The Cool Veggie: Goodbye Salami

written by Wanja Wohoro 7th August 2018

Singer, songwriter and neo-columnist Wanja Wohoro, has some words of advice to share with you on the special art of sexing up your vegetarian sandwich

There was a time, not too long ago, when I sincerely believed that no good could come of the words ‘vegetarian sandwich’ on a menu. Too many years of politely nodding and attempting to look appreciative of little more than tomato and lettuce (perhaps a smidgen of cheese) encased in simple bread, had left me a confirmed skeptic. Sure, sometimes a restaurant would slip in some crusty falafel and perhaps enough mayonnaise to drown out any other offending flavours, but rarely can I say that a vegetarian sandwich has left me … satisfied.

As a lover of food and a freelance artist on a budget, I am always searching for affordable ways to eat well. It would only be to my benefit to find a way to make sandwiches interesting as a vegetarian. So I set about looking for cheap ways to make an easy lunch item from the comfort of my home. Let me impart a few things I have learned through trial and error when it comes to banishing salami and tuna from your sarnies.

  1. Get Saucy! Experiment with different sauces and spreads to use as your base. Try using staples such as mustard and mayo, perhaps going for more adventurous condiments such as hummus, baba ganoush or even pesto.
  2. Get Toasty! If you are looking to whip this sandwich up on an average weekday, chances are that the only bread you have on hand is a standard square loaf of white or brown bread. If so, toasting the bread first will give the sandwich a nice little twist, the crunchy warm texture elevating it above the standard lunch-box sandwich.
  3. Get Green! Iceberg lettuce is perhaps the most standard, and potentially boring ingredient you can use. Rather than lettuce why not try baby spinach or arugula (rocket) to ‘greenify’ your next sandwich.
  4. Get Creative! You’d be surprised what tastes great in a sandwich. Instead of naturally going to the tried- and-true staples of avocado, tomato and cheese, try using other food items or leftovers in your fridge, such as a leftover curry or even leftover mashed or baked potatoes. Another thing that is super easy to make and adds a delicious texture and sweetness to a sandwich is caramelised onion, which requires little more than onion and a bit of sugar or honey.


Wasp & Sprout – Undoubtedly one of the best veggie sandwiches I’ve had anywhere in the world. Tasty, well balanced and filling.

Tin Roof Cafe – A hearty sandwich with beautifully seasoned vegetables. Oh, and they have an amazing salad bar should you want to add anything!

Kesh Kesh Roastery & Cafe – Not overly complicated or fussy, but has all the right ingredients that are well cooked and flavourful.

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