I recently wrote a post ‘Battle of the Sandwiches’ comparing pre packaged gluten free sandwiches looking at their taste, price and nutritional values. I was inundated with responses from other gluten free consumers who had the same issues and complaints as me. Many found the shops that should be selling GF sandwiches were not actually stocking them on their shelves. Amongst the worst offending was Sainsbury’s who sent a reply to me via twitter to say they would look into the issue but I still never see their GF rolls in their stores. There were others who shared my concerns on the high fat and calorie content of these sandwiches but some who were shocked and had no idea at all.
After my post went up I was also contacted by Plan Bread with an interesting offer- would I like to try their sandwiches which are all guaranteed to be both gluten free and low in fat, carbs and calories? Of course I said yes as I’m always on the hunt for healthier gluten free alternatives for lunchtime. It turns out that the mastermind behind Plan Bread used to share my concerns about eating unhealthy sandwiches whilst he worked as a city banker and decided to do something about it. Interestingly, the bread is made using broccoli and other ‘secret ingredients’ making it the probably the healthiest, low carb bread you can find hence why it is also marketed at both dieters and the gluten free market. Even with fillings taken into account, none of their sandwiches go above 350 calories with some as little as 165- a big difference to some of the GF ones I reviewed that went up to a whopping 521 calories. For now they only deliver in London but have plans to expand in the future so this would be great for anyone struggling to find GF at lunchtime. It all sounded great to me but as always, it’s all down to the taste so I couldn’t wait to sample them.
One of the lovely Plan Bread couriers dropped them off at my office last week and the first thing that struck me was the cool packaging. I’m not sure what the story is behind the blue checked pattern, but it kind of reminds me of a traditional English bakery or the pattern from a picnic blanket I loved it. My food parcel got alot of interest in the office too, I am very lucky in that we get lunch provided for us from my company so as soon as anything ‘new’ comes in people want to know more!
I tried 4 flavours; Roast Chicken with creamed corn, Roast Chicken with homemade sun-dried tomato pesto , Baked Salmon with mint and tzatziki and Cured Ham with guacamole. I tried the Roast Chicken with pesto first and loved the generous amount of tasty red pesto inside combined with big chunks of chicken -yum. More importantly the bread was good, I had no idea what to expect but I thought it tasted like home-made gluten free bread but abit sweeter and softer , almost brioche-like in texture. I couldn’t taste the broccoli and the only hint of it is the green tinge of the bread. Even though it feels like you are eating quite a light sandwich, I was full all afternoon and didnt even have my usual treat at 3pm with a cup of tea! So I can see how these would be ideal for dieters too. Im guessing this is something to do with the high protein content.
For dinner that night me and Anthony shared the Roast Chicken with creamed corn to have as a starter before dinner. He liked them too but as a normal wheat eater and gym goer, he was more interested in the protein content which he was impressed by. This one was on the dry side as was the Ham and Guacamole (both pictured below with the salmon). This is down to there being no mayo or butter whatsoever used in any of the sandwiches so they are super healthy which to me is only a good thing. The salmon one was less dry and probably my favourite along with the Chicken and Pesto as it had a generous amount of baked salmon and cucumber yogurt.
It will be interesting to see how Plan develops – it would be good to see it being used commercially for pre-packaged sandwiches on the go in cafes or supermarkets as a healthy alternative. This way it would reach more people around the UK as at the moment its just available to order online in London. With the minimum order being £15 you would need to club together with a few work colleagues to meet this. Or since they recently introduced longer life packaging, id suggest that people buy a few at the start of the week and store them in the fridge for each lunch!
Thanks Plan Bread for being so ingenious, im looking forward to seeing what is next!
Please note: All views above are my own personal opinion on the products.