With summer around the corner, I’ve been desperate to put this column on no-bread sandwiches together. I love cooking but I found preparing my kids’ packed lunches difficult pretty quickly, after only a few months in fact, relying on the same old things and more often than not, finding their lunches were starting to revolve around a great hunk of bread. I know how I feel after eating a sandwich at lunch, so I now try not to reach for the easy option, and instead, decided to do some research into alternatives. Surprisingly, there are so many wonderful ideas out there and I’ve pulled together ten of my favourite gluten free sandwich ideas!

They’re all based around the same idea – instead of using bread, use something else. A cabbage leaf instead of a wrap, with any filling. I love crunchy vegetables and a lashing of hummus.

Good old lettuce cups filled with minced turkey and a bit of brown rice or other grain, or go Mexican with a bit of guacamole inside. If you want something more meaty, try using mushrooms and fill them with anything from sweet potato mash to cheese or even couscous. Or you can try stacking with tomatoes and mozzarella or courgette and tuna salad.

My kids love sushi and you can use the paper rolls in place of wraps and load with favourites. Cucumber rolls are great fun, scoop out the middle and fill them with anything. Soft cheese and ham goes down well. I love making rice paper rolls with dipping sauce.  they’re much easier than you would think to make and again can be filled with anything. Then for a bit of sweetness.  Any fruit like apple or pears can be cut in to rounds and sandwiched together with peanut butter and jam.

Collard Green Wrap With Carrot-Ginger Hummus and Rainbow Veggies

Carrot-Ginger Hummus

Ingredients

  • 2 small carrots (yellow if you can find them), grated
  • 1 medium garlic clove
  • 2-3 tsp minced ginger (depending on your taste)
  • 1 cup chickpeas (cooked and drained or use 1 15 oz can of chickpeas)
  • juice of 1 small lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp Sriracha (chili-garlic) hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt, to taste

Method

  1. For the carrot hummus: Add the carrots, garlic, ginger, chickpeas, lemon juice, cumin, Sriracha, and tahini to a high speed blender or food processor. Pulse several times to mince ingredients than slowly drizzle olive oil into the blender. Puree until very smooth. If the mixture is not blending into a smooth dip consistency, add water 1 tablespoon at a time until it reaches desired consistency.
  2. Taste and add salt. Adjust with more ginger, garlic, lemon, tahini, cumin, or Sriracha to your liking.
  3. Makes 1.5 cups. Will keep in refrigerator for one week.

Collard Green Wrap With Carrot-Ginger Hummus and Rainbow Veggies

Ingredients

  • 4 large collard leaves or 6 small collard leaves
  • 1 cup cooked black quinoa or brown or black rice
  • 2 carrots, julienned or shaved into ribbons
  • ½ cup shredded red cabbage
  • ½ cup grated beets
  • ½ cup zucchini, julienned
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/2 cup carrot-ginger hummus

Instructions

  1. For the wraps: Trim off the thickest part of the collard green stem using a paring knife and turning the leaf over to access the “backbone” of the leaf. You’ll just want to make sure the leaf bends nicely.
  2. If you prefer (and sometimes I do!), boil water in a large pan with a steamer basket and steam the leaves for a couple of minutes until they are a bright green. They should still be a little tough because you don’t want them to break. This works best with large leaves.
  3. Pat collards dry and spread out with the inside of the leaf facing up.
  4. Spread a couple tablespoons of hummus on the inside of each leaf.
  5. Add a couple tablespoons of grains on top of the hummus and arrange some of each kind of vegetable on top. This is a beautiful way to serve the collard wraps if you are going for presentation.
  6. To eat, fold the edges in and roll up like a burrito.
  7. Makes 6 small wraps or 4 large wraps, depending on sizes of your collard leaves.

Chicken Mango Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground chicken (I use ground chicken thighs for more flavor)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce (use gluten-free soy sauce if cooking gluten-free)
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch (or potato or rice starch)
  • 1 teaspoon cooking oil (a high smoke point oil would be best such as rice bran oil, grapeseed oil, or canola oil)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 large mango, diced (see How to Cut a Mango)
  • 1 head of butter lettuce, rinsed, leaves separated

Method

  1. Place the ground chicken, soy sauce, and corn starch in a large bowl. Mix to combine.
  2. Heat a wok or a large sauté pan on medium heat.  Once the pan is hot, add the oil. Add the green onions and sliced shiitakes. Let cook for about a minute.
  3. Increase the heat to high, and add the ground chicken, soy sauce, corn starch mixture.  Use a wooden spoon to break up the ground chicken and spread around the pan.  Stir fry in this way for 5 to 7 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Add the seasoned rice vinegar, sesame oil, and diced mango.  Remove from heat. Adjust seasonings (rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce) to taste.
  4. Scoop spoonfuls into the cups formed by the lettuce leaves to serve.
  5. Options – stir in a small spoonful of chili sauce, or add a few chili pepper flakes to the oil as it is heating. Top with some fresh cilantro leaves. Experiment with other meats such as lamb, turkey, beef, or pork. Try subbing out the mango with mandarin orange slices.

Mediterranean Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 4-inch-long, 1-inch-thick strips
  • 2 teaspoons Mediterranean Spice
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 4 romaine lettuce leaves, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup Red-Wine Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup Tzatziki
  • 12 butter lettuce leaves
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 12 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Method

  1. Preheat a grill pan over high heat. Season chicken with 1 teaspoon Mediterranean spice and place on grill. Cook, basting with balsamic vinaigrette and turning once, until cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Season chicken with remaining teaspoon Mediterranean spice and remove from grill; set aside.
  2. Place shredded romaine lettuce and red onions in a medium bowl; drizzle with red-wine vinaigrette and toss to combine. Divide mixture evenly among butter lettuce leaves and drizzle each with 1 teaspoon tzatziki.
  3. Top each taco with 1 piece of chicken and garnish with chopped tomatoes, feta cheese, and olives. Season with parsley, basil, and oregano; serve.

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Cucumber Subs

Ingredients

  • Cucumber
  • Low Sodium Turkey Lunch Meat
  • Laughing Cow Cheese
  • Mustard

Method

Cut open the cucumber and fill.

Sweet Potato Mushroom Vege Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-large sweet potato
  • 400 g tinned chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, plus extra for rolling and sprinkling
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ -1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • plant-based oil for frying
  • 8 large flat mushrooms
  • rocket or baby English spinach
  • snow pea shoots to garnish

Method

  1. First steam the sweet potato for about 15 minutes, or until soft. Once softened, place it in a mixing bowl with the chickpeas. Now get mashing. You still want the mixture to be quite chunky, so don’t make it super-smooth.
  2. Add the sesame seeds, spices, chilli flakes, salt and pepper and mix it all up. Don’t be put off by the fact that the mixture is still like mashed potato (as essentially it is).
  3. Grab a handful of the mixture and pat it into a ball. Roll it gently in sesame seeds and set aside. The mixture will make around 8 patties, so you can either make yourselves 2 burgers each ( just double the mushrooms needed) or just serve an extra patty on the side of your burger.

Apple Sandwiches with Almond Butter and Granola

Ingredients

  • Apple
  • Granola
  • Nut Butter

Method

Core and apple.

Choose your favorite granola (we’re currently crushing on the Oats ‘n Dark Chocolate Nature Valley Protein Crunchy Granola), your nut butter, mix together and get snacking!

Raw Nori Wraps with Red Cabbage, Cucumber, Carrots, Zucchini & spicy dipping sauce

Ingredients

Wraps:

  • 1/2 head red cabbage
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 2 kale leaves
  • 1 avocado
  • 3-4 nori sheets and/or rice paper sheets

Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • Chili powder, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon miso
  • 2 dates
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • Water, as needed to make it creamy and smooth

Method

  1. Make the sauce by blending all the ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Now make your wraps: shred the veggies thinly on a mandolin, but chop the cucumber by hand. Tear up the kale leaves and slice the avocado.
  3. Lay your desired fillings on one side of your nori sheet, and on the opposite side spread a little sauce to seal together the ends when you roll it up.
  4. Roll everything up tight and set aside. If you’re using rice paper, dip the paper in hot water until it’s pliable, then place everything you want in the middle.
  5. Wrap up like a burrito. Dip your wraps in your sauce and get this party started.

Asparagus Caprese Salad Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 4 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves or 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt and Pepper to taste
  • 3 drops red pepper sauce
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • Salad greens and asparagus, if desired
  • balsamic vinegar Optional

Method

  1. Place tomatoes in glass or plastic dish.
  2. Shake remaining ingredients except cheese and salad greens in tightly covered container. Pour over tomatoes.
  3. Cover and refrigerate, turning occasionally, at least 3 hours to blend flavors. Layer tomatoes alternately with cheese on salad greens.
  4. Drizzle balsamic vinegar if desired
  5. Eat

Raw Zucchini Squash Sandwiches with Sprouted Hummus

Hummus

Ingredients

  • 24 oz. Sprouted Chickpeas
  • 1/3 Cup Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1-2 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • ¼ tsp. Paprika
  • ½-1 Cup Water, add to get your desired consistency

Method

  1. How to sprout dried chickpeas: Soak 1 cup of dried chickpeas in water for a full day, drain next day and rinse off chickpeas every few hours if possible. They should sprout to ¼” long in 2-4 days, so plan ahead for this recipe.
  2. After they are sprouted, put them in a blender or food processor with S-Blade along with the rest of the ingredients except for the water. Blend together and add water gradually until you get the desired consistency. Pair with celery sticks, bell pepper slivers, or cucumber slices for a light snack.

Sandwich

Ingreditets

  • Squash
  • Homemade Sprouted Chickpea Hummus,
  • Sugar snap peas,
  • Tomato slices
  • Fresh basil
  • Sea salt and ground pepper for seasoning.

Method

Slice the squash load with your filling and enjoy!

Korean BBQ Tofu, Brown Rice Noodle & Veggie Rice Paper Rolls with Sweet Chilli Sauce