Who wants to eat a bland sandwich? Not us. That’s why we love condiments. They just make everything better, but you might want to take a look at what you’re slathering on your bread before you start stacking your next sandwich. Standard spreads like ketchup, mayo and “special” sauce include unnecessary ingredients and additives, and generally hike up your calorie intake. Next time you’re putting together the star of your brown bag or weekend lunch table, reach for one of these new wholesome toppers (on one of our sensational sandwiches).
It is “just mayo” but not in the traditional way you think of mayo — in this version there are no eggs. How does it look and taste like mayo without the yolk? To get that same viscosity, the culinary geniuses behind Just Mayo did years of tastings and went through 300 prototypes and discovered that when yellow split peas are emulsified, it produces an ideal egg replacement. In addition to the split peas, this vegan and non-GMO-verified condiment contains water, salt, sugar, lemon juice, mustard and white vinegar.
Swap for the Spread In: Grilled Shiitake and Tofu Banh Mi
It’s a healthy solution to add robust, briny mustard to a hoagie, grinder or hero (the name depending on your neck of the woods). The whole-grain variety offers bursting brown and golden morsels that add a tiny bit of crunch and pack a little punch. Look for brands that tout “Dijon” on the label, like Trader Joe’s (less than $2 a jar), imported directly from the town in France that invented the spread. Did we mention mustard has just 5 calories per teaspoon?
Swap for the Spread In: Chicken and Roasted Pepper Sandwich
If ketchup is known for one thing (well, other than being the perfect complement for french fries), it’s as a topping on a burger. If you’re looking for a ketchup that offers 50 percent less sugar and 33 percent less sodium than the average national brands, Sir Kensington’s answers the call. Among the ingredients that support the tomatoes and tomato paste are organic vinegar and sugar, salt, lime juice, green bell peppers and allspice. Pure and simple.
Try It On: Portobello Mushroom Burger
This spicy, bright red condiment of Morocco combines red bell pepper, red chili pepper, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and salt. Vegan, gluten-free and all-natural, the topper adds that perfect heat. In Morocco, harissa is used in almost every kind of sandwich you see — merguez, kefta and even tuna sandwiches — while in the Middle East, harissa turns up in pita sandwiches that cushion kebabs and falafel. The application ideas are endless.
We’ve already waxed poetic about Sohha’s wholesome, thick, tangy savory yogurts http://blog.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/2014/12/12/move-over-strawberry-now-theres-a-tomato-in-your-yogurt/, and we can’t help but want to write a sonnet about their spreadable dip If you like the freshness of mint and a good dose of pungent garlic, liven up your next sammy with their garlic-and-mint dip. It’s just the ticket.
Swap for the Spread In: Ina Garten’s Grilled Salmon Sandwiches
Kiri Tannenbaum is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Paris and holds an M.A. in food studies from New York University where she is currently an adjunct professor. When her schedule allows, she leads culinary walking tours in New York City and is currently at work on her first book.