I don’t know about you, but I enjoy an old favorite for lunch every now and again. Something that brings back childhood memories and makes you think about being a kid once again. I also enjoy taking an old favorite and changing it up a bit, making it healthier even.
Last Wednesday my dear friend, Elizabeth and I spent the day together to celebrate my birthday, which was on Monday. Elizabeth loves to cook as much, if not more, than I do. She once was a caterer! She is the friend that started Del Mar Dinner Club with me and we all still get together quarterly after 11 years. There are four couples and we have a great time together!
Elizabeth asked what I’d like to do for the day. She told me about a store she has wanted to check out for quite some time called “Chef’s Toys”. I told her I thought that sounded like great fun. We had such a blast! It was like walking into a toy store for those of us that like to cook and bake. They had so much to choose from and at great prices. They’ve been open for a year and a half at their new location, which is 8925 Carroll Way, Suite C, San Diego, CA 92121. Their website is http://www.chefstoys.com. Everyone who worked there was so nice and so very helpful. Elizabeth and I filled our cart with things we couldn’t live without. She had a list with her of what she was looking for and had great success. She bought a food mill (I’m getting that next time!), a spiralizer and some other things. I needed some new sheet pans, so was on the lookout for those. I also found some other things to buy, which I’m enjoying using. For just over $40, I was able to purchase two sheet pans, two wooden bowls, a fantastic bread knife, a tomato/cheese/sandwich knife, measuring cups (because I always need a few sets), and a counter scraper (I’ve always wanted one of those to collect the onions or other veggies I’ve chopped … but, always forget until I need it.). It was my lucky day when I spotted one at Chef’s Toys. The wooden bowls are technically salad bowls, but I really wanted them for popcorn.
Below are some pictures of the inside of Chef’s Toys. You can buy everything from kitchen tools to large ovens. I also included a picture of their business card because they will deliver or ship if you want to order on-line from them.
After our fun shopping trip to Chef’s Toys, Elizabeth and I went to lunch at a wonderful place called The WineSeller and Brasserie. When you walk in, the downstairs is a store that sells wine and offers wine tastings and events in the evenings. Upstairs is a lovely restaurant.
I ordered the brie, arugula and blueberry grilled cheese sandwich. It was so very good. I decided to make a version of that today for lunch, but make it my way.
The brie I chose was light brie, the blueberry preserves I chose had reduced sugar and the bread I chose was on the smaller size per slice, therefore – lower calorie. This bread has just 70 calories per slice (I’ve seen many for 110 calories a slice and more). It also was a little thicker and sturdier so I knew it would toast and hold up well when I put it in the microwave to melt my cheese. Kale was my green of choice for my sandwich because that’s what I had on hand.
I decided not to make my “grilled cheese” in the traditional way, saving on the butter or oil used to coat the outside of the bread before grilling. I used to watch my Dad make a toasted cheese sandwich for lunch sometimes and he would toast his bread, place a slice of cheese on each slice of bread and melt the cheese in the microwave that way. He would eat his sandwich open face.
I melted the cheese in the microwave for 40 seconds, which was the perfect amount.
This is my version of a nice lunch, done a little lighter. All in all, the calories for this sandwich were 140 for bread, 30 for the preserves, 70 for the brie and 14 for the kale. This comes to just 254 calories. I added baked chips to my sandwich and a red delicious apple. I feel good about my lunch and it wasn’t too heavy at all.
2 slices wheat sourdough
1 serving light brie cheese
a handful of raw kale
1 tablespoon reduced sugar blueberry preserves
- Toast bread
- Cut brie into small pieces and lay on one slice of the toasted bread. Microwave for 40 seconds.
- Top the melted brie slice with kale, spread the blueberry preserves on the other half of the bread. Close the sandwich, cut in half and enjoy.
Until next time, Kris