Many of my girlfriends and family are fun, awesome, and fabulous young moms, and though I’m still a few years away from little ones of my own, the idea of “mom friendly” dishes has popped up more than once. I was a pretty open minded eater as a little kid, but my brother on the other hand…ketchup and brown stuff only. Getting a vegetable across his plate was practically impossible. I’m surprised he survived toddlerhood without a bout of scurvy. So to help out these lovely friends of mine, I’m dedicating mondays to mom-friendly dinners that are easy to make, delicious for everybody, and all with some secret fruits and veggies folded in.
If the weather gets at all chilly outside, I think we all get a hankering for grilled cheese. Honestly, my favorite is the simplest: white bread, buttered on the outside, filled with cheddar. A cup of tomato soup on the side pushes this classic comfort into pure bliss. So I combined the two by adding a little sliced tomato and roasted vegetable puree to this otherwise classic sandwich. Feel free to toss some of your other favorite vegetables into the puree for variety. I love it as dip with pita and raw on its own. Enjoy!
INGREDIENTS (GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH)
2 slices whole grain bread (or ezekial bread)
2 tablespoons sneaky veggie puree (recipe below)
2 slices cheese, i used cheddar
1 1/4 inch thick slice of heirloom tomato
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon olive oil or spray oil
Spread a tablespoon of veggie spread on each piece of bread, then layer each piece of bread with a slice of cheese, and add a slice of tomato on top. Sandwich the slices together and spread the butter on the outside of the sandwich. Heat a sauté pan over a medium-low flame, add a teaspoon of olive oil, and cook until the cheese has started to melt (about 3 minutes), flip and cook until the cheese is completely melted. Serve immediately.
INGREDIENTS (SNEAKY VEGGIE PUREE)
1/4 cup cashews
1/3 cup peeled and diced carrots
1/3 cup chopped yams
1/3 cup peeled and diced parsnip
1 tablespoon olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
this is optional, but it gives the puree a cheesy flavor
For the veggie puree, soak the cashews in room temperature water overnight (or speed up the process, but get a less creamy consistency by soaking them in hot water for 2 hours). Drain and set aside.
Preheat oven to 425 F. Spread out the carrots, yams, and parsnips on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with a pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and golden brown.
Take the veggies out of the oven and add to a food processor, along with the cashews and optional nutritional yeast. Add 2/3 cup of water and a pinch of salt and puree until very smooth. Add more water if necessary, it should have the consistency of a pureed soup.