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Monday, October 1, 2012

Grilled Vegan Cheese + Tomato Sandwich

vegan grilled cheese

when i was in 4th grade (i told you, it was a pivotal year for me) i read a book called Harriet the Spy. somehow i had managed to land myself in the Advanced Reading Group and this was the first chapter book we were assigned to read, on our own. i don't remember how i did in the class, i can't recall if we had deep discussions about the plot, but thus began my love affair of reading beyond chapters assigned and not paying any mind to the rules of book clubs.

the protagonist, Harriet, had many quirks, some of which i picked up on: she wrote in a journal, everyday. i did too, and if you count this here space, i still do. she watched people, after all, Harriet was training to be a spy. as a shy kid, i observed situations and people, and today, all i do is judge people i still enjoy being an observer. most importantly about Harriet is that she only ate tomato sandwiches for lunch. i went thru a phase where that was all i ate too. i don't have that proclivity any longer, especially since i do prefer to eat my tomatoes in season now, but recently, i found that old book in some boxes and i wanted to recreate some of that childhood nostalgia.

i made vegan cheese, a surprisingly unintimidating process and with it, dw made us grilled vegan cheese + tomato sandwiches on gluten-free bread. he slathered on tomato paste for added depth and we shared a bowl of butternut squash soup.

i'm so pleased to say that grilled cheese sandwiches can now return to my diet.

a side note, anyone who knows me in real life has heard me exclaim "jesus wept!" when i'm exasperated. it was from this book that i picked up that random saying. it's amazing how one little book had such an impact in my life.

what about you, any books that have touched you?

this is my contribution for this week's The Food Matters Project, hosted by
Jessica of Cheese Please.

28 comments:

  1. What a fab sandwich, I love slather of tomato paste!

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  2. I remember Harriet! But the book that truly fueled my love for reading was Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (I had a crush on Justin, the rat's Captain of the Guard). :) I had forgotten about that book! Thanks for the roundabout reminder.

    Who can resist a rustic grilled cheese and tomato sandwich? It looks delicious!

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    1. i don't know this book, it's probably got something to do with my total fear of rodents, but i am so glad this post has made you recall it.

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  3. I loved those books when I was growing up! This is quite a delicious looking sandwich.

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  4. I remember the paperback rack at the kid section of the library so vividly, and books such as "Summer of My German Soldier" and "Say Goodnight, Gracie" (through which I sobbed). Every once in a while, I think about getting a copy to read as an adult, but I don't want to risk discovering those books are not as I remember them.

    Awesome--vegan cheese! My first attempt at non-dairy yogurt was a Solid Fail. Alas.

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    1. Oh, no -- "Say Goodnight, Gracie!" That just took me back. So much crying.

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    2. thanks for sharing your childhood books, they sound vaguely familiar. i have not yet re-read Harriet the Spy, like you i'm concerned i will not like it as much as i remembered...

      i'm sorry about your first attempt at non-dairy yogurt, don't give up!

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  5. This looks so lovely and makes me want to whip up a batch of cheese right now! I love the addition of tomato here. Perfect food styling and and beautiful photo!

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    1. erin, thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

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  6. Must try this RIGHT NOW! I've never seen coconut vinegar before! I'll have to go scour the shops so I can have a vegan grilled cheese - it has been way too long!! Love it!

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    1. it was in the organic section in my grocery store, by the other vinegars and dressing. it was pleasantly surprising to see it there, i do wonder if any other type of vinegar would do, like raw apple cider....

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  7. I loved Harriet. Also loved Ramona Quimby! I was that nerd who volunteered at the library helping to reshelve books (this was before the digital card catalog, of course) and at the end of the summer we got to pick out some new books for the kids section - so exciting!

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    1. i LOVED Ramona Quimby, she just seemed to go thru everything that was i going thru at that age. Beverly Cleary really understood the kid psyche and gawd, i loved ALL her books.

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  8. i need to investigate this vegan cheese! i would love to eat less dairy..

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    1. Krystal, it's different and it's not quite like the real deal but i enjoy it, especially since i don't get an upset stomach from it. don't think of it as what you're missing out on, but more about what you're gaining instead.

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  9. such a delicious meal! looks so good! one of my favorite books growing up was sideway stories from wayside school, i just loved the absurdity of it.

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    1. hi Jenn, i'm not familiar with Sideways Stories from Wayside School, interesting! thanks for sharing

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  10. I love that you made your own Vegan Cheese and that your now have grilled cheese back in your life - that is awesome :)

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  11. What a fabulous classic...I love that you made it your own...YUM!

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  12. I was really curious about the vegan cheese and am so surprised to learn its done from coconut milk. It's amazing! I just bought avocados last weekend and am looking forward to a grilled meltie of my own!

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    1. vinita, it doesn't taste like coconut milk at all but it provides the creaminess that you might be used to from dairy milk.

      grilled avocado sandwiches sounds so good!

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  13. The only thing I remember about Harriet was a case where she was trying to find an owl with "love" in its eyes. And she couldn't figure out what that meant. Gooey gaze? Mournful eyes? Nope. The person literally wrote the word love on the owl's eyeballs. I hope that was the right book or else I'll have to try to figure out which children's book had that case!

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