• Brianna Rhodes, RD, CD

Baked Turkey & Cheese Sandwich with Soup

Warm up from the inside out with this simple hot meal, perfect for a fall day! Try these oven-toasted Turkey, Cheese & Spinach sandwiches for an easy meal made in minutes.

I have to give credit to my sister-in-law for the oven-toasted sandwich method. We were together for a dinner, with 7 kids between us and the grilled cheese sandwiches we were feeding them needed to be ready quickly. She threw all the grilled cheese sandwiches on a sheet pan and broiled them in the oven for about 5 minutes. They came out perfectly toasted and melty. It was brilliant!

This soup and sandwich meal uses a Broccoli Cheese soup, which is a little heavier than a broth soup. I chose to make a Turkey sandwich instead of a Grilled Cheese sandwich. I can get away with using much less cheese on a turkey sandwich so it is definitely lighter. To add a little extra color and nutrition, I added spinach leaves. They baked up just fine!

I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t make everything from scratch. The Broccoli Cheese soup came from Costco. Can’t beat it when it’s on sale, and ready to go. And it was very tasty too.

If you take anything away from reading my blog, the one thing I want you to know is that “Healthy” does not have to be complicated. There are a lot of definitions and rules out there about what healthy should look like. They range from practical to absurdly extreme. I am opposed to anything extreme. Eating is important and deserves some thought and effort. But it should not take over your life!

Honestly, one of the best things you can do to boost your family’s nutrition is to have regular sit-down family meals. Think about a planned out sit-down family meal compared to a grab-and-go style dinner. The food choices are very different. Our sit-down meal is going to be more balanced with entree, sides and vegetables. Grab-and-go style dinners often neglect the vegetables and frequently are “short-order cooked” meals (chicken nuggets for one kid, cereal for another and something different for mom and dad). The planned out sit-down meals also lend themselves to introducing new and varied foods to the family. Variety is an essential aspect of a nutritionally complete diet.

The key to having regular sit-down family meals is having easy go-to meal ideas. This is a good one to throw in the mix. Here’s a few things I did to increase the nutritional quality of this meal:

  • I chose a soup which includes a generous amount of vegetable. This soup had an impressive amount of broccoli chunks.

  • I used 100% whole-wheat bread

  • I used thin slices of cheese on the sandwich—only 1 oz total, which keeps it light but still gives you the yummy melty cheese flavor

  • I chose a side of grapes rather than crackers or chips or something heavy

  • I used an oven roasted turkey breast which I sliced myself.

The turkey breast (also from Costco) is worth mentioning. It was delicious—all my kids and my husband commented on how good the turkey was. The ingredients are simple: turkey, turkey broth and salt. It sliced up like regular meat, rather than like the typical deli meat which has quite a few more ingredients and preservatives in it.

The other benefit is the cost! This turkey breast was $3.99/lb, as opposed to the $8.99-$14.99/lb price you pay in the deli! (A side note: If you are looking for a good kitchen gadget to put on your Christmas list, I recommend a meat slicer. It will definitely pay for itself!)

Bottom line, don’t over-complicate healthy. It’s perfectly fine to incorporate some ready-to-eat foods in your healthy meal planning. Be intentional about what you chose, and be thoughtful about what you pair it with. But whatever you do, serve it up and enjoy it at a sit-down family meal!

The Meal:

  • Baked Turkey & Cheese sandwich

  • 1 cup Broccoli Cheese soup

  • 1 cup red grapes

Recipe Used in this meal:

Baked Turkey & Cheese Sandwich

Serving size: 1 sandwich

Servings per Recipe: 6

Ingredients

  • 12 slices of 100% whole wheat bread

  • 6 oz sliced cheese (thin sliced, any variety)

  • 9 oz thin sliced turkey breast

  • 1 ½ oz baby spinach

  • 2 Tbsp butter

Directions

  1. Lay out 6 bread slices on a baking sheet. Layer on ½ oz of cheese, 1 ½ oz turkey, ¼ oz spinach and another ½ oz of cheese.

  2. Top with the other slice of bread. Butter top slice lightly (about ½ tsp).

  3. Broil in oven for 2-3 minutes. Pull out, flip and butter the other side of the bread (about ½ tsp). Broil for another 2-3 minutes.

  4. Remove from oven, slice in half and serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts Label for Entire Meal:

Nutrition Facts Label for Baked Turkey & Cheese Sandwich:

RD and Me

Brianna Rhodes, RD, CD

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© 2016 RD and Me Nutrition Consulting, LLC