Monday, January 10, 2011

Grilled Cheese with Avocado and Sweet Potato Fries

One of my New Year's Resolutions is to eat less sugar this year. I hesitate to refer to things as "resolutions" because I think that gives them a shelf life of approximately three weeks until they're expired and forgotten. Nonetheless, I always make a list of things I hope to do in the New Year - both short-term and long-term goals, some easy (finally drag my butt to a Bikram yoga class) and some that will take a lot of time (figure out what I want to do with my life). Anyway, in the health section of my goals is to eat less sugar. I looooove candy, cookies, cake - dessert of any kind. I try to justify my crazed eating by the fact that I run a lot and have been good about sticking to weight training 3-4 times a week, but I think the November and December Holiday dessert binging got a little out of hand, so now I'm trying to take control. I am going to try to limit my dessert consumption to weekends. I started this last Monday (after eating a last-hurrah piece of pumpkin pie and several chocolate truffles on Sunday night) and made it until Thursday night when a co-worker and I went to our supervisor's house for drinks/appetizers/dessert. I'm calling that 3 3/4 days without sweets - and though I didn't make it until Friday or Saturday like I'd planned, I'm still quite proud of this achievement. After literally eating multiple desserts every day for 30 days, it was really hard not to have any, and Pat can attest to the fact that I focused my attention on complaining about my cravings rather than actually eating the sweets. I know it will get easier with time, but last week was tough!

I came home on Friday night to a very happy sight...the Ferrero brothers were waiting for me! Hey boys!

Waiting right on my kitchen windowsill, next to the tumbling Santas and the cutest poinsettia plant I bet you've ever seen in your life (from my mom). Have you taken down your holiday decorations yet? I haven't, but I'm starting to think I should probably get on it.

They quickly jumped into my hand and were devoured (a little too quickly). I've always loved Ferrero Rocher (the milk chocolate and hazelnut truffle) and this year Pat made the (gigantic) mistake of buying me a huge assorted box which included Ferrero Rondoir (dark chocolate) and Ferrero Garden (coconut). I cannot say which I like the best because they're all so delicious in a different way. Needless to say, I ate as many as I could this weekend so there'd be less to tempt me during my sugar celibacy the week.

You know when you get a craving for something and you just can't stop thinking about it? All I wanted this weekend was a grilled cheese with avocado and some homemade sweet potato fries. I bought some marble rye bread, Land O Lakes American cheese, and Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar cheese. At home I had a perfectly ripe avocado waiting for the right dish.

Jim put a sweet potato in everyones stocking this year, which I think he got a kick out of because it was such a random stocking stuffer. Random, but certainly useful! This guy was about to become fries.

I peeled the potato and sliced it into uniform pieces.

Then I added 1/8 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, and 1 tsp olive oil.

Mix up the potato slices to evenly coat the olive oil and distribute the spices.

I sprayed a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray and baked at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping  the fries after 10 minutes. (Note - my fries got a little browner than expected - 375 degrees might be a better temp, or just reduce cooking time to about 8 minutes on each side).

While my fries were baking I made my grilled cheese.

I used some more olive oil cooing spray to cover my skillet and heated on medium. I put down one slice of bread, the American cheese (I used 1 1/2 slices) and my avocado slices.

Once the cheese started to melt I added the Cheddar cheese and the top slice of bread, lifted the sandwich to re-spray the skillet, and flipped to cook the other side. My finished product was cheesy, rich avocado on perfectly crisp marble rye bread. As I write this I'm dying for another one. This is exactly what I'd been craving and it was so good.

I drank a lot of iced green tea this weekend, which I usually have in the summer, but was in the mood for. I just boiled about 6-8 cups of water and poured it into a large pitcher and added 3 teabags of my favorite green tea.

Yogi teabags always have a little saying on them, and I thought this was particularly fitting for the beginning of the year and trying new things:

I let the teabags steep in the water for a few hours (much longer than with hot tea) and then refrigerate. Sometimes I'll squeeze some lemon in it or add a little honey for sweetness, but usually I have it plain.

I'd also like to note that I went for my first long run of the new year, and also my first run outside. I haven't been running much in the past couple weeks because I've been so sick, and I haven't run outside because its been so cold and I've been a wimp. On Sunday morning I got up early and headed out for a six-mile run, but ended up feeling so good that I ran eight miles. I'd forgotten how great a run can make you feel, especially outside and not on the treadmill!

1 comment:

  1. Now I can't stop thinking about this sandwich! I guess I'll have to make it for dinner this week :) Thanks for the inspiration, and for using Cabot cheese! Our farm family owners appreciate your support!