Soup and sandwiches are one of life’s perfect meals. Honestly. There is something that is just so comforting about settling in after a long day to a bowl of soup and the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. It is one of my favorite go-to meals.
But in the dog days of summer when the mercury is rising, sometimes that hot bowl of soup might not seem as comforting as it would in the cool evenings of spring, fall, or the cold of winter. That’s how I felt the other day after being out in the heat for a long 17 mile run. While a homemade soup sounded great…standing over a pot simmering on the stove just wasn’t doing it for me.
And then it struck me!
Gazpacho. Cold soup. My roommate had picked up a 10 pound watermelon (hey, it’s my favorite post-run food!) at the local farmers market that morning. My CSA bin provided me with local and fresh vegetables to incorporate with it. And…as for the sandwich…well…what pairs well with watermelon? Feta cheese! And so…my dinner idea was born.
With fresh ingredients and very little processed ingredients going into this dish, I was totally unjunking a comfort food classic. It’s all part of my new diet…eating clean. Clean eating can be a challenge, but if you approach it right and work hard to clean up what you put in your body, you’ll find that you not only feel better, but you actually enjoy your new way of eating.
That’s how Rudi’s feels too. In fact, Rudi’s is starting an online magazine called UNJUNK, which will highlight Rudi’s products and other great choices that help “unjunk” your child’s lunchbox from all those highly processed, low-nutrient foods and will show you how to replace them with organic, low-ingredient list foods with high nutritional value. It’s how clean eating works and I’m proud to see Rudi’s taking not only an interest but a giant leap in this direction.
Remember how I mentioned that grilled cheese sandwich? Well, Rudi’s just launched another awesome campaign this month. It’s their “Say Cheese” photo contest. Rudi’s is encouraging fans to submit up to one photo a day of their child enjoying a handcrafted meal made with a Rudi’s product. By doing so, they are automatically entered for a chance to win a variety of prizes, including a $500 Whole Foods shopping spree!
What better reason to pull out a couple slices of Rudi’s Gluten-Free Multigrain Bread and get a little creative with the items you sandwich inside, right? Right! And that’s exactly what I did when I set out to make a healthier version of a comfort food classic, pairing watermelon in the soup with the salty and tangy nature of Feta cheese. It seemed like a match made in heaven.
Below is my recipe for a healthy spin on soup and sandwich, dressed up for the summer months. You and your family will love the refreshing flavors and chill of the homemade Watermelon Gazpacho. Pair it with a Gluten-Free Feta and Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwich, and you took comfort food to clean food.
Ingredients for Watermelon Gazpacho (Serves 6-8):
Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
- 8 cups finely diced seedless watermelon, (about 6 pounds with the rind)
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Mix watermelon, cucumber, bell pepper, basil, parsley, vinegar, shallot, oil and salt in a large bowl.
- Puree 3 cups of the mixture in a blender or food processor to the desired smoothness.
- Transfer to another large bowl.
- Puree another 3 cups and add to the bowl.
- Stir in the remaining diced mixture.
- Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Ingredients for Gluten-Free Grilled Feta and Tomato Sandwich (Serves 2)
- 4 slices Rudi’s Gluten-Free Multigrain Bread
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, approximately
- 4 ounces Feta cheese, sliced
- 1 large tomato
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
- fresh ground black pepper
- Brush both sides of each bread slice with some oil.
- Using a cheese slicer, cut 2 slices of Feta cheese from the block. They might crumble, but it still works.
- Slice 1/4-inch thick slices from the tomato, 2 per sandwich.
- Assemble the sandwiches by placing a tomato on a bread slice, top it with the cheese, place the other tomato on that, season with pepper, then top with fresh basil. Cover with the other slice of bread.
- In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, over moderate heat, place each sandwich on the surface and cook until golden, about 2 minutes on each side.
Karen Bradyhas been vegetarian since early 2010 and went gluten-free for medical reasons in February 2011. She is an avid runner in training for her upcoming first marathon. Other loves include cooking, traveling and writing, which she combines into her blog at http://veggiefoodlover.wordpress.com. She resides in Southern Indiana and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.