EATS!: Bread-less, Paleo sandwiches

Sandwiches are one thing I (and a lot of others) tend to miss when following a Paleo diet.

This week at work, we’re having a lunch meeting with some of the head honchos from corporate, and sandwiches are on the menu. Luckily — I was able to make a semi-Paleo choice for lunch off this menu — but this meeting got me thinking about Paleo sandwiches and other options besides bread.

Stuffing ingredients like deli meat, cheese and condiments between two slices of bread just isn’t allowed on the Paleo diet.

Bread isn’t allowed because it is a grain.

Deli meat isn’t necessarily allowed if you are following a strict Paleo program (unless you read the label!).

Condiments like mayo aren’t allowed because they are processed and chemical-laden.

Not being able to pack up a sandwich for lunch at work or school could be a point of contention when it comes to getting folks to follow the Paleo diet, but FORTUNATELY, there are options when it comes to delicious sammies and the Paleo diet.

One option is “Paleo wraps.”

pure wraps picPaleo wraps, or “Pure Wraps” was created by a company called Improv’eat.

On it’s website, the company says its mission is to offer life-enhancing nutrition to people in a convenient manner, saying:

“We wish we weren’t needed. But, if you believe as we do that food is medicine, you will agree that the industrialized food industry needs to get its priorities straight and we need to wake up. We live in a packaged and processed world where most of our “food” is invented in laboratories called test kitchens rather than grown under the sun in fertile, chemical-free soil. The “food” we eat and serve our children is far too often, merely food-like substances that share nothing in common with the whole, real food nourishment upon which our grandparents and great-grandparents thrived. No amount of slick advertising is going to change that fact.”

I have not yet personally ordered or tried for myself any of the Pure Wraps offered by Improveat, but I am definitely intrigued and would love to try either the original or “curry” flavor.

These “Pure Wraps” are bread or tortilla alternatives, and are made of: young coconut meat, young coconut water, Himalayan salt and organic curry for the curry flavored wraps.

According to Improv’eat’s website, they do not use the following ingredients:

  1. Artificial sweeteners or refined sugar including
  2. Trans-fatty acids
  3. Genetically Modified Organisms
  4. Canola, Soybean, Cottonseed, Corn, Peanut or Synthetic Oils
  5. MSG or MSG-like substances, preservatives, artificial colors or “natural flavors”
  6. Wheat, rye, barley or other gluten containing derivatives
  7. Unfermented soy or any pasteurized food
  8. Microwaves or other detrimental heating procedures
  9. Shellfish or scavenger fish of any kind
  10. Pork
Photo Courtesy Zenbelly

Photo Courtesy Zenbelly

Beautiful. I wish they were sold in grocery stores!

CLICK HERE for additional information and/or to place an order.

Another option: A bell pepper sliced in half can serve as sandwich “bread.”

This picture, courtesy ThePrimalParent.com features a turkey sandwich with avocado and seaweed strips stuffed between two slices of red bell pepper.

It may seem weird, but try it! You may love it!

And, instead of filling your body with carbs and sugar (via bread) — your upping your vegetable intake!

Photo Courtesy ThePrimalParent.com

Photo Courtesy ThePrimalParent.com

Another option is making a sort of “Inside Out” wrap or sub! Use good-quality deli meat (read the labels) as your “wrap” and stuff your veggies, condiments (like homemade Paleo Mayo and/or dijon) — (and BACON) inside!

Photo Courtesy Pinterest.com

Photo Courtesy Pinterest.com

I discovered this photo on Pinterest, where a caption said: “Most Paleo, low-carb sandwiches use the lettuce as the ‘bread.’ That makes no sense since lettuce breaks and tears so easily. So–why not use the meat?”

Genius — and literally the only thing you are missing from this sandwich is the bread!

If you’re looking to get crafty in the kitchen, you could create some sort of veggie wrap — as long as you are sure to use Paleo ingredients.

This recipe for “Spinach Crepes” comes courtesy of J3nn.net — and includes ingredients like tapioca flour, coconut flour — and other gluten-free and Paleo baking ingredients.

Photo Courtesy J3nn.netOnce these crepes are crafted, they can be stuffed with things like deli meats, veggies and condiments and eaten sandwich or wrap style.

As far as this recipe goes, I’m hesitant to make it because it seems complicated, involves more than a handful of ingredients and is seemingly less healthy than the other Paleo sandwich options.

But if you have the time and are feeling creative — this recipe would probably be a great Paleo sandwich base.

I mean, do they NOT look delicious?

Some of the Paleos have gotten so creative as to craft wraps out of CAULIFLOWER of all things!

They are essentially crepes, but can be used as sandwich wraps or as a Paleo substitute for tortillas!

Because these tend to be smaller and more taco sized, it may be easier to use these for things like tacos, carnitas, and other Mexican dishes.

A recipe I have discovered but have not yet made for myself comes from Slim Palate, who happens to amaze me because he is just 17 years old, yet he has taken his health into his own hands and has lost over 100 pounds.

The best part about this recipe is that it consists of just THREE INGREDIENTS! Cauliflower, eggs, and s+p — and it all starts with some riced cauliflower.

Photo Courtesy Slim Palate

Photo Courtesy Slim Palate

Next time you’re craving a taco salad or taco lettuce wraps — try this instead, and take Mexican night up a notch.

Finally — if you’re really in a pickle (pun intended) and need to reach for a fast food sandwich — Jimmy John’s is probably your best option, second only to making your own healthy, Paleo sandwich at home.

This week at work, we’re having a lunch meeting (which happens very, very rarely) and Jimmy John’s will be served. Thankfully, I was able to request a Jimmy John’s “Unwich” — which is essentially a regular Jimmy John’s sub served in a lettuce wrap instead of a French roll or multi-grain bread.

Obviously this is not ideal Paleo food, but for situations like work meetings, I think most (except for the “Paleo Police”) would agree this is a relatively healthy choice.

unwichLettuce wraps and cabbage leaf wraps allow you to make these “Unwiches” in the comfort of your own home as well!

The best part about substituting bread with things like lettuce wraps and other vegetables also helps to dramatically reduce the amount of calories you are consuming when you down that sandwich.

Another idea: Make your own Paleo bread. There are recipes out there for Paleo-approved bread, but I am of the nature to avoid making normal food “Paleo” — i.e. Paleo cookies and other Paleo treats.

Before I resort to making something like Paleo bread — I would look to see if there is another, more healthful way I can enjoy something besides crafting a traditional food to make it Paleo.

BUT that is just me! If you’d like to tackle Paleo bread — go for it!

What are your ideas? What is your favorite way to enjoy a Paleo sandwich?

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One Response to EATS!: Bread-less, Paleo sandwiches

  1. OMG those spinach crepes :O Just the colour makes me hungry… I totally need to try them out!

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