You may have seen this oddity on Instagram of late—you know, that social media platform now populated only by CrossFits and Ketos. The trend I speak of is sandwiches made with many of the usual ingredients; meats, cheeses, mayo, mustard, and other familiar inhabitants, but with one important and shocking substitution. Sliced bell pepper where the bread once was.
Yes, in order to remain in a state of full psychosis, I mean ketosis, one must tightly regulate carbs and sugar intake over the course of a day. One single solitary slice of bread, no matter how whole-grainy it may be, could be enough to send a practitioner of the keto diet whirling into dietary despair.
Enter bell peppers. At just 6 grams of carbs per pepper—a quarter of the carbs found in two average slices of multigrain bread—it’s an obvious choice for the modern carbophobe. But is it any good?
I sure like bell peppers, especially the redder shades (which are really just green peppers left on the vine longer), and sandwiches are an undeniably good thing. What’s more, I’ve always thought it could be fun to get in shape for one single second, so in the spirit of summer, and discovery, and a fairly slow food news week, I decided to give the ole’ keto bell pepper sandwich trick a try.
As is my nature, I kept things simple, using two uniform flatly sliced sides of a ripe red pepper (half of the pepper in total, a bit of shaved deli turkey, a slice of Vermont cheddar, and a little (lot) bit of mayonnaise.
It may not look like much, but I really liked it! A bit more than I thought I would, actually. I hold that the key to its [relative] success was finding a perfectly ripe pepper; sturdy enough to stabilize the sandwich, but also juicy enough on the inner walls to act as a good tomato would, adding moisture along with a sweet vegetal flavor.
DIRTY, LAZY, KETO by Stephanie Laska, $13.46 on Amazon
A #1 Best Seller on how to hack a keto-inspired diet (and lose weight) without the crazy restrictions.
I could absolutely see myself doing this again in a desperate/hopeless attempt to slim down mere moments before a pool party is to begin. But also because I enjoyed it. Perhaps next time I’ll bust out the sandwich press for a fancy Tuna Tahini Pepper Panini, like the one pictured below. If only so I can say the name out loud.
Header image by David Watsky.