Vegan sandwiches are any sandwiches that lack meat or meat byproducts. Special consideration must be given to reading labels, so that people don’t accidentally purchase things that have byproducts like gelatin, lactic acids, casein, and others. The ingredients of a vegan sandwich should not include foods like milk, eggs, or any animal shortening. With careful planning, there’s no reason why vegan sandwiches can’t be as diverse or tasty as non-vegan offerings.
The classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich can be vegan. Most jellies, jams and preserves are thickened with pectin, but be certain these don’t have gelatin. Peanut butter made of 100% peanuts lacks animal byproducts. Add to this any type of bread that is free of animal ingredients, and there are plenty of them that may only contain wheat, salt, water, and possibly a little sugar, and people have a classic sandwich. Pair it with rice, soy, or almond milk for extra protein.
Other nut butters can be substituted for peanut butter in vegan sandwiches. These include almond and cashew butter, both of which provide excellent protein and delicious taste. Those not fond of jelly can slice bananas on top of the nut butter of choice, and possibly add honey. Some vegans do not consume honey, because it is a bee product.
Another classic, the cheese sandwich, is easily made with a variety of vegan cheese substitutes. Some of these do have animal byproducts, so people should, again, read labels. Cheese substitutes are usually made from tofu, and they can melt, so some people use them for grilled cheese, or they broil the sandwich to get a nice melt from the cheese and pile it high with veggies like lettuce and tomato. Topping grilled or plain cheese with a dressed salad can be attractive too, as this extra flavor compensates for lack of mayonnaise, which contains eggs.
Departure from the classics can lead to all kinds of wonderful vegan sandwiches. A sandwich could contain melted cheese and grilled mushrooms. Fried slices of tofu could be topped with dressed salad, pickled cabbage, grilled onions and peppers, or many other things. Either grilled or stir-fried vegetables in season could be caught between two slices of bread to make a delicious lunch or dinner. Serving baked beans on toast is another way to enjoy a vegan dish.
A common spread that many enjoy in vegan sandwiches or on products like bagels is hummus. This Mediterranean dish of ground chickpeas, garlic, olive oil and lemon imparts so much flavor that it’s easily a good substitute for the traditional lunchmeats or for cream cheese. There are also some soy products similar to meat products, and people may be able to find vegan lunchmeats or things like soy bacon for a BLT. Usually the more processed food is, the less nutritious it is, so anything like a lunchmeat probably has inferior nutrition to the classic sandwich. Vegans might want to augment such lunches with additional protein sources.