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Aug 16

Grilled PB&J with Peanut Tofu Butter

Comfort food will always reign supreme in my heart.

 

Even something close to the memory of your favorite comfort food can satisfy.  Take pizza, for example.  I LOVE good, Italian pizza but… It’s like gettin’ frisky.  All pizza is good, some is just better than others.

Cinnabon may be about to bust up my theory though.  They are apparently introducing Pizzabons.  Lucky ATL is their test market.  

[Photo: @AJCFoodandMore]

 

I can’t judge because I haven’t (and won’t) try it, but my hunch is that Cinnabon should stick with what it knows.  If you are in the Atlanta area, they are giving them away for free at the Cumberland location.

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If I had to choose, grilled PB & J would be my #1 comfort food.  Growing up, my mom used to load the sandwich with lots of peanut butter (JIF) and my grandmother’s homemade muscadine jelly.  She would then butter the outside of the bread and grill it up like a grilled cheese.  The peanut butter would become runny and the buttery, crunchy bread was just the right contrast to the oozy-goozey center.

It’s been years since I’ve had one.  I can’t bring myself to put that much butter and gooey deliciousness on a sandwich.  This thing was probably close to 1000 calories.  That’s before the sides – Cheetos and chocolate milk (with extra syrup snuck in when Mom wasn’t looking).

 

When I was craving this particular sandwich yesterday, I decided to try to make a healthier version of my mom’s classic.  The bread was easy: I used my favorite P28 High Protein Bread.  The jam was also a no brainer – sugar-free Smuckers Strawberry.

 

The hardest part was the peanut butter.  I needed to achieve the right amount of gooey-ness, and actual peanut butter isn’t allowed on my training plan.  Time to get creative.  Peanut FLOUR is ok (it’s de-fatted), but it won’t melt.  It needs to be a creamy filling… and you know what’s creamy?  Tofu.

I blended my peanut flour with a serving of tofu and a couple of stevia drops for an amazing creamy, low-fat, protein-filled peanut butter.  Bam.

 

Rather then Cheetos I opted for apple sprinkled with cinnamon.  There was a little tofu-peanut butter left over, which made the perfect apple dip.

I never thought I’d say thing, but these days apple slices are legit more appealing than the fake orange chips.

 _______________________________________________________________________________________

Grilled Protein PBJ

Grilled Protein PB&J

  • Bread
  • 1 serving peanut tofu butter
  • 2 tsp sugar-free jelly
Peanut Tofu Butter
  • 3 oz tofu
  • 2 T peanut flour
  • 2-3 drops stevia

 

Pre-heat your George Foreman, panini press, or a simple grill pan.

Place Peanut Tofu Butter ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Spread peanut butter and jelly on your bread of choice to make you sandwich.  Place in/on hot grilling apparatus and cook until each side is golden brown.

Enjoy!

***

To be clear: I have nothing against Cinnabon (outside of a general opposition to junk food).  Admittedly, the smell of their cinnamon rolls is intoxicating.  I just can’t imagine wanting a Pizzabon over a real pizza slice or a real Cinnabon.

Would you try the Pizzabon?

What was your favorite childhood meal?  Would you still eat it today?

 

69 comments

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  1. Claire @ Live and Love to Eat

    Really great idea – grilled cheese was my number one as a kid, but I love the idea of melty peant butter! You’re becoming so creative with incorporating protein!

    1. Laura

      Thanks! I’ve done this with tofu “cheese” before too. Used my vegan ricotta recipe and it was quite tasty!

  2. Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean

    love your creativity!

  3. Danielle

    You are so creative! Love the recipe yet again! Anything with peanut butter is fabulous in my book!

    1. Laura

      Thank you! I’m something of a PB junkie. :)

  4. Lesley

    Favorite childhood food was Mac n cheese – would still eat it but not made with he scary Kraft yellow cheese

    1. Laura

      I never liked it as a kid… but as a chunky college student I did develop an affinity. LOL!

  5. Cakewhiz

    This is a very smart way to get more proteins in our diet. I love pb and jelly sandwiches and have so ever since i was a kid. It’s the best comfort food ever. You think we can even use this peanut tofu butter when making peanut butter cookies??? I want to try that and make cookies for a vegetarian friend!
    I will let you know how that goes:)

    1. Laura

      Please do let me know! I have no idea what baking with tofu would produce.

  6. Hayley @ Oat Couture

    Such an inventive idea!! :) Not sure I would give up the real stuff though… although if you keep posting pictures of your ripped self then I may have to change my mind!! :D

    1. Laura

      Oh, I indulge every cheat day; however, this is nice because you can add as much as you want. :)

  7. Lee

    The pizzabon looks gross! The pb tofu, on the other hand, looks like something I’d try! I need to get my hands on some peanut flour.

  8. Katie @ Talk Less, Say More

    A replacement peanut butter?! I can’t imagine not being allowed to eat it (it’s my favorite) but it might be worth it to give it a shot because this sounds delicious! :)

    1. Laura

      There’s still a place for the real thing on cheat day, believe me. ;)

  9. Parita

    I’ve never had a grilled PB&J sandwich – must try this ASAP! One of my favorite comfort foods growing up was chocolate chip cookies and a huge glass of milk. Sigh…those were the days!

    1. Laura

      Ohhhh… that was the best after-school treat.

  10. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)

    Um no on the pizzabons for so many reasons, but even if I could eat them, I wouldn’t. Don’t stray from your perfection Cinnabon! I don’t think I have a favorite childhood meal, though sushi and Japanese foods were my favorites. I would and do still enjoy those things!

    1. Laura

      Sushi as a child? I’m impressed. It took me until 28. LOL

  11. janet @ the taste space

    I guess growing kids need lots of calories, right?? That sounds like such a decadent sandwich from your childhood but I love how you recreated it, healthified, for you now. :)

  12. Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers

    What??? Muscadine can be used for more than wine? Newsflash!

    1. Laura

      LOL! My granddaddy made the wine. ;)

  13. Meister, Running While Smiling

    This is super interesting, and boy howdy do I love me some warm pb&j. Throw a banana on there and I’m in heaven.

    (Peanut butter is forbidden, I suspect, because of the fat content? Do you mind my asking how much fat your plan prescribes you consume a day?)

    1. Laura

      Ohhhh… banana is happening next time. Awesome idea.

      A few nuts are allowed in the form of walnuts and almonds. I think its just because they offer more nutritionally. I have no numbers, only measurements.

  14. Sarah

    Peanut flour + tofu = brillance! I love mixing things with the silken tofu that comes in cardboard boxes. It’s really good mixed with salsa.

    I liked the taste of cheetos but I hate the messiness of the “cheese” dust.

    1. Laura

      This was firm tofu, but I love the silken in my carrot cake smoothie!

      Did you hear that if they didn’t dye them, Cheetos would be gray? Creepy, right?!

  15. Alayna @ Thyme Bombe

    Very smart idea to use tofu to make peanut butter. Sneaks a little extra protein in there too.

  16. Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile

    You always come up with the best ideas!!! Can you cook for me? :D

    1. Laura

      Thank you so much! I’d love to. :)

  17. Allie

    I can eat this! Well, on TJ’s sprouted bread, 5g of protein per slice is no p28 bread, but it’ll do. Om nom. I don’t think I’ve ever had a regular grilled PB&J (plenty of non-grilled PB&Js, though). So my weekend recipe list keeps growing, now I have to make chicken nuggets AND this sandwich :D

    And my childhood favorite was mac n’ cheese n’ hotdogs. Talk about whole food with real ingredients and great nutrition, haha. The healthy vegan version is still pretty darn good, though!

    1. Laura

      Woot! You could try it on your high protein bread creation too, no?

  18. corrie anne

    Loved your description of your childhood comfort meal. Cheetos are the ultimate side. I used to eat a lot of mac ‘n’ cheese. I still eat it occasionally, but usually homemade! And with broccoli!

    1. Laura

      Homemade mac is the best! I make it 1x a year at Thanksgiving… 3 more months!

  19. Tessa @ Amazing Asset

    Always loving your creative ideas Laura! Grilled sandwiches are just the best… the flavor is really brought out nicely :)

  20. Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen

    OK. New idea…combine your peanut tofu butter with my (tofu-based) vegan pumpkin mousse. Pair with those same preserves…or blueberry ones–trust me on the pumpkin + blueberry combo–BAM! Delicious. :)

    PS Sometimes when I read your blog I’m jealous I didn’t think of things first.
    PPS Just saying.

    1. Laura

      Ohhhh… love it. That sounds like a chilly fall dinner.

      I’m jealous of YOUR ideas! When are we going to open a test kitchen?

  21. sara @ real fun food

    OK … the PBJ stuff looks great, but really I’m here to comment on the pizzabon. WHAT?! When I first saw that I was like: I need to try that immediately. Then I was like wait … this isn’t one of those freak things like where people try to put bacon with chocolate is it? So, pizza + cinnamon? I don’t know. In any case, you’re probably right. Cinnabon should stick to sweets. (omg, I really hate when people call it cinnabun)

    1. Laura

      Bacon and chocolate is good! ;)

  22. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles

    Pretty sure I would not touch a pizzabon with a ten foot pole…that just sounds worrisome.

  23. Calee (@chimes)

    peanut tofu butter? brilliant.

    Okay, so I’m going to try a grilled pb & blue cheese sandwich with that hot peanut butter from PB&Co. Not quite as healthy as this option, but it sounds super awesome. I could do it on grilled tofu instead of bread …

    1. Laura

      Wait. Grilled spicy PB and blue cheese?! Wow… I need that. With a side of celery.

  24. Heather @ Better With Veggies

    Genius girl! I love that you came up with a way to create peanut butter without using peanut butter. =)

  25. Cucina49

    Ugh, that pizzbon looks awful…but then I’ve never been a Cinnabon fan. Grilled PB&J on the other hand…wow! It might be time to pull out the panini press and make one this weekend.

  26. Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family

    No to the pizzabon…but I wasn’t going to eat Cinnabon anyway (too much bad stuff :)!

    As a kid I think my favorite childhood meal was my grandmother’s roast beef and mashed potatoes. She made it with a crispy outside and tender inside. I never was able to replicate it, and now I don’t eat meat…SO i don’t enjoy that meal anymore.

    I do have a question about the tofu butter…how does it stack up to regular peanut butter (think like Jif)? Or is it best as a gooey hot mess versus the traditional PB&J?

    Thanks for sharing your latest creation Laura :)

    1. Laura

      I’m the same… but oh man, they smell so good!

      It is definitely not thick-creamy like Jif. I’d try it on a plain PB&J, but I imagine it’s better hot or as a dip. It was awesome with those apple slices!

  27. Stacy @ Stacy Eats

    I definitely need to make a grilled PB&J soon. I contemplated it the other night but instead opted for grilled cheese.
    Also, muscadine jelly?!?!?! Sounds amazing.

    1. Laura

      I can hook you up with a jar! She still gives me a few every year. :)

  28. Carol @ Lucky Zucca

    These are had questions! I wouldn’t try the Pizzabon but out of disgust at how many calories might be in it… not out of disgut of how it might taste because it actually sounds kinda good (should i be ashamed of myself?). As does a real cinnabon. dangit now I want cinnamon rolls. Sinnamon rolls?

    My parents use to make these enormous breakfasts. Cheese grits, cheese eggs, bacon, sausage, cinnamon sugar toast (with ample butter), milk and more. I’d eat some of everything. And sadly, yes, I’d eat it still. I’d feel guilty about it later though hahaha

    1. Laura

      I used to LOVE cinnamon toast! My mom made it all the time too. I’d totally eat a slice if she made me one. :)

  29. Alysha @Shesontherun

    I made a peanut butter parfait with silken tofu and peanut butter for a high protein recovery snack. It was actually pretty good! My all time favorite kid meal is the fluffernutter!

    1. Laura

      That sounds awesome! I have made tofu frozen custard, but always added spices. Definitely going the peanut flour route next time!

      Fluffernutter, FTW. I made such a mess out of mom’s microwave heating mine up once… oy. ;)

  30. Brittany @ Delights and Delectables

    Your food always makes me hungry!! That pizzabon doesn’t sound nearly as appealing as the orginal cinnabon!

  31. Brittany

    I never liked tofu but with this… eh, I think I can get used to it… ;)

  32. Laura

    That pizzabon looks so gross. But your tofu pb sandwich is genius! So funny about the cheetos and choc milk, too. It’s been tricky this week to balance a few treats for L with our healthy expectations- my parents had her for 3 days and were mostly respectful of our wishes, but she’s had more juice in 3 days than in her entire life so far. Oh well… I guess that’s what grandparents are for. :)

    1. Laura

      That IS what grandparents are for. She’ll come down off that juice high eventually. ;)

  33. Khushboo

    Agreed about Cinnabon- they need to stick to what they do best! You’re so creative, Laura…seriously t his pb & j looks so yum! When i was younger, my mom used to make this African dish called groundnut curry: it was basically a curry made of peanuts, served with rice. There would also be a variety of toppings to choose from such as more peanuts, onions, papaya, shredded coconut…SO delicious yet I dread to imagine how many calories it would rack in! Although I couldn’t eat it as regularly anymore, I would surely tuck into a bowl occasionally..must remind her of this!

    1. Laura

      Your mom’s dish sounds amazing. If you ever make a version, I’d love to have the recipe!!!

  34. lindsay

    tofu does wonders as a cream/spread. Gosh i miss it. I still have it sporadically so i’ll have to say this recipe.

  35. Kailey

    I can’t believe I never thought to grill a PB & J sandwich – I will have to try that ASAP

    1. Laura

      Let me know what you think if you do! :)

  36. Nadiya @ Milk and Honey

    Peanut tofu butter= pure genious. I love peanut butter with passion and this would be a nice way to sneak in a bit more protein ^^

  37. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli

    Oh my gosh, they were talking about this pizzabon thing on the radio the other day when I was driving home from work. At first, I thought my zombie mind was playing tricks on me…I mean, really?! I’ve never had a cinnabon (and probably never will…not that I care) but WHY on Earth would you want to mix the smell of pizza with cinnamon rolls?! Gag!!

    My mom didn’t know the first thing about a good grilled sandwich when I was little. It wasn’t until my babysitter made me a buttery skillet-made grilled cheese at the age of 7 that I knew the world beyond oven toasted cheese bread…like seriously, it doesn’t even BEGIN to compare! I’ve made a grilled PB and banana sandwich (and then proceeded to die while eating it…yes, that is indeed possible! ;)), but I can’t remember ever doing PB&J… I’ve been trying to limit the amount of nut butter in my diet recently so I haven’t even THOUGHT of PB&J…until now! Brilliance m’dear…pure brilliance! Tofu is on the grocery list for sure!

    Favorite meal as a kid (don’t laugh): Fried Spam with ketchup and a side of mac ‘n cheese…and I would most certainly NOT eat it today! Lol

    1. Laura

      Spam?! for real? I’ve never tried it. Is it like bologna? Embarrassingly, I ate either PB&J or bologna everyday for lunch in elementary school. i wish I was exaggerating. *barf*

      1. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli

        For real! And yeah, I guess it’s similar to bologna…a little heartier texture and definitely saltier (I just Googled it and one serving has 16g of fat and almost EIGHT HUNDRED mg’s of sodium!) . I can’t believe how much I used to love the stuff…and bologna…AND hot dogs (straight out of the fridge most of the time)…gah, I’d die if you even got any of it near me now! Lol

  38. Paula@paulasplate.net

    I just found your site via Holly @ Je Mange Toute la France and I am loving your blog! I am so intrigued by this PB tofu. Where do you purchase peanut flour? I’ve looked at TJs and Whole Foods, but haven’t had any luck. I am determined to try this!

    In 3rd grade I had a PB&J sandwich EVERY day for lunch at school. By choice. I loved it. Though honestly, I still do love it and probably eat a PB&J at least 3 times a week. Ha.

    My favorite favorite childhood comfort food, however, was box macaroni and cheese with the powdered “cheese” packet. If I could have eaten a bowl of count chocula for breakfast, a PB&J for lunch and boxed macaroni and cheese for dinner every single day, I would have been the happiest kid in the world.

    1. Paula@paulasplate.net

      p.s. a pizzabon sounds absolutely terrible. the end.

      1. Laura

        Thank you so much for stopping by! Isn’t Holly the best?

        Peanut flour has to be purchased online. I order mine from http://proteinplusflour.com.

        Our childhood tastes sound very similar. :)

  39. Meg

    OH MY GOSH. Ew a Pizzabon???? Well, I have never had a Cinnabon before, so I would definitely not have a Pizzabon.

    My favourite childhood meal? Oh so many! I sure had macaroni and cheese a lot, though! I would have it today, but I would definitely lighten it up :) You know I like my healthy versions :)

  40. She Rocks Fitness

    I would never try that, but Cinnabon just doesn’t appeal to me and it never has! My favorite childhood meal is still my favorite today and that is when my Mom makes her homemade meatballs and red sauce. Nothing beats good pasta, garlic bread, and Mom’s Italian recipes.

    1. Laura

      You are so right – homemade meatballs and red sauce are the best!

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