Time for lunch or a simple dinner: Start with two over-sized slices of garlic sourdough sandwich bread. Slather one slice generously with organic Buffalo style hummus. Add a handful of ribbons of baby spinach. Take two slices of plant-based smoked gouda cheese alternative and break up into pieces that overlap without overhanging the outer edges of the bread. Coat the cast iron skillet with a bit of olive oil and pre-heat on medium heat. Melt a large dollop of Earth Balance buttery spread in the skillet. Add the assembled sandwich to the skillet, push down with a metal turner and cook for about two minutes. Flip the sandwich, add a little more olive oil to the skillet and cook for about two more minutes to melt the cheese alternative and to give the bread the desired degree of brown-ness. Add a little more olive oil to the pan after turning. Remove from the skillet. Artfully cut into two on an angle, rather than at a square (90 degree) angle.
This is definitely not my mother’s grilled cheese sandwich recipe. One prominent feature on our kitchen counter was a grilled cheese sandwich maker, capable of cooking two sandwiches, typically with white bread and Kraft brand American cheese food singles.
A cast iron skillet does the work well, aiding in the browning of the outside of the bread. You can get all fancy and use a panini press to make your grilled cheese.
When I decided I was vegan about seven years ago, I was not aware of any vegan cheese slices that melted when heated. Vegan food science has come a long way and now there are many vegan options for meltable cheese. Violife, Chai, and Whole Foods 365 brands offer a variety of very meltable vegan cheese slices that my family enjoys.
RUNDOWN OF INGREDIENTS SHOPPING:
Garlic sourdough sandwich bread.
I scored a great discount at my local Grocery Outlet store which has a great range of vegan foods, typically 40% or higher discount versus regular grocery store prices.
Organic Buffalo style hummus.
This is a relatively new Trader Joe’s product. I suppose you could take regular hummus and whisk in some of your favorite hot sauce. For me that would be Valentina or Cholula brand.
Organic baby spinach.
This was a $2.99 bargain for 5 ounces at Grocery Outlet.
Plant-Based smoked gouda cheese alternative.
I used Whole Foods Market 365 brand, which melts to yummy gooeyness in the hot skillet. You might prefer cheddar or another flavor from Violife, Chai, or 365 brands.
I used one of the Trader Joe’s branded oils. I also like Bragg’s brand for everyday use.
I used Earth Balance organic whipped buttery spread because I had it in the fridge and another family member prefers it over Miyoko’s VeganButter. This also was a bargain buy from Grocery Outlet.
SHOPPING TIP: Violife also has an amazing vegan parmesan wedge, if you want something other than grated nuts with nutritional yeast for pasta or vegan Caesar salad.
CUTE CAT PHOTO OP:
Tonight’s dinner was delayed by daddy lap / nap time.