Food at the speed of life: Try variations of usual grilled cheese sandwich

Warm, gooey grilled cheese sandwiches are a simple pleasure. Another pleasure is a good twist on them.

I’ve discovered:

• Muenster cheese and basil pesto

• Muenster, sliced apple, a sprinkle of ground ginger

Others suggested:

• Adding green chile (Felisha Miller)

• Adding mayonnaise (Amanda Rogers)

• Salsa between two cheese slices (Clara Garcia)

• Mild cheddar and avocado on 12-grain bread (Dianna Hernandez)

• Cheese, stone-ground mustard, tomato (Julia Dendinger)

• Four cheeses on sourdough, optional avocado and tomato (Casey Camacho)

• Cheddar, Monterey Jack, tomato, mushrooms, basil (Marianna Duncan)

• Velveeta and chipotle peppers (Robin Fornoff)

To make it healthier:

• Try reduced-fat cheese or naturally lighter cheese like mozzarella.

• Substitute fat-free cooking spray for butter.

• Toast bread slices, with filling on top, in the toaster oven without butter. Then assemble.

• Use whole-grain, low-calorie bread.

Joe Blair of Portales says he makes cheese sandwiches the easy way. He toasts the bread, assembles the sandwich and microwaves it for 20 seconds.

And from my brother, Eric Duncan: “Make them on a clothes iron. It works great and is an honored college tradition.”

I think he’s joking, but I’m not sure he hasn’t tried it.