Dive into #MeatlessMonday with Italian Grilled Cheese! Spoiler: It’s also gluten free and paleo friendly!
By: Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT of Shaw’s Simple Swaps
Ever feel like you have the same thing every #meatlessmonday? Well, stress no more, I’m here today to tell you there are many delicious, nutritious, flavor packed options available to spice up your Monday when you think outside the “box”!
Now, what do I mean by thinking outside the box? Well, let’s take our wonderful canned tomato products, like a simple tomato sauce. Sure, it’s amazing spread over a box of whole grain pasta, but perhaps that is the standard go to. You need variety, you crave variety, and that is a good thing! By supplying our body with different foods and ingredients, we provide it essential nutrients that help us lead a long, happy and healthy life.
Last month I decided to think “outside the box” and came up with this take on an Italian Grilled Cheese! Intrigued? I thought so! Let’s dive in and chat about why this recipe needs to be in your #meatlessmonday rotation!
First off, this recipe is made for those who crave a nice melted, gooey cheese sandwich but are looking for a healthier alternative. I love cheese, it’s a great source of calcium and is filled with protein, but often times we tend to overdue the portion size. By making these sandwiches open faced, you really get to savor the flavor of the cheese without being overtaken by the bread to cheese ratio.
Second, this recipe is actually made sans bread! Yep, I’m not lying. Instead of using a traditional whole wheat loaf, I wanted to make this something I could whip up for my gluten free and paleo friends too. By using a cauliflower crust, this really helped lower the carbohydrate content of the meal, while boosting the nutrition overall. Plus, cauliflower provides a great source of fiber as well as many antioxidants, making this a great alternative to really amp up the nutrient density of your diet.
Last but certainly not least, the tomato sauce used on this sandwich truly makes the sandwich complete! By adding that sweet and salty kick from the wonderful taste of canned tomatoes, the sauce unites the cheese and cauliflower crust magically. It makes the flavor combo out of this world, trust me! And, you’re doing your body right by giving it an extra boost of antioxidants from the lycopene in the canned tomatoes. More antioxidants, more nutrition, and tons of flavor; I can get on board with that, can you?
Dive into this Open Faced Italian Grilled Cheese with me and we can all savor the flavor of eating right!
Get the full Recipe here!
Liz Shaw is a Registered Dietitian, Health Nut & Recipe Guru! She’s a SoCal lady, living in sunny San Diego and relish in all things that make healthy living EASY & FUN! Her education includes a Bachelors of Science in Foods & Nutrition, San Diego State University, a Masters of Science in Dietetics, Northern Illinois University and a Graduate Certificate in Eating Disorders & Obesity.