Recipe of the Month: Hearty and healthy grilled cheese sandwiches

Grilled cheese makes a warm, hearty, and healthy meal—especially for winter, with a side of organic tomato soup.  

(In New England, when I was young, this was always a lunch favorite for mothers to make when children were home from school on weekday holidays…and of course, on snow days!) 

In one simple sandwich, you get the following nutrients: Calcium, fiber, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, protein, selenium, vitamins B and D, and zinc. 

Plus, grilled cheese is easy and fast to make!  

Start with organic, whole-grain bread. It should be firm enough to slice and sufficiently close-grained so the melted cheese doesn’t leak through. You can find fresh-baked whole loaves of your favorite bread at the grocery store, or you can make your own. I like the recipes from King Arthur Baking Company, which makes high-quality flour. 

Spread the sliced bread with organic, grass-fed, full-fat butter to help achieve the crispy outer texture. Mayonnaise also spreads easily and browns well. (I only recommend using mayo with organic, whole ingredients—no sugars or artificial additives. I like Sir Kensington brand.)  

Whatever you do, don’t use margarine or other “fake butters.” Despite their claims to be “healthy,” these spreads are often highly processed and LOADED with artificial ingredients. Not to mention…they taste awful!  

Next, choose your cheese. I like to use a combination. If you start with some good cheddar, you can add a little provolone to sharpen it, or some mozzarella to soften it. Whatever variety of cheese you choose, make sure it’s organic and full-fat (see page 1).  

Now, it’s a good idea to test how your cheese melts, which helps determine your grilling temperatures and times. Put a small piece of the cheese in the microwave for 10 seconds. If it melts quickly, cook your grilled cheese on medium-high heat so the bread toasts while the cheese melts (you need to follow the entire grilling process closely).  Meanwhile, a cheese that’s slow to melt needs to be grilled on low heat for a longer time.   

Once you have an idea for how your cheese will melt, choose a cast-iron skillet or other type of grilling pan that’s not coated in a toxic, “non-stick” material, and start cooking.  

During the cooking process, I refrain from pushing down on my grilled cheese to flatten it. Instead, I use a little trick… 

Take the next smallest size cover for your pan and place it inside, on top of your sandwich. That will trap the cheese in place inside the bread (which is particularly important when using different cheeses) and lock in the flavors. 

Fresh slices of organic tomato make a perfect addition to your grilled cheese, too. You can add them with the cheese between the slices of bread, or you can even serve your sandwiches with an organic tomato soup. As I said above, it’s a perfect, NUTRITIOUS lunch or dinner for a cold winter’s day!