This Vegan Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwich Is Delicious

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Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Total time:15 minutes

Servings:two

Total time:15 minutes

Servings:two

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When she first adopted a vegan diet in 2011, Kim-Julie Hansen says, “I didn’t know any vegans, so I thought all vegans ate nuts, seeds and rice crackers.”

As someone who became vegan out of concern for the well-being of animals, she was committed to a new way of eating that didn’t harm them, but found herself grappling with what she calls the two most common misconceptions about this: “Number one would be whether vegan food is boring,” she tells me in an interview from Belgium, where she lives part of the time. “The other would be that veganism means healthy. Healthy is good, but people think if you’re vegan, you eat salads, you’re super skinny, and that’s the whole point of that.”

Through her popular Best of Vegan Instagram account and new book of the same name, Hansen has made it her mission to prove both ideas wrong. In the book, she features some recipes she developed and others she worked with collaborators, including tempting concoctions like Hawaiian musubi tofu, Sri Lankan pumpkin curry, Baja-style “fish” tacos, and what I’m sharing here. , Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.

She also takes aim at critics who react to so many vegan recipes with the same ill-informed (or malicious, depending on how you want to look at) questions: “Why create vegan versions of non-vegan dishes?” and “Why not call them something else?” To the former, she writes, “Because veganism, at its core, has nothing to do with not wanting to eat animal products and everything to do with not wanting to harm animals. Many of us grew up eating and loving animal products and made the switch purely for ethical reasons. It doesn’t erase a lifetime of memories associated with eating meat, fish, eggs and dairy.”

The second question? It’s one I answer frequently too, and Hansen’s answer is the best I’ve ever read. “Someone who misses tuna won’t be looking for ‘baked marinated watermelon cubes,’” she writes.

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“Growing up, my fish sticks looked nothing like fish and my chicken nuggets bore no resemblance to live chickens,” she writes. “That’s why I believe that describing vegan products using terms associated with non-vegan foods is not as problematic as some make it out to be. Overall, I think it’s more useful than not.”

Hansen brings a wealth of experience cooking vegan recipes to the table, and as someone who has spent much of her life eating a more conventional diet, she knows what it takes to satisfy longtime vegans as much as the eaters who may be just having fun.

Get this grilled cheese recipe. Hansen knows that vegan cheeses sometimes “need a little help melting,” as she put it, and some recipes address this by asking you to add a little more oil (as I did when making a vegan “frico” in the spring) or to cover a pan to add moisture from the steam. Her recipe uses a method I’ve never seen before: You stack the pieces directly onto a nonstick pan and don’t add a slice of bread to each stack until it’s melted. I’ll admit I’m a little skeptical that I could easily reverse the combination, but it worked beautifully.

This bread, by the way, is first spread with a mixture of vegan cream cheese, spices and slices of jalapeño, which is where the idea of ​​u200bu200bthe “popper” comes into play. The result is messy, in a good – I mean, really good way. It’s an indulgent sandwich, with textures and flavors of crusty bread, melted cheese, and jalapeño sparkle that are anything but boring. Eat this, whether you’re a vegan or not, and you’ll never believe this fallacy again.

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

The recipe calls for 1 or 2 jalapeños; use 1 for a mild spice or 2 if you want it a little hotter.

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  • 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese, like Miyoko’s
  • 1 to 2 fresh jalapeños, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced ​​(can substitute 10 sliced ​​canned jalapeños)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted vegan butter, such as Miyoko’s, divided
  • 1 cup shredded vegan cheese, such as cheddar or mozzarella
  • 4 slices of bread

In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, jalapeño, scallions, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper.

In a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat, melt half the butter. Add the vegan cheese pieces to the pan in two piles roughly in the shape of bread slices.

While the cheese is melting, spread the cream cheese mixture onto each of the four slices of bread (about 2 tablespoons per slice).

After the cheese has melted, top each stack with a slice, cream cheese side down, and press down gently.

With a spatula, carefully flip the bread and cheese over, spoon the remaining butter into the skillet and place the remaining bread slices on top, cream cheese side down. Cook on each side until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

Calories: 597; Total Fat: 34g; Saturated Fat: 13g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 1117 mg; Carbohydrates: 63 g; Dietary Fiber: 7 g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 15g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not replace the advice of a dietician or nutritionist.

Adapted from “Best Vegan” by Kim-Julie Hansen (Harper Design, 2022).

Tested by Joe Yonan; email questions to voraciously@washpost.com🇧🇷

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