The Cuban

The Cuban

This might not be the cleanest recipe I’ve ever created, but it sure is delicious. Meet my lean and mean version of The Cuban, inspired by my now ex-boyfriend who is obsessed with this sandwich and ordered it everywhere he went. First, I set out to cut fat and calories without sacrificing that bold flavor the Cuban is known for.  In place of fattier cuts of meat, I used lean, muscle building, pork tenderloin and organic, uncured, low-sodium ham.   I also used one slice of Swiss cheese (you can use reduced-fat if you’d prefer, just skip the low-fat) and thinly sliced gourmet pickles, which are naturally low in calories but add some bite.  I skipped the high carb roll and used a high fiber, low carb wrap (use gluten free if you’d like) that I grilled Panini style.   A creamy Greek yogurt based sauce of apricot, whole grain mustard and cumin brought it all together. While this recipes has a few processed ingredients (cheese and ham, etc.), it will stabilize your blood sugar all the same. Plus it’s sinfully delicious and easy to make.  I think I nailed it, but I’ll let you decide…Enjoy!

The Cuban

Makes 4 sandwiches
For the pork:
  • 1 lb. pork tenderloin
  • Garlic powder
  • Smoked paprika
  • Cayenne
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
For the sauce (this will make extra for a dip or spread to use throughout the week):
  • ¾ cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tbsp. all natural apricot spread (find in the jelly aisle)
  • 2 ½ Tbsp. whole grain mustard (the gourmet kind with the BIG mustard seeds)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Pinch of kosher or sea salt
For the sandwich:
  • 4 high fiber, low carbohydrate wraps (mine were about 8 inches in diameter)
  • 4 slices uncured, low sodium deli sliced ham (Whole Foods has a good selection)
  • 4 slices Swiss Cheese (you can use reduced-fat if you’d like, just skip the low-fat)
  • 2 whole good quality pickles, sliced paper thin with a sharp knife
  • your favorite cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cover a sheet pan with tin foil. Season pork on all sides with a little garlic powder, smoked paprika, cayenne and plenty of salt and pepper (adjust seasoning to your tastes). Place seasoned pork on sheet pan and cook for approximately 30 minutes, flipping the pork about halfway through. You want the pork to be slightly pink in the center.
  2. While the pork cooks, combine ingredients for the sauce.  Layout additional ingredients for assembly.
  3. Once pork is removed from the oven and cool enough to handle (make sure to let the pork rest for 10 minutes before slicing), slice pork as thin as possible with a very sharp knife.
  4. Spread desired amount of sauce on one half of a high fiber wrap.  Next add a layer of pork, then pickles, then ham and lastly add the cheese.  Fold the top of the wrap over so the sandwich is a half-moon shape.  Repeat for all 4 sandwiches.
  5. Spray a non-stick frying pan with fat free cooking spray. Let the pan get hot over medium/ high heat.  Next (and this is important), place the Cuban sandwich CHEESE SIDE down into the pan.  Cook until wrap is slightly golden brown and cheese is melted.  Gently flip the sandwich over and cook for a minute or two until just golden (you don’t want to cook the Greek yogurt sauce- just sort of get the wrap a little golden on that side).   I like to serve this sandwich with a pickle  and fresh sliced fruit.  Enjoy!

This recipe has a great balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat and is a complete meal.

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