Brown Bag Side Dishes

In the brown bag world, potato chips are to sandwiches as….yin is to yang, mac is to cheese, Laurel is to Hardy……and so on. I love potato chips as an occasional snack with sour cream dip. But chips as a regular part of lunch? Let’s look at the nutritional content of one serving of potato chips before we make a judgement about that.

The above chart is for a popular brand of chips, and there are some pluses here. 15 potato chips contain noticeable percentages of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, and niacin. Some thiamin also. But you must sacrifice 160 calories, 10 grams of fat and 15 carbohydrates to get the good stuff.

Let’s look at some alternatives that will supply crunch and salt, without so many calories. In researching all of this, I checked my local Albertsons.

Pickles. Go to your local lunch counter, ask for a sandwich, and what do you frequently get with it? Pickles.

Pickles are marinated cucumbers. There are two types, sweet and dill (salty/savory). I prefer dill myself, and Vlasic is one of my favorites. By the way, if you don’t get the Groucho Marx reference on the label, you need to go on YouTube immediately and see some 1930’s Marx Brothers film segments. I guarantee that you will chuckle.

Below is the nutritional info for Vlasic kosher dills. The sodium is a little high at 10% DV, but one serving is essentially no calories. Plus, lots of flavor and crunch.

Raw vegetables. I cruised the Albertson’s produce department and found these individually wrapped carrot sticks. Just as easy as packing a small bag of potato chips. Carrots are chock full of carotene, a precursor to Vitamin A, and they are relatively low in calories. (One medium raw carrot is approximately 25 calories.). I find that the sweetness of carrots complements a hummus dip.

Bell peppers are low in calories (approximately 25 calories in one medium pepper) and full of Vitamin C. My favorites are the red ones; they’re the sweetest tasting. At Albertsons, I found a package of pre-cut peppers.

In order to complement the sweetness of the peppers, you might pack some hummus. Or perhaps olives? Five luscious Calamata olives are only 45 calories. Here are some cartons of olives I found at the deli section of Albertsons:

In conclusion, I do hope that I’ve given you some alternatives to the ubiquitous potato chip side car. If there’s any message here, it’s that you should be inquisitive about what your grocery store offers regarding any type of food. Ask questions of your grocers, they’re always happy to help. And so am I. Keep checking out TheBrownBagBlogger.com for tips on how to prepare and eat a tasty brown bag lunch.

Sandwich with baby bell peppers and pitted Calamata olives

References:


3 thoughts on “Brown Bag Side Dishes”

  1. A couple of other alternatives, if you really want something with carbs – Quaker makes a rice crisp in several flavorst. BBQ, onion/sour cream, etc. At Mother’s Market I picked up some beet chips that are unusual and quite tasty. My favorite is the cinnamon & coconut sugar. You can Google the nutrition info since I don’t have a way to post the labels here 🙂

    Like

  2. I’d also like to mention Terra brand “Sweets & Beets,” which is a combination of sweet potato chips and beet chips. No salt added, and non-GMO. Very yummy! I get mine at Sprouts and CVS.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s