Drastically cutting sugar from my diet has been easier than expected. What has not been so easy is the cutting of the processed carbs, primarily breads. For the most part I’ve managed, but with the stresses of life and especially when I’m hormonal, I still find myself occasionally looking for comfort in the form of food.
I don’t want to be one of those people who stands on a soapbox and looks down, telling people how they should and shouldn’t eat. It’s true, I have some pretty strong opinions on what passes for healthy eating in western culture, but I also believe that there is accurate information on the Internet available to someone truly wants to know how certain foods affect the mind and body, and possesses a modicum of common sense. I write this because I want to clarify that anything you read on this blog is written from my perspective and pertains to how it will affect me. If it helps anyone else along the way, anyone who might be feeling the same way that I do, or who is sharing similar struggles as mine, then I am ecstatic. But I respect the notion of free will, including everyone’s right to feed their bodies in the way they desire.
With that out of the way, let me share with you another simple and healthy take on a classic comfort food: Grilled Cheese! I have been a fan of grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato since I was a child. I still have fond memories of heading to Friendly’s Ice Cream Shop in my teens with my grandfather and grabbing a quick lunch of grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches with crinkle fries and a Coke.
As it’s become evident that I absolutely cannot lose weight without omitting bread from my diet, grilled cheese has been something I’ve had to give up as well – until now. I’ve recently discovered that while my body cannot handle bagels, pasta, crackers, waffles, cookies, cakes, or any other foods that contain flour, it seems unaffected by breads made from sprouted grains. In doing research to figure out why, I discovered that most sprouted grains on the market are made from ancient grains, grains that have not been genetically modified and have not changed for thousands of years. These include spelt, quinoa, amaranth, millet and sorghum. When the grains are sprouted and then ground to make the bread, you’re essentially eating vegetation, not flour! In many cases – not all, read your labels carefully(!) – these breads may be preservative and gluten free.
Admittedly, the texture is much rougher than your average soft-fluffy white bread, so I find that toasting or grilling the bread adds tremendously to the enjoyment of it.
In my local grocery stores, Food for Life sprouted grain breads is the brand most commonly available. At nearly $5.00 a loaf it’s not cheap, but the composition of the bread gives you the advantage of being satiated on less product, unlike conventional breads. The Food for Life brand also comes in a variety of flavors including sesame or cinnamon-raisin, and even different forms, such as English muffins. My favorite is the 7 Sprouted Grains loaf that comes in a red package but on my last trip for bread, I was only able to find the Ezekiel 4:9 loaf in the orange package and that’s what I had on hand for this recipe.
Additionally, I chose to use organic grass-fed butter from Ireland, Kerrygold brand being my favorite; and Kerrygold aged cheddar cheese. I’m enjoying these products immensely and still losing weight. There is a good amount of information available online to support the benefits of using organic butter from grass-fed cows to aid in weight loss. Here’s a link to just one source for this information.
The tomato in my header pic might look a bit off, but is actually a Kumato tomato, which originated in Spain, is brown in color and packed with flavor! But feel free to use any tomato you have on hand, or even omit if you desire.
The method for putting together the grilled cheese sandwich is no different than your classic one. Heat a nonstick pan (I love the porcelain-coated) to medium, thinly slice your cheese and tomatoes and put together your sandwich, liberally buttering the outsides of the bread slices. Grill the sandwich on one side until the bread is browned and crispy. Flip the sandwich over and cook the other side as well. When the outside of the sandwich is your desired texture and your cheese inside melted, your sandwich is ready to eat!