Those who follow this blog already know that we’ve been taking a walk around the periphery of my local Albertson’s grocery store.
Over the last couple of weeks, we toured the produce, meat, and dairy sections. Our last stop will be the deli section….and get ready for a brown bag menu!
I truly love the deli section. Here’s where you find delicious gourmet cheese, meats, olives, and other lovely stuff. Unfortunately, many of these items are full of fat, salt, and preservatives that we might not want to consume. For example:
I’m going to go on record as stating that I adore these Dietz & Watson sandwiches. They are flavorful, filling, and convenient when you don’t really have time to make lunch. But let’s take a look at the nutrition info for this item:
According to the labeling for this product, one entire sandwich contains 14 grams of fat, 6 of which are saturated. What is most concerning is the sodium count: 910 mg., which according to this label is 40% of the Daily Value (DV) for a 2,000 calorie diet for healthy adults. Therefore, a person with health issues affected by sodium intake (for example, high blood pressure) might want to think twice before eating this sandwich. One other thing–the labeling clearly states that condiments in this package aren’t addressed in the nutrition facts. Which means that the sandwich probably has even more salt, calories and fat than what is listed.
Can we put something together with lower amounts of sodium and fat? Let’s give it a try.
First, the meat filling. I noted that the deli showcase includes some fresh roasted turkey breast. Unprocessed cooked meats tend to contain lower amounts of sodium than the processed variety. Sodium amounts are not listed for this item, but I did taste a sample and concluded that there was not a lot of salt in it. The turkey is clearly skinless and does not exhibit any evidence of fat.
Let’s get some of this turkey!
Next, the bread. At my Albertson’s, as well as other markets like Ralph’s and Sprouts, the deli section typically offers Flatout Flatbread, a flatbread high in important nutrients. It tastes good, too. You can also purchase this item on amazon.com.
When reviewing bread, I always look for fiber content, protein content, and calories. One serving of this product (one flatbread) contains 10 grams of fiber, 7 grams of protein, and 90 calories. That’s pretty good. (We’ll talk more about breads in a later blog). In addition, a serving of Flatout contains just 10% of the daily allowance for sodium in a 2,000 calorie diet. Even better, it has no saturated fat or cholesterol.
A sandwich just doesn’t go down well without some sort of dressing. But mayonnaise, which is one of my favorites, contains egg yolk and therefore some cholesterol. However, there’s a healthy alternative in the deli section:
Hummus is made from pureed chickpeas, olive oil, and additional flavorings. It has a rich, savory taste. And as you can see from the label above, it contains no saturated fat or cholesterol. One serving (2 tablespoons) contains 7% of the DV for sodium. Today, we’ll try some Athenos hummus.
Let’s take what we have and make a sandwich!
Step 1. Lay the bread on a cutting board, rough side up. Spread 2 tablespoons of hummus on one half of the bread.
Step 2. For some crunch, place lettuce, cabbage, or other leafy vegetables on the other half of the bread. I chose some leftover Taylor Farms Mediterranean Crunch Chopped vege’s, which I obtained from the produce section. (See previous blog.) I also added some leftover miniature red bell peppers.
Step 3. Place 4 oz. fresh roasted turkey on the vege’s as shown below.
Step 4. Roll the flatbread from the bottom up, so that the last part rolled is the half spread with hummus. The hummus securely “glues” the bread roll together.
Step 5. Slice your bread roll in half. If rolled and cut correctly, it should look like this:
Based on data from food labeling, as well as additional data from the Internet, I have totaled significant nutrient stats for the Flatout turkey rollup as follows:
- Calories: 315
- Sodium: 25% DV *
- Saturated Fat: 0
- Protein: 46 grams
Compare these stats with those listed on the packaged sandwich: Their product is 420 calories; ours is 315. And we’ve significantly reduced fat and sodium content, while boosting protein content. I should mention here that I never advocate food I haven’t tried. This turkey-hummus rollup is really good!
*My butcher was not sure how much salt was used in the turkey I purchased. I did check a website for kosher turkey (kosher turkey is typically brined prior to being sold), and 4 oz. was listed as containing 8% DV of sodium. I would not expect the Albertson’s turkey to have more than that amount, which theoretically would bring the total sodium count for this dish to 25% DV, much better than the 40% listed in the Dietz and Watson turkey sandwich.
I have included photos of the following lunch menu which features the turkey-hummus sandwich as a main dish. You may remember that in a previous blog, I recommended the lunch pail and containers pictured below:
- Turkey-hummus rollup
- Tomato/cucumber salad (also purchased at my Albertson’s deli)
- Non-fat plain yogurt, with a package of Stevia added for sweetness (we discussed yogurt in last week’s blog)
- Frozen blackberries and strawberries for the yogurt
- Raw walnuts for the yogurt (you can find walnuts in the bakery section)
This finishes our walk around the periphery of the grocery store. Please note that although we looked at an Albertsons, you can find similar foods in the periphery of your own local grocery store.
NEXT WEEK: Let’s Talk About Bread