The Dude Diet: Sandwich Fix
|Dude loves sandwiches.|
I am relieved to report that things have been pretty solid for The Dude Diet since Memorial Day. Logan has been working from home for the past few weeks, so I have had the great pleasure of closely monitoring his food intake. With the exception of a few minor slip-ups involving a recent barbeque and a dining out disaster, the Dude has been limiting himself to mostly beach body-friendly fare. However, he is currently on his way to the Mountain Jam Music Festival, so I can only imagine the debauchery that will be taking place on all fronts in the next 24 hours.
After spending so much time observing Logan’s midday eating habits recently, I have become increasingly aware of the threat that sandwiches pose to The Dude Diet. If left to his own devices, Logan would crush “a dank sando” for lunch every single day, which is a truly terrifying thought. The meat-heavy monstrosities that Logan favors weigh multiple pounds and usually require a Zantac followed by a post-sando nap. And yes, Logan has given himself the meat sweats from a sandwich before, which is unforgivable.
I feel obligated to tell you that delis are Logan’s happy place. If I weren’t so scared of his giant sandwiches, I would regularly accompany him to delis just to bask in the sheer joy that he radiates in such close proximity to all that meat and cheese. It’s quite entertaining to watch Logan approach the counter, make his absurd sandwich request, and then giddily anticipate his “deli delight.” He also tends to compliment other patrons on their sandwich creations, which is both sweet and awkward.
I distinctly remember the day that I realized the full extent of Logan’s sandwich fetish. It was just over a year ago when the Dude insisted on taking me to Wawa after a day at Six Flags in New Jersey. (We are clearly an incredibly sophisticated and classy couple.) If you are not familiar with Wawa, it is a gas station convenience store that, according to Logan, makes the “most epic hoagies in the world.” Wawa’s deli counter has multiple computer screens in front of it, which normal people use to place their sandwich orders. However, Logan refused to use these computers because he didn’t trust the machines “not to eff up his sando.” Instead, he insisted that the unsuspecting 17-year old behind the counter take his order personally to ensure “hoagie perfection.”
Logan micro-managed the making of that hoagie down to the placement of the last pickle, all while peppering his sandwich-maker with compliments and encouragement such as, “Oh yeah, dude, hook that shit up!” and “Nice work, man. That looks good!” Logan and sandwich kid were so close by the end of this hoagie-building experience that I thought they might hug and/or exchange numbers. That sandwich must have weighed in at close to 5 pounds. I’m pretty sure it contained every possible type of meat, cheese and “add-on” available, and Logan had to take multiple “breathing breaks” while eating it. We then had to stop for Zantac on the way home.
|I guarantee Logan has never ordered a “Shorti.”|
I’m well aware that Logan isn’t the only guy with a soft spot for sandwiches. In fact, sandwiches are often a staple of most dude’s diets. Trust me, I get it. Sandwiches are delicious, convenient, and you can get one pretty much anywhere. They also involve bread, meat and cheese, which is pretty much the holy trinity of dude foods. However, many dudes suffer from severe nutritional confusion when it comes to sandwiches. I blame Subway.
I have heard several men argue that sandwiches are healthy because “that dude Jared got so fuckin’ svelte eating Subway,” or because “Michael Phelps crushes foot-longs all day, and he’s in dope shape.” You’re right, dudes, but I’d like to make a few points here. First, Jared ate only Subway sandwiches, and they did not contain mayo or any of the other fattening additions most of you enjoy. Therefore, I do not recommend this diet. It is both impractical and potentially damaging to your social life. As far as Michael Phelps’ five dollar foot-long habit goes, I am perfectly willing to discuss adding multiple Italian subs to your daily meal plan when you start working out 8 hours a day. Until then, just say no.
|Causing all sorts of sandwich confusion.|
Obviously, I’m not going to tell you to stop eating sandwiches. In fact, sandwiches can actually be quite healthy. Whole grain bread with lean meat, vegetables, a single serving of cheese, and some light condiments is a balanced meal that will keep your body fueled, satisfied, and in wonderland shape. Sadly, I can’t say the same for a meatball sub. For your convenience, I have outlined some basic guidelines for creating Dude Diet-friendly sandos below.
Dude Diet Sandwich Guidelines:
1. Bread: Your average foot-long sub roll is basically an entire loaf of bread, which is shameful. Your sandwich should never be longer than 8-inches in length. Always go whole grain if possible and please limit yourself to two slices of bread. (I know this sounds obvious, but most of you can’t be trusted). Do not get your sandwich as a “wrap” and convince yourself that it is good for you. Most wraps are just oversized flour tortillas that have more calories than actual bread. Get it together, dudes.
2. Meat: Stick with lean, low-sodium meats. Try roast chicken, low-sodium turkey or ham, and lean roast beef. Cured meats such as prosciutto, salami, and capicola have sky-high sodium contents and will bloat you faster than you can say “Italian sub.” Capiche?
3. Cheese: Your sandwich does not need more than two slices of cheese. No exceptions.
4. “Add-ons”: Feel free to get weird with the veggies. Lettuce, tomato, onions, peppers, pickles, etc. The more the merrier. They taste good, fill you up, and adding them to your sando is an easy way to sneak in a couple servings of vegetables without bumming you out.
5. Condiments: Mayo, aioli of any kind, and heavy salad dressings are the enemy. They tack on hundreds of extra calories and inches to your waistline. Use them sparingly. Do not, under any circumstances, dip your sandwich in extra containers of ranch, blue cheese, or Italian dressing. That is disgusting.
In the hopes of getting Logan to embrace the Dude Diet sandwich guidelines, I created a lighter version of an Italian sub, which is one of his favorite sandos. This Turkey Italian Sub is a Dude Diet game-changer. It’s big, hearty, and packed with so much flavor that you won’t even care that it doesn’t contain four different kinds of meat.
Let’s break this sandwich down for educational purposes, dudes. First, I hollowed out the whole grain sub roll, which saves you on the carb front and let’s the fillings shine. Then I drizzled some homemade, heart-healthy Italian dressing on both halves of the roll. Next, there’s a good amount of low-sodium smoked turkey and a slice of provolone, which is just enough to satisfy your need for cheese. You’ve also got almost two servings of fresh veggies. Lettuce, tomato, red onion, and green peppers add freshness, flavor, and a healthy dose of nutrients into the mix. Finally, I threw in some banana peppers for heat and a few pickles for a salty crunch.
For an even lighter take on this dude-pleasing recipe you could make these subs on low-carb vegetable tortillas, or lose the bread all together and add some extra lettuce to make an “Italian sub salad.” I recognize the latter option may be wishful thinking on my part, but I just wanted to put the idea out into the dude-iverse.
Turkey Italian Subs are an ideal everyday lunch as well as a great choice for a casual get-together. Make a few extra large subs, slice them into 3-inch pieces and let guests serve themselves. You should also take these subs on all of your picnics this summer. Just bring the dressing in a small plastic container and then add it to the sandwiches when you’re ready to eat to keep them from getting soggy in your cooler/beach bag/backpack. Turkey Italian Subs aren’t just for lunch, though. They make a great simple dinner, especially if you throw the turkey and provolone half of the sando under the broiler for a minute to melt the cheese.
The Dude was quite enamored with his Turkey Italian Sub yesterday. He was skeptical that I would be able to pull off an Italian sub without all the “clutch man meats” (gross), but he changed his tune after taking the first bite of this chronic sando. I believe his exact words were, “HOT DAMN, WOMAN!” He then happily posed for his sandwich photo shoot while grunting appreciatively and talking about how I spoil him. The Dude’s effusive compliments made it much easier to forgive his multiple requests for barbecue chips. Small victories.
Turkey Italian Subs: (Serves 2)
2 whole grain sub rolls (approx 8-inches each)
½ lb low-sodium smoked turkey, very thinly sliced
2 (1 oz) slices provolone
1 cup chopped iceberg lettuce
1 beefsteak tomato, sliced
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
½ green bell pepper, thinly sliced (seeds removed)
¼ cup sliced pickles
¼ cup chopped banana peppers or pepperoncini
For the Italian dressing:
2 cloves garlic, minced
2½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
Preparing your Turkey Italian Subs:
-In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing. Set aside while you prepare your subs. This will give the flavors time to combine.
-Slice the sub rolls in half and hollow out the insides. (If you are concerned about wasting the fluffy bread innards, you can save them and use them to make whole grain breadcrumbs later, okay?)
-Drizzle both halves of each sub with your Italian dressing.
*You can add the sandwich fillings however you like, but my way is obviously the best:
-Place the turkey in one half of each sub roll and top with one slice of provolone that has been cut in half. Arrange pickles and chopped banana peppers/pepperoncini in an even layer on top of the provolone. Fill the other half of each sub roll with lettuce. Top with tomato, red onion, and sliced bell peppers.
-Carefully sandwich the two halves of each sub together. Slice and serve. Enjoy crushing your slimming sub, dudes.
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