Day 1 - The Veggie Bagel!

As promised, today is the first day of a full week of lunchbox recipes dedicated to the Sandwich, with perhaps one or two that bend the official rules as set out by the Qdoba vs. Panera Sandwich Lawsuit of 2006 that I alluded to in Friday’s post.  Starting off the week is a recipe I found on the web for a fairly healthy, certainly vegetarian sandwich using a bagel instead of regular sandwich bread.  Here’s the recipe in its original form:

  • 1 tbspn coarse-grain brown mustard
  • 1 bagel, sliced in half
  • 1 leaf, romaine lettuce
  • 2 (1/4 inch thick) rings green bell pepper
  • 4 slices cucumber
  • 2 slices tomato
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 slices red onion
  • 1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts

I’m not a big fan of onions, although I don’t hate them either.  I prefer a hint rather than the full monty, so I subbed an onion bagel instead of a plain bagel and a mixture of onion sprouts and alfalfa sprouts for the straight all-alfalfa variety, then omitted the onion slice.  I also used a 50-50 pre-chopped baby spinach and mixed green salad concoction for the 1 leaf of romaine lettuce.  Okay I’m lazy…so sue me!  Besides, this way I can have a salad tonight and get about 1000 times the greens I normally get in a day.  Finally, I subbed spicy deli mustard for the coarse-grain brown variety.  I’ll admit, I do love mustard (and it’s fat free!) so maybe one of these days I’ll do a mustard comparison test.  But I digress. 

The sandwich took about 5-7 minutes to put together after all the slicing, toasting, and assembling.  Here it is just before the final alfalfa/onion sprout topping was added (and yes, that is my very own hard-to-find Weezer lunchbox.  I’m pretty sure the store is sold out of these, but they do have my other favorite band, Tenacious D).

Veggie Bagel in mid-assembly with my Weezer lunchbox in background.

 

I cut the cucumber slices a little small – I think next time I might go for a little bigger to keep them a little more under control.  The last step was the sprouts and just pushing the two halves together.  Oh yeah, and back to the mustard, I made sure to spread it on both halves of the bagel.  You can never have too little mustard in my opinion.    So, here was the finished product before it left the house this morning:

 So I get to work and I just downed it about 20 minutes ago.  Pretty good, I have to say.  Although much of the taste came from the bagel itself.  It reminded me of when I was a kid and couldn’t swallow vitamins or medicine.  My mom would hide the pill in a Ding Dong.  I guess the veggies can be considered that same sort of good-for-you medicine that you just don’t like taking straight. 

The Veggie Bagel. Mmmmm.

Hey, whatever works.  It tasted good, it was very cheap (I can probably make at least 2-3 more on the $9 I invested in all the ingredients and still have plenty of most of them leftover – I think everything but the bell pepper and tomato, which were each about $1.25), and I can feel good about having a somewhat healthy lunch.  Why somewhat?  Well, bagels get a pretty bad rap out there for their poor nutritional content, but I think having one every now and then is okay, especially when you’re loading up on all the nutrients from the veggies.  And this version of the veggie bagel uses no cheese and no mayo, so you save a lot of fat and calories that way too.  Here’s to the Lunchboxes.com version of the Veggie Bagel!

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