How to Make Yummy Grilled Cheese on Gluten Free Bread (and Tomato Soup)

I’m pretty new to eating gluten free, but the longer I maintain this diet, the easier it gets and the better I feel. I have more energy, I feel healthier, and I make better food choices, especially when it comes to snacks.

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But as anyone who has eaten gluten free bread knows, it’s not quite the same. It doesn’t hold together as well, and it doesn’t toast the same way as regular bread. But it still makes a decent grilled cheese. I served it with this delicious tomato soup.

I’m sharing this recipe because I’ve decided this is the best way to make a grilled cheese on gluten free bread. Putting the cheese on both sides of the bread really seemed to help keep it all together. And the cheese kind of oozed out of the bread and toasted onto the outside, which ended up being just marvelous. Plus, the tomato soup is amazing. So there’s that.

What You Need for the Grilled Cheese:

  • 2 slices regular or gluten free bread
  • Enough butter, softened, to cover one side of each slice of bread
  • 10 thin slices of your favorite cheddar cheese
  • 2 slices tomato
  • 2-3 avocado slices, mashed into a spread
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

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What You Need for the Tomato Soup:

  • 12 plum tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp ground sage

What You Do to Make the Grilled Cheese:

Heat a medium skillet on low-medium.

Butter the bread sides and prepare cheese slices, tomato and avocado before placing the bottom slice in the pan.

Place cheese sliced on the bread in one single layer that covers the bread surface.

Place the tomato slices on the cheese.

Next, spread the mashed avocado and sprinkle the crushed red pepper on top so it sticks.

Press down another layer of cheese slices on top of the avocado and cover with the top bread slice.

Slowly cook, flipping often because the bread will stick easily to the pan. Add more butter if necessary. Remove from heat when the sandwich is lightly toasted and the cheese is melted (mine didn’t fully melt but I couldn’t keep the bread on the stove any longer).

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What You Do to Make the Tomato Soup:

Preheat oven to 400F

Halve the plum tomatoes and layer them in a large baking dish.

Add onion slices and garlic between each layer of tomatoes and over the top.

Cover and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft and pinched with the skin broken, and the juices bubbling.

Place everything in a food processor and pulse until it is roughly blended and thick.

Pour into a large bowl and stir in the thyme and sage. Serve alongside the grilled cheese and enjoy!

 

Thanksgiving Day 4: Vegetarian Stuffing Stuffed Mushrooms

If a mushroom is stuffed with stuffing, is it redundant to call it a stuffing stuffed mushroom?

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Say that 5 times fast! Either way, the real point here is that stuffing is one of the greatest foods served at the Thanksgiving table. I know I have my whole affinity for squash thing going on, but it’s basically trumped by stuffing.  Stuffing is always flavorful and goes so well with all the other foods on your plate – especially the turkey. Even the name stuffing just makes me love it that much more.

Stuffing is mostly always served in a big bowl, but for the purpose of my 5-day Thanksgiving meal extravaganza (I’m calling it that now, by the way) I wanted to come up with something that would act as more of an appetizer, and be friendly to those traveling who want to bring something unique that can be easily heated up.

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This dish is a fun twist on the classic stuffing in a bowl. And it’s really easy to make. It may look like a staggering amount of ingredients but it’s actually very simple. It does include a homemade vegetable broth so you could always make things easier on yourself and use a store-bought kind. There’s 4 ingredients off the list right there!

And this recipe has some great vegetables in it that add amazing flavors so you don’t need to add spices outside of a pinch of salt and pepper.

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What You Need:

  • 2 leeks, one cut in half and one diced
  • 1 large yellow onion cut in half, one half left in tact (skins and all) and one peeled and diced
  • 1/2 a tomato
  • 1 jalapeno cut in half
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and diced into cubes
  • 2 leeks, one cut in half and one diced
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced into cubes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 medium sized load of French bread (about 3.5-4oz in weight) OR your favorite gluten free bread to make this a 100% GF dish
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped sage
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
  • 5 large portobello mushrooms
  • 4 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • A pinch of salt and pepper

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What You Do:

Preheat oven to 350F

In a large saucepan, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. This is for your vegetable broth. Once the water is boiling, add the leek that is cut in half, the 1/2 tomato, the in-tact onion half and the jalapeno and boil until the vegetables are soft and the water is colored with vegetable leavings.

Strain the broth into a separate pot to separate out the vegetables. Discard the vegetables and set 2 cups of the broth aside. (Freeze the rest for future recipes).

In a very large skillet, melt the butter. Once melted, add the parsnips and let them simmer in the butter for about 2 minutes.

Then, add the leeks, onion, garlic, eggplant and a pinch of salt and pepper (no more than 1/4 tsp each) and cook, covered, on a low-medium heat for about 10 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft.

Add 1 cup of the vegetable broth, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the broth has been absorbed.

Slice the bread into 1-inch cubes and lay them in the bottom of a casserole dish.

Sprinkle the sage and rosemary over the bread.

Then, pour the vegetable mixture over the bread as well. Spread it out so it evenly covers the bread.

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Pour the remaining cup of vegetable broth over everything, gently pushing aside the vegetable mixture to allow the broth to work through to the bread and the bottom of the casserole dish.

Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes.

While the stuffing is baking, gently clean any dirt off your mushrooms.

Slice off the stems and gently dig out the gill-like material on the underside of the mushroom caps.

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Place the hollowed-out mushrooms cap-side down in a baking dish and bake them in the oven (also at 350F) for about 10 minutes or until they begin to look slightly droopy or wilted. A small amount of liquid might appear inside the caps – this is a good way to know you need to remove them from the oven.

Once the stuffing is done, add a generous scoop of stuffing to each mushroom cap.

Top each with a tablespoon of cheese and place back in the oven for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

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These make for a gorgeous presentation lined up on a serving tray. I hope you enjoy them as much as Mike and I did!

Pro-Tip: Try to pick out portobello mushrooms that have high sides so they’re more cup-shaped instead of flat. These will maintain their shape a lot better after being heated up and make it easier to stuff them.

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