Green Goddess Crunch Sandwich


If the recent spate of warmer than usual weather has inspired you to find a floppy hat and swap shoes for sandals, you’ve got the right idea. Despite what it says on the calendar, summer seems to be in a hurry. There’s no reason to hold off on the fun. Get outdoors for a hike, grill tonight’s dinner, grab an ice cream cone and enjoy it while it lasts. 

Pack your lunch in a brown bag and celebrate National Brown-Bag-It day this May 25. Observed on the same date every year, it recognizes the many benefits of packing your lunch for work or school. You’ll save money, eat more nutritiously, have better portion control, and help the environment by using your own reusable containers and recycling. Since many leftovers easily transition into lunch offerings, you can help reduce food waste, too. You will also save on gas and time by not having to drive anywhere or wait for your food. Plus, it’s a sure way to know what you or your family will be eating. 

Unless you are toting your lunch to a place where you can stow your bag in the fridge until lunch time, plan to pack things that don’t require refrigeration. Besides the time-honored PB&J, you can safely pack pasta or grain salads, hummus, jerky, oil-dressed salads of all sorts, and fruits and veggies. Add some fun with homemade trail mix made from nuts and your favorite dried fruits or maybe a healthy baked cookie. Make a mini mezze platter but do it bento-style for a filling, snackable lunch. Marinate white beans with lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper, olive oil, diced shallot and garlic, chopped flat-leaf parsley and fresh oregano. Pack with a hummus cup, grape tomatoes, pita chips, and olives for a healthy, satisfying lunch.

Since you’re packing your own lunch, why not take it outside and enjoy the fresh air. Dial up the feel-good summertime vibes with this Green Goddess Crunch Sandwich. Crisp and fresh, like a very good salad between two slices of bread, it’s just about begging to go on a picnic. This veg forward sandwich is filling and delicious and as is, or you can make it even heartier by adding some mashed chickpeas. Meat lovers, there’s room for you, too here. Add some lean roast beef, sliced turkey, or stuff a slice of bacon in the layers if you like. (I won’t tell.)

Start with the heartiest whole-grain bread you can find. I used a loaf of Organic Super Bread from Trader Joe’s. With pumpkin, flax, sunflower, and sesame seeds added to the mix of grains, it gave a hearty contrast to the crunchy, cool veggie layers. The directions state to use your blender for the dressing, but if you have a mini food processor, it’s tiny capacity is better suited to this job. Toss all of the ingredients for the dressing in and give it a whir. What results is extremely dippible, and you’ll be glad to have extra to enjoy with your market veg or use for salad or more sandwiches. Oh, and sneak in a few lettuce leaves for crunch or try changing up the cheese. You could use goat cheese, cream cheese or burrata. The Green Goddess Crunch is just the right mix of flavors and textures: summertime in a sandwich.  

Pick your favorite foods, pack up a brown bag and enjoy a homemade lunch. The perfect time is now.

Green Goddess Crunch Sandwich

  • 1/4 cup basil 
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 1/4 mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virign olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 lemon, halved, divided
  • kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 English hothouse cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 4 slices multigrain bread
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces mozzarella, sliced 1/4” thick
  • 2 cups sprouts (such as alfalfa or broccoli) 

for dressing: 

Place basil, chives, mayonnaise, yogurt, and 2 tablespoons olive oil into blender. Finely grate in zest from half of a lemon, then squeeze in its juice. Purée until smooth; season with salt and pepper. 

Place cucumber in a small bowl, then squeeze in juice from remaining lemon half. Drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. 

Spread one side of each slice of bread with dressing. Divide avocado between 2 slices of bread and season with salt and pepper. Top with cucumber, mozzarella, and sprouts then put halves together to form sandwiches. 

-Andy Baraghani,

Donna Ferguson

Donna Ferguson

I love to cook, garden, and write about all the things in Vancouver and the Northwest that make life so great.

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