Celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month With Healthy Sandwich Variations

Sunrise Senior Living  |  April 21, 2015
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Grilled cheese is an amazingly popular lunch choice for many Americans, so it's no surprise that somewhere along the line, April was declared National Grilled Cheese Month. To celebrate this delicious sandwich, include your favorite recipe as part of your senior nutrition plan for the month. If you want to switch up your menu a bit, you can also include one of these amazing grilled cheese variations, each of which has notable healthy ingredients.

Mediterranean grilled cheese

You may have heard that Mediterranean-style food can benefit your heart. The Mayo Clinic explained that this type of diet, which includes lots of vegetables, healthy fats from ingredients like olive oil, and herbs and spices in place of salt, can reduce your risk of developing heart problems as you age. You can incorporate a little bit of Mediterranean flair into your lunch with a delicious twist on grilled cheese.

Ingredients

  • 2 slices sourdough bread
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 handful fresh spinach
  • 1/4 tsp. finely minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 oz. mozzarella cheese
  • 1 oz. feta cheese
  • 2 slices tomato
  • 4 diced Kalamata olives

Directions

Warm 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fresh spinach and garlic to the pan, then saute until the vegetable begins to wilt, around a minute. Remove the pan from the heat, then stir in the basil.

Now it's time to assemble your sandwich! Spread mozzarella and feta cheese over one slice of bread, then layer the tomatoes on top. Scoop the spinach mixture onto the sandwich, then sprinkle the olives on as well. Top the sandwich with the second slice of bread. To grill your entree, heat the remaining oil in the skillet. Cook the sandwich over medium heat, letting each side brown before flipping.

Grilled Muenster and ham

For a more well-rounded sandwich, you can include some meat for a boost of protein. Choose a low-sodium deli ham for this unique twist on grilled cheese.

Ingredients

  • 2 slices whole-grain bread
  • 2 slices low-sodium deli ham
  • 1 slice low-sodium Muenster cheese
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • Dijon mustard to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

Directions

Create your sandwich by layering one slice of bread with ham, cheese, spinach and mustard. Place the other slice of bread on top, then you're ready to cook. Warm the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place your sandwich in the pan, then cook each side until golden brown. Your cheese should be melted as well. Cut the grilled cheese in half and enjoy.

Grilled goat cheese, tomato and basil

Goat cheese has an interesting taste that many people love. If you really want to switch up your sandwich routine, try this recipe for grilled cheese made with the tasty dairy product.

Ingredients

  • 2 slices whole-wheat ciabatta bread
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. freshly chopped basil
  • 2 oz. soft fresh goat cheese
  • 2 slices plum tomato
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

Directions

Combine olive oil, garlic and basil in a small bowl, and stir to mix. Brush the mixture onto one slice of the bread, then layer goat cheese and tomatoes on top. Top the sandwich with the remaining slice, then grill your entree in the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Alternatively, you can use a panini press to achieve the perfectly crunchy texture you're craving.