Saturday, July 7, 2012

Bruschetta Grilled Cheese

 Looking for a light lunch or dinner option that the whole family will love?!  Meet my "bruschetta grilled cheese".  This idea originated from an episode of Dr. Oz I watched a few months back.  No I did not take the recipe from the show, however I did get the idea of making a grilled cheese from the show.  On the particular episode I watched guest nutritionists offered suggestions of how to lower the calorie in grilled cheese sandwiches.  As I was watched the episode I began to thank how I could lower the calories even further in grilled cheese, while also adding a delicious flavor.  Instantly the idea of adding tomatoes and basil popped into my head. There you have how the bruschetta grilled cheese was created.

 A few of the tricks I used to lower the calories in the grilled cheese included: lower calorie bread (in this case I used sandwich thins), low calorie nutrient dense fillers (ie. vegetables), and lower fat cheese.  With these changes I added fiber and vitamins/minerals, while taking the calories down a notch.  I believe the sandwiches on the show ranged from 300 to 500 calories, while my sandwich has only approximately 218 calories per serving.

I used a George Foreman grill to make my sandwich, however you could make it like an old fashion grilled cheese in a skillet. Another option would be to use a panini press or panini pan.

Here is the sandwich on the grill before the balsamic vinegar was drizzled on and second piece of bread was added.

1 whole wheat sandwich thin (ie. Arnolds)
1/3 cup reduced fat (2%) shredded mozzarella cheese
4 medium grape tomatoes (quartered)
2-3 large basil leaves (chopped)
1 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
pinch of pepper

1.  Pre-heat small griller (ie. George Foreman) or skillet pan to medium
2.  Mix cheese, tomatoes, basil, and pepper together; spread on one slice of sandwich thin; drizzle with vinegar.
3.  Grill or place in skillet (with panini press on top) until browned and cheese melted.

Servings: 1 • Serving size: whole sandwich • Calories: 218 kcal • Protein: 13.2 g • Sodium: 476 mg • Carbs: 25 g • Fat: 8.9 g • Fiber: 5.0 g • Sugar: 3.0 g



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