October 8, 2011

Weekly Tidbits: Mushroom and Cheese Vegan Breakfast Sandwich

Inspired by a suggestion for a quick and easy vegan breakfast sandwich at Healthy Happy Life, I ventured into the slippery, oily world of vegan cheese.  Let me start by saying that I didn't necessarily go into this with a lot of optimism.  I am a from-the-heart cheese lover, so faced with the oily wet vacuumed packed vegan "cheese" I was highly skeptical.  But the original recipe assured me that the vegan gourmet cheddar was as sharp as it gets - and I love sharp.

Now I didn't go by the book on this.  For one, I cut out the pumpkin butter.  Maybe this was an elemental part of the breakfast sandwich?  I'm not sure.  I just thought  breakfast patty + cheesy mushrooms = bliss.  Not quite.

My breakfast sandwich was made up of the following:

1 Ezekial 4:9 English Muffin
1 thin slice of Gimmie Lean Sausage
5 mushrooms, sliced
2 slices of Vegan Gourmet Cheddar
Earth Balance butter to soften english muffins

The biggest question I was left with was:  How do you make vegan cheese melt?  I don't think any amount of pumpkin butter could have helped me with that one.


Well, I didn't figure it out. I tried throw some into the hot frying pan and it sort of soften, but not really melted. Somehow the original sandwich recipes turned out fantastic (at least according to the photos) and I'm wondering if it has something to do with the slow heat of the panini press. I merely had my frying pan and spatula on hand to recreate the press-making conditions. This is going to require some more explanation. If anyone else has experience with melting vegan cheese, please let me know. Perhaps I needed a shredded version?

Or maybe I should just accept a cheeseless lifestyle...
In any case, my final product looked like this following:

I still really like the idea of this sandwich, but it needs some major improvements before I start whipping it up on a regular basis.  Hopefully I'll be back with some changes and alternative fixings soon!

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