Baked Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

grilledcheeseYou guys. I discovered a tip for making grilled cheese that will blow your mind.

Are you ready?

You can bake it in the oven. And … it turns out better than cooking it in a skillet!

A week or so ago, I had whipped up a pot of tomato soup and wanted grilled cheese sandwiches to go with it. I typically use my cast iron skillet to make each sandwich one by one, but I was looking for a way to make multiple sandwiches at once (we have a big appetite). Apparently, other people have wondered the same thing and I found a recipe online for baked grilled cheese sandwiches.

All you have to do is preheat your oven to 450 degrees. From there, butter one side of your bread (I use Earth Balance), throw your cheese in the middle (Daiya slices work perfectly), and bake on one side for 6 minutes, then flip to the other side and bake for 4 to 6 minutes. And, voila! You can make as many as your sheet pan will hold at one time.

It’s the little things …

Recipe: Balsamic Brussels Sprouts Grilled Cheese

Balsamic Brussels Sprout Grilled Cheese

Brussels sprouts seem to be the “it” vegetable, and for good reason. Gone are the days of mushy, bland, boiled Brussels, and in are the delicious, caramelized versions that your mom certainly didn’t make. And as much as I love just tossing them in olive oil, salt and pepper, and then baking, it’s nice to come across a recipe that takes them to whole different level. Such is the case with the Balsamic Brussels Sprouts Grilled Cheese on How Sweet It Is. I knew as soon as I saw the pictures that I had to try to make a vegan version, which wasn’t that difficult to do.

For my version, I used a regular French-style baguette, which worked out great, but the next time I make it (and there will be a next time because the sandwiches were so delicious!), I do want to use a multigrain bread as in the original recipe. Because I did use a baguette, I put the slices until the broiler as open-faced sandwiches to help melt the cheese. For the cheese, I used Daiya Mozzarella Shreds because I happened to have some on hand, but there is a Havarti-style wedge that would work as well.

The balsamic reduction really makes the sandwich, adding a nice sweet and tangy touch to the Brussels. (And if you have any extra left over, it’s wonderful drizzled over strawberries or a seasonal fruit.)

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts Grilled Cheese

Serves 4

Ingredients

1/2 pound brussels sprouts, stems removed and chopped or shredded
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
pinch of salt and pepper
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
4 oz. Daiya Mozzarella Shreds
1 French baguette, sliced into four equal parts and sliced long

Directions

To make the balsamic reduction, add 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. The fumes from this will be pretty strong, so you might want to open a window or turn on a fan, and, whatever you do, don’t stand directly over it. After about 8 to 10 minutes of whisking, the vinegar should have reduced to about half the amount and should coat the back of spoon. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet oven medium heat and add olive oil. Toss in the shredded Brussels sprouts, garlic, and salt and pepper. Cook down for about 5 minutes or until golden and wilted. Set aside.

Turn on the broiler. Place your baguette slices on a baking sheet or a cast iron skillet, sliced sides up. Top with the Brussels sprouts and drizzle with the vinegar reduction.

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts Open Faced

Top with the Daiya shreds and place under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes and check constantly to make sure it doesn’t burn. Press the slices together to form a sandwiches. It’s a bit messy, but so, so good.

Enjoy!

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

I know what you’re thinking: “Cheese? I thought this was a vegan blog.” Don’t worry! The meal you see above is 100 percent vegan. If you haven’t discovered Daiya, I highly recommend that you do so, and soon! It’s pretty incredible as a cheese substitute; it melts easily and tastes like the real deal. And as you can see, it works perfectly for a grilled cheese.

Tomato soup and grilled cheese are a comfort food staple. This version is actually pretty healthy and very quick to make. For the soup, I modified Vegan Yum Yum’s Spicy Tomato Chickpea Soup. As its name suggests, the original recipe is more of a spicy tomato soup rather than a sweet one, so I added some roasted red peppers that I had leftover from my Roasted Red Pepper and Hummus Wraps to mellow out some of the acidity. And like most soups, this soup tastes better the next day; I recommend making it the day before you plan on serving it (though it’s still good the same day).

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

Serves 2 + leftovers

Ingredients:

5 tbsp olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, diced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp turmeric
2 15oz cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 large roasted red pepper, coarsely chopped
2 28oz cans of diced tomatoes
2 tsp salt
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 cups hot water
black pepper to taste

4 slices sprouted wheat bread (I used Ezekiel 4:9 Organic Sprouted Whole Grain Bread)
1 package Daiya cheddar
Earth Balance margarine

Directions:

Heat the oil in deep soup pot on medium-high heat and sauté the onions for a 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, red chili flakes, mustard powder, turmeric, chickpeas, and roasted red pepper to the pot and sauté for about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and salt and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, then add in the nutritional yeast and hot water and blend. I used my immersion blender to blend the mixture into a smooth pureé, but a blender or food processor works well, too.

To make the grilled cheese, butter one side of each slice of bread and lay two of the four slices, butter-side-down, onto a skillet set to medium-high. Add the shredded cheese and the other two slices of bread, butter-side-up. Cook each side until golden brown and the cheese is melted.

Enjoy!