When I was in my first trimester, one of the few foods that actually appealed to me was a grilled cheese sandwich. I had one practically every day; I guess the carb-y, salty, protein-filled meal just hit the spot in those early, queasy days. I made my sandwiches with the best quality ingredients—organic cheese, sprouted bread, extra virgin olive oil—but I knew they weren't ideal meals.
A word about the bread I used: I got mine from a fabulous bakery called Bread Alone that has a stall at our farmer's market. My loaf was an organic "peasant bread," which is a wide, rustic bread that is chewy and delicious; I sometimes see it sold as "Tuscan bread." If you're using regular sandwich bread, you could probably use four slices and make two separate sandwiches.
yield: 2 servings
- 2 slices peasant bread
- about 1 1/2 cups baby spinach, washed and dried
- 1/4 avocado
- about 3 oz smoked gouda (extra sharp cheddar would work well, too)
- extra virgin olive or coconut oil for grilling
- salt, to taste
- Tabasco or other hot sauce, to taste (optional)
|Beautiful, verdant spinach brightens up any sandwich.|
|Y'all know that I worship the avocado, right?|
Pack the spinach into a small food processor and chop. Add the avocado and process a bit more. Spinach and avocado are both nutritional powerhouses; they are especially good sources of folate, which is crucial during pregnancy to prevent birth defects.
It should turn into a nice paste.
I roughly chopped the gouda, then threw it in the processor and pulsed a few more times, until the pieces of cheese are small and dispersed throughout. If you'd prefer to shred it, just fold the shredded cheese into the avocado-spinach paste. This is a good time to sample a bit of the mixture and add salt and/or hot sauce, to taste.
Spread evenly over the slices of bread. At this point, you could certainly throw these under the broiler and you'd have two fabulous, open-faced sandwiches.
Warning: it is so ooey and gooey that—when you take a bite—some of the filling may squish out of the other side. Keep a napkin handy, my friends.
And, yes, I did say earlier that this yields two servings. Seriously, it is a rich and filling sandwich and you will feel good if you split it with someone and have a little soup or salad on the side. If you can't help yourself and you end up feeling overstuffed, don't come crying to me, missy!
UPDATE: Ann of Sumptuous Spoonfuls (who has guested posted for us) featured her version of this recipe with a lovely review!
UPDATE: Our sandwich has been featured on She Knows in celebration of National Sandwich Month!