It’s been a little hard to keep up on the blog posts lately. For the record, most days I eat a lot of whole grains and vegetables. My favorite meal lately consists of steaming some rice and then when it’s almost done, adding vegetable potstickers and vegetables to the steaming rack of the rice cooker. It makes a delicious little bowl. Why do I feel the need to mention this? Well, it’s about to get very ugly around here, and I don’t want everyone to think that I eat this way all the time. I’m talking about my recipe for grilled “cheese”.  I ALMOST entered the grilled cheese invitational this year, and rather liked the idea of showing up with daiya at a grilled cheese competition. It was audacious and irreverent, and I like that. My grilled cheese recipe got me through a lot of rough nights in college, when you just needed something greasy and delicious so you could go back to studying. This sandwich is only possible because daiya is so amazing. I don’t think it would work with any of the lesser vegan cheeses (sorry Follow Your Heart, but you just don’t melt and pull in the same way).

Step 1: Ingredients

Obviously, you want to use Earth Balance instead of butter and daiya instead of dairy cheese. I went with the cheddar daiya, mostly because we ended up with a ton of it in our freezer, and I don’t use the cheddar that much. For my bread, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to use. I decided that I would go with white bread, because at this point why even pretend to be healthy about it? After perusing the bread selection at the co-op, I decided on this savory rosemary and olive oil bread by la brea bakery. If you cant get pre-siced bread, then you need to be really careful about slicing it to no more than 1/2″ an inch. Any more than that and the bread will overcook on the outside before the cheese can melt.

Step 2: The Spread

Pre-heat a pan or griddle to medium-low heat while you spread a generous layer of earth balance on each slice of bread. I let the earth balance reach room temperature first, because the last thing you want is to tear your bread. Make sure that you get spread all the way to the crust, because otherwise you’re just coming off as stingy.

Step 3: The Grill

Lay your bread, earth balance side down, on the griddle. Sprinkle a layer of daiya over the bread. I was intentionally a little stingy with the daiya, just because I didn’t want it to overpower the sandwich. Also, I’ve found that daiya is so rich that I need far less daiya than I would regular cheese. Cover the sandwich with a lid to trap the heat in. Now, you settle in to the long haul. The key is to cook your sandwich low and slow, and it’s not unusual for me to spend at least 5 minutes on a site. When the cheese starts to melt, you can check the bottom of the bread. When it is really golden brown, place the second piece of bread on top and flip. Cook for another 4-5 minutes or until both sides look like this: