Tomato Basil Mozzarella Grilled Cheese

Published on: 01/27/2021

I C R A V E grilled cheese sandwiches in the wintertime. Yes, it’s comfort food, but I also love the sheer simplicity of this all-American classic! One of my favorite childhood foods was grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches.  Today, let’s take it one step further and add fresh basil for a take on the classic Caprese with melted cheese on a slice of hearty whole grain bread.

Did you know that plants + dairy foods are a superfood power couple these days? With veggies and fruits containing a ton of good-for-you compounds called phyto (plant) nutrients, as well as vitamins, minerals and fiber, which keep your total body well by keeping your cells, heart, brain and gut healthy. Plus, plant foods support a healthy immune system – a number one priority right now during the pandemic.

Dairy foods provide important nutrients for people of all ages to grow and maintain stronger bodies and minds, as well as immune-boosting nutrients like vitamins A, vitamin D and protein. The protein in dairy, whey and casein, keeps you feeling full longer, provides energy to fuel your day and helps muscles recover while you sleep. Plus, you get nutrients, such as calcium, potassium and vitamin D, that are often low in the American diet. Therefore, you can feel good eating plants and dairy as a combo that not only nourishes but tastes great together!

Melted calcium-rich cheese over colorful veggies is always in style. Choose a hearty rustic whole grain bread to stand up well to the toppings.  Not only will the whole grains give you a bit more fiber, but a tasty texture to savor with each bite.  Pile on a couple of slices of a juicy vitamin C-rich tomato, a large fresh basil leaf and a good quality mozzarella cheese – you can save some fat and calories by using part-skim mozzarella, if you want.

Tomato Basil Mozzarella Grilled Cheese

Serves 1

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 slices crusty whole grain bread

2 slices ripe tomato

1 large (or 2 small) fresh basil leaf

1 ounce part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

A pinch of salt and black pepper

Directions

Assemble the sandwich by placing tomatoes on one slice of the bread, add basil and top with cheese to cover generously. Season with salt and pepper.  Top with the other slice of bread.

Place a skillet over medium-high heat on the stovetop* drizzle with oil and allow to heat for about 10 seconds.  Put the sandwich into the skillet and cover.  Heat on one side for 2 – 3 minutes, checking occasionally to see if the cheese is melting and the cooked bread side is golden brown.  Flip the sandwich and cook for another 2 minutes or until cheese is oozing out and bread is golden brown on that side.

Remove sandwich from the skillet and place on a cutting board; cut in half and enjoy.

*You can make this on a stove top grill or in the oven and finish under the broiler for a few seconds to slightly char the bread.

Want more nourishing inspiration?  Feel free to subscribe to my weekly newsletter (see the sign-up form in the side bar).  

Enjoy eating simply,

-Vicki

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Hi, I am Vicki. I am a food-loving registered dietitian nutritionist and I want to inspire you to get in the kitchen with real food!

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