Fancy a change from the usual bread sandwiches? Try our six low-carb alternatives
With a few swaps, you can get the best of both worlds: a hand-held eating vessel that’s also a low-carb bread alternative. The best thing about sandwiches is they create a base for a variety of fillings and, unlike a salad, you get a taste of all the ingredients in every single bite. Whether you prefer a classic sandwich, a wrap or an open-faced sandwich, we’ve got a low-carb bread swap to match. They’re lower in carbs and calories and can help boost your five-a-day. The calorie count for 2 slices of white bread is 170kcal; for 2 slices of wholemeal bread it’s 156kcal. Check out the calorie count for these substitutes in the recipe suggestions below.
Most closely related to the hamburger bun, the portobello bun works wonderfully for burgers because of the mushroom’s rounded shape and slightly hollowed center. Simply grill the mushroom caps until they’ve reached your preferred tenderness and serve with a minced chicken burger.
Per 2 Portobello mushrooms (grilled): 21kcal
Rice paper wrap
Rice paper is super simple to prepare. Most brands just require a quick soak in warm water and – voilà– you have a moist, pliable rice wrapper. It’s perfect for wrapping around fresh herbs – think mint, basil and coriander – and crunchy vegetables such as carrot and cucumber. Dip them in a peanut sauce or another sauce that works well with your filling.
Per 1 sheet (small): 20kal; (medium) 30-40kcal
Use a vegetable peeler to slice the cucumber thinly lengthwise. Place your favourite filling inside, roll it up and secure with a toothpick. The good thing about using cucumber as a wrap is that it doesn’t have a strong taste so you can be inventive with your fillings without worrying about clashing flavours.
Per 1 cucumber strip: about 2kcal
Bell pepper boats
Served raw or slightly charred, bell pepper boats are a wonderful base for open-faced sandwiches. The pepper adds a bright burst of flavour and its meaty texture can stand up to heavier fillings like chicken salad.
Per 1/2 red pepper (no oil): 26kcal
Aubergine roll ups
Perhaps the meatiest of the bunch, aubergine rolls are wonderful grilled, sliced and topped with goat’s cheese and olive tapenade. Since aubergines are so filling they’re perfect served as a meat-free Monday supper.
Per 1 aubergine strip (no oil): about 3kcal
And last but not least, the mother of all vegetable wraps: the lettuce wrap. Lettuce wraps are, perhaps, the most versatile of them all but do consider branching out to different leaves (pun intended). Think kale, cabbage or chard for extra nutritious wraps.
Per 1 lettuce leaf: about 3kcal