Oh yes, this sandwich dripping with cheese is vegan!
The quality of plant-based cheese has thankfully improved dramatically since the turn of the century. We are getting to the point where the difference between a plant-based cheese and a dairy made cheese are getting pretty close.
The vegan cheese featured in this sandwich is the Jalapeno Garlic Havarti Daiya Wedge. This Daiya Havarti melts pretty well. It wouldn’t fool a dairy eater, but oh, it comes in pretty close. The Jalapeno is very mild and adds more flavor than heat.
I made this grilled Havarti with roasted vine tomatoes, garlic, and basil. Other brands of plant-based cheese I would recommend trying include Field Roast Chao Creamy Original and Follow Your Heart Pepperjack or Smoked Gouda.
For the bread, I found at the market a Pumpkin Seed Sage Boulet that was vegan. Sage and seeds sounded so good to me, and the pumpkin seeds just add more protein to the sandwich.
To make the roasted tomatoes:
- Cut the tomatoes into slices. Dice some fresh basil leaves. Chop some garlic chunks.
- Place on a baking sheet.
- Drizzle with some olive oil. Massage the oil into the ingredients. Add a couple pinches of sea salt.
- Roast the tomatoes in the oven for 12 minutes at 400 degrees.
The butter I used was Earth Balance Soy-Free Buttery Spread. This flavor is my favorite of all the Earth Balance Buttery Spreads because it has a great buttery taste. Also, this spread is trans fat-free, vegan, and has no GMOs. I made toast for my folks using this spread and they didn’t know the difference.
A little secret to get the cheese to look gooey melted is to cook your grilled cheese sandwich in a pan on the stove top like you would a regular grilled cheese sandwich until the bread is a nice golden brown. Then put your sandwich on a plate and microwave it on high for like 10 seconds. If you microwave too long, the bread will start to get soggy and lose it’s crispy grilled texture.
Of course, I had to complete the sandwich experience with tomato soup. For ease, the soup is Whole Foods 365 brand organic Vegan Tomato soup in a can.
If you make this sandwich, take a photo, tag it #theflexi21 and share with the community on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram @theflexi21.