Bread Substitutes


bread substitutes - brown - rice-paper-rollups

Bread Substitutes – 3 Low-Carb, Healthy Substitutes for Sandwiches

I love bread. Most people do. Give me some Wonder bread and I’ll roll it up in a ball, pop it in my mouth and embark on a nostalgic trip that includes orange peanuts, memories of Bozo and playing with Slinkies on avocado shag carpeting. I love good bread too, Panera bread, Zingerman’s bread, Crust loaves, homemade sourdough, Texas toast, seven grain bread and every kind of starchy, unhealthy, fattening white bread there is. If you can roll it up and bounce it off the wall, that’s fine by me too. I love all kinds – with practically any and every ingredient. Thing is, my metabolism is misaligned with my desire for starch and chewy, super-satisfying goodness.

Mind you, I’ve tried healthy breads and gluten-free cardboard products and would rather have my sandwich served naked in a bowl with no top or bottom. My quest for a healthy sandwich-like food led me to the following three products, which you might also find useful. Whether you have sugar or gluten issues, or are just looking for healthy low-carb alternatives to eating bread, you might enjoy these bread substitutes in your lunch, for dinner or any time.


Romaine lettuce comes in large leafs, making it perfect for building sandwich-like creations out of healthy vegetables. Romaine makes especially nice tuna sandwiches and has practically no calories or carbs. Consider it a free food for making guiltless sandwiches and snacks.

Rice Paper Wraps (brown rice)

If you’ve ever had cold Thai spring rolls, you’ve eaten rice paper. Although hard to find, the brown rice ones are much more healthy and have a different flavor altogether. Brown rice has a low-glycemic load, and while it does have carbs, they are low compared to most breads. They are somewhat rubbery and noodle like and only require soaking in water for a few seconds before rolling your ingredients in them. This is my favorite bread substitute and it also fills a need for something noodle like, as my metabolism doesn’t like pasta either. You can put almost anything in them, including scrambled eggs for a healthy, tasty breakfast roll-up.

Brown rice paper wraps by Star Anise Foods are sugar free, gluten free, fat free and have only 96 calories and 22 carbs per serving (about three sheets).

Kelp Sheets

High in iodine, kelp is a sea-harvested product that adds a hint of Japanese cuisine to your faux-sandwiches. Low in calories, these make a very healthy bread substitute with a distinct flavor all their own. Use them to get creative and feel free to use brown rice, quinoa, or other ingredients for your own sushi-esque non-sandwich creations. To use, simply spread the seaweed flat, add ingredients and roll. Very finely chopped items help sustain the shape of the rolls.

Along with iodine, kelp is a super-food, rich in anti-oxidants and has the highest calcium ratings of any natural food (even higher than milk).

All three of these bread substitutes are great springboards for creative non-sandwich making. Whether you’re pursuing a paleo diet, monitoring glucose, or looking for tasteful gluten-free alternatives to bread, you’re likely to enjoy experimenting with all three of these.

Bonus Recipe – Tuna Fennel Salad Brown Rice Paper Roll-up


  • 1 can of drained tuna (or 4 ounces of fresh cooked)
  • 2 tbs. of low fat Miracle Whip
  • 1 tbs. of very finely chopped fresh fennel
  • 1/4 cup of coarsely chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/8 small onion very finely chopped
  • 4 brown rice wraps
  • Fresh parsley or vegetables for garnish (optional)

Mix the tuna, Miracle Whip, fennel and onion in a bowl. Prepare the wraps by soaking in a pie plate or lid with warm water. You don’t need to soak long – maybe five seconds. Carefully shake off some of the excess water and spread on a clean plate individually for building your roll-up.

Sprinkle a small amount of chopped spinach in a straight line across the center of the wrap, leaving plenty of spare space on the ends for folding. Carefully spoon your tuna mixture on top of the spinach. Then add a little more chopped spinach to the top. Be your own gauge for amounts here.

Fold the ends over towards the center, then carefully roll the wrap. Roll it tightly and squeeze it into a neat tube as you go. Set aside and then repeat for the other rolls.

You’ll find that as the roll-ups sit during the process, the water evaporates. Brown rice wraps are a bit sticky and rubbery, very much like rice vermicelli noodles and they have a very distinct flavor from the more common white rice counterparts.

After rolling all of your wraps, garnish if desired with some vegetables or herbs and serve and enjoy. If you’ve never thought to put fennel in tuna salad, you don’t know what you’re missing. Delicious tuna, fresh herbs and brown rice paper wraps (one of the best bread substitutes available) make for a delicious late summer snack.

Clutter Control Freak

P.S. You might like an OXO salad crisper to clean and store your romaine.


Prepping for Thanksgiving Day dinner


Ready or not, here comes Turkey Day — AND your hungry family. If you have been honored with the chore of making dinner for the fam, make it easy on yourself with the proper tools.

 Must-have kitchen gadgets for a Thanksgiving feast

  • Electric knife: I know it seems goofy, but this Electric Knife from Cuisinart will make it super simple to cleanly slice up your bird or ham come the big day. Carving a turkey can be a real chore, but this handy blade takes the guess work and grunt work out. It comes with a solid hardwood stand and handle storage so you can keep it properly stored and it will be like-new every year. Switch between the two stainless steel blades, designed for carving meat and bread respectively. A safety button and a four foot cord makes this electric knife user-friendly and safe for everyone.
  • Immersion blender: Whether you’re looking to perfect your gravy, mashed spuds or whip up a great soup with that leftover turkey, an immersion blender is a must have. This particular model from Cuisinart comes with three different attachments to do the work of a food processor, a power whisk or drink mixer plus a blender. Two speeds and a 200 watt motor allow you to chop, puree, blend, whip and process.
  • Food chopper: Chop veggies for your stuffing, pecans for pie, garlic to spice up your potatoes and much more with this easy hand chopper. The plastic base allows you to chop without the addition of a cutting board. The covered design also keeps you hands out of the way, so you can cut and dice without worrying about slicing your fingers. This safe, easy to clean (throw it in the dishwasher!) and user-friendly chopper is a great addition year-round.
  • Food processor: Cut your prep time in half with a food processor. This one has a three cup bowl and convenient handle that allows you to easily measure ingredients. This counter top appliance is perfect for chopping veggies and making sauces like cranberry relish.

Spruce Up Your Garden!


Happy Spring! Preparation for your garden should begin with cleaning up the space, eliminating old leaves and and debris, and checking the soil, then let the planting begin! Once your gardening has begun, here are some ideas to make the rest of this season a little bit easier on you and to make your garden space a little more fun!


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What to do with all that Wrap?


This is the time of year when wrapping paper feels a little more like a nuisance and a little less like the symbol of joy it should represent. Whether your wrapping paper storage needs are great or small, we’ve got you covered with more than a handful of specially designed gift-wrap organizers.

Underbed Storage Container
In the Garage: A plastic storage box, like this Underbed Storage Container by Iris, is the way to go – offering moisture protection for year-round storage. Read more


Packing Up the Party


Plate ProtectorWith Thanksgiving and Christmas behind us, and New Year’s Eve just a day away, it’s time to think about packing up the party. Here are our best tools and tips on storage for all of your party gear:

Keep Linens Wrinkle-Free (and ready to go for your next get-together): For tablecloths that you will be bringing out again at Easter and those summer soirees, mount a tension shower curtain rod at the back of the pantry to hang tablecloths from, thus avoiding wrinkle-issues. Read more


Christmas Dinner Meal Shortcuts


Vintage Flatware SetEnjoy more time with family and keep things simple on Christmas with these meal shortcuts and tips from our kitchens:

  • Go with the casserole: A large casserole dish can feed 9-12 people with a main course. This can include everything from enchiladas and lasagne to your great Aunt’s famous chicken recipe.
  • Salads as sides: Not only is salad healthier than, say, mashed potatoes, it’s much easier to make, leaving your hands free for fun. To really save yourself some time, purchase a pre-made bagged salad that comes complete with toppings and dressing.
  • No Bake Zone: Read more
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    Something for the Hostess…


    128805.jpgWith all of the parties you are attending this time of year, it’s important to stock up on great hostess gifts! We all know how much work it takes to host a party, so show your hostess some love with one of these fantastic ideas:

    Good Scents:
    -A beautiful, eco-friendly candle makes a wonderful present for any hostess.
    Aromatherapy oil warmers, like the one shown here, keep her house smelling heavenly year-round.
    -A nice bottle of lotion or bath oil for those stressful evenings.

    Feast your Eyes Read more