Most of the time, I don’t mind being on the GAPS diet at all–what’s not to love about meat, veggies, fruit, nuts, eggs, homemade soups and honey-sweetened treats? It turns out I love eating fat way more than sugar, so this diet suits me just fine. Except for one thing. When summer comes there is one food that I love dearly that is not allowed on GAPS.
I adore them. Summer is not complete without them. And life is easier when you can just make a sandwich for lunch. But alas, bread is not okay on GAPS (and my insides will remind me that it’s not okay). Don’t ask me to try almond flour bread for sandwiches. Maybe my four-year-old would be okay with that, but I’m not. In my mind, there is only one type of bread that is suitable for my two most favorite kind of sandwiches (deli roast beef and grilled cheese), and that is sourdough.
So, if I’m going to cheat on my wonderful gut-healing diet, it’s gotta be worth it–it’s gotta be done right. And this is how it’s done right.
A Proper Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Sourdough bread, sliced
- Good quality cheddar cheese, or a mix, sliced
- Fresh, vine-ripened tomato, sliced
- Onion, sliced
- Unrefined salt & fresh ground black pepper
- Butter, softened
- Cast iron skillet or pan that your sandwich won’t stick to
- Cover or lid
- Turning spatula or tongs (I have one that is half tong, half spatula that works fantastic)
If using mustard or avocado, this goes on the bread first. Best to use soft, spreadable avocado to avoid having pieces fall out of the sandwich.
Place cheese slices (between 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick, depending how cheesy you like it) on top of avocado/mustard if using, or on top of bread.
Place onion slices, followed by tomato slices on top of the cheese (the melting cheese slightly cooks the onion, making it a bit softer).
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Place second slice of bread on top and spread butter (room temperature clarified butter or ghee also work really well) on both sides of bread, taking care to get full, but not heavy, coverage.
Place sandwich in a cool or slightly warm pan. Turn temperature up to medium or medium-low, depending how hungry you are. Cover pan with a lid or other covering. This helps the cheese melt in time with the bread browning.
It will take a few minutes for the pan to heat up if you are using cast iron. If you turned it up to medium, you will want to turn it down to medium-low after it heats up, or else the bread will scorch before the cheese melts. When the bread has become a golden toasty color on one side, flip it to the other side. Keep covered until cheese gets melty. When other side is toasted, remove sandwich from pan.
Wait a couple minutes before cutting sandwich for serving. If you cut too soon, the melted cheese may squeeze out.
Serve with a glass of raw milk, kombucha or real food beverage of choice, and a side of fermented veggie such as sauerkraut or pickle to aid digestion. A side of summer fruit is also a nice choice. If you never cared for grilled cheese before, you’ll love it now. Enjoy!