Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Is There Really Such A Thing As Cheese Heaven? Yes.

Daiya Cheeses and Turkey Panini Recipe

I recall once in my life saying, "Oh my God I could never live without cheese." You know how they say, never say never? Well I should have never said never because cheese has been one of the things Jace and I have had to give up on this allergy free journey. And guess what? I didn't die like I thought, but I did dream up some interesting ways of committing suicide by cheese overdose. Of course I'm kidding.

Giving up cheese was not as hard as I thought because we had to also give up many of the things I used to eat cheese with. So it was more overwhelming just having to let go of the seeming millions of foods that I loved. But... 

 
  
One day. One hot and humid summer day in Houston, as I surfed the web for reasons not to commit suicide by cheese, and after growing more and more dissatisfied with the veggie cheeses I dared to try, I came across Daiya brand non-dairy cheese. At the time they only had shreds. I was in love. They had me at "melts and stretches." I mean this opened up a world of nachos and tacos like never before.

Then...they came out with wedges. These babies opened up the door for a good 'ole macaroni and cheese, and a plethora of other sauces and soups.




And then...oh. my. gaw. They came out with slices. That's right, I said it...SLICES!!!! Oh, we're cookin' with hot grease now! I don't know if there is anything else I need to say about that, other than they come in Cheddar, Provolone and Swiss.



And the taste, well...let's just say I've been in cheese slice heaven for the last week. In fact I have turned into quite the magician. I turned what you see above...

Turkey panini served with Terra Exotic Vegetable Chips

 into THIS - a turkey panini with melted cheese erupting from the sides like hot lava, baby! *burp*


Well...my work here is done *brushing hands*. Now you, go eat, be well, and burp! Is that gross? Sorry. I'm happy right now.

You can go here to find a list of retail stores that sell Daiya products and restaurants that cook with Daiya cheeses. Just enter your city in the criteria box.

In Houston, I have only been successful so far finding the slices at Whole Foods on Bellaire. I am an advocate for calling the stores before I go, so that I don't make any blank trips. Life is hard enough. So don't rule that out. Once time passes, they will be stocked in more stores, so this very statement will become obsolete...kinda like me eating cow's milk cheese. That was funny, I know.

Learn more about Daiya products here.

Turkey Panini
George Foreman Grill
1/4 t. Olive Oil
2 Slices of Gluten free bread*
2 Slices of Applegate Farms Natural Roasted Turkey Breast (I used organic roasted turkey breast above)
1 Slice of Applegate Farms Natural Turkey Bacon (optional)
1 Slice of Daiya Cheddar cheese
Dijon mustard (or sandwich spread of choice)

* Pictured above is the homemade gluten free beer bread in The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook by Cybele Pascal. I have a detailed post on the book here.

Cook bacon in the microwave (or on the stove/in the oven if that is your preference). Heat the George Foreman Grill. Coat the grill surface with the olive oil. Slather a bit of buttery spread on each slice of bread. Add some Dijon mustard. Layer with two slices of turkey breast (I break my meat into large shredded chunks for some personality :-). Break the slice of turkey bacon in half and layer it on top of the turkey. Add a slice of cheese. Put the other slice on top and put the sandwich on the George Foreman Grill for 5-8 minutes, until the cheese in running over like a mini volcano. Serve with a side of veggie chips.

Tip: While your panini is grilling, wash up your dishes and put all of your supplies away. While it is cooling (because it takes a little while to cool), dampen a dish cloth and wipe your grill down (it's easier when it's warm). Then you can really sit down in peace knowing that after you finish eating you are DONE (that is, if you use a paper plate :-)!

Bon ap├ętit!

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