Need vegan sandwich ideas for work lunch, picnics, road trips, etc.? Read on for 8 of my favorites.
Just over a year ago, I found myself struck with inspiration to explore the realm of vegan sandwiches – an often ignored category in the plant-based food world. At the time, Rene and I were on a little road trip, stopping at delis and sandwich shops to pick up meals before getting back on the road. (Sandwiches are an ideal car food, thanks to their disregard for utensils.)
It didn’t take long to notice that it’s nearly impossible to get a plant-based sandwich when you’re out and about. Most places do have a vegetarian option, but it generally translates to something with a giant hunk of cheese in the middle. The worst offender of them all, though, is the cold hummus sandwich with raw unseasoned vegetables… [extra points deducted if it’s in a wrap]
Since the trip, I’ve come up with a handful of vegan sandwich ideas that have become staples in my kitchen. Whether you’re packing lunch for work, heading out on a road trip/plane ride, and prepping for a beach picnic, here are some healthy handheld meals to consider…
More thoughts on plant-based sandwiches…
If you wanna experiment with your own combos, choosing a “meaty” vegetable as your main filling is a good place to start – eggplant and mushrooms being the obvious choices. There are lots of plant-based protein options, too – be it a bean burger patty, chickpea salad, or seared tofu. Tempeh bacon is an especially great stand-in for traditional deli slices.
There are 3 things that make an outstanding sandwich (vegan or not)…
A Variety of Textures: Aim for a balance of chewy, crunchy, and creamy.
A Mix of Raw and Cooked Elements: Raw vegetables (like cucumbers, greens, onions, etc.) lend freshness, while cooked things (like roasted eggplant, sautéed mushrooms, or a burger patty) provide umami.
Great Bread: Choose a great bread and you’re halfway to an excellent vegan sandwich. You can’t go wrong with a fresh baguette, sourdough boule, or chewy ciabatta.