Unconventional Grilled Cheese

Almost every day, I end up craving a grilled cheese in the winter — there’s something about biting into one that’s so comforting. Maybe it’s because I remember when I was a little girl all I ever wanted for lunch whether it was winter or not, was a grilled cheese. I’m pretty sure I went on binges for days where all I ate was grilled cheese…on white bread — proud to be an American, apparently. My grilled cheese obsession could probably explain why after pieces and pieces of cheese and a lot of loaves of white bread I was a chubby kid — cute, but very chubby.

As I got older and came more into the world of nutrition, I have been exploring healthier options to every single comfort food out there because I mean, who doesn’t love biting into something that tastes SO good but is SO bad for you? Needless to say, to no surprise, I was craving a grilled cheese the other night when it was time to make dinner and decided to put a spin on it playing ‘Chopped’ in our kitchen. We always have vegetables lying around, happened to have some low sodium muenster, some harvest tuscan bread, and tofu. That’s when the magic started to happen — and oh, just wait for the sides.

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What you’ll need (recipe for 2):
1/2 large sweet potato sliced width wise (optional: balsamic dressing)
Low-fat honey dijon dressing
Panko breadcrumbs
1 avocado (sliced)
4 pieces of tuscan bread (or whatever bread you prefer, just keep it healthy)
2 pieces low sodium muenster (or whatever cheese you prefer, just keep it low-fat/low-sodium)
1/4 can cannellini beans
1/4 can kidney beans
1/4 cup pasta sauce
1/4 block of tofu cut into four pieces

Recipe:
First, preheat the oven to 425. Slice the tofu and dress with honey dijon dressing and some panko breadcrumbs. Put in oven to cook until water drains from tofu and panko/dressing is a light golden brown about 10 minutes.

Place sliced sweet potato on a baking sheet, dress with some oil, salt and pepper — add some balsamic dressing if feeling adventurous and place in oven to cook for 15 minutes or until soft.

Open cans of beans and place in a small pan to cook with salt and pepper over medium heat. Once beans start to split from heat, add in the 1/4 cup pasta sauce (spin on tomato soup & grilled cheese — a lot healthier as well — beans are packed with nutrition).

Once tofu is browned, remove from oven (it will finish before the sweet potato).

Put a small amount of margarine on each slice of bread and place in a frying pan on the top of the stove. Add 1 piece of muenster, 1/2 avocado that is already sliced, two pieces of the four of tofu, and place other piece of bread on top, margarine side up. Cook one side until golden brown and flip. Repeat for second sandwich.

Enjoy this healthy and incredibly great tasting comfort meal for the next snowy day, or just because.

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