Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written in conjunction with Nature’s Harvest® and a campaign with Sverve. Regardless, all opinions expressed are still 100% my own.
If you recall, a couple of weeks ago we worked on sandwiches that look fun and creative as a way to get picky eaters to eat and to keep back to school fresh. That was great for my “food isn’t that interesting” eater but what about the rest of us? What about those of us who actually like some variety when it comes to our food instead of the exact same nuggets, fries, and cheeseburger every night like my 5 year old? Well around our house we use sandwiches as a great way to add some variety in a healthy way. I still think of the four food groups. No idea what is in use today (a pyramid or plate or something) but I grew up with the four food groups so that’s what I use. Each of the sandwiches here has all four, and is a tasty dinner that my family loves. What I learned in this project is that it all starts with the bread; that is the key to building the perfect sandwich, sometimes a great meal, and it can be a conversation starter.
First, I have a confession to make … I’m cheap. I believe the PC term for this is frugal but at the end of the day, it’s really all the same. I cut coupons, buy clothes from the clearance rack, look at vacationing during off season times in order to save money and then often don’t go because even that is too expensive for my blood, and I budget my entire life. After learning hard lessons in my twenties, this is just a part of life in my thirties and I’m okay with that; for the most part. Unfortunately, I am so cheap that I am the person you see at the grocery store not only perusing the fluffy white bread but practically combing through the loaves looking for the clearance bread because it always lasts much longer than its expiration date. I know, I know … it’s pitiful but I am cheap, and I coupon, and there are no coupons for the cheap, fluffy white bread. Anyways, this all changed about two and a half weeks ago when I was asked to work with Nature’s Harvest®.
I searched high and low for coupons before heading to the store but was unable to locate any. I made peace with this since Nature’s Harvest Honey Wheat is currently on rollback, an exclusive at Walmart, for $1.97. During our shopping trip we picked up a loaf of Whole Grain Honey Wheat, Whole Grain White, and Whole Grain Wheat because I wanted a loaf, my husband wanted a loaf, and we picked up a loaf for good measure for our daughter. We have NEVER picked up three loaves of bread at once, it takes us weeks to make it through a loaf of the fluffy white stuff, and I was certain over half of it would end up in the trash. In two weeks, we went through three loaves of bread. I know you will feel sorry for me when I say this but I had to pick up three more loaves just to complete the second portion of this post. We’ve already been eating on them daily and I predict they will be gone in less than a week. That’s how much of a difference good bread makes. Not only has Nature Harvest been the key to building perfect sandwiches, it has helped us create meals.
What we would like to share with you is three sandwiches that we classify as meals because they cover the four food groups, they are things that our entire family loves, and they are near and dear to our hearts.
Chicken Salad on Nature’s Harvest White Whole Grain
Some of my fondest memories from childhood include my grandparents. I remember being a little girl and going to grandma and grandpa’s house before I was old enough (and confident enough) to have slumber parties with my friends. Every time we had a sleepover, grandma and grandpa made sure it was a special night by having special treats in the house that I loved. As the middle child of three girls, this was a seriously big deal. We always played cards or checkers, we always had bonbons for dessert, and when it came to dinner, they would surprise me. Now, this was back during a time when a lot of people did not have air conditioning so during those hot summer nights, sometimes dinner was homemade chicken salad. Grandma would roast a chicken the day before, pull it, and work her magic. Sometimes memories and good times come from the simple things in life.
My grandparents have passed but this one of the many stories that I shared with my husband years ago when we first got together. Since then, my husband has developed a knack for making chicken salad. He picked up a rotisserie chicken from Walmart, pulled it, and then combined it with some of our favorites; mayonnaise, walnuts, celery, and grapes. We added this yummy goodness to lightly toasted Nature’s Harvest Whole Grain White bread and that was one of our meals last week, on a hot summer night, on the patio, with a fresh glass of lemonade. There’s no exact recipe to follow because it all comes down to mixing ingredients to your family’s liking. Simple can be healthy, delicious, and a great way to start the conversation during family dinner a bit sooner.
Cincinnati Old School Double Decker’s on Nature’s Harvest Whole Grain Honey Wheat
I’m a Cincinnati native that grew up on the poorer end of the spectrum. We lived in a rather remote part of town and were a family of five so anytime we went out for a family dinner my parents not only had to factor in the price of the meal but gas for about an hour of travel. There was a mom and pop restaurant that wasn’t close but they had amazing food and since they only accepted cash it was on the “cheaper” side of our selections. Needless to say, nine times out of ten it was where we ended up eating but that was okay because the food was fantastic. This is where I was introduced to a true double decker sandwich. The double decker’s that you see in restaurants today, they have nothing on these sandwiches. They were so big that adults couldn’t even fit their mouths around them. Now, now, don’t freak out, I know that isn’t a super healthy comment but it was the 80s and things were a lot different then. Just understand this place was phenomenal and when I think about going there I smile. The great part about it is that the restaurant is still open and owned by the same family. Great empires are built to last!
In case you can’t see the full picture, let me explain further. I now live on the other side of town, at least an hour away. My husband is from Cleveland and had never heard of a double decker before. We make a point of visiting this restaurant a few times a year but that’s a serious drive for dinner.
Now, I don’t know if Double Decker’s are a Cincinnati exclusive but it sure feels like it. Since most people don’t make a practice of driving an hour to have dinner and it isn’t super healthy to eat sandwiches that big on a weekly basis, we had to adapt the “recipe” to our life and lifestyle! I urge you to try this at home. We start off with Nature’s Harvest Whole Grain Honey Wheat bread, lightly toasted, then we add mayo, tomato, lettuce (I prefer Romaine), a sliced up hard-boiled egg, turkey bacon, Colby Jack cheese, turkey, and roast beef. Build that bad boy sandwich and enjoy. My friend that is what we call a meal between two slices of bread and it screams yummy goodness. I’m over here getting hungry just thinking about it!
Classic Reuben on Nature’s Harvest Whole Grain Wheat
Our third sandwich is very near and dear to my heart because it makes me think about my father. As I mentioned, growing up we weren’t the wealthiest when it came to money but our home and kitchen were always filled with love. There are many nights when a hot sandwich was dinner and the classic Reuben was part of that lineup. I know there are variations upon variations depending on where you grew up and your background BUT I am a Cincinnatian with German ancestry so here is mine! Imagine Swiss cheese and corned beef topped with sauerkraut on Nature’s Harvest Whole Grain Wheat. We start the sandwich off like a grilled cheese with Swiss and corned beef. The hubby then adds more Swiss and the sauerkraut before finishing it opened face in the oven. When it is piping hot and the cheese is bubbling the sandwich comes out, get s splash of Thousand Island dressing, and it goes straight to the plate!
My father passed away when I was a teenager but to this day I think about him when we have Reubens for dinner. I think back to being a little girl, climbing up on a chair next to the stove, and watching my father make sandwiches for the family. It wasn’t steak and baked potatoes but there was so much love and finesse that went into his cooking. Simple, love, memories …
Three complete meals: dairy, meat, veggies, and grains. We’ve served up our favorites in a new way, introduced a new friend, Nature’s Harvest, and the family loves it! I’ve reconnected to my childhood, my daughter has been selecting healthier choices for her afternoon snack such as a piece of toast with peanut butter instead of cookies, and my husband has become a part of my childhood traditions while we create new ones with our daughter.
This is something that the entire family can enjoy and take part in and to me that is a family and parenting success! Don’t worry the fine chopping and slicing was done by our five year old, the hubby knows better than to let me handle a knife. 😉
Nature’s Harvest is now part of us having a healthier diet and it could be for you as well. Here is just a little food for thought!
- “In our recent survey of moms with children ages four to 13, we learned nearly half of moms are concerned about their children’s nutrition and that 52 percent consider whole grains one of the most important nutritional considerations when purchasing food at the grocery store”
- 57% of American consumers eat whole grains at least every two weeks in their diet (#2 in their list of BFY eating habits after “Reduced/No Fat”)
- 56% of American consumers are already trying to add whole grains into their diet (#1, Fiber and Protein #’s 2 and 3 following)
(Source: NPG Group’s 29th Annual Report on Eating Patterns in America 2014)
- Families can count on at least 8 grams of whole grains in every serving.
- No artificial flavors, colors or high-fructose corn syrup.
- ALL Nature’s Harvest varieties carry the whole grain stamp.
To learn more about Nature’s Harvest and their products, check out their website www.NaturesHarvestBread.com
Be sure to head to Walmart and take advantage of rollback prices! Pick up a loaf of Nature’s Harvest Honey Wheat bread for just $1.97.
Which Nature’s Harvest product is your favorite or which one are you most excited to try? Let us know by leaving a comment below!