Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Reclaiming the Ham Sandwich

My husband has seriously got to be one of the easiest men in the world to feed. If I make food and put it in front of him, he's gonna eat it. No complaints there.

However, I've found that packing lunches for him as been a bit of a challenge. (Now mind you, making his lunch isn't anything he's ever asked or expected of me, but it's a privilege to have a way to daily serve him as he faithfully goes to work every day to serve me!) When I pack my own lunches, I just throw together a conglomeration of whatever I have on hand. Often I take leftovers and just heat them up at work. Pretty simple. But due to the nature of Jon's job, he usually has to eat while on the road, and warming up food is never an option.

So sandwiches it is. At times I'll heat up stew or something of the sort and put a little thermos of it in his lunchbox as well, but always, ALWAYS there's a sandwich of some sort. Because he's so easy, his sandwiches tend to be pretty simple. Most days it's bread, ham, and cheese. I switch things up by making it on a croissant one day, or switching provolone or pepper jack for cheddar. Or if I really go crazy I might get roast beef instead of ham (but the smell of that in the morning while pregnant did NOT go over very well :P).
He's so easy to please, he's never complained. But let's be honest, I'm the one who gets bored just making the same kind of sandwich every day! Last week it struck me that when I think of the sandwiches I make, the word that comes to mind is BORING. However, I absolutely love to get cafe' sandwiches if I ever go out for lunch! What is the difference?

Well, I picked up three little ingredients that have revolutionized the ham sandwich. They add a little protein and a whole lot of flavor.
 Hummus - Made from chickpeas (which I really can't stand to eat on their own!), this is a delicious creamy spread that is great substitute for mayo! I also use it as a dip for veggie sticks or pretzels.
 Feta Cheese - So many great things to say about feta. After spreading the hummus, just sprinkle a little of the crumbled feta. Awesome flavor. Your boring sandwich is instantaneously transformed into a Mediterranean treat.
Banana Peppers - I always put these on when I get a sandwich at Subway, but I'd never thought to just buy a jar at the grocery store to put on my sandwiches at home! They are "zesty and full of flavor".. yep! Just like the jar says.
Now just layer some meat, cheese, and a piece of lettuce on your favorite sandwich bread, and you're all set!

Here's another quick addition to his lunches... spreadable cheddar! This is the real deal, NOT that processed cheese-in-can stuff. I just made little sandwiches by spreading this on some crackers. I've used peanut butter instead of the cheese for another snack. They're just like the little snack packs you can buy, but less preservatives, etc. It just takes a minute to assemble them. 
There are ways I'd still like to streamline the lunch-packing process. For example, I love my mom's idea when packing lunches for my siblings where she would make up snack baggies at the beginning of the week and then they were ready to go for the week. That would save me a lot of time each morning. Also, I could make his sandwiches the night before and then just literally put it all in his lunch box in the morning. I'm definitely going to have to make some changes once Little Wood comes on the scene.

But for now, I love waking up with Jon. We don't talk much while he's getting ready, but we've had some of the sweetest times together in those early hours. I wouldn't miss when he envelopes me in a great big hug, and the times he whispers things like "Thanks for taking such good care of me." I wouldn't miss standing at the sliding door and waiting for him to turn on the car light and wave goodbye to me as he backs out of the driveway.

Sandwiches are just my little way of saying "Thank YOU for taking care of ME."

What other ideas and suggestions do you have for creative lunch-packing? Tasty foods to include? Ways to make the process easier?


  1. oooooh some great ideas shared here!

  2. I like the hummus idea! And the cheese and crackers, I'll have to do that.
    I've stared marinating and cooking up chicken breasts. I just keep them in the fridge and every morning cut up as much as needed for Cameron's sandwich. It doesn't have the preservatives that a lot of sandwich meats do.

  3. Great idea with the chicken breasts, Katy! Sounds tasty, healthy, and filling!


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