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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Grilled Cheese sandwich with pesto, avocado, and tomoato

I think one of the most important things I have learned from the past (naerly) year (wow!) that we have been getting the weekly box of produce from Abundant Harvest, is that if you have enough of the right foods in your house, it is really much easier to eat at home than it is to go through a drive-through.

And don't get me started on how much more:
  • healthy
  • inexpensive
  • environmentally responsible
  • delicious
Because it is all those things too.

But take last night, as an example.

We were at karate class, where all three kids were punching and kicking their little hearts out, when I suddenly remembered that we had a cub scout meeting at 4:45 (why such an odd time? Let's just say compromise). Since karate ends at 4:30, we would need to go straight to cub scouts. And since cub scouts ends at 6:00, that really leaves no time for cooking dinner. And since this just occured to me, clearly I didn't plan ahead.

No problem. We'll go through the In-N-Out drive through on the way home. Easy, cheap, delicious, and, best of all, these tired and hungry martial artists/scouts will get to eat right away.

Except, as I drove toward In-N-Out, I could see the line at the drive through. If you haven't ever been to In-N-Out, shame on you   I am deeply sorry   come to California immediately   you may not realize that the cars will line up 15-20 deep at dinner time. And stay that way late into the night. The extremely friendly and happy staff will take care of those cars just as quickly as you can imagine, but still. You have to wait for those 15-20 people to order their fries animal style, their burgers double-double-protein-style-easy-on-the-spread-with-grilled-onions, and their chocolate shakes... just shakes. There really is no way to improve on those milkshakes. mmmm.

Anyway, I decided not to swing the car over and get in that line. Why? In addition to the long line, because... say it with me...  there are vegetables in my house that I need to use up! That is becoming quite a refrain around here.

But in all honesty, I do have vegetables I need to use up. And they are much better for me than a double double. Even if I order it protein style (no bun), and even though it comes with "hand leafed lettuce" and tomato. Even if they own no microwaves or freezers.

I went home and pulled together a meal that probably took less time than that drive through line would have taken. And it involved real, organic, fresh produce. And was absolutely delicious.

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with pesto, avocado, and tomato

If you have cheese, bread, and butter in the house, all you need to do is dress it up a little bit. It makes all the difference in the world.

Mine were stacked like this:

buttered bread
chive pesto (although basil pesto would be great too)
muenster cheese
more muenster cheese
buttered bread

You can really stack up anything you want... I would love to have it with bacon, fresh basil, roasted peppers, jalapenos, or even slices of pear. The trick is just to take some fresh veggies, some strong flavor to balance the cheese (like pesto or hummus), and to stack it up!

I placed one slice of bread on the griddle, then spread the pesto and layered the cheese. Once it started to melt a little bit, I place the other bread next to it, stacked up the other items on it, and then flipped the first bread and cheese on top. That way the bread was toasted and the cheese melted, but the tomato and avocado didn't get too warm and slimy.

I served it with some fresh fruit, and we were happily munching away within 15 minutes of walking in the front door. Which is good, because there was still homework to do...