cup vegetable with 1 teaspoon fat

Makes 1 open-face sandwich (to make more, just increase the ingredients for as many sandwiches as you need)

1 large slice sourdough or French bread, or a 7-inch-long baguette half
About 7 large fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon olive oil (flavored or extra-virgin)
3 large, thick slices of fresh mozzarella cheese (about 1.5 ounces)
1/2 large vine-ripened tomato, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground pepper

  • Cover the bread with fresh basil leaves. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon olive oil evenly over the basil. Top that with fresh mozzarella slices.
  • Broil sandwich, watching carefully, until cheese is melted and starting to lightly brown in spots (about 5 minutes in a toaster oven).
  • Lay tomato slices on top of the mozzarella, then drizzle 1/2 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar over all.

Per open-face sandwich: 314 calories, 18 g protein, 35 g carbohydrate, 11.5 g fat (5.3 g saturated fat, 4.4 g monounsaturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat), 23 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 560 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 33%.