Ok – so let me tell you how I got on the whole fake cheese and, eventually, fake bacon sandwich kick that I have been riding for over a week now. It all started when I was reading the current issue of Chili Pepper magazine. I’ve been a subscriber for years. I love hot sauce. I love chili peppers. It’s a good magazine for me.
But, the majority of the magazine is articles that are not vegetarian friendly and nowhere near vegan. So a little over a week ago I was looking though the recent issue. They have some yummy meat-based dishes in that issue! I was feeling a bit sad about not being able to make them. Now, I had no desire to actually make them. I have lost my taste for meat. However, I missed the idea of being able to make them. Does that make sense? I don’t know.
I found a recipe for a grilled cheese sandwich with cheddar cheese, poblano peppers, and bacon. It looked so delicious, and winter is a great time for grilled cheese sandwiches! I thought of my upcoming vegan challenge and realized I couldn’t eat this dish by a long-shot. In fact, I probably needed to just let my subscription lapse.
That’s when it hit me.
If I loved the idea of this sandwich so much why not make a vegan version of it? And so I have. It took me about 10 days to get completely right (and today I burned my fakin’ bacon), but it’s there. And you know what? It was fun to figure out. So here it is – my vegan version of the grilled cheese sandwich featured in the current issue of Chili Pepper magazine:
– two slices of vegan bread; your choice. I discovered the sourdough at Whole Foods is vegan, and I’m sticking with it.
– your favorite vegan butter. for now, I am sucking it up and using Earth Balance. I’m getting used to it.
– your favorite vegan cheese. I’m sticking with Follow Your Heart brand (sadly, they do not make a vegan butter)
– a poblano pepper cut into thin strips
– fake bacon! I used Lightlife, and it is fantastic. I can eat it all by itself. It even smelled like bacon when it was cooking. Weird, right?
Make the bacon first. This will take you 2-3 minutes. Follow the directions on the package. I used two strips and found it to be a good amount.
Melt your vegan butter. Toss in a slice of bread, and layer on top of it the cheese, peppers, and bacon. Put the other slice of bread on top and cook away!
That’s it folks. You can obviously modify this a thousand ways. Leave off the bacon. Leave off the peppers. Use a different pepper. I want to use pickled jalapenos next. Put mustard on if you want to.
I had lots of fun thinking through how to take the initial recipe and turn it vegan. I have sense decided not to end my subscription but instead use it inspire future vegetarian or vegan meals. I have also written a letter to the editor encouraging him to include more vegetarian or vegan recipes. I haven’t received a response, but I literally sent it about two days ago.
If you do something like this, I found that it was easiest to do it in pieces. So first I found a vegan cheese I liked, and then everything else started to fall in place. My take on this is that, espicially right now, there is no need to spend a bunch of money on new food items to see if I like them. If I don’t, I have wasted a bunch of money and product. So once the cheese fell into place then I felt like I could expand out. The bacon was the last thing I added, and I did it today.
I feel so much better eating a mostly vegan diet for the last seven-ish days. I’m not on the vegan challenge yet (end of January is when it begins), but I am working on developing a menu. This means more of my meals are mindfully vegan than ever before. It’s challenging, but in a fun and rewarding way.
- I Ate the Vegan Cheese (again) (mybikramyogalife.wordpress.com)