wisegeek-Optimized.jpgGrowing up in my house, knowing how to make a great sandwich was a must. Our typical Sunday lunch was sandwiches and the prep was something the whole family participated in. My Dad took his sandwiches very seriously and so I was taught at an early age how to make the perfect sandwich and I have never forgotten this skill.

Of course now that I have kids I have tried to instill in them the makings of a good sandwich, but being kids they love the typical ham and cheese, grilled cheese or even just a good PB&J. My husband and I love to get creative in the kitchen and sometimes end up with sandwiches so huge you can barely bite into them.

When I was younger our sandwiches were just your typical ingredients layered between two slices of bread. I love now that there are many ways to create a great sandwich such as toasting the bread, pan frying them or even using a panini press.

Sandwiches can also be the perfect meal for any time of day. Throw in the right ingredients and you have a fantastic breakfast, lunch or dinner meal. I love that they are so easy to make, you can go simple without any fancy ingredients or follow along to a recipe. Or, you can also get really creative and create a sandwich to your own personal liking and they will fill up your tummy nicely.

For some reason I always crave a heartier meal in winter and with our windy weather lately, sandwiches will be the perfect meal to get you through any storm. Even if we’re struck by a power outage, you will probably have ingredients to make basic sandwiches to get you through it. The following sandwiches are my easy to make, go to meals for anytime of day.

Breakfast sandwich

Focaccia-Bread-Optimized-Optimized.jpg I absolutely love a good breakfast sandwich. In fact my husband and both my boys love them too. My oldest son loves the basic bacon and egg on an english muffin which I’m sure everyone does. Let’s be real, anything with bacon is delicious. My husband, youngest son and I have created our own as a take on our favourite from our local coffee shop.
Foccacia Breakfast Sandwich

Ingredients: foccacia bread (you can make your own the day before)
natural turkey breast slices
green onions
siracha mayo


Slice foccacia in 4inX4in squares the slice open like a bun and toast under the broiler

slice green onions thinly
Cut havarti into thin slices

Pan fry the eggs to desired consistancy then add havarti on top to melt
Warm turkey, I just add it onto the frying pan with the eggs
Spread some siracha mayo onto the bottom of your toasted foccacia slices, then add turkey slices, egg with melted cheese, sprinkle a little green onion then add the foccacia top. Enjoy.

I have yet to introduce a friend or family member to this sandwich who doesn’t love it as much as we do.

Easy lunch paninis

chicken pesto.jpg

A few years ago my sister got me a panini press and we have definitely gotten a good use out of it. It’s a fancier way of pan frying and my kids love the design the bread gets from the griddle. Making paninis is one of the easiest lunches to make and everyone loves them in my house.

For somewhat picky eaters, my oldest being the worst, my sons love a chicken pesto sandwich. This recipe from Kittencal@recipezazz is delicious. Both my boys take out the red peppers but that’s easy enough to do.


Grilled chicken pesto panini

Ingredients: 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, and pounded thin
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
1 1⁄2 cups roasted red peppers (bottled or canned)
4 slices provolone cheese (sliced thick)
1⁄2-3⁄4 cup pesto sauce (bottled or homemade)
8 slices Italian bread (sliced 1/2-inch thick, can use about 4 x 4-inch ciabatta rolls in place of the Italian bread)
olive oil, for brushing on bread 


Pound the chicken fillets until thin between two pieces of waxed paper, then marinate in oil, garlic, pepper and Italian seasoning for about 1-1/2 hours.
Heat a grill pan or sauté pan (the breasts can also be grilled on the BBQ).
Season the breasts with salt and pepper.
Cook the chicken on medium heat for about 5 minutes per side, or until golden and cooked through.
Remove from pan and place on a plate or board.
Top each fillet with some of the roasted peppers and a slice of cheese.
Spread BOTH sides of the bread with pesto sauce.
Place chicken inside the bread and form to a sandwich.
Brush both sides of the outside of bread with olive oil.
Heat a grill pan or a 10-inch skillet on medium high heat. Place the panini in the pan (only 2 at a time).

Weigh the panini down with another heavy skillet and then top with a heavy can (a very large can of tomato juice works great for this!) cook for about 3 minutes, or until bread is toasted.
Turn the panini, and weigh it down again with a heavy skillet and a can on top, and toast for another 3 minutes.
Remove from pan and cut in half.
Dinner sandwiches
My all time favourite sandwich has to be turkey and cranberry. In my house we make a fruit chutney instead of cranberry sauce, but you can make it with whichever you prefer.

I think their versatility is one of the reasons I love sandwiches, and since Thanksgiving just passed, I had to include this sandwich. I love to heat my turkey, stuffing and fruit chutney in a frying pan then layer it all between two slices of bread with a little mayo, then I also grill the sandwich for a toasty outside. Since this sandwich is very simple to make, here’s the recipe for the fruit chutney that I originally found from Claire Robinson at foodnetwork.com.

Spiced fruit chutney


1 1/2 C chopped dried apricots
1 C chopped dried cherries (I’ve used cranberries too)
1 C pomegranate juice
2 C water

2 chai tea bags
1 C chopped toasted pecans
pinch of salt



Put the fruit into a medium heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the pomegranate juice, water, and salt and bring to a simmer. Add the tea bags and simmer for about 40 minutes, until liquid has been mostly absorbed.
Remove the tea bags and discard. Stir in the pecans and transfer to a serving bowl

The list of sandwiches you can make is endless. Sometimes sandwiches can get a little boring if you stick with the same old same old every day, so I encourage you to get a little creative in the kitchen. My youngest son actually has started making his own sandwiches and so far he’s done really well and enjoyed every one of his creations in the kitchen.

Great Canadian winter: kitchen and dining room essentials
Great Canadian winter: prepare your home for cold weather
Great Canadian winter: winterproof your home

foccacia image @merlincottagekichen.com

title image @ wisegeeks.org

Lindsey Reed
I am a mom of two boys who loves reading and trail runs. I am passionate about health, fitness and food and write about these topics and more on my personal blog www.organicfitnesstips.net.