Happy National Grilled Cheese month! Here are some healthy recipes
Today is National Grilled Cheese Day, as if we needed an excuse to eat a classic comfort food from our childhood.
The problem? There are three ingredients in a traditional grilled cheese sandwich and they are not necessarily known for being healthy. Yup, we’re talking about white bread, cheese and butter.
We’ve got some fun facts in honor of grilled cheese day and ways to up the nutritional value of your sandwich.
First, here’s a National Grilled Cheese Day primer:
- April 12 is National Grilled Cheese Day, but the classic sandwich shares the day with National Licorice Day. Caution. Do not mix the two.
- Mice actually prefer grains and fruit over cheese.
- In its early days, grilled cheese sandwiches were mostly served open-faced. That changed in the 1960s.
- A woman named Sonya Thomas — who weighed a slight 100 pounds — ate 26 grilled cheese sandwiches back in 2006 and won $8,000.
- Back in 2004, a woman said her 10-year-old made a grilled cheese sandwich that bore the image of Virgin Mary. Said sandwich sold for $28,000 on eBay.
Now, here’s how you can make a grilled cheese sandwich that is nutritious and delicious.
- Use whole grain bread instead of white bread.The grainy bread has a great texture. When you eat white bread, the good-for-you fiber and nutrients have been processed out.
- Use a lower fat cheese. You don’t want to go with a non-fat cheese because it just doesn’t melt as well, so try a good Swiss or mozzarella cheese. Those white cheeses are known for being lower fat and still having a delicious flavor.
- Toast or bake your grilled cheese. Avoid using the butter by baking your grilled cheese (coat a cookie sheet with no-calorie cooking spray), use a panini press or a toaster oven. One great option: Buy a grilled cheese toaster bag from eBay. (Or, get a state-of-the-art panini press from Bloomingdale’s.)
- Add veggies. Your sandwich will be more filling and take on more flavor when you add some of your favorite garnishes. Try onions, tomatoes or crunchy dill pickle slices. Instead of mayo, use pesto or some fresh herbs.
- Serve tomato soup on the side: One cup has about 75 calories and it’s a must-have when you’re eating grilled cheese.
And, now, some of our favorite recipes courtesy of the blog-o-sphere:
- Roasted red pepper and brie from KrisztinaWilliams.com. She gives us a great “grown-up” twist on the classic childhood fare.
- Pineapple and ham grilled cheese from TasteSpotting. Aloha! This recipe is a great way to sneak some fruit and protein into your sandwich.
- Grilled cheese with chicken and avocado from Women’s Health. This is totally a California girl kind of sandwich.
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