Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Essence of Bread Crust

When you were a kid did you used to put up a fuss about eating your bread crusts?  I certainly did.  My dad provided a compelling argument for eating the crust:  he said it would put hair on my chest.  Being an intelligent kid, I knew that girls didn't typically have or want hairy chests; this gave me a leg up in the debate.  Then, just yesterday, during a period of deep philosophical introspection, I realized that the bread and the crust are both made of the same thing.  The crust is just darker because it's exposed to the heat of the oven or the sides of the pan.  Alas, despite these ontological contemplations, I learned the crust really is good for you.

As a result of my bread crust musings and our gloomy weekend--cloudy skies, drizzles, chilly air--we enjoyed my Best Tomato Soup paired with grilled cheese sandwiches.  Campbell's may be Mmm Mmm Good, but this soup is Om Om Good.  It's quick, inexpensive, packed full of phytonutrients, and doesn't have high fructose corn syrup (if you're buying canned tomato soup, make sure you read the label, most are sweetened).  The red wine adds depth while the Greek yogurt makes it creamy without all the fat of using heavy cream--save that fat for the sandwich!  The avocado mixed with the sharp cheddar achieves a buttery taste with the added punch of omega3s (perfect for a gloomy weekend, omega3s are known mood-boosters!).  We enjoyed this meal not once, but twice this weekend!

Best Tomato Soup
You can enjoy this soup hot or cold, so it's good on gloomy days & air quality alert days!

1/2 onion, chunked
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp rosemary
6oz can tomato paste
12oz water
1-15oz can crushed tomatoes
1-15oz can diced tomatoes in juice (check for no salt added)
Splash of red wine
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
Salt & pepper

In a food processor or blender, puree onion & garlic (If you don't have access to either of these, you can finely chop the garlic & onion; this will obviously change the texture of the soup).

In a large pot, heat oil and add onion puree and rosemary.  Cook 1-2 min or until fragrant.  Add tomato puree.  Fill the 6oz can with water twice and mix well to combine.  Add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and red wine.  Mix well.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat.  Simmer for 15 min.

Remove from heat.  Add Greek yogurt and mix well.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Grilled Cheese
Warning:  this is an extremely rich and filling sandwich; you may become full quite quickly.

Whole wheat bread
Sharp cheddar cheese (2 slices per sandwich)
Avocado, evenly sliced (1/2 an avocado per sandwich)
Roma tomato, evenly sliced (about 4 slices per sandwich)
Your favorite buttery spread (we use Earth Balance)

Sandwich blueprint:  Buttered bread (butter side down) / Slice of cheese / tomato slices / avocado slices / Slice of cheese / Buttered bread (butter side up)

Cook on medium heat for 1 1/2 - 2 min per side (or until bread is golden brown).  Take care that your tomato & avocado slices are relatively flat so the whole flipping part doesn't turn into some sort of flying avocado ordeal.

Shameless Plug:  Only two more weeks to take advantage of Karma Month at the Glowing Body.  Come check out Balancing Flow on Tuesday at 7:45pm!


  1. I'm not one for canned tomato soup. I may just have to this though, not to mention the sandwich. Avacado... Yummy. Or rather Om Om Good.

  2. While some of the ingredients come from cans, the soup is NOT canned! I chose to use canned tomato products because they often retain more nutrients than fresh tomatoes. Give it a try, you won't regret it!