Vegan Avocado Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup

By: Remy Raccuia and Julia Gagulska

Serves: 1 – Grilled Cheese; 4 – Soup 

Prep Time: 1 hr 15 minutes

As the weather begins to cool down, grilled cheese is my ultimate comfort food. I have recently been experimenting with vegan alternatives to some of my favorite foods. With the addition of avocado, my vegan grilled cheese is immediately upgraded. Avocados are superfoods filled with “20 different vitamins and minerals” (Gunnars, 2018). Among these vitamins and minerals are Vitamin K, which helps to promote bone health, Potassium, a key ingredient in lowering blood pressure and Vitamin C, which aids in boosting our immune systems (Webb, 2020). 

However, a grilled cheese is not complete without a cup of tomato soup! Also containing Vitamins C and K, tomatoes paired with the avocado can give you a double dose of the nutrients you need in just one meal! Tomatoes also contain antioxidants, beta-carotene and lycopene, that “protect the skin against damage” (such as UV radiation) and make the skin less sensitive (Swartzendruber, 2018). These antioxidants, when cooked, actually increase in nutritional value, which can ultimately protect the skin from the harsh, cold weather that accompanies fall and winter (Friedlander, 2002). 

Grilled Cheese Ingredients:

  • 1 Avocado
  • 2 slices of bread of your choice
  • 2 slices vegan mozzarella cheese
  • Handful of spinach
  • 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise 

Grilled Cheese Instructions:

  1. Start by spreading vegan mayonnaise on each piece of bread.
  2. Add one slice of cheese on each piece of bread. 
  3. Cut an avocado in half and then in slices. Add slices evenly to the sandwich.
  4. Add a handful of spinach to the sandwich.
  5. Cook the sandwich in a panini maker or on a frying pan on medium heat for about 3 minutes on each side, or until the cheese begins to melt. 

Tomato Soup Ingredients:

  • 4-5 tomatoes on the vine 
  • 1 medium white onion 
  • 4-5 fresh thyme stems
  • Basil 
  • ½ lemon juiced 
  • ¼ cup agave nectar 
  • ½ cup olive oil 
  • Dash of paprika 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 1 medium bulb of garlic 

Tomato Soup Instructions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400o F. 
  2. Cut your tomatoes and onion into quarters. 
  3. In a large bowl, combine and mix thoroughly: tomatoes, onion, thyme, basil, lemon juice, agave, olive oil, paprika, salt and pepper (be careful not to crush the tomatoes). 
  4. Spread your mixture onto a baking sheet. 
  5. Cut the paper-like tail on your garlic. (No need to peel it). 
  6. Place the garlic bulb on a separate baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. 
  7. Place the tomato-onion baking sheet and garlic bulb baking sheet into the oven at the same time. 
  8. After 25 minutes (or until the tomatoes begin to blister), remove the tomato-onion baking sheet from the oven. 
  9. Transfer your tomato-onion mixture into a blender. 
  10. After 35 minutes, remove the garlic bulb baking sheet from the oven. 
  11. Squeeze all cloves out of the garlic bulb directly into the blender (this is a bit messy!) 
  12. Blend and serve! 

Reference List:

Friendlander, B. (2002). Italian chefs knew it all along: Cooking plump red tomatoes boosts disease-fighting, nutritional power, Cornell researchers say. Cornell Chronicles. Retrieved fromhttps://news.cornell.edu/stories/2002/04/cooking-tomatoes-boosts-disease-fighting-power

Gunnars, Kris BSc. (2018). 12 Proven Health Benefits of Avocado. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-proven-benefits-of-avocado#TOC_TITLE_HDR_3

Kris Swartzendruber, M. (2018). Tomatoes provide many health benefits. Michigan State University. Retrieved from https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/tomatoes_provide_many_health_benefits

Webb, D. (2020). Awesome Avocados! Avocados are packed with nutritional benefits. Environmental Nutrition, 43(4), pp. 1. 

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