Deli Meat: It’s not just for sandwiches any more.

…At least not in my book. 

*I want to mention: All deli meats are not created equally. Some are not healthy, so please do your own research and decide what is best for you and your family.*

I make a lot of different things with deli meat. It’s tasty and it’s a great source of lean protein. (I usually use turkey. Occasionally I’ll use ham, but not much else. I think this comes down to preference. You may like to try it with something else.) I thought I’d share what I make in case anyone is looking for a recipe idea or two.

  • So, these look a lot like a turkey sandwich, however, they are not all “carb-ey”, like sandwiches typically are, because of the things I used instead of bread. I rarely eat bread. I watch my carb intake and I’d rather get my carbs from other, more nutrient dense foods. Try a Sandwich Thin or a Flatout Flatbread instead of bread. I often only use half of a flatbread. How do I even eat it without the wrap wrapping all the way around the contents, you ask? It’s not always pretty, but it’s always delicious! I’ll show you (because I figured someone was curious, I made this collage. 😜)…

Moving on…

  • Use it to spice up your scrambled eggs or omelette! (I use a spicy turkey like Cajun or black pepper crusted, so it is litterally spicing it up! Ha) I am very much a creature of habit. I have things I like and I don’t mind eating them every day, so you’ll notice that a great deal of my recipes will have avocado and/or red bell pepper in them. I love them! That’s just my choice, but you can add any vegetables you like, obviously. These are very simply: 2 eggs, 2 oz of deli turkey, avocado, red bell pepper, onion powder, salt and pepper. Oh, and I add hot sauce to the finished product. Clearly, I like it spicy! Very flavorful. Nice texture. Good amount of protein (which will satiate you much longer than a carb filled breakfast) and I don’t think it needs to be limited to being enjoyed only at breakfast, but that’s just me. 

  • Add deli meat to a pizza! This one seems obvious to me, but just in case you hadn’t considered adding deli turkey to a pizza before, you should. It’s a great way to add protein to a pizza without adding a lot of fat too. I just weigh out the amount I want, stack it up and cut it into tiny squares. [Pictured] The top pizza is a zucchini pizza with turkey, red and green bell pepper, and olives (check out my blog on zucchini pizzas for all the details on how to make one, if you’re interested), and the bottom pizza is made  with turkey, turkey pepperoni, And olives on a Flatout Flatbread. Both “crusts” coupled with some lean deli meat are great ways to get your pizza fix without the guilt. 

  • I (not so) cleverly named these Turkey Roll Ups. Once again you see my favs: avocado and bell pepper, but I think this would be good with a lot of different things depending on what you like. I would just keep in mind texture when changing it up. The bell pepper is crucial for crunch. So, if you don’t use the bell pepper, try to think of something else that will add a little crunch. There’s a pic that shows how I lay the turkey out and lay the ingredients on top. Not often, but sometimes, I spread a Laughing Cow spreadable cheese under the other stuff. (You can’t really see that very well, so I thought I would mention it.) Then I just roll it up. You could just snack on it that way, but I find the ingredients slide around less if you cut it in half (and it looks cooler, like turkey sushi. Haha). This is one of my favorite snacks. I hope you guys give it a try. (I’d love to see other people’s variations. If you post a pic, please tag me😉) 

  • This one I think of as a healthy philly cheesesteak sandwich. A Philly “Cheeseturkey” Sandwich, if you will. (I feel I should mention that I have actually never had a cheesesteak sandwich in my life. But I know the idea of one.😬) I actually fry the turkey. I use either a spray oil (like Pam) or a little coconut oil (coconut oil is fantastic- but I could do a whole blog on just that. Another time.) When you fry deli meat it does some good stuff to it. The caramelization on the meat brings out the yummy saltiness and turns it sorta bacon-y (especially if you buy a smoked turkey.) This, of course depends on the meat you buy, but let’s just be real, most deli meats have a good amount of sodium. (I usually drink extra water, on the days I eat deli meat, in some, probably futile, attempt to counteract the extra sodium. Go ahead, Judge away. 😉Lol) Now, I don’t like onion, or should I say onion texture, but I do like onion flavor. So, to get that “peppers and onion” flavor, I use onion powder with my peppers. You can quickly fry them up and throw everything together with some cheese (the amount and kind of cheese is totally up to you),or you can pile the meat up, throw some cheese on it, sprinkle some onion powder, throw on some thin slices of bell peppers, crack some black pepper (if you love it, like me) and throw it in the toaster oven for a few minutes to get it all melty. Like I mentioned before, I don’t do bread much, so I eat all of this on a Flatout flatbread, which adds to the ‘healthy factor’, but obviously, you can put it on what you please. When I do it in the toaster oven, I slide it onto the flatbread after I get it all melty. That’s just how I do it, so I don’t burn the flatbread, but you can experiment with whatever you think works for your bread or toaster or what knot. 

  • The Breakfast Sandwich is pretty self explanatory right? This is where I sometimes use ham. The key to this is to fry the meat well, so it resembles bacon, sorta. And yes, gasp, I used bread! If you’ve never had avocado on toast your missing out. Add a little fried deli meat and an egg and you’re in business. More often, though, I use a Sandwich Thin (only half) and a slice of cheese and it’s delicious! 

So, I hope maybe you’ll give one of these a try or maybe one of these recipes gave you an idea of something to try. As my journey to get healthier continues, I realize that variety is important. I love me some chicken and veggies, and turkey sandwiches, but it’s important to feel like you’ve got options. It’s not going to be a lifestyle change, for me, if I don’t learn to have lots of things I can “go to” that are tasty and still pretty healthy. Keep up the good work, my friends! 

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