Vegan Grilled Cheese

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Everything I’ve ever learned about making a good grilled cheese, I learned from my husband. Over our 10+ years together I’ve tackled kitchen projects big and small, but the perfect grilled cheese always escaped me until he stepped in and taught me a few tricks.

All of which I applied the day I discovered Daiya. And even though I will gladly trot down to the market any day of the week and shell out $5 for a tiny wedge of cheese I’ll probably finish in 2 seconds, I’m in love with Daiya.

The thing is, when I was a college vegan (which totally sounds like the beginnings of a 1960’s psycho beach party), we didn’t HAVE Daiya. All you modern day vegans have got it so good. I also don’t recall Butler soy curls ever existing, but maybe in both these instances we just didn’t have them in our little Humboldt bubble.

Either way, my recent discovery of both these foods is enough to turn a girl back. I mean, vegan junk food– it’s totally a thing. But I do feel a little better knowing I’m not gonna throw myself into a bloated shock of lactose intolerance after that last bite goes down the hatch.

So what’s the secret to a perfect grilled cheese? Butter both slices bread, cook on a medium-low heat and cover it with a lid. Also, add-ins. Ya gotta have add-ins! Tomatoes are an easy choice, but I’m a fan of pickles, pickled jalapeño slices and purple onion. All together.

Vegan Grilled Cheese

2 slices Sourdough Bread
2 slices Daiya cheddar*
Butter or Oil for swiping
Not Really Optional: Add-ins
  1. Heat a non-stick pan on medium-low heat while you butter up the bread.
  2. Divide two slices evenly across a non-buttered side of bread and place in pan, with the other remaining slice on top. Buttered-side up. Duh.
  3. Cover and cook for ~4 minutes. I usually set a timer because I will wander off after minute 2 to chase a cat or spy on my neighbors and forget about it.
  4. Remove lid, give a gentle press with the bottom of a spatula, then flip it over. The bottom-now-top slice should be golden-turning-brown.
  5. Let cook for another ~4 minutes, covered. Check to make sure both sides are evenly browned.
  6. EAT.

* For some reason, I’ve noticed a distinct textural difference between Daiya shreds and slices. Both make excellent, yet drastically different grilled cheese sandwiches. Slices are ultra creamy, and you have to be careful not to use too much or else it’ll goop out and run down your hand/face/chin. Speaking from experience, yes. The shreds hold the fort down way better, but have almost a snotty texture, which maybe isn’t the best way to describe something that I think is delicious. But that’s all I got.

I also don’t recommend under any circumstances whatsoever eating Daiya un-melted, or even at room temperature. That sounds like one of those “Warning you not to do something you really should do because it’s so amazing it’s practically sinful!” statements but, seriously. Don’t do it. Ew.

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