Sandwich Theory

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I have written on the subject of sandwiches in the past: More Than Something Between Slices of Bread and Crusty Perfection.  In addition, I have posted several recipes for this dietary staple of the Western diet.  I have seen these creations at all levels from slapped together “on the go” food to gourmet treats.  

One origin story behind this food is that the Earl of Sandwich ordered that he be brought sliced cooked meat between slices of bread so that he wouldn’t have to leave the gaming tables.  While it may well be the root of the English name for the stuffed bread snack/meal, I doubt that historically that this was the origin of the food itself.

English sandwiches, in my experience are rather lack-luster, even if they were “invented” here.  When I first moved to England, virtually all sandwiches were bread and butter with something else in between.  Well, at least they all had butter or margarine on them.  Other condiments were possible, but seemingly rare.   Subway and the like were yet to make in-roads, and burgers were a confusing buy.

Yes, burgers were generally called beef burgers, after all they contained no ham.  A vegetable burger was a beef burger with lettuce on it.  Wimpy was around with by American tastes a rather odd flavour, and McDonald’s hadn’t conquered the world as yet.

I find the Dutch terms interesting as well – bread and butter and sandwich are the same word.  “Bread and ham” is another linguistic description , as is “invested bread.”  In Afrikaans – “closed bread” seems to sum up the dish.  I am no expert on the languages, but my rudimentary understanding of them does applaud their accuracy.

Some sandwiches have outstanding bread, others luscious fillings, and yet others lovely sauces.  Fellow blogger Fandango has a regular feature where he asks a provocative question.  I would like to give you one of my own today.  It is a philosopical matter of sandwich theory.   Is a good sandwich one in which the internal ingredients are the most important, and the bread merely a delivery system, or is it about the bread, and the filling is only to augment to flavour?  Let me know your take on this classic.



Subway Meatless Meatball Marinara Melt: Review


image: Padre’s Ramblings

As Veganuary continues more and more eateries are getting into the act.  I recently went and tried Subway’s new Meatless Meatball sub.  It looked very much like the chains traditional Meatball Marinara, but with a vegan twist.  Subway notes that you can have you choice of their breads then have your “selection filled with our plant based Meatless Meatballs smothered in a rich marinara sauce and topped with vegan cheese.”

The “meatballs” are very much the flavour of Quorn brand meatballs and have a firm texture.  The sauce is very tasty; and the vegan cheese didn’t melt as readily as dairy cheese and has an acceptable taste but lacks some richness.  I had mine on the wheat bread along with black olives, onions, mixed peppers, and tomatoes.

The companies website states that a typical six inch sub has 498 calories.  This is comprised of 54.1 grams of carb (10.3 g from sugars), 17.4 grams of fat, and 26 grams of protein.   The sandwich is filling, and offer a “meal feel” rather than seeming like empty calories.

I regularly have the vegan patty from Subway, and this saucy option does round out the menu choices nicely.   It ranks well in my Veganuary trials, and it is worth giving a try (8.5/10).


Five Minute Veggie Burritos

Taco, Food, Mexican, Tortilla, Meat, Lunch, Dinner


It’s Foodie Friday, and a recipe today.   If you read this blog regularly you will probably have worked out that I like to cook from as close to scratch as I can.  But that isn’t always possible.  Sometimes at the end of a day, facing cooking is the last thing on my list of things I’d like to do; and at other times, such as the arrival of unexpected company, a quick fix is more practical.

This recipe is one of those quick fixes.  That doesn’t mean it isn’t tasty, just that it is easy and fast to prepare.  It makes for a quick lunch as well, and is withing the budget and logistics of many college students as well.

So onwards to the burritos.


  • Flour Tortillas 4
  • Refried Beans 400 to 435 g tin (veggie type) I find Old El Paso brand best
  • Rice 250 g microwave pouch (use veggie Mediterranean, Spanish, or Mexican types)
  • Salsa 8 tsp
  • Cheese 100 g (I use hard goats cheese, but Cheddar works fine)
  • Tomatoes 2 fresh
  • Lettuce just a few leaves
  • Guacamole (optional) 4 tsp
  • Sour Cream (optional 4 tbs


Place a medium pan over medium heat.  Open the refried beans and spoon into pan.  While it begins to heat, follow the instructions on the microwave rice (usually about 2 minutes) and then dice the tomatoes and lettuce.  Stir the beans, and when the rice is finished stir it into the warm bean mixture and turn off heat, but allow to stay on hot stove/hob.  Grate the cheese then place the tortillas onto individual plates.  Put 1/4 of the bean/rice mixture in the centre of each wrap.  Then add a quarter of the salad to each and sprinkle with the cheese.  Add the salsa and other sauces is used, and fold the wraps to form burritos.  It will serve four (or two if hungry).


Apologies for not photographing the finished product, but the same rush that led to the “quick prep” also necessitated a “quick eat.”


“Something Fishy” Seafood Sandwich Filler


If you get bored with the same old – same old tuna sandwich combos, here is something to add some oomph to your lunch.

Taramasalata almost the exactly the same calories as mayonnaise.   It is made from salted and cured fish roe (usually cod) mixed with olive oil, lemon juice, and a starchy base of bread or potatoes.  Some varieties include garlic, spring onions, or peppers.

  • Tuna 1 tin (I prefer oil packed chunk)
  • Taramasalata 2 Tbs (slightly more if you want creamier consistency)
  • Shrimp (small precooked and shelled) 150 mg
  • Black Ground Pepper pinch
  • Capers (optional) 1 tsp


Drain the tuna and fork into a medium bowl.  Drain any excess moisture from the shrimp (prawns) and add to the tuna.  Add the pepper and capers (if used) and then stir in the taramasalata until evenly mixed.

Serve with iceberg lettuce and tomato slices in a sandwich or wrap.   It makes 2-4 servings.


Olive Cheese Spread

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It’s Foodie Friday and time for a review or recipe.  And this week it is a recipe for a  summer sandwich filler.  It is great in wraps, a condiment, or as a dip as well.


  • Black Olives (pitted)  10
  • Green Olives (pitted) 10
  • Garlic 1 small clove
  • Dried Basil 1/4 tsp
  • Hard Cheese (Goat or Cheddar) 50 – 70 g
  • Mayonnaise 2 Tbs



Slice the olives into rings and place in a small mixing bowl.  Shred the cheese and add to the olives along with the basil.  Peel and finely dice (or grate) the garlic and add to the bowl.  Finally stir in the mayo until mixture is even.

In a wrap or sandwich serve with spinach leaf or really mix things up by placing hummus on one side and the olive cheese mix on the other with the leaf between.




To Limit The Lies


The Haunted Wordsmith has once again challenged us to fib on a Friday.  As honesty is the best policy (or so they tell me), I will limit the lies.  I will of course “tell a big one” by Friday Fibbing on what is to me Saturday.  That said, I will further “limit the lies” by fibbing on two prompts.  Even in my fibbing, I will “limit the lies,” by retaining “Half truths.”

Why did people invent the sandwich?   No one knows exactly why the Romans landed where they did in 43 AD.  It might have been some major forward thinking in anticipation of saving a few denarii when Worth and Deal were founded in the area, a few centuries later.

This shrewd financial sense, however found a rather limited set of commodities, as the only deal worth having was some nearby Ham.  It was some enterprising Saxons who saw this gap in the market and invented Sandwich on the bank of the Stour.  Now everyone can get their money’s Worth with a Ham Sandwich Deal.

Image result for ham sandwich signpost


What was the stone age?  As many of my regular readers know, I am an educator.  As such, I am very knowledgeable on the topic of the stone age.  The stone age was, a period in human social and technological development, when the most advanced tools were made of stone.  As a teacher I can see, within my profession, the heights to which we have come.  My students enjoy interactive learning in a digital age.  The Internet provides “on demand” access to documents, video content, and state of the art audio.  It has not always been so.  When I began teaching, technology in the educational landscape was more primitive.  In fact, when I first qualified as a teacher I was equipped with two rocks in order to present my lessons:  a large flat piece of slate, and a cylindrical piece of calcite.  Yes, I have been teaching since the stone age, or as I like to call it – the 1980s.

Blackboard, Technology, Board, School, Empty, Write

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

What is the best ice cream topping on a sundae?  Personally I think that chocolate fudge is the ideal ice cream condiment on a Sunday, though I do like a bit of butterscotch on a Monday.

So in the interest of limiting lies, please note the additional half truth.  I did indeed answer two of the prompts.  I just also added a third.


  1. Why do cable companies offer so many channels no one watches?
  2. Who invented lemon meringue pies?
  3. Why did people invent the sandwich?
  4. What was the stone age?
  5. Why do people grow more annoying as we age?
  6. What is doomsday?
  7. What do fish do all day?
  8. Who are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse really?
  9. How do you make a cake?
  10. What is the best ice cream topping on a sundae?
  11. What is your ideal style of home?
  12. What is the strangest hobby?

Hummus and Caramelised Onion Wrap

It has been a while since I last posted a sandwich idea.  I have recently been eating more salad based meals, and wraps.  Theses are quick to prepare and easy to transport.  One of my recent favourites unites hummus, hard boiled egg, and caramelised onion.


  • Plain Flour (or Tomato) Tortilla 1
  • Standard Hummus (Though caramelised onion type works too) 2  heaped Tbs
  • Egg (Hard-boiled) 1
  • Onion 1/2 medium
  • Vegetable Oil splash
  • Tomato
  • Sugar 1/8 tsp (optional)
  • Water (as needed)


In a small frying pan heat the oil.  Dice the onion and add to the oil.  Fry this off until it begins to brown.  Splash with small amounts of water to deglaze and add sugar if used and stir fry well.  Remove from heat but leave in the warm pan.  Shell and dice the egg, and dice the tomato.  Lay out the tortilla on a large plate and spoon the hummus into the centre.  Spread the hummus evenly over the centre half of  the wrap.  Then add the onion and spread in the same way.  Add the chopped egg and tomato and season with salt if desired.  Fold the bottom eighth of the tortilla upwards and then do the same with the top.  Fold the two sides over the centre to complete the wrap.

That’s all folks.




Wicked Kitchen Sweet Potato Pakora Wrap: A Review


Some time ago I noted that Tesco had started to carry a line of products from Wicked Kitchen.  one of these is the Sweet Potato Pakora Wrap, which is a spinach tortilla surrounding a pakora with roasted peppers, carrot, and a spicy mayo.

I found the wrap tasty, with just a bit of a spicy afterburn.  It was relatively moist in its centre, with a crisp crunch from the carrots and accompanying leaf.

It has a good texture, and holds together well.  There was no excessive sauce dripping, not was it as noted too dry.

At 547 calories per pack, it is on the upper side of what I consider an acceptable store-bought lunch sandwich, and it isn’t substantial enough to call it an evening meal.  It also packs a hefty 35% of the daily recommended fat allowance.

So the verdict.  It is a nice occasional “sandwich” and a great break from the typical egg and cress, and ploughman offerings usually associated with supermarket lunch options.   High in calories, but also in taste, it is worth a try, and as a treat, but not an everyday affair.



Tuna Sloppy Joe


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The traditional Sloppy Joe is an American standard. It is saucy and flows from the bun with loads of flavour. Seafood alternatives include the Tuna Sloppy Joe made with tinned tuna.  While it is simple to make (really you can add Heinz Sloppy Joe sauce to a can of tuna) it is a little more personal to your taste to add some veg, and experiment with the sauce options.  Here is a recipe which I made for lunch the other day, and it is a great starting point to finding your preferred Joe.



The Sloppy:

  • Tomato Paste 1/4 cup  
  • Tomato Ketchup 1/2 cup
  • Worcestershire Sauce 4 Tbs
  • Cider Vinegar 2 Tbs
  • Ground Cumin 1 Tbs
  • Tabasco Sauce  splash
  • Water as needed to make a smooth sauce

The Joe:

  • Tuna 1 can in water (160 g)
  • Bell Pepper 1
  • Onion 1
  • Garlic 1 clove
  • Oil 1 tsp

Bread of your choice

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Combine the sauce ingredients in a sauce pan and put on a gentle heat.  Stir and allow to thicken and blend.  Dice the onion, pepper, and garlic and fry in oil until tender.  Stir in the drained tuna and add spoonfuls of the sauce until it reached the desired consistency.  Then add a couple of extra spoonfuls, and allow to reduce on moderate heat. Spoon onto buns, and serve with coleslaw.



“B”LT Sandwich (Veggy Cheaters Guide)

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Bacon seems to be the great deal breaker when it comes to people staying vegetarian. There are loads of mock bacon products on the market, that try to close the gap for the craving, but most “fakon” options fall short in one way or another. Some look the part but have the taste of smokey soy.  Others taste okay, but are limp with odd textures.

With all that said, when making a BLT I have found a cheat which while unconventional gives the basic flavour, and a crisp crunch of bacon (though it totally fails in the visual category). The “secret” ingredient is bacon flavoured crisps.

It is ironic that most “meat” flavoured crisps in the UK contain no meat products. Be it chicken tikka, smokey bacon, or BBQ beef, there is meat.  The real irony is that of all the flavours only cheese and onion doesn’t have the “suitable for vegetarians” label.

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So here it goes,


  • Bread or Roll of your choice
  • Tomato 1 (sliced)
  • Iceberg Lettuce or Mixed Leaf small handful
  • Bacon Flavoured Crisps (Potato Chips) 8 to 10
  • Mayonnaise 2 tsp


This is an easy 1, 2, 3 operation. Place half of the mayo on each half of the bread. Place 2 slices of tomato and a small portion of leaf on the bottom piece. Then add the crisps (as if bacon). Close sandwich and enjoy.