Meat-Free Monday: Quick and Lazy Recipes: The Perfect Grilled “Cheese” (Vegan)

Vegan Grilled Cheese, that is, starring Cheddar Flavored Daiya, 100% cow-free. Which is good for the lactose-intolerant, as well as vegans. It’s doubly good for folks like me that are both.

Here’s how I make my grilled “Cheese” (daiya) sandwiches:

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Lightly toast two slices of bread. Toasting keeps the sandwich from getting soggy. I usually use setting 1 or 2 on our toaster.
  2. Put a skillet on the burner at just higher than medium heat (6 out of 10)
  3. Spread both sides of each slice of toast with vegan margarine.
  4. Assemble the sandwich on the skillet
  5. Cook until each side is golden brown and the daiya is melted. You’ll have to mind it the whole time and flip it more than once.
  6. You’ll provably have to press it down with a spatula before it’s done. That’s okay. Grilled “cheese” is supposed to have ridges and variations.
  7. Eat and enjoy

Okay, I know this isn’t a huge, overwhelmingly complicated process, and I know you could have figured this out yourself, but the grilled “cheese” (daiya) sandwiches I’ve been eating lately have been so darn good I just had to share.

Love versus Fear: Lessons from The Boss and Frozen


 “On his right hand Billy tattooed the word love and on the left hand the word fear, and in which hand he held his fate was never very clear.” – Bruce Springsteen, Cautious Man.

Love and hate are enemies, true, but love has another,  much more insidious enemy: fear.

We’ve all felt it. We’ve all struggled to find the words our the strength to say them… The strength to say anything at all. 

One of the best popular illustrations of this is the movie Frozen. We watched it as a family tonight (my daughter’s first Disney feature), and I was struck with the battle between love and fear. 

Elsa is dominated by fear from the first incident in the film, when she accidentally strikes Anna in the head with her ice power. 

But it’s clear from their parents’ reactions that they’d been ruled by fear much longer,  probably since Elsa’s power first appeared. 

In all their family, Anna alone is ruled by love.  Granted,  her naive approach does get her into some trouble, but ultimately,  her selfless act of love:

  •  defeats Hans’s  devious,  power-hungry plan
  • saves her from the freezing curse Elsa accidentally placed on her
  • frees Elsa from her overwhelming fear and shows get how to break the curse of eternal winter
  • Reunites their family and heals the rift their parents created when they decided to isolate Elsa. 

    It’s a perfect illustration of what John wrote to the eally church almost 2,000 years ago: 

    “There is no fear in love.  For perfect love casts out fear…” 1 John 4:18

    And that’s how I want to live my life,  more an Anna than an Elsa.

    By temperament, I’m much more off an Elsa,  much more a cautious man. But I love, and am loved, and if I’m willing to let it,  that love can cast out my fear. 

     One more song about live and fear, one of my favorite tracks from Sarah McLachlan (if you want to hear “Let it Go,” you can YouTube it yourself 🙂

    Nobody Is Pure: Aligning My Actions with My Ethics

    How do you live completely harm-free in a world as complex and interconnected as ours?

    You don’t.

    Even if you focus on present, ongoing harm and ignore past historical harms – a completely arbitrary decision – you still can’t find or fix everything.

    We pay taxes to a government that does a host of bad things (anyone reading this, regardless of political leanings, can probably agree to that). Christians have instructions from the Master Himself to do so (“Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s” – Mark 12:17). We all have a gun literally pointed at our heads to make us pay.

    We can’t even know the origins of all the things we put on or into our bodies or our vehicles.

    What do we do? Well, we can vote, if we can find someone worth voting for. We can sign petitions and write letters to our representatives in state, local, and national government. We can protest and make our voices known.

    And we can educate ourselves on the issues.

    But is that enough? My taxes are still paying for drone strikes against civilians, and indefinite detention without trial (both happening on the CIA’s word, with nominal executive oversight and no due process), and so are yours, if you live in the U.S.

    “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” (Romans 3:10 KJV)

    But that doesn’t mean we can’t push back. It doesn’t mean we can’t find one little corner of our lives and push back against the cruelty, violence, and exploitation that have been baked into our governmental and economic systems, and the deception that hides them.

    It just means that nobody, vegan, vegetarian, meat-eater, tax-dodge, pacifist, or soldier, can ever fully claim the moral high ground.

    I know I surely can’t.

    And I know that when I try to, I can end up hurting people I never intended to.

    A wise long-term vegan told me that you can only go where your consciousness leads you. And that we should not be “holier than thou” with people whose consciousness (and consciences) aren’t leading them the same direction ours are.

    And experience leads me to understand that nobody can care about everything at once. A single human being just doesn’t have the energy.

    So, I’ll say this. Try some vegan dishes – some are very yummy – and see if you’d like to add them to your weekly meal rotation.
    But beyond that, whatever your conscience is leading you to care about, care deeply, and act wisely.

    And if I ever start acting holier-than-thou, let me know.