Ever since I was a child, one of my favorite lunch meals was grilled cheese. But as I matured, I recognized that it lacked any real nutritional value in it’s simplicity and the standard recipe just couldn’t satisfy me on the daily. When I began a pescatarian diet two years ago this made my love for toasted sandwiches even more limited as I no longer had my normal turkey, ham, or proscuitto options to jazz things up.
Now that it is getting colder in Aus, I am back onto my toastie obsession and started to get creative in the kitchen. I have since come up five vegetarian toastie recipes that will satisfy that grilled cheese gooey goodness and at the same time provide some nutritional depth. Each recipe is very unique in flavor and will cover any mood or preferance because lets be real, I don’t discriminate when it comes to cheese and every girl likes options.
Each vegetarian toastie recipe below has been tested by my friends and family, and the results are in:
The Green Thumb (2nd Place)
You’ll feel healthy just by looking at it. This was a popular choice and the standout ingredient was the grilled curry zucchini strips. If your the type of person who orders the Green Smoothie at cafes, this will be your favorite.
Squeeze of lemon
Only real prep for this is the zucchini. Cut in strips and then lightly toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a pinch of curry powder. Sauté in pan until cooked through.
Here’s how I build this one:
1. Spread avocado
2. Squeeze lemon and pinch of salt/pepper
3. Smoked cheddar
4. Zucchini strips
6. Green onion
7. Smoked cheddar
The Tickled Pink (3rd place)
The taste of raspberries is what makes this toastie extra spesh. The Tickled Pink is the winner in my books because it ticks off all my favorite things: sweet, tangy, and crunchy.
Prep for this guy is toasting off the almonds. Toss in the pan, turn up the heat and watch them closely until they start to brown. Then chopped them up finely without burning your fingers.
Heres the order for the stack:
1. Raspberry jam
2. Smoked cheddar
3. Salt and pepper
The Red Carpet (4th Place)
A fancy twist on the traditional ‘tomato & cheese’. This has a little antipasti flare that I just love. For the italian food fans that like simplicity.
Thick cut tomato
Red (sundried tomato) pesto
No cooking prep for this one. Just start building
4. Salt and pepper
The Fifty Shades (5th Place)
How many thymes am I going to use this book title in my blog? Regardless, there are many shades of grey in this loaded mushroom toastie. I’m a fan of truffle so I thunk it elevates the sandwich, but if it’s too much for you just leave it off.
A mix of mushrooms: shiitake, oyster, enokii, etc.,
Truffle salt (optional)
Chop mushrooms and toss lightly with olive oil and thyme. Saute in pan until cooked through.
Stack up like this:
2. Thick layer of mushrooms
3. Pinch of truffle salt (or regular salt) / pepper
The True Blue (1st Place)
For the loyal fans of blue cheese. This was the highlight sandwich amongst friends and family. There’s something so addictive about sharp, strong cheeses complimented with the sweetness of fruit.
A few slices of pear
Toss the walnuts in a pan with a touch of olive oil and some finely chopped rosemary. Toast until golden brown and then roughly chop before stacking.
4. Salt and pepper
5. Crumbled blue cheese
Once your foundation is laid, its time to get toasty. The sound of melted cheese sizzling from your sandwich press means you’re probably ready to roll.
Note: Ratios for toasted sandwiches should always fit to your preference, which is why the amounts of ingredients in each recipe are very generalized and are paired with a colloquial method. Depending on variables such as the type of bread and its thickness, these ratios should always be tweaked. One thing to always keep in mind though, is never skimp on the cheese! I always add two layers to bind everything together. I also always add a pinch of salt and pepper to each stack (mentioned in the method) and generally go for sourdough as my base.
Would love to hear some feedback and see your snaps of these vegetarian toasties on instagram! Please tag me @heidisee_ so I can share your photos on my story. Enjoy!