Welcome to The Basil & Cinnamon Sagas! I'm Alexa, and I am a food and travel blogger who loves cooking, baking, eating, and storytelling. Enjoy reading and eating your way through the Sagas found here!

Vegetable & Herb Grilled Cheese

Vegetable & Herb Grilled Cheese


In case you haven't noticed, the Pacific Northwest is kind of a mess of snow and ice and winter right now. Which I have zero tolerance for, because after the Christmas season ends, I would really just prefer that snow start it's hibernation and spring go ahead and get rolling.

Don't get me wrong, I love sitting inside while snow falls peacefully outside, sipping on a steaming mug of hot cocoa, snuggled under a warm blanket watching HGTV or reading a good book, a crockpot of chili bubbling away. Sounds dreamy right? That's because it is a dream. In reality, I continue living busy daily life, but it's 8 times harder because my hands and nose freeze walking to class/my car windows like to freeze on the outside and the inside/I routinely slip on icy sidewalks/snow somehow always makes me run late/I tromp a mess of magnesium chloride or sodium chloride or whatever road salt is made from back into our apartment (because Gonzaga maintenance goes a little crazy with their salting), which means extra cleaning.

In my opinion, snow is a beautiful nuisance, but it also feels like a sibling. Growing up in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, it usually snowed from September or October through May. Snow was a constant childhood companion, and we have a strong love-hate relationship. Love: Thoughts of Christmas and the smell of peppermint and the sight of bright lights and the sound of bells. Hate: Getting snow inside my boots and then having squishy feet. Love: Sledding, snow angels, snow forts, dogs with their noses dusted in snow. Hate: Bone-chilling wind turning me into an icicle while I scrape away at my car and my watch tells me I should have been on the road five minutes ago. Love: An excuse to indulge in warm, tasty comfort food....

....Comfort food. One of my top favorite things, as it's part of the cardinal rule: THOU SHALT BE COZY. What's better than something homey, filling, and insanely satisfying to warm you right up and make that fresh dusting of snow look magical again?

Grilled cheese is the epitome of simple comfort foods, but for me, I get bored when it's just bread cheese bread [end of story]. I prefer a little crunch in my gooey, a little something spicy or seasoned, a little twist in the story.

Good thing I have this recipe for Vegetable & Herb Grilled Cheese handy amidst all this snow and ice. Elsa, seriously, let it go already. Come get a veggie & herb grilled cheese sandwich instead. Then we can all warm up and enjoy the first Saga here on The Basil & Cinnamon Sagas :)

xoxo Alexa


Vegetable & Herb Grilled Cheese

Makes: 1 sandwich

Takes: 15 minutes (5 prep, 10 cook)

The Characters:

  • 2 slices bread
  • Olive oil
  • 2/3 celery stalk
  • 1/3 small onion
  • 1/2 bell pepper
  • Tomato (optional)
  • Crushed red hot chili pepper flakes
  • Black pepper
  • Italian seasoning or basil
  • 3 slices pepper jack cheese

The Saga:

  1. Wash and dry celery, tomato, onion, and bell pepper. Dice into medium sized cubes.
  2. Put 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a skillet and roll so that oil coats the entire bottom. 
  3. Sauté the diced vegetables for 4-5 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle a little crushed red hot chili pepper, black pepper, and Italian seasoning and mix in with the veggies as they cook.
  4. Dump cooked veggies onto plate and set aside.
  5. Pour a small amount of olive oil in skillet and spread around. Dip each side of both slices of bread in the oil. Then sprinkle crushed red hot chili pepper flakes, black pepper, and Italian seasoning on the bottom of one slice and the top of the other. 
  6. Pour a small amount of olive oil in the skillet. Set seasoned side of bread slice down, and stack two pieces of pepper jack cheese on top. Place veggies on top of cheese and put last slice of cheese on top of them to hold them in. Finally, close with last slice of bread, seasoned side up.
  7. Cook until cheese melts and bread turns golden. Flip sandwich once so each side toasts. 
  8. Get grilled. (aka, eat and enjoy your warm, toasty grilled cheese sandwich).

Spiced Beef & Vegetable Stew with Toast

Spiced Beef & Vegetable Stew with Toast

Welcome to The Sagas

Welcome to The Sagas