Healthy Living: Salmon Melts

The Morning Show

Every day, nearly half of Americans over 20 years old eat a sandwich. Sandwiches are convenient but may not always have many good-for-you fillings. The good news? We can turn a sandwich into a nutritional powerhouse at any meal!

Beth Peralta, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Media Spokesperson with the Eastern Illinois Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and University of Illinois Extension has three tips for making your sandwich even better this summer.

Three Tips Today:

* Look for 100% whole grain breads.

o Whole grains are delicious and filling. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends we eat half of our overall grain intake as whole grains. A whole grain contains all three parts of the kernel – bran, endosperm, and germ. When grains are processed, typically the germ and bran are removed, which removes B vitamins and fiber. Other nutrients in whole grains include protein and iron.

o Current research shows that whole grains may help reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and several digestive system cancers.

o Find whole grains by looking at a Nutrition Facts Label. If the first ingredient is some sort of “whole” grain or whole grain flour, that’s a great choice! Foods like 100% whole wheat bread, oats, corn tortillas, and brown rice are good choices.

* Load up the vegetables, fruits, and other tasty fillings. Sandwiches are a fantastic way to move more vegetables and fruits into your day, too.

o Take advantage of seasonal produce offerings and add lettuce, tomatoes, and more to burgers.

o Chop up celery, apples, and grapes to add to tuna salad.

o Sauté mushrooms and onions to top an egg sandwich at breakfast.

o Look for lighter spreads and sauces, such as mustard, salsa, and guacamole.

* Try a twist on your favorite ‘melt’. Salmon Melts are easy to make for a quick dinner or lunch at home. You can substitute tuna or canned chicken for this recipe, too. Drain and rinse salmon to reduce sodium content, too.

Salmon Melts: Serves: 4

* 1 (6 ounce) can or pouch salmon, drained

* ¼ cup green onions, chopped

* ¼ cup celery, chopped

* ¼ cup low-fat mayonnaise or plain Greek yogurt

* ¼ teaspoon black pepper

* ½ teaspoon dried dill weed

* ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

* 4 100% whole wheat hamburger buns or English muffins, sliced in half

* 1 cup reduced fat shredded cheese


1. In a medium bowl, combine first seven ingredients (through garlic powder) and mix well.

2. Toast rolls in a toaster oven or broiler until lightly browned and crispy.

3. Spread salmon mixture on each half roll, about 2-3 tablespoons each.

4. Top each with 1/8 cup shredded cheese

5. Return to toaster oven or broiler until cheese melts on top. Serve immediately.

Find more recipes on University of Illinois Extension’s EAT.MOVE.SAVE.: Making Healthier Choices on a Budget at

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