Vegan Cheese – isn’t that an oxymoron?
The most common argument against going vegan that I hear is “I could never give up cheese!”. I used to say it too. I couldn’t imagine a life without dairy. I mean, where would I get my calcium?
(Sidenote: I have a lot to say about veganism and calcium, but that’s a completely different blog post. Today, let’s just make food!)
A Grilled Cheese Sandwich, to me, is the perfect comfort food. Warm, crunchy, gooey. Easy to make, and filling! But, cutting dairy out of my diet meant I was going to have to find an alternative, and after much trial and error, I finally did.
This is not a gourmet vegan grilled cheese sandwich. This is a simple, easy version. Some day, I will perfect my own homemade vegan cheese, but today, we are making a vegan grilled cheese sandwich using Daiya Shredded Vegan Cheese.
Not every vegan loves Daiya, but I find some of their products quite tasty, depending on what you use them for. The shredded cheddar type cheese is great for grilled sandwiches…but you need to add my secret ingredient.
The Secret to good Daiya is…
You could use a fancy, grainy kind if you prefer, but I like the regular yellow kind. You will also need sliced bread of your choice (I used Silver Hills 16 Grain bread, which is my favourite), vegan mayo, Daiya Shredded Vegan Cheese, and a tomato (because, vegetables).
For some reason, the mustard makes the vegan cheese taste like the real thing.
Mayo is an important part of any grilled cheese sandwich – I learned this trick not too loong ago, and it has upped my grilled cheese game by several levels.
Spread the Mayo on one side of each slice of bread. This is going to be the outsdie of your sandwich – the mayo will make it irresistably crunchy and golden. You’ll be infinitely impressed with your own grilled cheese skills!
There are several brands of vegan mayo out there, Vegenaise being a very popular and tasty one. Hellmann’s Vegan Mayo is available most everywhere now, and I think it’s really good!
Now flip the slices over and put mustard on the other side. In hindsight, I wish I would have done this on a plate instead of my wooden cutting board, because it got messy.
I use quite a bit of mustard, because some of it will get soaked up by the bread. You use as much or as little as you like. This is not about perfect measures. This is about you, and your need for wonderful vegan comfort food!
Sandwich assembly! Add the Daiya shreds to the bottom piece of bread, then a few slices of tomato, then some more cheese on top to help make the top piece of bread stick.
Use slightly less Daiya than you would dairy cheese. They don’t melt the same, and less is more in this case.
It doesn’t look like much at this point…but just wait.
Time to get melting!
I think I bought this little grilled cheese pan at Walmart for less than 10 dollars. It has more than paid for itself. I used to have a panini press, and it mostly collected dust and took up space. For a while, I made grilled cheese in a waffle maker, which works well, but it’s a pain the butt to clean. This pan is small, easy to clean, and makes amazing sandwiches!
Temperature-wise, “low and slow” is what you want to keep in mind here. It takes longer for vegan cheese to melt, and if the pan is too hot, the bread will burn before the cheese is melted, and you will be sad. This recipe is about happiness.
Low and slow. Flip sandwich halfway. It’s done when the cheese is melty (professional term).
You get to eat now!
I have been obsessed with this vegan grilled cheese for the last month and make it a couple of times a week. So easy and tasty! I usually make some fries for my side dish, or chips and salsa. It would be great with tomato soup too!
I hope you enjoy this recipe – please leave a comment below if you made it and let me know what you like to add to your grilled cheese!