Kids want something different in their lunch boxes and moms want easy sandwich recipes. We're all about making your life easier, so I combed recipe books, my mother's recipe box and the Internet to find 10 interesting and easy back to school sandwich recipes and after-school treats. All can be made with basic ingredients you'll find at your local supermarket, often using coupons and hitting weekly sales.
Make sure your child has an insulated lunch box for any recipes containing mayonnaise, salad dressing, yogurt or other ingredients that could degrade with heat.
1. Meatloaf Sandwiches
As a kid I always looked forward to meatloaf dinners because it meant leftover lunches the next day. It's surprising how good cold meatloaf sandwiches taste when spiced up with a few extras.
Sliced American cheese
Canned fried onions
Italian bread or baguette
Slice the meatloaf.
Place it on a piece of the bread.
Top with cheese.
Warm in microwave or toaster oven for a few seconds until cheese melts slightly.
Sprinkle with fried onions.
Top with second piece of bread.
2. Trail Blazer Wraps
Here's a crunchy and healthy twist on the banana and peanut butter sandwich. Tortilla wraps also are handy on days when you're out of bread.
1 banana, sliced
1/4 cup banana yogurt (or vanilla yogurt)
1 cup granola
Spread peanut butter over two tortillas.
Drizzle honey to taste.
In bowl, mix together banana, yogurt and granola.
Divide mix between tortillas, roll up sandwich, wrap in wax paper and store in refrigerator.
3. Southwestern Wrap
Tortillas again, plus a way to recycle last-night's chicken. Try switching out Dijon mustard and mayonnaise to vary the flavor.
1/3 cup honey Dijon mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 cups cubed, cooked chicken
1 green pepper, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
2 10-inch flour tortillas
4 lettuce leaves
4 slices Muenster or Swiss cheese
In medium bowl, combine salad dressing and mayonnaise.
Gently stir in chicken, green pepper and tomatoes.
Lay out tortillas and line with lettuce leaves and cheese.
Divide chicken mixture between tortillas and roll tightly.
Cut tortillas in half.
Wrap in waxed paper and chill.
Makes 4 sandwiches.
4. Cheddar and Apple Sandwich
Easy to make and it offers an interesting change from boring cheese sandwiches.
2 slices of bread (multigrain, baguette or Italian)
1 tsp whole-grain mustard
1 ounce cheddar cheese
Several pieces thinly sliced apple
Spread 2 slices of bread with whole-grain mustard.
Top 1 slice of bread with cheddar and several pieces of apple.
Sandwich with the remaining bread.
5. Peanut Butter Berry-Wich
Elvis Presley taught us peanut butter and banana make a great sandwich, but you'll be surprised how well strawberries complement this sandwich standard.
2 slices whole-wheat bread or banana bread
1 tbs peanut butter
1 tbs softened cream cheese
2 medium strawberries, sliced
1 tsp honey
Spread the peanut butter on one slice and the cream cheese on the other.
Arrange strawberry slices in an even single layer on top of the peanut butter.
Drizzle honey on the berries.
Place the cream-cheese half on top.
6. Super Salad Pitas
Pita bread loses little quality or texture in the freezer, making it another great substitute for standard bread sandwiches when you forgot bread or simply want to give the kids a change.
1 cup peanut or sunflower oil
1 glove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp dried dill weed
1 tsp dried chives or 1 tbsp fresh chopped chives
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup cider vinegar
Salad makings (Whatever is in the fridge)
In blender or food processor, mix 1/4 cup oil with all ingredients, except vinegar, until semi smooth.
Add the vinegar with another 1/4 cup of the oil.
Mix for a few more seconds.
Continue pouring in the remaining oil until the mixture is creamy.
Spread on pita.
Add lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers or whatever veggies you have in the fridge.
Can also serve plain.
7. Roasted Red Peppers and Basil Tuna Sandwich
2 6-ounce cans of tuna, drained
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup roasted red peppers, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tsp red wine vinegar
In a medium bowl, combine the tuna, oil, black pepper, roasted red peppers, basil and vinegar.
Spread the mixture on your favorite bread or roll.
AFTER-SCHOOL TREATS OR LUNCH EXTRAS
8. Taco Munch
4 cups tortilla chips
4 cups assorted square wheat, rice or corn cereals
4 cups small pretzel sticks
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
1/4 cup melted butter
Combine all ingredients except butter in a large bowl.
Toss until thoroughly coated with seasoning.
Drizzle with melted butter and toss together.
Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 12 cups.
9. Animal Chips
Here's a healthy alternative to animal crackers that bakes in minutes and is low in fat.
1 large flour tortilla
Cut shapes from a large flour tortillas, using animal-shaped cookie cutters.
Arrange the animals on a baking sheet.
Lightly coat with cooking spray.
Sprinkle with salt.
Bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes.
10. Balls of Energy
For a peanut-free version of this recipe, substitute sunflower-seed or soy-nut butter, and omit the chocolate chips, which can contain peanut traces.
1 small banana
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
Coating: Finely chopped peanuts, mini chocolate chips and/or shredded coconut
Mash together the banana and the peanut butter in a medium bowl.
Stir in the wheat germ.
Roll individual tablespoons of the mixture into balls
Roll the balls in the coating.
Chill until firm.
Makes 14 balls.
Sign up to receive more money-saving deals with the weekly Coupon Sherpa email newsletter.