Lots of colorful vegetables and salsa make this cheesy panini prettier than any grilled cheese you’ve ever seen. The small amount of Cheddar cheese in this sandwich goes a long way because it is shredded and sharp. Serve with a mixed salad and you’ve got a delightful lunch or light supper. If you happen to have a panini maker, go ahead and skip Step 3 and grill the panini according to the manufacturer’s directions.
4 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup prepared salsa
1 tablespoon chopped pickled jalapeno pepper (optional)
8 slices whole-wheat bread
2 teaspoons canola oil
1. Have four 15-ounce cans and a medium skillet (not nonstick) ready by the stove.
2. Combine Cheddar, zucchini, carrot, onion, salsa and jalapeno (if using) in a medium bowl. Divide among 4 slices of bread and top with the remaining bread.
3. Heat 1 teaspoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place 2 panini in the pan. Place the medium skillet on top of the panini, then weigh it down with the cans. Cook the panini until golden on one side, about 2 minutes.
4. Reduce the heat to medium-low, flip the panini, replace the top skillet and cans, and cook until the second side is golden, 1 to 3 minutes more. Repeat with another 1 teaspoon oil and the remaining panini.
Per serving: 331 calories; 14 g fat (5 g saturated fat, 2 g mono unsaturated fat); 30 mg cholesterol; 37 g carbohydrates; 16 g protein; 5 g fiber; 523 mg sodium; 163 mg potassium
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (50% daily value), Calcium (30% dv), Vitamin C (20% dv), Iron (15% dv).
2 Carbohydrate Servings
Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable, 1 high-fat meat
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