Vegan Breakfast Grilled Cheese with Tomato Jam
If you take a look at our breakfast table, you will probably find a vegan cheese sandwich, jam, some fresh vegetables, and maybe even a vegan omelet – but all together? We wanted to create a deluxe sandwich for our breakfast themed week, and I directly thought of grilled cheese. To make it more “breakfasty,“ I added a vegan omelet and a special jam: a homemade tomato jam.
The bread: I chose sourdough bread, but of course, you can also use some dark bread, wholemeal bread, or a classic white bread.
The vegan cheese: Just reach for your favorite plant-based sliced cheese. The vegan butter that's spread on your bread is enough fat that is often needed to melt vegan cheese really well.
The vegan omelet: This vegan omelet is based on firm tofu, which is blended with some plant-based milk. Chickpea flour and cornstarch provide binding, while kala namak salt, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper join the party for flavor. Turmeric creates the egg-like color. For frying, it's best to use a non-stick frying pan in which you can add the entire tofu mix and fry it on both sides until golden brown. Should your vegan omelet break apart while you flip it, don't panic. Just press it back together as it ends up between two slices of bread anyway, in the end, so no one will see what happened before.
The tomato jam: Since we developed this recipe in August, there was a big pile of tomatoes lying next to us. Instead of just adding them to the sandwich as slices, we cooked them down into a jam, which is super easy. This way, you can enjoy the delicious summer tomatoes for a few more weeks and months. Since tomatoes contain quite a bit of pectin, all you have to do is simmer them down with some sugar. To see if the jam is done, go through the jam in the pot with a wooden spoon. The jam behind the spoon shouldn't flow back together. Since jam is known to be quite sweet, we need a bit of acidity and spiciness here to balance it out. We added some vinegar, cayenne pepper, lemon zest, salt, and a good pinch of pepper, but be sure to season the jam to your own taste and add more or fewer spices, or try others like cinnamon, ginger, or cumin.
Two last tips before you start: In order for the vegan cheese to melt really well, you should only pan-fry the sandwich over low heat to give it a little more time. Place a lid on the frying pan first as the moisture will accumulate in the pan this way and the vegan cheese melts wonderfully. As soon as you see that it softens, you can remove the lid, flip the sandwich and fry it from the second side until golden brown. However, it's always worth checking the bottom side of your grilled cheese to make sure it doesn't burn.
We coat all sides of our sandwich with vegan butter. However, (vegan) mayo is often recommended for the outsides. Feel free to try it out, but be sure to pay even more attention to your sandwich, because in our experience, it burns faster with vegan mayo.
Vegan Breakfast Grilled Cheese with Tomato Jam
For the vegan grilled cheese:
- 4 slices white bread
- 8 slices plant-based cheese
- vegan butter
For the tomato jam:
- 250 g (9 oz) cherry tomatoes
- 60 g (0.25 cup) raw cane sugar
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 pinch cayenne
- lemon zest
For the vegan omelet:
- 100 g (3.5 oz) firm tofu
- 75 ml (0.33 cup) plant-based milk
- 1 tbsp chickpea flour
- 0.5 tsp kala namak
- 0.5 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
For the jam, quarter tomatoes and add them to a small pot along with sugar, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let the tomatoes simmer over medium for approx. 30 minutes, or until you get the consistency of a jam. You know it's done once you can move a spoon through the jam, and there's no liquid running back together. Season the tomato jam with lemon zest, salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. Transfer the jam to sterile jars and let it cool down.
For the vegan omelet, roughly crumble tofu and add it to a liquid measuring cup along with plant-based milk, chickpea flour, kala namak, turmeric, cornstarch, and nutritional yeast. Blend until smooth and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Heat vegetable oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the tofu batter and fry for approx. 5 minutes per side until they are browned. If the vegan omelet tears when you flip it – no worries, that's not a problem.
Brush each side of the white bread slices with about 1 tsp of vegan butter. Spread tomato jam on one slice of bread, add two slices of plant-based cheese, half of the vegan omelet, and two more slices of plant-based cheese. Cover the sandwich with a second slice of white bread and repeat this step for the second sandwich.
Heat a (grill) pan over medium-low heat and add the sandwiches. Cover the frying pan with a lid and fry your sandwiches over medium-low heat for approx. 5 minutes. Make sure to keep checking the bottom of the sandwich, so it doesn't burn.
As soon as the plant-based cheese melts, remove the lid, flip the sandwiches and fry from the second side until it's browned. Serve vegan grilled cheese sandwiches with the remaining tomato jam.