Grilled cheese with Brinda

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Brinda Ambal

I am tiptoeing along the very fine line between properly smushing my sandwich and breaking my waffle maker.

I know, I know. Grilled cheese, Brinda? Your column is literally titled Breakfast with Brinda. How is grilled cheese a breakfast food? Oh, just you wait. The opportunities are endless when you expand your worldview and accept that breakfast is not solely limited to breakfast foods; in fact, anything can be a breakfast food if you eat it in the morning.

This is breakfast reimagined, remember? This is breakfast you can make really fast, and it’s really good for you. *Insert eye roll here* Yes, grilled cheese can be good for you. Let’s try something new. Welcome to Breakfast with Brinda.

*I should reiterate my obligatory disclaimer for my new friends: I am in no way endorsing that you disrespect your teachers by making breakfast during their sixth hour class. These instructions should be simple enough for you to throw together so that you can pay attention and not go starving in case you snooze your alarm four too many times.

I had to make sure my microwave was squeaky clean just for this shot. (Brinda Ambal)

To start things off, just place a vague handful of spinach onto a plate and stick it in the microwave for about a minute and a half. While it’s wilting, get out your waffle maker and start heating it to about the middle of the dial if you have one. If you don’t have a waffle maker, I’m very sorry, but you could also use a quesadilla maker, a panini press or a regular skillet if you were truly desperate. The waffle shape is really fun though and makes the breakfast vibe.

Okay I know using the term “grilled cheese” wasn’t entirely accurate because the filling is more spinach than cheese, but you can adjust the ratios however you see fit. (Brinda Ambal)

Now back to the spinach: take it out and add whatever spices you want. I have garlic powder, salt and red chili flakes because I like some heat but you could also add ground pepper, turmeric, paprika, nutritional yeast, oregano, sage, basil or anything else you think of. Place another vague handful of cheese on top of the spinach-spice pile and mix it all together.

This is the second time spinach has been the star of a dish in Breakfast with Brinda. You should be able to make some conclusions about my opinions on spinach by now. (Brinda Ambal)

Get out two slices of bread and place the warm cheese-spinach-spice mixture on top of one. I had some tomato paste left over from making lunch yesterday, so I spread some of that on the bread before I filled it with the mixture. You could also spread on hummus or mayonnaise or add some eggs to make it a true breakfast sandwich. *I should note that I used two slices of bread because my mom wanted to sharesies. If I was making it just for me, I would probably just use one slice of bread and fold it. You might want a whole sandwich, though, and if you do then go ahead and make it. Listen to your body and live your best life.

Stuff your sandwich into the waffle maker and get ready to smush. It takes a concerted effort to be able to smush it all down but once you do, all the cheesy deliciousness will be sealed in and ready for you.

Take the plate you just had the mixture on and wipe off the spinach juice. Place some mandarin oranges and almonds on there. You could also do apples and peanuts or pears and walnuts or grapes and cashews or peaches and pecans. Maybe you go really wild and have two kinds of fruits and two kinds of nuts. It does not matter, as the entire theme of anything I will ever write for you in this column is somewhere between empty the fridge and eat breakfast. 


When the heavenly green light snaps on, open the waffle maker and take a moment to waft just like you learned in chemistry and savor the mouth watering aroma. Don’t take too long though. You’re still in class. Transfer the waffle sandwich onto the plate with the fruits and nuts and bam you’ve found a way to eat grilled cheese for breakfast. Congratulations, and don’t forget to unplug your waffle maker.

Now you have grilled cheese and all of your notes for class. This is the best of both worlds. (Brinda Ambal)

I hope you’re pleasantly surprised that spinach isn’t too bad when you microwave it. Here’s to next time, where we put a better spin on the parfait.

The nitty-gritty of a grilled cheese with Brinda:

  • Wilt the spinach or any other vegetable in the microwave
  • Add cheese and season to your liking
  • Place spinach-cheese mixture onto piece of bread, top with another piece of bread
  • Smush sandwich in waffle iron
  • Serve with fruits and nuts

*Please note I am not a registered dietician or nutritionist or physician or anyone else official. This is not nutritional or medical advice. I am sharing my completely unofficial personal views on breakfast.