Written by Carrie Stevens, editorial intern
These national food holidays are seriously some of the best inventions ever. Nothing hits the spot quite like a warm and crispy grilled cheese sandwich, and if you’re looking to add some flavor and a boost of well, adulthood, to your comfort food game—without a ton of extra calories—then you’re covered here. We recently sampled gourmet sandwiches crafted by Jason Sobocinski of The Big Cheese with wine pairings from St. Francis Winery and Vineyard, and two sent our taste buds into a frenzy. Grill one up for a classy, no-fuss weekend meal that your guy will love. Because everyone needs to channel their inner kid a little bit, right?
Fresh Chevre, Caramelized Pear, Pickled Ginger and Honey on Sourdough
Paired with Sonoma County Chardonnay
What we think: Don’t knock it til’ you try it! The crisp chardonnay intensifies the cheese and pear flavors while the ginger and honey are great complements.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large ripe pear, skin removed, cored and sliced
- 1 tablespoon pickled ginger, drained and finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 3 oz fresh goat’s milk chevre
- 4 slices sourdough bread
1. Coat a small sauté pan with olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add pear slices, pickled ginger and honey and cook, stirring occasionally, until pear begins to color and soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Pour mixture into a bowl and set aside. Let cool slightly.
2. Meanwhile, spread fresh goat’s milk chevre onto sourdough bread. Add 4 to 6 slices of cooked pears to 2 bread slices. Top with remaining bread.
3. Spread butter onto outsides of each sandwich. Coat a large sauté pan with olive oil and heat over medium heat. Toast sandwiches until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip sandwiches and repeat. Let cool slightly before serving.
Calories per serving: 488
A few weeks ago when we found out we’d be lucky enough to speak with Chopped host, author and food and entertaining guru Ted Allen, we decided to turn the tables and let you, our amazing readers, take the reins for the interview. A few of our Twitter friends (who are also fit bloggers we adore!) passed along the following great questions for Ted, and we couldn’t wait to hear what he had to say.
- @YumYucky: Your career is centered around so much delectable food and drink, yet you maintain a slim and fit appearance. How do you prevent overindulgence and weight gain?
- @FitBottomedGirl: Just like there are trends in fitness and fashion, there seem to be trends in food. What healthy trends are you seeing?
- @IowaGirlEats: I’ve read that you learned from, and are inspired by, your mother’s cooking. Me too! What’s your absolute favorite dish of hers?
- @EatingBender: I love to hear about people following their passion, so can you please fill in the blank: When I wake up in the morning, I am excited about my work because…
Press play to hear about Ted’s fitness routine, the meal that reminds him of his childhood and what motivates him to jump out of bed for work each day.
More from FITNESS:
- Chef Giada De Laurentiis’ Tips for Healthy Cooking and Staying Fit
- Rocco DiSpirito Dishes on Food and Fitness
- “Pretty Delicious” Recipes From the Stiletto Chef
New York City and much of the Northeast U.S. was walloped with another snow storm last night–leaving about 19 additional inches of snow around Central Park and outside my front door! Weather like this leaves me craving certain dishes for dinner…It’s comfort food time, folks. Here are my six go-to cozy meals created for days like today. Bonus: All have fewer than 375 calories per serving!
- 5 Factor Lasagna: A meat-free take on the Italian treat, substituting eggplant in place of pasta for an extra veggie serving. (315 calories, 3 g fat)
- Chickpea Soup with Spinach and Tomato: Warm up with a creamy, protein-packed bowl. Hummus is the secret ingredient in this quick cooking recipe! (228 calories, 12 g fat)
Chipotle Veggie Chili: Your pot will be filled produce at its peak during winter, like sweet potatoes, parsnips and butternut squash. (369 calories, 9 g fat)
- Gooey Grilled Cheese: This isn’t your mom’s American on white bread. Sliced pears give these sandwiches grown up flair. (296 calories, 13 g fat)
- Mac and Cheese Lite: Celebrity chef and triathlete Rocco Dispirito’s lightened up version of everyone’s favorite school lunch side. (237 calories, 7 g fat)
- Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes: Who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner? These fluffy pancakes taste fantastic, even sans-syrup.(238 calories, 8 g fat)
What is your go-to comfort food dish?