green goddess grilled cheese sandwich
Supposedly, Green Goddess, an invention of San Francisco’s Palace Hotel in the 1930s, is a salad dressing.

The reality is, Green Goddess is a state of mind.

After (re)discovering Green Goddess several years ago, we’ve been obsessed with the bright, fresh combination of green herbs, garlic, and lemon that make up the dressing, and have been inspired to add it to just about everything, to the point that we even took Green Goddess and herbs and rolled them up in rice paper to make Summer Rolls. Spring rolls. Grain bowls. Zucchini noodle pasta.

Sandwiches.

Specifically, a grilled cheese sandwich.

We made a fresh herb pesto with the standard Green Goddess herbs, plus a sneaky handful of kale, and now keep this Green Goddess Pesto as a staple in our refrigerator. We spread the pesto onto slices of La Brea Bakery‘s Whole Grain Gluten-free Bread, added Monterey Jack cheese, feta cheese for some tang, baby spinach for added greens, and of course, this wouldn’t be The Delicious Life if there weren’t avocado.

Make this Green Goddess Grilled Cheese. Hell, make any grilled cheese because April is National Grilled Cheese Month, so we have almost two more weeks to celebrate.

And if you happen to live in Los Angeles, go to the La Brea Bakery Café on Thursday nights during the month of April for their world-reknown weekly Grilled Cheese Nights. I went last week; check out my mini-review for deets.

greengoddessgrilledcheese_pan
green goddess grilled cheese sandwich

Green Goddess Grilled Cheese Sandwich {recipe}

We have been making versions of Green Goddess Grilled Cheese Sandwiches for years now, and have made them on many different types of bread — everything from basic white sandwich bread to super whole grain-y, seed-y rustic loaves.

This go ’round, we used La Brea Bakery’s Multi-Grain Gluten-free Sandwich Bread, not because we can’t eat gluten, but because the bread makes a pretty great grilled cheese sandwich.

For resources and recipe notes, see list at bottom of this recipe.

Ingredients

For each sandwich:

2 slices bread
2-3 tablespoons Green Goddess Herb Pesto {recipe}
½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
handful fresh baby spinach
¼ avocado, sliced
salt and pepper
grapeseed oil, or other neutral oil for cooking
butter, if you’re so inclined

Directions

For each sandwich:

Spread about 1 tablespoon of Green Goddess Herb Pesto onto each slice of bread. The pesto is strong, so if you’re sensitive to garlic or the slightly bitter taste of fresh kale, go light on the pesto.

On one slice of bread, add ¼ cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese, baby spinach, sliced avocado, crumbled feta cheese, dashes of salt and pepper, the remaining ¼ cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese, then top it with second slice of bread. Press together gently.

Heat 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil  in a frying pan over medium low heat. If you want to use butter, add it to the oil and let it melt.

Add the sandwich to the oil and cook until bread is golden brown, about three minutes. Press down on the sandwich lightly, then flip the sandwich over and cook until second side is golden brown, another three minutes.

Remove Grilled Cheese Sandwich to plate, let cool, cut into halves, and serve. Hot sauce and little pickled things like onions, cherry peppers, or other hot peppers alongside the sandwich are great!

RECIPE RESOURCES and NOTES

  • La Brea Bakery bread is available in most major supermarkets and even Costco!
  • Monterey Jack cheese is by Tillamook, available in regular grocery stores
  • feta cheese from Bristol Farms
  • avocados from JJ’s Lone Daughter Ranch, available at Santa Monica and Hollywood Farmers’ Markets
  • any and all other produce, organic, from local farmers’ markets or Whole Foods Market

green goddess grilled cheese sandwich
This post is sponsored by our friends at La Brea Bakery.

green goddess pesto
Green Goddess Pesto pesto is one of the “mother sauces” in The Delicious Life.

Use this pesto as a spread for sandwiches — Green Goddess BagelGreen Goddess Grilled Cheese! — as a sauce for pastas and grain bowls, stir into thick yogurt for a dip, thin it out with extra olive oil and lemon juice to use as a vinaigrette for salad.

Green Goddess Herb Pesto {recipe}

For resources and notes, see see list at bottom of this recipe.

Ingredients

1 clove garlic
1 or 2 anchovy fillets in oil, drained of oil (this is optional)
½ small shallot, chopped, about 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ cup fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, chopped
½ cup green kale, chopped
¼ cup basil leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped chives
¼ to ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Pulse garlic, anchovy if you’re using, and shallot in food processor until chopped. With the food processor running, add lemon juice, parsley, kale, basil, and chives. The herbs won’t process very well without much liquid yet, don’t worry.

Very slowly drizzle in ¼ cup olive oil until kale and herbs get sufficiently chopped and everything is the consistency of a pesto.

Every once in a while, turn off the food processor and push herbs down the side of the bowl with a spatula every once in a while. You may need more or less of the olive oil depending on how well you packed chopped herbs into your measuring cups.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. You probably won’t need too much salt if you used 2 anchovies, though this is a pesto, so it’s better if it’s salty.

Store pesto in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for about a week.

RECIPE RESOURCES and NOTES

  • I use whatever jar anchovies at the grocery store aren’t too cheap nor too expensive because it doesn’t seem to matter unless you are eating straight anchovies with a pair of chopsticks from the jar (I’ve never done that. Maybe.) However, Serious Eats did a taste test, and they found Ortiz anchovies to the best.
  • any and all produce, organic, from local farmers’ markets or Whole Foods Market

green goddess pesto

La Brea Bakery Cafe Grilled Cheese Thursday NightsLa Brea Bakery + Café is typically open every day during what you’d call “café hours,” early morning for coffee, bread, and pastries, until about mid-afternoon. During the month of April, which is National Grilled Cheese Month (it’s a thing), the La Brea Bakery Café extends its hours on Thursday nights only to host Grilled Cheese Night.

Grilled Cheese Night is an in-house “pop up” of sorts, serving grilled cheese sandwiches and suggested beer and wine pairings.

A friend and I went a couple of weeks ago. We thought we over-ordered with a Classic Grilled Cheese, a Mushroom Grilled Cheese, tomato soup, AND French fries.

We ate (almost) everything.

La Bakery Café
468 S. La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036 {map}
for information reservations: (323) 939-6813
www.labreabakerycafe.com

la brea bakery grilled cheese night

la brea bakery grilled cheese night

bourbon maple glazed easter ham plate

Bourbon Maple-Glazed Ham {recipe}

makes 1 ham, about 8-10 servings

Ingredients

for Ham:
1 8-10 pound bone-in ham
Bourbon Maple Glaze (see just below)

for Bourbon Maple Glaze:
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup Bourbon
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
juice from half a lemon, approximately 2-4 tablespoons
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Directions

Start Roasting Ham:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Trim outer layer of fat on ham down to about ¼-inch thick. Using a sharp paring knife, make shallow criss-cross cuts across the surface of the ham creating a “diamond” pattern.

Place the ham in a roasting pan with sides high enough to catch juices and drippings. Cover with foil and place in oven. Roast for about 1½ to 2 hours before adding glaze. The ham will roast in total for about 2 to 2½ hours, or until the internal temperature of the ham is 140°F.

While Ham is Roasting, Make Bourbon Maple Glaze:

Whisk all of the ingredients for the Bourbon Maple Glaze in a bowl until the brown sugar is mostly dissolved (it may not dissolve all the way).

Complete Roasting the Ham:

Remove ham from oven, remove foil and save it, and brush the ham with all but about 2 tablespoons of the glaze. If you do not have a brush (I don’t), use a spoon and carefully drizzle the glaze and spread over the ham.

Continue roasting, uncovered, for another 30 minutes to an hour, or until the internal temperature of the ham is 140°F. If the glaze on the ham starts to turn too dark, cover with foil.

Remove ham from oven and let rest uncovered about 15 minutes.

RESOURCES and NOTES

bourbon maple glazed easter ham dinner table

bourbon-maple-glaze-ingredients

kale pesto on vegan bagel sandwich
If 2015 was the year of Never Ending Avocado Toasts in your instagram feed, then 2016 will be the Year of Cross-cut Overstuffed Bagel Sandwiches, no longer relegated to just breakfast with salmon lox and cream cheese or bacon, egg, and melted cheddar.
kale pesto on vegan bagel sandwich

Green Goddess Bagel Sandwich {recipe}

makes 1 bagel sandwich

I feel as weird and awkward as you do about “recipes” for sandwiches, which require a recipe as much as a bowl of cereal requires a recipe. But whatever, we’re all just trying to make a dollar here, aren’t we?

Ingredients

whole grain bagel, sliced and lightly toasted
almond milk cream cheese
kale pesto
sliced avocado
sliced cucumber
sliced tomato (green if you’re as OCD as I am about keeping a Green Goddess bagel green)
lettuce
sprouts
pickled red onions

Directions

Generously spread each side of bagel with almond milk cream cheese. Spread a thin layer of Kale Pesto (or other strong, green herb pesto) on the cream cheese on each bagel half.

On one half, layer slices avocado, sliced cucumber, sliced tomato, lettuce, sprouts, and pickled red onions. Top with other bagel half.

Cut sandwich in half. Stack halves and take 423 photos before you finally choose one for instagram, which ends up being the first photo you took anyway. Hate life. Post to instagram. Forget to eat your sandwich.

RESOURCES

  • I have no loyalty to any bagel brand, but I always like something that is whole-grain with lots of seeds and seems otherwise “healthy,” even though it’s a bagel
  • almond milk cream cheese: vegan and gluten-free by Kite Hill, which is available at Whole Foods Market
  • kale pesto recipe here
  • pickled red onions recipe coming soon
  • sprouts: I used radish sprouts which I found in a plastic clamshell at Whole Foods Market
  • any and all produce, organic, from local farmers’ markets or Whole Foods Market

kale pesto on zucchini noodle pasta
I keep some version of kale/parsley pesto in my refrigerator at all times. It is one of my personal “mother sauces.”

(Other sauces from another mother: anchovy or fish sauce vinaigrette, ginger scallion, gohchujang hot sauce, miso-tahini)

Sometimes my kale pesto has almonds or pistachios or walnuts. Sometimes it has Parmesan cheese. Sometimes I get crazy and add anchovies or capers. Most times, it’s just strong and straight up kale, parsley, garlic, and olive oil.
kale pesto on zucchini noodle pasta

This pesto is great for: mixingintobrownricebowlsandwichaiolipastaflatbreadpizzasaucedressingstirintosoupdip.

So basically, everything.

kale pesto on zucchini noodle pasta

It is an easy way to get a quick hit of kale and parsley, both of which are just “good for you” and for your skin, along with that raw garlic and olive oil.

kale pesto - jars

Kale Pesto {recipe}

makes about 1 cup of pesto

Ingredients

1 bunch of kale, leaves only
handful of Italian flat-leaf parsley, leaves and tender stems only
1 clove garlic
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
optional: juice from half a lemon, finely grated lemon zest

Directions

Smash garlic clove and remove green stem inside. Chop in food processor until roughly chopped, stopping food processor to scrape garlic bits off sides and back down into food processor bowl.

Tear kale leaves and parsley into small pieces and add to food processor a handful at a time until all the leaves have been added and are roughly chopped.

With the food processor running, drizzle olive oil until the pesto is the consistency you want. I like my pesto on the thicker side, spreadable as opposed to pourable. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and a few hard turns on a black pepper mill to start, adjusting to your taste.

Add lemon juice and finely grated lemon zest if you like that flavor. I usually leave it out when I make the entire batch and store as is, then add lemon juice and/or zest if it’s appropriate at the time I am eating.

Pesto keeps for about five days in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

RESOURCES

  • use any kind of kale for this pesto, but I like green curly kale as opposed to the very dark green, long skinny lacinato/Tuscan/dinosaur kale because the curly kale make the pesto a brighter green
  • any and all produce, organic, from local farmers’ markets or Whole Foods Market
  • olive oil: organic, extra-virgin olive oil, whatever is on sale at the grocery store, currently Whole Foods Market in-house brand
  • salt: Kosher salt

Kate Somerville Skincare-daily facial cleanser, exfolikate, DermalQuench LiquidLift, toner, dilo facial oil, daily deflector SPF

The past few months, I’ve been collaborating on instagram with Kate Somerville Skincare. I am providing nutrition advice and recipes essentially how to achieve beauty by treating the inside, and the clinic-level skincare brand has been showing me the importance of a consistent effective skincare regimen, facials, and laser/light therapies to achieve beauty by treating the outside.

Kate Somerville Skincare recently gave me a full skincare regimen to giveaway (lineup pictured above), and I want to share some quick notes on the products that are included, and personal reviews of anything I’ve tried for more than a month.

{left to right}

Kate Somerville Gentle Daily Wash — This is a gel-based non-foaming cleanser, specifically formulated for sensitive skin, though any skin type can use it. I have not tried this cleanser because 1) even though I know that the ingredients that create the sudsing effect in foaming cleansers are too harsh for my skin, and I can even feel the tightness when I use them, I am addicted to that feeling, and 2) I am currently following the Korean 2-step oil/foam cleansing regimen and I love it (see previous about foaming cleansers).

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate, Intensive Exfoliating Treatment — This dual-action exfoliator has tiny beads that physically “scrub” the skin and plant extracts that enzymatically “peel” the skin. I know that exfoliation should be a gentle process, but I love the physical scrub feeling of this, and while some of the ingredients seem a little too “intense” for my skin, e.g. cinnamon, the product is part of my regimen, about one to two times a week at night-time when I follow with soothing and moisturizing treatments.

Kate Somerville DermalQuench LiquidLift — This is a post-cleanse treatment that isn’t quite a serum, and definitely not any kind of moisturizer or cream. The product is an airy, cool foam that you spray directly onto your forehead and cheeks, then gently rub (I pat) into your skin. It is currently part of my twice-daily regimen, right after toner and essence.

Kate Somerville KateCeuticals Replenishing Toner — This is a toner formulated specifically to moisturize with hyaluronic acid, peptides, and soy lipids. I have not used this toner, as I am currently in the middle of trying a Korean brand.

Kate Somerville Dilo Oil — Dilo is macadamia, and the oil is the primary ingredient in this all-natural dry facial oil that hydrates, firms, evens skin tone, and reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles. I use Dilo Oil twice a day and love both how it makes my skin look and how it smells like coconut.

Kate Somerville SPF20 Anti-Aging Daily Deflector Moisturizer — This is a lightweight lotion-like moisturizer with a broad-spectrum SPF that you use in the morning as the finishing step to seal all the moisture and products in before makeup (if you wear it). The moisturizer has anti-aging ingredients that help tighten the skin while, obviously, preventing sun damage. I haven’t tried this particular moisturizer with sun protection, but have tried Kate Somerville’s pure sunscreen, the Waterlight Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen. It’s a great sunscreen, but I very rarely use a product that is only a sunscreen. I use a BB cream with SPF.

Stay tuned for a full post on my current skincare regimen with details on all of the products I use, daily, nightly, and weekly, as well as some of the facial and laser treatments I’ve been trying.