Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Going All American

In honor of Super Bowl week, (AKA, 'I don't have to watch football for months and months' week.) I thought we'd go a bit more traditional than normal.

I somehow stumbled across a tasty little recipe for tomato soup the other day while perusing Cooking Light for cheap recipes (not only are we on a diet, but a budget as well), and figured I'd play with it a bit and try my hand at an "all American" meal.

Why does tomato soup go hand-in-hand with grilled cheese? I know that tends to be the norm, but I never ate them together growing up, as far as I can remember, so I figured I'd try it out for myself with some grown-up homemade versions of each.

I'm going to go ahead and interject that I'm, as you probably have realized, off the wheat-free kick. I have two reasons:
1. Vitamin D. I take a boatload of it a day. My mom insists it's just a placebo effect, but my dermatologist recommended it, so I'm gonna go ahead and go with it.
2. CeraVe lotion. I got so hooked on their cream that I also have the night and day face lotions now, too. It's fantastic.
Between those two things, I am hardly itching and quite the happy camper. And had I not needed a second opinion from a second dermatologist (Kaiser=Fail, CBCC=Win) I'd still be back in miserable I-hate-gluten land.

And so, without further ado, low-fat, grown-up grilled cheese and tomato soup. Hubby didn't have a grilled cheese, but his official soup review was, "Wow, you can make this anytime. Was it hard? This is better than Fresh & Easy's."


Grilled Cheese (per person)
2 slices sourdough
dijon mustard
one slice provolone
2 thin slices of ham
a few thin slices of green onion, separated
small bit of shredded sharp cheddar or other cheese
cooking spray

Spread dijon on each slice. Stick everything else in between (you know how to make a sandwich). Spray skillet or griddle with cooking spray, cook about 3 minutes a side.

Tomato Soup
One peeled brown onion, chopped coarsely
Olive oil (about 1 tbsp)
1 tbsp flour
1.5 cups chicken broth
Large can crushed tomatoes (the kind with basil is great)
6 tbsp fat-free half & half (a bit less than a 1/3 cup)
S&P (good pinch each)
Small pinch of cardamom (optional)

Saute onion in oil a couple minutes until soft. Add flour, mix in well for about a minute. Add broth and tomatoes, bring to a boil. Turn off, and either blend in batches until all is smooth, or use an immersion blender (buy one.) to blend in the pot. Add half and half and return to simmer. Turn off and add S&P, etc. to taste.

See? Not hard. In fact, super, super easy. And yes, better than Fresh & Easy's...and I do love me some Tomato Basil from F&E.

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