To celebrate National Sandwich Day on 3rd November, we asked our friend and collaborative partner Annabel Karmel to give you her best sandwich ideas for all the family…
The humble sarnie... one of the most heroed British culinary inventions and yet often unfairly dismissed as an ‘uninspiring’ lunch time option.
What’s not to like? Quick, easy, cheap to make and a base for so many tasty and nutritious toppings and fillings, a sandwich is the go-to lunchtime option for busy families. Everyone has their own ultimate bread/ filling combo, so how do you and your family like yours? White or brown? Chicken or cheese? Mayo or mustard? The options are endless and the simple sandwich is a fantastic food to have some fun with.
It’s also a great option for fussy tots. They will like the independence of choosing their fillings and being able to pick a sandwich up with their hands to feed themselves, meaning that you can serve them up a healthy lunch that won’t be returned to sender. You could even get them involved by brainstorming some lunch or packed-lunch ideas for the weekend or an upcoming trip out.
If you are looking for the perfect messy mealtime option so your little one doesn’t lose any of their precious dropped sandwich fillings, then try one of my Annabel Karmel by Bibetta UltraBib or UltraBib with Sleeves.
So, in celebration of National Sandwich Day and in honour of John Montagu the 4th Earl of Sandwich who invented the nation’s go-to lunchtime favourite, it’s time to pay homage to the British family staple.
Here are some my own favourite family sandwich pleasers! Soggy sandwiches be gone…
SUSHI SANDWICH ROLLS
It’s all about making mealtimes exciting and positioning trying new foods as fun. My Sushi Sandwich Rolls are a lovely way to encourage children to try fish (if they weren’t so keen before). Chopsticks at the ready!
Prep: 8 minutes
Makes: 6 mini rolls
2 slices of white bread
1 x 80g tin of tuna in spring water
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
6-8 batons of cucumber cut into 2 inch strips
2 tbsp grated carrot
1.Put the two slices of bread onto a board and remove the crusts.
2.Using a rolling pin, flatten the bread until about 5 mm / 1/8 in thick.
3.Mix the tuna together with one tablespoon of the sweet chilli sauce.
4.Spread the remaining mayonnaise (½ tbsp per slice) over the bread and then spoon the tuna about a quarter of an inch from the edge of the bread in a line.
5.Arrange the cucumber strips in a line above the tuna, followed by the grated carrot.
6.Roll up from the tuna end and press down to seal. Trim ends to neaten using a sharp knife, then cut into three little rolls.
CHEAT’S SPRING ROLLS
Is it a wrap, is it a Spring Roll? Perfect for lunch or dinner, the whole family will love these Chinese-inspired Cheat’s Spring Rolls. Where takeaway versions are often deep-fried, making them an unhealthy treat, my versions are simply grilled for a couple of minutes until crisp and brown.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Makes: 4 spring rolls
1 tbsp sunflower oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into very thin strips
1 medium carrot, peeled & coarsely grated
2 handfuls of beansprouts
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp dark soy sauce (for babies 1 year +)
2 tbsp plum sauce (for babies 1 year +)
4 small wheat tortilla wraps
1.Preheat the grill to high. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan, add the chicken and stir-fry for 2 minutes
2.Add the vegetables and stir-fry for a further 2 minutes, until the chicken has cooked through and the vegetables have softened slight (but aren’t completely soft.) Stir in the soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of the plum sauce, and remove from the heat.
3.Spread the remaining plum sauce over the four wraps. Divide the chicken and vegetable filling between the wraps, spooning in on the lower half of each wrap.
4.Fold the left-and right-hand sides of the wrap over the filling then roll the wraps up from the bottom so that the filling is completely enclosed.
5.Carefully transfer the filled wraps to a grill pan, sitting them seam side down. Place under the grill for 1-1½ minutes, until the tops are crisp and starting to brown then turn them over and grill for a further 1-1½ minutes. Watch carefully as the wrap can scorch easily,
6.Remove from the grill and serve immediately.
MINI FLOWER SANDWICHES
You don’t have to go to great lengths to do so, but ensuring your little one’s food looks good will make them more inclined to give something a try. Their eyes will light up at the sight of my Mini Flower Sandwiches. It’s a great opportunity to get little hands involved too – simply put out bowls of nutritious fillings and different shaped cookie cutters and task them with jazzing up their very own lunchtime snack. And, don’t forget to include lots of brightly coloured veg such as grated carrot and slices of cucumber.
Prep: 10 mins
Makes: 6 sandwiches
Sliced white bread
A variety of fillings, choose between:
Slices of Smoked salmon and chives
Slices of ham and grated cheese
Thinly sliced cucumber and carrot
1.Cut out flower shapes from the bread and sandwich them together with a little butter and cream cheese.
2.Cut out circles from the centre of each flower using a small round cutter and insert a variety of fillings.
3.Arrange on a board or serving plate and arrange spring onions as the stems of the flower.
ANIMAL FACE BAGELS
Not quite a traditional ‘sandwich’ as such, but bagels really do make a great base for any lunchbox, and my fun animal-faces are a fun way to get kids involved in the food prep. If you’re hosting the next post-nursery play date why not keep tots entertained by challenging them to create their favourite animal bagel face.
HOPPIN’ FROG FACE BAGEL
Prep: 6 minutes
Makes: One half bagel face
1 tbsp cream cheese
1 tsp chives, chopped
2 cucumber batons
2 slices of cucumber
2 black olives
Slice of red pepper
1.Put the half bagel onto a board. Mix the cream cheese and chives together in a bowl. Season. Spread over the bagel.
2.To make the frog’s face. Cut two thin slices of cucumber and chop one black olive in half for the eyes.
3.Make the mouth by cutting two strips of cucumber for the lips and a thin strip of red pepper for the tongue.
PIGGY FACE BAGEL
Prep: 6 minutes
Makes: One half bagel face
A little butter
1 slice ham
1 slice Edam or Cheddar cheese
2 black olives
Thin strip of spring onion
1.Put the half bagel onto a board and spread with a little butter.
2.Place one slice of ham on the bagel and trim around the edge with scissors to make a neat circle.
3.Make the snout by cutting a piece of cheese into a circle (use a round cutter for an extra smooth circle). Then cut a thin slice of radish with two small cut out pieces of olive for the nostrils.
4.Use two radish slices for the eyes and a black olive chopped in half for the eye balls.
5.Then for the ears, cut out two triangles of cheese and a slice of radish cut in half.
6.For the tail, slice a thin strip of spring onion and soak in ice cold water until it goes curly!
BARN OWL BAGEL
Prep: 6 minutes
Makes: One half bagel face
1 tbsp peanut butter
2 slices banana
2 strawberries halved
1.Put the half bagel onto a board and spread with the peanut butter.
2.To make the eyes, use two slices of banana. Add a small blob of peanut butter onto the centre of the banana and stick on the blueberries for eyeballs.
3.Slice one strawberry in half to make the wings, and then slice the second strawberry into quarters and use one quarter for the beak.
For lots more recipe inspiration visit www.annabelkarmel.com and join the AK Club for free.
Going out with your sandwiches - try our Bibetta Placemat with Pocket, it makes the perfect lunchtime accompaniment. With its large size you can put cups, bowls and food on it and it has the handy pocket to catch dropped sandwiches in. Best of all – all the mess can be trapped in the placemat when it is folded up into a compact pack and washed in the washing machine or by hand after messy mealtimes!!!
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