grilled cheese inspirations and a super fast tomato-chipotle soup

inspired by saturday’s grilled cheese invitational, my coworkers and i decided to make our own grilled cheese masterpieces at our today’s morning go game meeting.  one quick supermarket trip and one go game amex later, we had all the fixin’s for killer grilled cheeses and an easy sort-of-homemade tomato soup.

ok, rant warning:  i keep wanting to use the phrase ‘semi-homemade’ but that conjures unpleasant visions of food network star and stepford-wife-clone-with-a-disturbingly-immobile-forehead sandra lee.  check out her website for some frightening recipes like this one for macaroni and cheese, which is essentially ‘make sponsored processed food item. add two more processed food items.  enjoy the chemicals!’.  every single recipe includes ‘specially selected food items’ and ‘ready-made product’ brand names, which explains why she is launching a magazine when amazing ones like domino are shutting their doors. it’s because she is clearly choosing ingredients based on the corporate food conglomerate sponsors rather than what is healthy or tastes good. i appreciate the fact that she encourages people to cook rather than buy fast food, and that she encourages shortcuts to make people’s lives easier, but there are better ways to cook quick, easy, and cheap meals that are healthier for eaters, animals, producers, and the environment.  i’m certainly not perfect in this regard (see bright orange awesomeness below), but i try to make good choices when confronted by certain purchasing decisions, like in making the tomato-chipotle soup. i’ll try to give suggestions throughout this blog for how to avoid highly processed packaged foods in favor of fresher, healthier options, and i’d love to hear anyone else’s suggestions as well. alright, rant over.

wooo, got sidetracked there. back to grilled cheeeeeeese. erin and i brainstormed on our walk to the supermarket and then picked up more ideas based on what we saw at the store. sliced portobello mushrooms, avocados, tomatoes, and fresh basil for greenery. boursin spreadable cheese (secret ingredient of my friend kellin’s kickass GC) and orange cheddar for classic GC steez. grace baking olive bread and sourdough with wheat germ.  and a shitton of butter. we’re lucky that the 23rd and south van ness DeLano’s market has a good selection of organic foods and artisanal bread and everything except the ginormous brick of orange cheese (which had no ingredient list but was super cheap and nostalgically neon) was preservative free. partial ingredient lineup here:

ingredient-lineup

mmm you can practically see the ‘yellow 5 natural coloring’ reflecting back lovingly into your five-year-old eyes. as for the accompanying soup,  i actually had a huge can of classic campbell’s tomato in my basket when i decided to avoid its high fructose corn syrupiness if at all possible. so instead i picked up organic vegetable broth in a carton, a can of organic diced tomatoes, a can of tomato paste (ingredients: tomatoes!) and my new best friend, a can of chipotles in adobo. yes, it was more expensive, but nice to make your own, and hey, office supplies are deductible, right lisa? i tossed in the ends of the sliced tomatoes for texture and some of the fresh basil and it turned out pretty tastilicious. the veggie-riffic version of the sandwich below.

tggrilledcheese

respect to all the GCI competitors from this weekend – i knew their job was hard but straddling the delicate melt-yo-cheese-but-don’t-burn-yo-bread line is tough under pressure. but still…can’t leave cheese unmelted. thanks to erin for co-shopping and sous-cheffing, alli for dishwashing, lisa for okaying the above purchases, and finn, zach, and ian for eating. yay office lunches!

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One thought on “grilled cheese inspirations and a super fast tomato-chipotle soup

  1. Erin says:

    OISHII!

    Umaaaaiiii!

    There. Now you can go on being “asian” since my tamago-ass is holding down the fort.

    e

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