Yup. That’s an eggplant crust you’re looking at. Not bread.
April is National Grilled Cheese month, and in honor of the crisp-and-creamy sandwich, we decided to scour the internet for some of the healthiest, tastiest alternatives to the classic comfort food we know and love. While you might not see grilled cheese on our Freshly menu anytime soon (sorry), we’re still big fans of a little indulgence. These recipes are all creatively gluten-free, and make for a great snack.
While there are many “gluten-free” alternatives to bread out there (that use corn or rice starch), some of those options don’t actually serve up any nourishing nutrients, and can still be highly processed, leading to potential weight gain. We really wanted to find creative recipes packed with as much nutrition as possible, so instead of subbing bread for gluten-free “bread” brands, we tried to find recipes that utilized fresh veggies and other ingredients. Take a look, and see what you think.
#1 GRILLED EGGPLANT GRILLED CHEESE.
There are many variations and recipes for eggplant grilled cheese, which subs bread for, well, a grilled eggplant. We like this recipe, from mindbodygreen, for its simplicity and few ingredients (see below, there’s only three!)
Ingredients (see full recipe here):
- 1 large eggplant, sliced vertically into 6 (1/4” or slightly thicker) slices
- 8 slices of fresh mozzarella – 1/4” or slightly thicker (or cheese substitute such as mozzarella sheese)
- 8 slices of fresh ripe tomato – 1/4” thick
But don’t feel confined to just one variation. Here’s a deliciously tasty one, from Living Well Kitchen, that packs in protein on top of the eggplant, by adding salmon to the cheesy mix. See the full recipe here:
#2 CAULIFLOWER CRUST GRILLED CHEESE | Recipe from: The Iron You
We love that this cauliflower crust grilled cheese looks and tastes just as appealing as your traditional cheesy sandwich – but it’s healthier! Blogger Mike from Iron You is a triathlete and Ironman, and he shared his recipe for concocting “cauliflower crust”, which he uses in a ton of different recipes, like pizza See the full recipe and other delicious uses for cauliflower crust here.
- Small head cauliflower
- Free-range organic egg
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Fine grain sea salt
- Ground black pepper
For the grilled cheese:
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese
#3 PORTABELLA AND HALLOUMI “BURGERS” | Recipe from: The Mushroom Channel
Maybe when you think of a portobello and halloumi combo, your mind jumps to an appetizer or tapas-style small plate. But food writer Shaina Olmanson from Food For My Family wants you to think a little bigger. These burgers don’t use any bread or gluten-free bread alternatives, and instead take advantage of the thickness of portobello mushrooms to make a unique “bun.” Throw in the mushroom’s other half, halloumi cheese, and you’ve got yourself a “grilled” cheese. Creative. We love it. See the full recipe on the Mushroom Channel here, and Shaina’s blog here.
- Portabella mushroom caps with stems removed
- Balsamic vinegar
- Olive oil
- Sea salt and pepper
- Basil leaves