The Brook Cook: Elevated lunch sandwiches


Slathered in peanut butter and jelly, this classic sandwich is toasted to perfection. Toasting the bread for sandwiches is one way to elevate traditional sandwiches.

Justine Hooker, Section Editor

  When it comes to packing sandwiches for school lunches, they can often be boring and monotonous. Even though they are classics, senior Carter Pack agrees that sandwiches “can be repetitive after some time.” The classics like peanut butter and jelly, turkey, grilled cheese, and BLTs are tasty, but with a little elevation, these traditional sandwiches can be made even better!

  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are the epitome of a school lunch sandwich. When you are looking for a way to add a little extra flavor or texture, try this recipe. There are so many possibilities! Why stop at peanut butter?  There are so many kinds of butter to choose from. Not a peanut butter fan or have an allergy? No problem! Try almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower butter for an allergy-free sandwich. To keep things classic, peanut butter will be used in this recipe, but feel free to switch if you prefer. This upscale version of the classic peanut butter and jelly has more texture and flavor by toasting the bread and the addition of nuts and fruit. This is the perfect lunch for back-to-school or a quick asynchronous lunch at home!


*peanut butter


*sliced fruit of choice (ex: banana or strawberries)

*two slices of bread

*one to two tbsp of nuts/seeds/chocolate chips


  1. Toast two slices of bread.
  2. Once the slices are ready, spread one slice with peanut butter and the other with jelly/jam.
  3. Layer the sliced fruit on the peanut butter side.
  4. Evenly sprinkle the nuts or seeds on the peanut butter side.
  5. Put the slices together, cut, or leave whole. Enjoy!

  Everyone loves grilled cheese. You can not go wrong with a gooey sandwich that is bursting with cheese, but cheese and bread alone are not always filling. To bulk up this sandwich and add more nutrients, add your favorite toppings or vegetables. In this version, sliced tomato and spinach add beautiful color and freshness to the sandwich.   Ingredients:

*two slices of bread


*a half to one cup of shredded cheese




  1. Heat the griddle or pan to medium heat and butter the surface when hot. 
  2. Lightly butter one side of each slice of bread.
  3. Layer the sandwich on one slice of the bread in this order: half of the shredded cheese, sliced tomatoes, spinach, and the other half of the shredded cheese.
  4. Add the sandwich to the warm pan and cook for about two minutes, flipping halfway until golden brown.

  Carter’s favorite kind of lunch sandwich is “deli-style with a variety of toppings, meat, and cheese options.” When it comes to deli sandwiches like turkey or ham, a simple hack is to mix it up; add different toppings, and change the sauces or condiments. Mustard is a common spread for sandwiches, but switching plain mustard for dijon or spicy brown mustard can elevate a sandwich. Instead of the common sauces like mayo or mustard, try a tahini sauce! Tahini is delicious, nutty, and creamy. Tahini is made from ground-up sesame seeds and is common in many Mediterranean dishes like hummus. An herb tahini sauce would be great on a sandwich! 

  Speaking of hummus, add that to a sandwich along with some veggies. Sliced tomatoes, cucumber, pickles, red onion, and lettuce are examples of different toppings to add to a sandwich throughout the week. Variety is key for a flavorful and interesting sandwich. When you are ready to upgrade your sandwich repertoire, try these fun recipes, think about these tips, and say bye-bye to boring sandwiches!