Sunday, July 29, 2012

Asparagus Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I may have a snacking problem.  Except that I don't really think of it as a problem.  I just really can't help it that I want to eat something every few hours.  Or every hour, but who's counting?

My most recent favorite snacks include the likes of Trader Joe's Cookie Butter (I blame Joy and Tracy for this one), Starbucks' bistro boxes, Starbucks' cashew and almond packets, Fage greek yogurt with honey, and grilled cheese.  In my defense, I usually put together a few of these items to form what I like to call a "meal".  So if you think about it that way, I guess I'm not always snacking, technically.

To be honest, this is how I make it through a whole week of traveling without gaining 10 pounds a month.  It's no big secret that I've been keeping.  Mostly, my diet developed out of a desire to eat everything in sight.  Eventually, I settled on having a little bit of each thing.  Here's an example of my lunch from earlier this week: small Whole Foods salad with hard-boiled eggs and grilled chicken, a California Roll, half a grilled cheese sandwich (it was a tomato and spinach grilled cheese!), and a small bowl of soup.  I'm accustomed to getting odd looks from cashiers.  This is the pure randomness of my food life.  Just let it be.

Usually the summer doesn't put me in a grilled cheese mood.  In fact, I'm usually only in a grilled cheese mood when I go out to a diner and someone else can make it for me.  However, I've been getting cravings for it in recent weeks so I decided to throw another concoction together.  And this time I threw in some asparagus.  I can't claim all the credit, though.  I got this idea from Kevin over at Closet Cooking.  He's got a great selection of grilled cheese recipes just ripe for the taking!

Asparagus Grilled Cheese
slightly adapted from Closet Cooking
makes 1 sandwich

  • 6-8 stalks asparagus (trimmed and cleaned)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 teaspoons grainy mustard
  • 2-3 slices gruyere cheese (or any type of cheese you prefer)
  • 2 slices of bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter (room temperature)
1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2) Pour the olive, salt and pepper over the asparagus. Toss so the asparagus is evenly coated.

3) Place the asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake in the oven for 10 - 30 minutes.  The amount of time you need will depend on your asparagus and your preference.

4) Optional step: I cut my asparagus in half because I find that they can be too stringy for me.

5) Spread the mustard on one side of each slice of bread. Top with asparagus and cheese slices.  Close the sandwich.

6) Spread the butter on the outer sides of each slice of bread.

7)  Grill until the bread is toasted on each side and the cheese is melted.

Why do I never remember how life-altering whole grain mustard can be?  I need to use this stuff more often.  It's kind of like magic.   It brings a slight, crunchy tang to any mouth party.  And of course we could never forget the asparagus, melted cheese, and crunchy bread.  Let's do this snacking thing up right!

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