Saturday, August 29, 2015

'70s vegetarian sandwich mash-ups

My childhood self would have been horrified by a decision to dedicate not one, but two weekend posts to back-to-school sandwich ideas, but it's not that I'm excited by back-to-school time. (I suspect I'm not the only teacher who approaches it with as much apprehension as my students...) I'm just really excited by crazy sandwich ideas.

Last week was dedicated to crazy peanut butter concoctions. This week I thought I'd see what '70s vegetarian kids might pack if it wasn't a trusty pb&j. The New Age Vegetarian Cookbook by the Rosicrucian Fellowship (copyright 1968, but mine is the fifth printing from 1975) has some recommendations.

Now, peanut butter wasn't entirely off the menu. It just might, well, not be what one would expect:

Peanut butter mashed with American loaf cheese, olives, and mayo sounds weird enough to me. When it's served on the recommended whole wheat raisin toast, that sends it to a whole new level of craziness! A briny, oily mush packed into a sweet case? Maybe it sounds appealing to someone out there, but I'm kind of gagging just contemplating it...

The recommendations were not limited to peanut butter, though. If you equate vegetarian cuisine to all beans, all the time, this will live up to your expectations:

Cold baked beans mashed with mayo and spread on bread! Mmm, mmm...monstrous! At least it kind of has a theme that makes sense with the baked beans and Boston brown bread.

But what about cottage cheese? Didn't all health-food cookbooks in the '60s and '70s recommend copious use of cottage cheese? Why yes, they did. 

I like the recommendation to add something "to heighten the flavor." That's a quiet way of acknowledging that mixing soy flour into anything (and especially something that starts out as bland as cottage cheese) is a sure way to suck all the flavor right out. Would you rather your cottage cheese/ soy/ salad dressing mixture taste of onion pulp, nuts, or horseradish? That question should be enough to make a kid burst into tears, back-to-school time or not!

Happy Saturday! If you have a sandwich today, make it a good one!


  1. I see they subscribe to the "tasty things are bad for you" school of diet food.

    1. Yes! That was super-popular in the '60s and '70s health food cookbooks.

  2. Clearly, they were just grasping at straws after realizing there is a finite number of peanut butter sandwiches that are actually tasty. Maybe this cookbook is just a giant dare. "You actually ate peanut butter & olives?! BWAHAHAHA!"

    1. I think a LOT of the particular cookbook could have originated as a dare... or a joke.