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Picnic Perfect

Lunch doesn’t always have to be on-the-go. Pack these savory sandwiches in a basket, bring a cooler filled with your favorite beverages, and you’ll have the perfect meal for relaxed, outdoor dining.

1. The Californian 

½  cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
cup crumbled goat cheese
1¼ cups thinly sliced yellow squash (about 2 small)
1¼ cups thinly sliced zucchini (about 1 large)
3 Roma (plum) tomatoes, thinly sliced
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
8 slices multigrain bread (½-inch-thick)
2 avocados, thinly sliced
1 cup alfalfa sprouts

1. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and goat cheese. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. Place squash, zucchini, and tomatoes on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Place in preheated oven, tossing occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender. 
3. Spread mayonnaise mixture equally over one side of bread slices. Top 4 slices equally with roasted vegetables, avocados, sprouts, and remaining bread slices, pressing together gently. Serve immediately. Serves 4. 

Courtesy of 400 Best Sandwich Recipes by Alison Lewis © 2011 www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with permission. 

2. Quinoa Tabbouleh Wraps

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
½ tsp. salt
3 cups chopped tomatoes (about 3 medium)
1¼ cups finely chopped cucumber
¾ cup chopped red bell peppers
¾ cup chopped green bell peppers
2 Tbsp. chopped green onions
2 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, optional
4 (8-inch) whole-wheat or flour tortillas
4 lettuce leaves

1. In a large saucepan over high heat, bring 2 cups water, quinoa, and salt to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Drain well, and let cool.
2. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber, red and green bell peppers, green onions and parsley. Drizzle with lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper, if desired.
3. Place tortillas on a work surface. Line each tortilla with a lettuce leaf. Spread quinoa mixture equally in center of tortillas over lettuce leaves. Fold both edges over filling. Roll up and serve immediately. Serves 4. 

3. Bahn Mi

This Vietnamese sandwich is traditionally made with pickled carrots, daikon radishes, and cucumbers and filled with roasted or grilled pork, Vietnamese pork, chicken, or ham.

¼ cup white wine vinegar    
1 tsp. sesame oil    
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar    
¼ tsp. salt    
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 pound cooked pork tenderloin or Vietnamese sliced pork, (thinly sliced) *
½ cup shredded carrots
½ cup daikon radish **
¼ cup thinly sliced cucumber    
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro    
1 tsp. finely chopped jalapeño    
4 (6-inch) small French baguettes, split lengthwise
¼ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise (optional)

1. In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, salt, and pepper Add pork, and toss well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. In a medium bowl, combine carrots, radish, cucumber, cilantro, and jalapeño.
3. Place baguette slices on a work surface. Spread mayonnaise, if desired, equally on cut sides of baguette halves. Add pork and slaw mixture equally on top. Top with remaining bread halves. Serve immediately. Serves 4. 

* If using pre-marinated pork tenderloin, grill over medium-high heat for 10 minutes per side or until an instant-read thermometer registered 155°F. To purchase Vietnamese sliced pork, visit a local Vietnamese store or restaurant in your area.
* * A daikon radish is a Japanese vegetable with a sweet, fresh flavor. If you can’t find these, substitute regular radishes.

4. Healthy Pan Bagnat Grilled Cheese

2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar (substitute red or white wine, if desired)
2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 (7-oz.) cans solid white tuna, packed in water, drained
1 Tbsp. finely chopped red onion
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
8 slices sprouted or whole-grain bread (½-inch-thick slices)
4 Roma (plum) tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 cup baby spinach leaves
4 ounces shaved Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat panini grill to medium, if using.
2. In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, 1 tsp. of the olive oil, and pepper.
3. In a medium bowl, combine tuna, red onion, and basil. Stir in sherry mixture, mixing well.
4. Brush one side of each bread slice with remaining oil. Place on a work surface, oiled side down. Top 4 bread slices equally with tuna mixture, tomato, spinach, and cheese. Cover with remaining bread slices, oiled side up, and press together gently.
5. Place sandwiches on a preheated panini grill or in a large skillet over medium heat and cook, turning once if using a skillet, for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted. Serve immediately. 
Serves 4. 

Excerpted from 150 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches by Alison Lewis © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved: Not to be reprinted without publisher permission.

5. Tuna Checkerboard Sandwich

2 (6-oz.) cans tuna, packed in water, drained
3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 slices whole-wheat bread (1-inch-thick slices)
2 slices white bread (1-inch-thick slices)
½ cup mixed salad greens
cup alfalfa sprouts (optional)

1. In a medium bowl, combine tuna, vinegar, oil, lemon juice, and pepper.
2. Place whole-wheat and white bread slices on work surface. Spread tuna equally over half of the bread slices. Top equally with lettuce and sprouts, if desired. Cover whole-wheat and white bread with remaining bread slices. 
3. Cut each sandwich into 4 squares, and arrange in a checkerboard pattern. Yields 4 servings.