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LifestyleColumnistsMarge Perry

3 Simple grilled cheese recipes

Roast turkey breast, reduced fat cheddar and sliced

Roast turkey breast, reduced fat cheddar and sliced apples on whole wheat make a hearty and healthy grilled cheese sandwich. Photo Credit: Marge Perry

TURKEY, APPLE AND CHEDDAR GRILLED CHEESE

4 teaspoons butter, divided

8 slices whole-wheat bread

6 ounces reduced-fat Cheddar, thinly sliced

8 ounces sliced turkey breast

½ apple, thinly sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a sheet pan with foil. Coat the foil with cooking spray.

2. Melt 1 teaspoon of the butter over medium-low heat in a large, nonstick skillet. As it begins to melt, brush the top of 2 slices of bread with the butter. Set the bread aside.

3. Spread another teaspoon of butter over the surface of the skillet. Place the 2 unbuttered slices of bread in the skillet; top each with one-eighth of the cheese. Place one-fourth the turkey on each slice; top with one-fourth the apple slices. Top each with one-eighth of the cheese and add the reserved buttered bread, with the buttered side facing up. Press down lightly with a spatula and cook until the undersides are golden, about 3 minutes. Flip the sandwiches over, and again cook until golden on the undersides and the cheese begins to melt, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the sandwiches to the prepared baking sheet pan and place in the oven while you repeat the procedure with the remaining ingredients, making 2 more sandwiches.

4. Keep the sandwiches in the oven until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes; serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 396 calories, 36 g protein, 41 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 9 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 594 mg sodium

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BRIE, CANDIED WALNUTS AND ARUGULA GRILLED CHEESE

1 tablespoon plus 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided

¼ cup walnuts, chopped into ¼-inch pieces

2 tablespoons brown sugar

8 slices whole-grain bread

6 ounces thinly sliced Brie

1½ cups arugula

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil; coat the foil with cooking spray.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high; add the walnuts and sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is melted and coats the nuts. Immediately transfer to a plate and spread the nuts out so they don't clump. Allow to cool.

3. Wipe out the skillet; spread the surface with 1 teaspoon of the oil and heat over medium. Place 2 slices of bread in the pan; top each with one-fourth of the Brie and sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon of the nuts. Top with one-fourth of the arugula. Place 2 slices of bread on top to close the sandwiches and brush the top side of the bread with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Flatten with a spatula and cook until the undersides are golden, about 3 minutes. Flip the sandwiches over and cook until again golden on the undersides, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to prepared sheet pan and bake 5 minutes, or until cheese is fully melted.

4. Repeat the procedure with the remaining ingredients, making 2 more sandwiches. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 467 calories, 18 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 26 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 542 mg sodium


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GRILLED GRUYÈRE, BACON AND CARAMELIZED ONION SANDWICH

6 slices center-cut bacon

4 medium onions, chopped (about 4 cups)

4 teaspoons olive oil, divided

8 thin slices rye bread

6 ounces Gruyère, thinly sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet pan with foil; coat the foil with cooking spray.

2. Cook bacon in a large, nonstick skillet until crisp; transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Add onions to drippings in the skillet and cook over medium heat until soft and golden, 20 to 22 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

3. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in the skillet; add 2 slices of bread. Top each with one-fourth of the cheese. Break each slice of bacon in half and place 3 halves on each sandwich; top bacon with one-fourth of the onions. Add a slice of bread to each and press down with a spatula. Cook until the bottoms are golden; about 3 minutes. As the sandwich cooks, brush the bread facing up with 1 teaspoon of oil. Turn the sandwiches over, press with the spatula, and cook until the undersides are golden, another 3 minutes. Transfer to prepared baking pan and place in the oven until the cheese is fully melted, about 5 minutes.

4. Repeat the procedure with the remaining ingredients, making 2 more sandwiches. Serve warm. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 446 calories, 22 g protein, 39 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 23 g fat, 11 g saturated fat, 653 mg sodium

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