In the world of meal prep and healthy lunch ideas, the humble sandwich often gets overlooked. Which is a shame, because high-quality, 100-percent whole-wheat bread is kind of a lunchtime all-star; it's hearty, fiber-rich, and often packs a decent amount of protein. Plus, it's the perfect vehicle for veggies, lean proteins, and healthy fats like avocado and nut butter.
When it comes to meatless sandwiches, the trick is to make sure you're packing in enough protein. Sharon Palmer, R.D., tells SELF that while daily protein recommendations vary based on individual factors, aiming for 16 to 24 grams of protein at breakfast, lunch, and dinner is a good place to start. She suggests vegetarian protein sources such as beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and soy, but also points out that you can get a solid amount of protein by choosing the right bread. "Some whole-grain breads have more protein than others," Palmer says. "For example, Ezekiel flax sprouted whole-grain bread has 5 grams per slice. So with two slices, you're getting 10 grams of protein." Her go-to sandwich fillings are baked tofu, tempeh bacon, and lots of vegetables. She picks spreads like hummus, tahini, and pesto instead of mayo or butter, since they increase the protein a little bit and are packed with healthy fats.
Regardless of whether or not you include meat in your diet, here are some creative meatless sandwiches that make awesome packed lunches.
This story originally appeared on Self.
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