Jacqueline Birtwisle |

Wholemeal falafel wedge sandwich

Nutritionist Jacqueline Birtwisle suggests a delicious sandwich that packs a punch

A sandwich can be a great way to bump up your carbohydrate, protein and micronutrient intake for the day – either as part of your lunch or as a mid-afternoon pre / post-training snack for those growing teenage rowers, who will then eat their main meal later that evening. 

There is an endless list of bread choices, from wholemeal and granary or rye through to oat, sourdough, low GI multigrain, artisan with nuts and herbs, and ciabatta, plus of course soft white and gluten-free.

If you enjoy bread, and eat sandwiches on a regular basis, my advice would be to choose a loaf that is wholemeal or wholegrain as, weight for weight, you will get many more micronutrients. These micronutrients have many benefits including bone health, immune function and muscle function.

Add in a good source of protein – either animal or plant-based – and make sure you add some extra plant colour with vegetables (think roasted or pickled), salad, fruit (fresh, dried or chutney), nuts and seeds.


Ingredients (serves one)

  • Bread – 2 slices thick-cut wholemeal
  • Spread – thick layer of quark, mashed avocado or other low-fat  soft cheese
  • Protein – 4 falafel bites** (60g), broken up over the bread
  • Plant – handful of rocket leaves
  • Plus – 1 tsp cranberry sauce

Why is this recipe good for rowers?

Choosing two slices of thick-cut bread, instead of medium-sliced, is an easy way of increasing carbohydrate intake plus other nutrients too; it’s the nutritional equivalent of ‘three for the price of two’.

Most of the protein comes from the bread in this sandwich, but by adding naturally fat-free, high protein quark, your protein intake will be boosted even further. Quark has a very mild flavour, but when mixed with the cranberry sauce and spiced falafel, the combination is a winner.

Nutritional content using quark

388 kcal
61g carbohydrate
17g protein
6g fat
10.2g fibre

**Nutritional details from Cauldron Moroccan spiced falafel bites

Illustration: Jo Scales