This is totally my no-need-to-think, soothing grilled cheese/tomato soup day. I recently got some bad news and as a result have recently found myself mindlessly going through the day. So I figured as a personal pick me up, I would treat myself to a nice loong yoga class and follow it up with one of my favorite comfort meals that soothes my tummy, especially on those cold, stressful days! I also find that during stressful times, my body gets a little screwy – headaches, stomachaches, sometimes cold-like symptoms. After talking to my doctor, I found out that these kind of responses from the body often happen to people during stressful situations. So if you are one of these people and are interested in learning more about the specific immunity boosters from some of the ingredients used, read below.
One of my favorite food books in my library is, The New Whole Food Encyclopedia, by Rebecca Wood. From this book I learned the following:
Flaxseeds: Flaxseeds are clear immunity boosters. Studies show that this seed helps to prevent cancer, strengthen the heart and its arteries and alleviate arthritis. Because the seed softens when it comes in contact with liquid, it is very good at cleaning out the intestines, regulating bowel movements and soothing sore throats. For women, the seed can help to regulate the menstrual cycle.
Garlic: You have probably heard of the many of the health benefits of garlic so I won’t go into details, but what is important for the cold weather is that garlic is warming in nature and acts as a stimulant for strengthening the spleen, stomach, kidney and lungs. For all of you that suffered from the recent flu outbreak: garlic can act as a fever reducer as it increases perspiration in the body.
Roasted Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese/Apple Sandwiches
Yield: 2 servings (I only made enough for my husband & myself, so just double the recipe if you need more!)
For the soup:
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 medium sized red onion
- 3 large tomatoes
- 1/4″ jalapeno*
- 1 tblspn plain yogurt
- 2 tspns flax seeds
- salt, pepper, basil, crushed red pepper
*This is an estimated size for medium spice. If you want more/less spice, adjust the size of the jalapeno that you use.
For the sandwiches:
- 1 granny smith apple
- whole wheat bread
- cheddar cheese
- 1 tblspn Dijon mustard, if desired
For the soup:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the tomatoes and onion into slices, which are roughly 1/2″ thick. Spread out the pieces onto a baking pan. Wrap the garlic gloves in foil and place them on the baking sheet as well. Top generously with the salt and pepper (I used about 1/2 teaspoon of each). Sprinkle with crushed red pepper. Put in oven and let back for about 45 minutes.
Once the vegetables cool, put everything in a food processor (the tomatoes will be soft, so try to catch all off the runny juicy-ness). Also, unwrap the garlic from the foil and include it in along with the jalapeno and tomatoes/onions and blend everything together. I like to leave it a little chunky instead of blending it to a smooth consistency, but blend to your desired smoothness!
In a medium pot, add in the vegetable broth, the blended mixture, yogurt and stir everything together. Stir in the basil and flax seeds. Simmer over low-medium heat for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more salt and pepper to taste if needed.
For the grilled cheese:
One one slice of bread, place a thing layer of cheese. On top of the cheese, place a layer of green apple and then another layer of cheese. For those who like mustard, I recommend spreading some dijon mustard on the bread before grilling. In a medium sized sauce pan, grill the sandwich on both sides until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted. Press down on the sandwich with a spatula to help it cook.