Oh yes, this sammich dripping with cheese is vegan! Today, April 12 is National Grilled Cheese Day, and for those of us who have dairy allergy or intolerance, or are vegan, it usually means we have to make do with alternative cheeses.
Up til now, two of my issues with dairy-free cheeses is that one, I haven't tasted one I like, and I've tried many brands, and two, dairy-free cheeses just can't melt like cow milk cheese. But all of that has changed my friends!
At the Natural Products Expo West Show in March, Daiya Foods introduced their new Daiya Wedge and I was blown away by the Jalapeno Garlic Havarti. I could not believe their Havarti was vegan because it had the taste and texture of cheese, and it melted like real cheese. The Daiya Havarti wouldn't fool a dairy eater, but oh, it comes in pretty darn close. The Jalapeno is also very mild and adds more flavor than heat.
The Daiya Wedges come in three flavors: Jalapeno Garlic Havarti, Jack, and Cheddar, and even more exciting besides being vegan all three wedges are also soy-free, and gluten-free. Win!
For National Grilled Cheese Day, I cannot tell you how excited I was to make this grilled Havarti with roasted vine tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil. Of course, I had to complete the experience with tomato soup. The soup is Whole Foods 365 brand Organic Vegan Tomato soup.
To make the roasted tomatoes, I sliced the tomatoes into pieces, diced fresh basil leaves, and chopped some garlic chunks and mixed in a couple tablespoons of olive oil. I added on some sea salt for flavoring, and roasted the tomatoes in the oven for 20 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 tastes almost like margarine except it's trans fat-free, vegan, and has no GMOs. I made toast for my folks using this spread and they didn't know the difference.
Dairy-free living just got more cheesy with the new Daiya Wedges. So good! The Havarti was my favorite of the three, and the Wedges IMHO melt better than the Daiya Shreds. Next, I think I'll make a tuna melt with the cheddar.
Note: I took all the photos with my iPhone 4 which now has a cracked photo lens but is not all bad because somehow I can get some cool effects!