Except, not everybody agrees with me.
The first time I encountered this attitude was in college. It was a rainy day, grey and cold. Perfect for grilled cheese and tomato soup, right? Right. Especially grilled cheese with tomato and avocado. But a friend of mine (from Guatemala) saw what I was making for dinner and said, "Aren't you going to eat real food?" WHAT? That sandwich and bowl of soup was real food.
A couple of years later I was visiting my boyfriend (now husband) in Brazil and there was interesting conversation I had with someone there. It went something like this:
Her: Here in Brazil we eat natural sandwiches, not like you guys in America.
Me: What do mean?
Her: We don't eat hamburgers all the time. We eat sandwiches with vegetables in them... like carrots and lettuce.
Me: We do, too... that's what a sandwich is, most of the time...
Her: No, you guys just eat hamburgers. But we have real sandwiches. With real food.
Me: But that's what a sandwich is. A hamburger is not a sandwich, it is a burger; they're different.
Her: No, at McDonald's it says, "Sandwiches" and then there are hamburgers and cheeseburgers. That's it. But we have real food in our sandwiches. That's why they are called natural sandwiches.
Me: *Just shakes head* Ok...
Leave it to McDonald's to teach the world that we only eat hamburgers and have no idea what a sandwich can actually be...
Fast forward to now. My husband has always understood that we have "real food" in our sandwiches. That has never been the question. But whether or not sandwiches are "real food" is another debate all together. He willingly eats them but tends to have a hard time believing sandwiches, especially when paired with soup, can be a light meal.
Gratefully for me, he is a fan of sandwiches. We frequent Togo's often and hit up Giugni's whenever we are in the area.
Shoot, who am I kidding? We have been known to make the 6 hour round trip just to get Giugni's. So yes, we eat sandwiches. Me. Him. Both of us. And we like them.
I pointed out one day that when we eat, say, a grilled cheese with turkey, avocado, tomatoes, and a side of tomato soup, we have all the elements we would have if it wasn't in sandwich form. Meat/protein? check. Veggies (or fruit that masquerades as veggies)? check. Bread? check. It is just all squished together.
"Good point," he said.
But when I asked him today if he considered them to be "real food" yet, he said, "Well, it is different than I am used to so I never crave it, but yeah... it counts. I guess."
Oh well, you can't win them all, right?
That doesn't mean have I to surrender, though. So chilled pea soup and egg salad sandwiches it was last night. PERFECT for a warm summer evening. Well, the soup was a little interesting, but I think with some green onions, maybe some turkey bacon crumbled on top, and a little bit of cheese it would be fabulous. And egg salad sandwiches with arugula? Win!
Pea soup with egg salad sandwiches (AKA Real food)Soup recipe adapted from EVERYDAY FOOD, June 2012.
FOR THE SOUP:
3 Tablespoons butter
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 cups shelled English peas
2 cups buttermilk
salt and pepper
In medium pot, melt butter over medium heat over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute. Add one cup of water and let cook 7 minutes or until onion is soft. Add peas and cook about 4 minutes. Put in blender along with buttermilk and blend until smooth. Using a fine-meshed sieve with a large bowl underneath, separate solids from liquid. Push down on solids to extract as much liquid as possible (this part takes time and patience). Add salt to taste. Put soup in fridge to cool, one hour. Sprinkle pepper (and any other toppings you like) on top when ready to serve.
FOR THE SANDWICHES:
6 hard-boiled eggs
2 Tablespoons mayo
1 teaspoon mustard
1 rib celery, diced
Peel the eggs and cut into small pieces. Mix with mayo, mustard, and celery. Build sandwiches, placing arugula in the sandwich.