Wednesday, April 11, 2018

April 12, Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day
Add Color, Flavor, Texture, Creativity, and Nutrients
Recipe Makeovers

Cooked bread and cheese is popular in many cultures around the world.  In the United States, the grilled cheese sandwich originated in the 1920s. Bread and American cheese was inexpensive and readily available during the Great Depression.

A grilled cheese sandwich is assembled and then heated until the bread crisps and the cheese melts, sometimes combined with additional ingredients such as tomatoes, bacon, ham, peppers, and assorted fruits. Several different methods of heating the sandwich is used. Common cooking methods include cooking on a griddle, grilled, fried in a pan, broiled, or made in a panini grill or sandwich toaster.

Food Photography
Grilled Brie Sandwich with Apricots and Sliced Almonds
1 slice Pumpernickel Bread
1.25 oz Brie
2 tsp Apricot Fruit Spread
4 g Sliced Almonds
20 g Dried Fruit (Apricots, Raisins)

Spread Brie on pumpernickel bread. Grill until melted. Top with apricot fruit spread and sliced almonds. Serve apricots and raisins on the side. 
Nutrition Data
270 Calories; 11 g Protein; 28 g Carbohydrates; 3 g Dietary Fiber; 10 g Total Sugars; 13 g Fat; 35 mg Cholesterol; 55 mcg Folate; 105 mg Calcium; 419 mg Sodium
Camera Setting

f/6.3; 1/100; ISO 100; Natural, sun down

Grilled Cheese Sandwich 
Recipes Made Healthier
The link to the original recipes is noted. However, modifications have been made to provide a healthier version.

Grilled Apple and Swiss Cheese Sandwich
One serving

2 slice whole wheat bread
1-1/2 tsp olive oil
1/2 granny smith apple (peeled cored and thinly sliced)
1/3 cup swiss cheese (shredded)

Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Lightly brush one side of each slice of bread with the olive oil. Place 1 slice of bread, olive oil side down into the skillet, and arrange the apple slices evenly over the top. Sprinkle the Swiss cheese over the apple, and then top with the remaining slice of bread, olive oil-side up. Cook until the bread is golden brown, flip the sandwich over, and cook until the other side is golden brown and the cheese has melted, 1 to 2 more minutes.

Nutrition Information.
Calories (kcal) 382; Protein (g) 16; Carbohydrates (g) 41; Dietary Fiber (g) 5; Fat (g) 19; Saturated Fat (g) 7; Cholesterol (mg) 33; Calcium (mg) 289; Phosphorus (mg) 214; Potassium (mg) 107; Sodium (mg) 389

California Grilled Veggie Sandwich
Four servings.

Note: The original recipe calls for 1/4 cup mayonnaise. To save 100 calories and 11 grams Fat per serving, omit mayonnaise.

3 clove cloves garlic (minced)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/8 cup olive oil
1 cup red bell peppers (sliced)
1 zucchini (sliced)
1 red onion (sliced)
1 yellow squash (sliced)
8 bread (focaccia, pieces split horizontally)
1/2 cup feta cheese (crumbled)

1. In a bowl, mix the minced garlic and lemon juice. Set aside in the refrigerator.
2. Preheat the grill for high heat.
3. Brush vegetables with olive oil on each side. Brush grate with oil. Place bell peppers and zucchini closest to the middle of the grill, and set onion and squash pieces around them. Cook for about 3 minutes, turn, and cook for another 3 minutes. The peppers may take a bit longer. Remove from grill, and set aside.
4. Spread some of the garlic and lemon juice on the cut sides of the bread, and sprinkle each one with feta cheese. Place on the grill cheese side up, and cover with lid for 2 to 3 minutes. This will warm the bread, and slightly melt the cheese. Watch carefully so the bottoms don't burn. Remove from grill, and layer with the vegetables. Enjoy as open-faced grilled sandwiches.

Nutrition Information.
Calories (kcal) 295; Protein (g) 8; Carbohydrates (g) 39; Dietary Fiber (g) 3; Fat (g) 13; Saturated Fat (g) 4; Cholesterol (mg) 17; Calcium (mg) 118; Sodium (mg) 535

Red, White and Green Grilled Cheese
Four servings.

From the cookbook, “Keep the Beat Recipes” developed for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). The cookbook also includes information on cooking, nutrition, and feeding children (including picky eaters). A free copy of the cookbook is available on the NHLBI website.

1 tsp garlic, minced (about ½ clove)
1 small onion, minced (about ½ cup)
2 cups frozen cut spinach, thawed and drained (or substitute 2 bags (10 oz each) fresh leaf spinach, rinsed)
¼ tsp ground black pepper
8 slices whole-wheat bread
1 medium tomato, rinsed, cut into 4 slices
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Nonstick cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 400 ºF. Place a large baking sheet in the oven to preheat for about 10 minutes.
2. Heat garlic with cooking spray in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Cook until soft, but not browned. Add onions, and continue to cook until the onions are soft, but not browned.
3. Add spinach, and toss gently. Cook until the spinach is heated throughout. Season with pepper, and set aside to cool.
4. When the spinach and onions are cool, assemble each sandwich with one slice of bread on the bottom, one tomato slice, ½ cup of spinach mixture, ¼ cup of cheese, and a second slice of bread on the top.
5. Spray the preheated nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the sandwiches on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the bottom of each sandwich is browned.
6. Carefully flip sandwiches, and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until both sides are browned. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information.
Calories  283; Protein  16 g; Carbohydrates  37 g; Dietary Fiber  7 g; Fat  7 g; Cholesterol  15 mg; Vitamin A  4273 IU; Vitamin C  17 mg; Folate  51 mcg; Calcium  333 mg; Iron  3 mg; Potassium  597 mg; Sodium  470 mg

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