Grilled Cheese & Kale

A healthy twist on a quick, simple lunch.

grilled cheese 001

I’m obsessed with grilled cheese.  Seriously, I could eat it every day, and there are points in my life in which I admittedly do.  Unfortunately, grilled cheese isn’t exactly known for it’s healthy contents.   While cheese does have high levels of calcium, grilled cheese slobbered in buttered then fried doesn’t exactly scream “CLEAN EATING”.  How did we change that?  By adding kale, of course!  Kale makes everything better – or at least healthier.

Kale, a more commonly known superfood, is a rich source of several vitamins and minerals packed with antioxidants and numerous cancer-fighting substances.  With just one cup of kale a day you receive 684% of your recommended daily value for Vitamin K, 206% for Vitamin A and 134% for Vitamin C.

It tastes best with a side plate of crispy sweet potato fries (don’t forget the chipotle mayo!) or on its own as a light lunch with a side of ketchup.

grilled cheese 002

grilled cheese 003

What you will need.

1 grilled cheese sandwich – 10 minutes to prep & 8 minutes to cook
  • 2 slices of bread
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese*
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese*
  • butter or margarine
  • 2 leaves of kale
*I stress shredding your own cheese instead of store bought pre-shredded cheese bags.

Shredded cheese bags, while undoubtedly convenient, are loaded with chemicals to keep the cheese from clumping and moulding as it naturally should, so it won’t melt properly when cooking either.  If your health isn’t a reason enough to convince you to shred your own cheese, then perhaps this will- it saves you money.  Blocks of cheese are bigger which means they will last you longer, the price of one block of cheese is equivalent to the price of shredded cheese.  This can of course vary depending on where you live, but without a doubt shredding your cheese is always the way to go.

Oh and please, I beg of youdo not use processed cheese slices.  It isn’t really even cheese.  Don’t do your body like that.

Directions.

  1.  Start by shredding your cheese, I use both cheddar and mozzarella mixed in together to make approximately 1 cup of cheese.
  2.  In a side bowl, tear up the kale so it’s ready to be tossed on the sandwich.  Kale cooks fast.
  3.  Warm up a frying pan to a low/medium heat and use some of your margarine or butter to oil the pan ensuring the entire pan is coated.
  4.  Heavily butter one side of each of the bread, keep in mind this will be the outside and what is laid on the frying pan.  You can choose to butter the insides as well but I choose to skip out on the extra butter.
  5.  Place the buttered side face down on the frying pan, and sprinkle the sandwich with most of the cheese evenly distributing it, hiding any bare bread spots.
  6.  Spread your kale pieces on top of the cheese then cover the layer of kale with the rest of your cheese.
  7.  Now you can place the other piece of bread on top, buttered side UP!

Timing.

Watch for the bottom layer of cheese to melt as your first indicator.  I found it is better to start on a low/medium heat for a couple of minutes before increasing the heat as this allows the cheese to nicely melt without the bread burinng.

After about 2-3 minutes of sitting on the low/medium heat, increase to a medium heat and let sit for another minute or two prior to flipping.

When flipping, make sure to do it in one quick swift motion and lean the pan inwards towards the sandwich.  If you flip it too soon before the cheese has melted, your sandwich will fall apart mid-flip and you won’t like what you’re left with.  Happens to my impatient self all too much!

Keep in mind that the other side will cook a lot faster since the majority of the cheese is already melted and now you’re really just toasting the bread.

I like my grilled cheese on the lighter side of the grilled spectrum and so I don’t keep mine on the burner for too long.  Take my time suggestions as a rough guideline and pay attention to the doneness of your bread and cook appropriately.

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