Grain-Free Garden Sandwiches


Hey guys, want to know something fun? I used to be an RA in college. As in Resident Assistant. As in creator of great events, and giver outer of housing violations. I was hated and loved, which definitely fluccuated according to the weekend. I was watched carefully by everyone on campus, which was actually super creepy looking back on it. Letmelivemylife. No, I don’t want to hear about the guy you met at the bar during $1 you call its. I don’t care if it was love at first shot. No, really. I don’t.

Since I was an RA at The University of Iowa, which meant I worked where I lived, breaking away to get work done was extremely, I mean, extremely difficult.

Don't get me wrong, I loved (most) of my residents, but it was difficult being productive when everyone either wanted to chat, needed to vent, or had a situation that needed to be solved. right. this. minute.

Sometimes I would go hide in one of my co-workers rooms (Hi, Sara! Hi Samantha! Hi Ben! Hi Mike!) but when I really needed a break, like a break from the world, please everyone be quiet, no-I don't-care-that-you-can't-burn-your-favorite-vanilla-candle-in-your-room-for-the-tenth-time kind of a break, I went to this place called the Iowa House.

The Iowa House was a restaurant inside a hotel inside the Iowa Student Union. (Seriously.) The hotel was reserved mostly for parents of visiting students, and because of its odd location, students rarely visited, and didn't know that there was a cafeteria-style restaurant available to all students, regardless of any hotel reservation.

The kicker, though? Current students could charge their account for their meal, whatever card the university had on file for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Which meant that not only could I have a peaceful meal, but I could charge the meal straight to my mom's card. If you're reading this mom, I'm sorry. And thank you!

This cafeteria was full of ready-made options like salads and sushi, but also was full of made-to-order pastas, burgers, and flatbreads. My favorite, however, was this garden sandwich, which was essentially just a veggie...sandwich....but with hummus and cream cheese.

If it sounds weird, it because it is. It totally is. It is weirder than weird. Cream cheese and hummus together sounds completely gag-worthy, especially when you throw in onions and spinach, but trust me when I tell you that it is SO. GOOD. 


I recreated this delicious, yet bizarre sandwich, because not only does it bring me back to my college days, but its a more creative way to get some raw veggies in. Technically, hummus isn't paleo because garbonzo beans are a legume, but if you can tolerate it, I don't think there's anything wrong with a little bit o' hummus. YOLO. Yolo, my friends. I'm only 3 years late on my newest catch phrase.

Some cook’s notes:

  • If you want to have regular cream cheese, by all means, go for it! Paleo versions of cream cheese, although delicious, do take some time, so be mindful of that.
  • You can use any veggies you prefer for these! I just listed the ones I usually have when I made these sandwiches.

garden sandwiches

Makes 4 sandwiches

  • 4 grain-free bun or bread recipe (find mine here) 
  • Paleo Cream Cheese (I like this recipe here as well as the cashew recipe here)
  • ½ cup of your favorite hummus
  • 1 cup diced lettuce  or spinach (or salad green of your choice)
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • ¼ cup Sunflower Sprouts
  • ¼ cup alfalfa sprouts
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 sliced avocado
  • ½ sliced green bell pepper
  1. Spread desired cream cheese on one side of bun, and hummus on the other.
  2. Fill with veggies.
  3. Enjoy!