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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Ann Arbor, MI!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

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Taleggio and Pear Paninis

One Saturday morning, I was watching the Food Network and one of my favorite chefs – Giada di Laurentiis. I’m thinking of making this recipe for dinner tonight – so thought I’d share it with all of you. You can find it on the Food Network Website but I have modified it slightly to make it healthier!



  • 1 (1-pound) loaf ciabatta bread (or 8 slices country bread)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 8 ounces Taleggio cheese or brie, sliced
  • 2 large pears, apples or peaches, cored and cut into 1/4-inch wedges
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces arugula or spinach

My Modifications

  • 1 (1-pound) loaf ciabatta bread (or 8 slices country bread) – Instead of ciabatta, I use whole wheat baguettes or these whole wheat rolls from Safeway (decreases the calorie count and increases the fiber count!)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil – I definitely don’t use close to this much. I use about 2 tbsp max for all of the paninis, and I use a pastry brush to brush the olive oil on the bread (so I use the minimal amount while still getting the flavor!)
  • 8 ounces Taleggio cheese or brie, sliced – I couldn’t find Taleggio cheese at my local Trader Joes, but they did have great Brie and Fontina cheeses – either one works great! I don’t think I use 8 oz either, I use less – maybe half that? I don’t need that much cheese in my sandwiches so I just put enough to taste – err on the side of less rather than more as long as the sandwich is still cheesy!
  • 2 large pears, apples or peaches, cored and cut into 1/4-inch wedges – I like pears the best, and I use about 1/2 a pear per sandwich (at least!)
  • 2 tablespoons honey – I don’t use more than 2 tsp per sandwich
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces arugula or spinach


Preheat the panini machine. (If you don’t have a panini machine you can also use a grill pan or a large skillet! Just use another pan to press down on the paninis to give that “grilled” feeling.) Cut the ciabatta loaf into 4 equal pieces. Halve each piece horizontally to make 4 sandwiches. Brush the bread on both sides with olive oil and place the bottom-half of the bread slices in the panini machine in a single layer. Heat until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. Continue with the remaining top slices of bread.

While the top slices of the bread are in the Panini machine, begin forming the sandwiches. Divide the cheese among the warm bread. Cover the cheese with slices of fruit. Drizzle the fruit with honey. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with a handful of arugula. Place the warmed top half of the bread over the arugula and return the competed sandwich to the panini machine for 1 to 2 minutes more to finish melting the cheese. Remove from the panini machine. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve immediately. Enjoy!

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