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vegan miam

Vegan Mediterranean Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Walnut Pesto Seitan

In celebration of the cheesy and delicious sandwiches, this Friday, April 12th is the “National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day” and this April is the “National Grilled Cheese Month.” But everyday will always be a vegan grilled cheese sandwich for me! To honor the National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day, I was invited by the lovely GO Veggie!™ to create a vegan grilled cheese sandwich. I used their vegan, casein-free Mozzarella Style Shreds to make my grilled cheese sandwich.

So I made a vegan Mediterranean grilled cheese sandwich with a medley of grilled vegetables, baby greens (spinach, kale and chard), olive tapenade, traditional seitan (by Sweet Earth Natural Foods) with raw walnut-pesto, and lastly the rosemary bread I got from a local bakery (Bread Stop). I buttered these bread slices up and they were tasty as garlic buttery bread.

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Check out my feature on Happy Cow Blog.

Sailing on to the rich flavors of the Mediterranean, we find a breathtaking Vegan Mediterranean Grilled Cheese Sandwich from Vegan Miam made with walnut pesto seitan, grilled eggplant and red peppers, baby wild greens and GO Veggie! Dairy Free Vegan Mozzarella Shreds.But why stop here…how about all that goodness between two slices of crusty rosemary bread? It is amazing where our minds can travel with the thoughts of grilled cheese sandwiches – from our childhood to the travel destinations on our bucket lists. Where can your favorite grilled cheese take you?

And read another feature on GO Veggie!™ blog: 10 Grilled Cheese Recipes That Make Us All Melty Inside.

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Here are the few separate recipes, for the Kalamata olive & dijon spread, raw walnut pesto, and lastly the grilled cheese sandwich setup:

You can use any vegan olive tapenade or spread if you don’t have the time to make a spread or have a favorite one. It doesn’t hurt to make your own and experiment it on a dish. You can even try any sorts of olives, but I’m not particularly fond of black and green olives. If you do not like olive-based spread, try cilantro and other herbs instead for a mild flavor.

traditional-seitan

[yumprint-recipe id='24']I used the traditional seitan by Sweet Earth Natural Foods. I coated both sides with the pesto, then grilled them on the panini press. It was pretty tasty, yet simple! You can use the raw walnut pesto on anything such as toasted baguette slices, baked potatoes, raw pasta, and so much more. It is a versatile sauce.

Raw Walnut Pesto

Yield: about ¾ cup

Ingredients

1½ cup fresh basil leaves, packed
½ cup raw walnuts
½ cup cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 medium garlic cloves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste

Preparation

  1. Chop the walnuts first in a food processor and pulse them a few times until they are broken into smaller pieces. Add the basil and garlic, pulse a few times more. Add the remaining ingredients and slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on.
  2. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt to taste

Notes

If you want to achieve a smoother and runnier one, add more olive oil. If you want thick pesto, add more raw walnuts or sunflower seeds.

Keeping: Store them in the freezer for several months as long as you coat them with olive oil in the sealed container/jar. Just let them thaw out and cook it with something afterward. You can also store them in the fridge for several weeks if you plan to use them ahead.

And finally the grilled cheese sandwich setup, it won’t take long, I promise. It’s a very simple method without requiring too many tools: grill all your veggies (you can even add sweet potato,zucchini, beet, yellow bell peppers, and others) and seitan with raw walnut pesto, and plenty of greens! I can imagine using beet and zucchini in this yummy grilled cheese sandwich, or perhaps a vegan tzatziki sauce we made last year.

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Vegan Mediterranean Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Walnut Pesto Seitan

1 sandwich

Ingredients

2 slices rosemary bread loaf, 1-inch thick (I used BreadStop)
vegan butter, at room temperature
¼ medium eggplant, in four ½-inch slices
½ red bell pepper, cut into fourths
a small handful of greens (baby kale, spinach and chard)
4 slices traditional seitan (Sweet Earth Natural Foods), with raw walnut pesto on both sides
Olive tapenade for spread
Olive oil spray
Salt to taste

Preparation

  1. Grill the eggplant slices and red bell pepper on panini press for several minutes, make sure they are coated with olive oil spray. Add salt to taste. Set them aside on the rack.
  2. Coat the traditional seitan with the raw walnut pesto on both sides, grill for several minutes on the panini press. Set them aside on the rack.
  3. Heat a skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Melt 1 tablespoon butter and add 2 slices of bread. Grill both sides until bread is golden. Set them aside on the rack to slightly cool.
  4. Spread each bread slice with olive tapenade. Top with two slices traditional seitan. Top with the raw walnut pesto again.
  5. Place the vegan cheese on a tray (that is used for broiling), let it broil at 350 degrees F for a few minutes until it slightly melts. Stir it into a big goop, and scoop it out and place on the seitan (continued from the previous step). Top with eggplants, red bell peppers, greens, raw walnut pesto, and seitan slices, in whatever order you like. Then finally the top bread slice to complete the setup.

DISCLAIMER
This item(s) was kindly sent to me to review by GO Veggie!™ Foods. All products that are mentioned and reviewed here on my vegan blog are of my own personal opinions and I am not being compensated to review them, only just to share my thoughts. If I receive a product complimentary of the company, it will be stated so in the post, otherwise, all products are purchased myself for my own personal use.


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