Sandwich Recipes

Healthy Halloween Snack #4: Turkey & Cheese Pumpkin Sandwich

Here is our fourth out of 5 healthy Halloween snacks. We had a blast making these pumpkin sandwiches for lunch. Just make sure to buy orange cheese so they look like pumpkins. We cut out the faces with a butter knife. The cutting part was a little hard for my 5 year old, so I would suggest letting your little ones put the sandwich together after the faces are cut.



Here’s what you need to make the pumpkin sandwich: 

turkey or chicken deli meat (to make it vegetarian use a mushed up avocado)
cheddar cheese slices
whole wheat bread


Cut jack-o-lantern faces out of each slice of cheese. To prepare sandwich, use 1 slice of bread, top with condiment of choice, add meat, then top with cheese. To make a stump for the top, we used a piece of the crust and anchored it under the meat.


Zucchini Grinders

This is our most requested vegetarian meal for dinner time. It’s also probably the easiest dinner we have too. A classic favorite: Zucchini Grinders. It’s a sandwich smothered in a zucchini spaghetti sauce and melted cheese. Yum. How could you go wrong? It’s also great with cooked mushrooms. Hope you enjoy as much as we do.



Serves 4



1 T olive oil
2 medium zucchinis, cubed
1 pinch red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup marinara sauce
1 1/2-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
4 (6 in) whole wheat sandwich rolls, split



1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Fry the zucchini in oil until browned and slightly tender. Season with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and stir in the marinara sauce. Cook and stir until the sauce is heated through.

3. Place sandwich rolls open-faced on a cookie sheet in the oven and bake for about 5 minutes or until they are toasted. Remove from oven.

3. Place a square of aluminum foil under each sandwich roll. Spoon generous amounts of the zucchini mixture into each roll. Top with a generous amount of mozzarella cheese. Loosely wrap the foil around the bottom and sides of the sandwich.

4. Bake for 5-7 minutes in oven or until cheese is melted and bubbly.


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Vegetarian wrap recipe with avocado cucumber tomato and sprouts

California Tortilla Sandwich

This is a light cool sandwich, great for hot sunny days.  It is made “burrito style” with everything rolled up in a cool tortilla. It is stuffed with fresh tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, cream cheese and salsa. This recipe is very quick and easy to make. Of course, I always prefer whole wheat tortillas whenever possible.



WholeWheat Flour Tortillas
Cucumber peeled and diced
Cream Cheese
Shredded Lettuce  or
Alfalfa Sprouts


PREPARE: Lay a flour tortilla flat on a plate.  Spread cream cheese across center of tortilla.   Place diced cucumber in a row down center of tortilla along with sliced tomatoes, avocado wedges, salsa and shredded lettuce or alfalfa sprouts.  Roll up tortilla and anchor with a toothpick.  Voilà!  There it is!
FINISH: Serve with chips, and salsa.


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Vegetarian sandwich with avocado peppers cucumber tomatoes and sprouts

Avocado Veggie Sandwich

Avocado is truly the king of veggie sandwich recipes.  It is easy and outrageously delicious.  There are quite a few variations of this sandwich that I have sampled in different  natural foods cafe’s while on my travels.   I have made these for guests on many occasions and it always goes over in a very big way.   This is a fairly simple sandwich to make.  It starts with layering a whole wheat bread slice with a seasoned avocado spread.. then is topped with layers of cucumbers, green pepper, and tomatoes, monterey jack cheese and alfalfa sprouts… all on whole wheat bread. It’s totally outrageous!



Whole wheat bread
Cucumbers (peeled & sliced)
Tomatoes (sliced)
Green and /or red peppers
Alfalfa Sprouts
Sliced Monterey Jack Cheese – (or vegan cheese)


PREPARE:  Scoop out avocado and mash in a bowl till smooth.  Season with garlic salt and chopped green onion to taste. Slice remaining veggies and cheese and set aside for the construction of sandwiches.
FINISH:  Layer a slice of whole wheat bread with avocado spread… then simply layer remaining veggies & cheese on whatever order captures your imagination.  Top with sprouts and last layer of bread and cut diagonally.  Pierce with a toothpick and serve!
OPTIONAL:  Spread a bit of low-fat mayo on top layer of bread. (watch out for the fat!)


vegetarian chivito burger with egg

Chivito Veggie-Burgers

This easy chivito veggie burger recipe is a wonderful exception to a common complaint with veggie burgers that they lack flavor.  A Chivito is a hamburger-type sandwich found in Uruguay.  Besides the regular ground beef patty, bun, and condiments they are piled high with ham, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, a variety of pickled vegetables, and a fried egg.  They are huge, greasy, and admittedly a delicious occasional treat.  The chivito veggie-burger is a spin-off that is much less greasy, has just as many toppings, and is just as delicious.   Best of all, it is easy.  The veggie burger patties and whole wheat buns can be stored in the freezer, and when you need a quick meal they can be pulled out and topped with whatever veggies you happen to have.   And don’t be scared of the egg!  It is actually quite good and helps to keep you full longer!



frozen veggie burger patties
whole wheat buns
eggs (1 per burger)
bell pepper
red onion
dijon mustard
ranch dressing


Grill veggie-patties according to package directions (a George Forman-style grill works well and is easy to use all year round).  While patties are cooking, the toppings can be prepared.  Fry one egg per burger, slice the cheese and vegetables, and toast the buns.  When the veggie-patties and eggs are done, spread the buns with dijon mustard and/or ranch dressing and pile on the toppings!


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Vegetarian Sloppy Joe recipe with lentils & brown rice

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

This is a fairly easy super healthy vegetarian sloppy joe recipe for the slow cooker. Just throw all the ingredients into the large crock pot and it’ll feed a small army! Sloppy joes are kind of a family favorite. Who doesn’t like them? What I wanted to go for is a healthier vegetarian version. Easy to make. Filling. The only thing about this version is it is a slow cooker recipe so it can all be done in a crock pot but it does take time. You have to be a bit flexible when you make this and be willing to adjust this as you go. The main variables are adjusting the water as you go, so you end up with a very thick consistency. Also, feel free to season this using my recipe as the base, but slowly add a bit here and there to get it perfect for your tastes.


1 1/2 cups lentils
2 cups short grain brown rice
1 1/2 cups TVP (optional but good)
8-10 cups water
1/3 cup dried onion pieces
2 packs sloppy joe seasoning mix
2 tsp garlic powder
1 can tomato paste
6 tbls ketchup barbecue sauce to taste
sea salt to taste
whole wheat hamburger buns

1. SLOW COOKER: In a large slow cooker, add water, lentils, brown rice, tvp and dry seasonings and allow to cook on high for a few hours till the lentils and rice are very soft and the mixture thickens up. The water may need to be adjusted as the cooking progresses to ensure you have enough moisture to cook thoroughly.

2. SEASON: When all dry ingredients are soft and thickened to a consistency of sloppy joe mix, add bbq sauce, tomato paste and ketchup to taste. This is where you need to be creative and add slowly the bbq sauce to your tastes. Mix in thoroughly and serve on whole wheat hamburger buns.

Note: As in many of my recipes, I recommend being flexible with the amounts for this recipe. This makes a nice batch. As the ingredients cook in the slow crock pot cooker, keep stirring occasionally and check for needed water if the lentils and rice aren’t soft enough. This usually gets better if it cooks for several hours with the seasonings and the sauces. 

Vegan sandwich with hummus avocado cucumber red pepper and lettuce: Easy Avocado Recipe

Yum Hummus Sandwich

This is a simple, mellow, easy, comfort-food type hummus avocado sandwich recipe.  Mashed avocado and hummus make this vegan sandwich filling and satisfying.  ~ Jessica


whole grain bread  (try our English muffin bread)

hummus (try our simple hummus)

1/2 avocado, mashed

cucumber slices

red pepper slices



Spread hummus on one piece of bread and the mashed avocado on the other.  Compile the rest of the ingredients into a sandwich.  It’s that easy.

Black Bean Burger recipe with Mushrooms and Swiss Cheese

Black Bean Burger Melt

This is a very quick and healthy black bean burger recipe that can be whipped up in minutes flat. You can make your own black bean burgers, but for sheer convenience and speed, you can use any store brand black bean or veggie burger which makes this a snap (see notes below). The avocado adds a freshness to the meal and the sauteed mushrooms add a nice dimension. Without the hassle and extra calories of a bun, this makes a real fun quick tasty meal. – Curt


1 Black Bean Burger

Swiss Cheese (or your favorite cheese)

Sliced Mushrooms

Sliced Avocado


  1.  Thaw the frozen burger, or quickly microwave where it isn’t frozen.
  2.  Heat a cast iron skillet (or any skillet) to medium high temp.
  3.  Add a dab of olive oil on skillet and spread around. Brown the one side of the burger.
  4.  In another skillet, or if there is room in the skillet you are cooking with, add sliced mushrooms and saute till just soft and browned.  Remove mushrooms when done.
  5. Flip burger, and top with sliced cheese. Continue to cook. I usually top the skillet with a lid to assist the cheese in melting. When done, remove the burger and place on plate. Smother with mushrooms and top with fresh sliced avocado. Enjoy!


NOTE:  You can really use any veggie burger for this recipe. But my favorite is the Chipotle Black Bean Burger from Morningstar Farms. I buy them at Costco. They are 1/4 pound and really are great. Again, you can create your own veggie burgers at home but I have found it is a lifesaver to have some alternatives for when you are on the run, or don’t have a lot of time. This is why I love this recipe. It cooks up super fast, and is filling and nutritious. You can also add salsa to this dish for another nice twist.


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Falafel recipe with chickpeas


One of my favorite middle-eastern dishes is the falafel.  Falafel is a ball or patty made from ground chickpeas (garbonzo beans) and usually served in a pita.  They are usually deep-fried, but this recipe version can also be baked or cooked on a George Foreman-type grill.  They are a filling and flavorful meat-replacer.   –  Jessica


1 med-large onion, chopped

1/2 cup fresh parsley

1 tsp minced garlic

1 can chickpeas (garbonzo beans), or 1 1/2 cups cooked ones

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp baking powder

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 egg

1 cup dry whole wheat bread crumbs (more or less)


  1.   CHOP & MIX:  In a food processor, mince the onion, parsley, and garlic very small.  (You can also do this by hand, it will just take longer.)  Add the chickpeas and pulse until they are chopped small, but still have some texture.  We don’t want a mushy mess.
  2.   STIR:  In a medium sized bowl, combine the cumin, coriander, salt, black and cayenne peppers, lemon juice, baking powder, olive oil, and egg.  Stir just until evenly mixed.  Stir in the chickpea onion mixture.
  3. THICKEN AND FORM PATTIES:  Slowly stir in the bread crumbs just until the mixture holds together well and you are able to form patties that are not too sticky and do not crumble apart when you try to flip them with a spatula.  Form the mixture into balls and then flatten into patties.  I like to make mine about 3 inches wide and 3/4 inch thick.
  4. COOK:  I like to cook my falafel on a George-Foreman type grill because it is so easy.  Simply spray both sides of the falafel with a spray cooking oil and place then on the pre-heated grill.  Cook until browned on both sides and cooked through.  If baking in the oven instead, spray both sides of the falafel with spray cooking oil, bake them at 425 F for 20 minutes, then flip them and bake for another 5-10 minutes.

Serve in warm whole wheat pitas with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red onion and cucumber yogurt sauce (see dancing carrots recipe for cucumber yogurt sauce).

Raw vegetarian wrap sandwich recipe with avocado bean sprouts and carrots

Raw Veggie Wrap

These raw vegetable wraps with avocado are super easy to make on a hot summer day.  Light and refreshing they are also very nutritious.  Very handy when you don’t have much time or are on the run.


2 large tortillas
4 leaves romaine lettuce
1/2 ripe avocado, sliced
2 green onions, sliced
mung bean sprouts
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup grated raw sweet potato
6-8 leaves fresh basil
Juice of 1 lime
garlic salt to taste


PREPARE: Microwave tortillas for around 15 – 30 seconds, until soft.
FINISH: Remove tortillas from microwave and cover each tortilla with lettuce leaves.  Place equal portions of avocado, grated veggies, sprouts across each tortilla. Sprinkle with garlic salt, Lime Juice and top with basil.

Vegetarian panini sandwich recipe with onions and peppers

Grilled Vegetable Sandwich

This is a great sandwich recipe!  Built on sliced whole wheat french bread or a substantial crusty roll… grilled onions, peppers and mushrooms are stacked high, then topped with cold tomatoes, olives, cheese and lettuce.  For those who want to live a little… add a bit of ranch dressing and wow!   Definitely worth the effort!



1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp dried basil
1 clove garlic
About a dozen mushrooms, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced


Black olives, sliced
1 tomato sliced
swiss or provolone cheese (optional)
ranch dressing (optional)
1 loaf whole wheat french bread or some w/w rolls
salt & pepper to taste


SAUTE: Slice onion, green pepper and mushrooms and saute in olive oil and basil & garlic until onion is just translucent.
FINISH: Slice french bread in sandwich sections .  Spread a little ranch dressing on the bottom slice (optional) and top with some sauteed vegies, then some olives, sliced tomatoes, salt & pepper to taste, sliced cheese and lettuce. Add top layer of bread and serve.


Note: The sauteed veggies can be a bit moist, so do not use regular bread with this sandwich or the vegies will make the bread rather soggie.  Whole grain french bread  or rolls are substantial enough to hold up just right.