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The Blue & Gray Press | October 17, 2017

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Four not so average cheeses for the average student

By LAUREN BRUMFIELD

FOOD

If one were to peek into the kitchen of the average college student, the following dietary staples would be found: ramen noodles, Easy Mac, hot pockets, instant oatmeal and anything else that can be cooked in less than seven minutes.

Students run on a grab & go diet for perfectly viable reasons: sitting in class, running to weekly club meetings, studying for the next test and possibly cramming in a work out or two can easily take up most of the day.

The simple fact becomes, unfortunately, that the average college student lifestyle does not give the allotted time to cook the next great Bobby Flay creation. Because of these busy schedules, any eating of healthy and/or well-balanced meals takes effort and becomes work. In turn, students go for whatever is fastest: something fried or covered in a synthetic cheese.

So to add a bit of color to your cupboard, bring out your inner chef and experiment with one of all of these quick and easy grilled cheese sandwiches.

 

The Cheesy One: Mac & Cheese Grilled Cheese

Ingredients:

-2 slices of sourdough bread

-1 cup of macaroni and cheese pasta

-2 tomato slices, if desired

-Panko breadcrumbs

-At least 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

-Butter

-Salt & pepper

-Ketchup for serving

 

Directions:

1.     Make macaroni and cheese.

2.     Place pan on medium heat with a chunk of butter.

3.  While pan is heating, mix macaroni and cheese in a bowl with about three teaspoons of breadcrumbs and a few pinches of shredded cheese.

4.     Form mixture into patties and place on pan. Cook until golden brown on each side.

5.     While the macaroni and cheese patties cook, butter the outside of each bread slice.

6.     Press the buttered side of the bread into a plate of panko crumbs.

7.     Remove macaroni and cheese patties from pan and set aside.

8.     Place slice on pan with breadcrumbs facing downwards.

9.   Layer shredded cheese, macaroni and cheese patty more shredded cheese, and then top slice of bread with crumbs facing upwards.

10.  Cook until golden brown on each side.

 

The Healthy One: Veggie Stuffed Grilled Cheese

Ingredients:

-2 thick slices multigrain bread

-1/2 avocado

-1/4 lime

-2 slices Swiss cheese

-2 large tomato slices

-1 small onion

-1 large handful fresh spinach

-Olive oil

-Salt & pepper

-Butter

 

Directions:

1. Begin first by making a simple guacamole. Scoop out half an avocado and mash it in a bowl with lime juice and desired amount of salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. Place about a Tbsp. of olive oil in a pan on medium-high heat. Cut onion in thin slices and place on pan once hot. Allow onions to simmer for several minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.

3. Add spinach to the same pan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until leaves begin to wilt. Add more olive oil if needed. Once spinach has cooked, remove from pan and set aside.

4. Butter the outside of the two slices of bread. Layer the sandwich however you please with the buttered sides of the sandwich facing outwards. Cook until both sides are golden brown.

 

The Meaty One: Turkey Bacon, Avocado & Mozzarella Grilled Cheese

Ingredients:

-2 slices whole grain bread

-3 ounces mozzarella

-1/2 avocado, sliced

-2 slices turkey bacon

-Sliced roma tomatoes, if desired

-2-3 basil leaves

-Butter

 

Directions:

1. Slice avocado, mozzarella and roma tomatoes and set aside. Cook turkey bacon and set aside.

2. Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread.

3. Layer mozzarella, avocado and turkey bacon on unbuttered sides of the bread. Add tomato and basil, if desired, and top with remaining slice of buttered bread.

4. Cook sandwich over medium high heat until golden brown on both sides.

 

The Dessert One: Roasted Strawberry, Brie & Chocolate Grilled Cheese

Ingredients:

-2 thick slices multigrain bread

-6 strawberries, quartered

-2-3 ounces of Brie cheese, sliced

-1-2 ounces of high-quality chocolate

-1/2 teaspoon canola oil

-Pinch of salt

-Butter

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss strawberries on baking sheet with oil and salt and roast for about 12 minutes. Set aside.

2. Heat a large pan on medium heat. Butter the outer side of two slices of bread.

3. Lay one slice on pan buttered side down. Add cheese, chocolate and strawberries, then cover with second slice of bread buttered side up.

4. Cook until both sides of sandwich are golden brown.