Using vital wheat gluten in the sauce gives it a cheese-like stringiness and ups the protein content.
Grilled Apple, Avocado and “Cheese” Sandwiches
1/3 cup nutritional yeast (heaping)
1/3 cup vital wheat gluten (heaping)
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder
1/8 to ¼ tsp lemon pepper seasoning (plus a dash per sandwich)
A dash of mustard powder
1-2 dashes salt (up to 1/8 tsp)
½ to 3/4 cup water
1 avocado, sliced into ¼ inch slices
1 apple, pealed and sliced into ¼ inch slices
6-8 slices bread (depending on how many sandwiches you want)
oil or cooking spray
Mix together “cheese” ingredients (yeast through water). Using less water will make the cheese stringier and stretchier; using more water will make it easier to spread and will extend the sauce for more sandwiches. I usually go for somewhere in between.
Heat the cheese sauce in the microwave or on the stove top for a minute or two until warm. Don’t cook it too much or it will start turning into seitan.
Arrange a layer of avocados over half the bread slices. Sprinkle with lemon pepper or salt to bring out the avocado flavor. Arrange a layer of apples on top of the avocados. Spread the cheese sauce on the remaining slices of bread, and assemble the sandwiches by firmly pressing the cheese covered bread slices onto the avocado and apple covered bread slices.
Heat up a skillet, ideally nonstick, to medium to medium high heat and grease it with either cooking spray or about a teaspoon of oil. When hot enough, start grilling the sandwiches, either individually or more than one at a time depending on the size of your skillet and your talent at multitasking. Press the top of the sandwiches with your spatula periodically to ensure even browning and carefully flip when one side is done. It may take as little as 30 seconds a side or as much as a few minutes depending on heat and equipment. The first one usually takes the longest.
Makes 3-4 sandwiches.
Add-ins: The cheese sauce is pretty mild, so if you’d like a sharper sandwich you can add a layer of mustard, ketchup, vegan mayo, vegan cream cheese, pickles or tomatoes for tanginess. You could also add a little lemon juice to the sauce.
Technique: If you prefer, you can spread the outside of the sandwiches with margarine instead of oiling the pan. I’ve also heard of (vegan) mayo being used the same way.
A dry nonstick pan, with no added oil or margarine will work okay too.
Also, instead of cooking them on the stove you could use the broiler, taking them out and flipping them halfway. This has the advantage of being able to cook a lot of sandwiches at once (I can fit eight on some cookie sheets).