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Vegan Grilled Cheese Stuffed with Sweet Potatoes

Vegan Grilled CheeseGrilled cheese usually gets a bad rap as a calorie- and fat-heavy meal between two slices of carb-y bread. But as a registered dietitian nutritionist and serious lover of this classic sandwich staple, I'm here to tell you that grilled cheese is not the enemy it's made out to be.

With a little creativity, the white bread and processed cheese icon can be replaced with a blend of delicious whole grains and veggies packed into one tasty sandwich, just like these melty, gooey, healthy sandwiches.

If you have a dairy dietary restriction or are following a vegan diet, you may have assumed grilled cheese sandwiches were only a thing of your past. Luckily with a few smart swaps, this recipe proves that you can enjoy this favorite in your own way.

For starters, it's got a spelt whole-grain sandwich round as a base—that alone is filled with 3 grams of satiating fiber and 6 grams of protein. You'll layer two flavors of vegan cheese and a smear of mashed heart-healthy avocado to create a satisfying lunch or light dinner.

But the kitchen creativity doesn't end there.

I took this sandwich to the next level by adding a layer of crunch with sweet potatoes. You can make your own sweet potato fries (extra-crispy ones work best for this recipe) or even pick up a bag of store-bought sweet potato chips. The added texture will make you wonder why you hadn't thought about this secret ingredient before.

So what are you waiting for, vegans...and everyone else? You can make this in 10 minutes flat.

Sweet Potato Stuffed Grilled Cheese

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 spelt round (or 2 slices whole-grain bread or 2 slices gluten-free bread)
  • 2 tablespoons chive vegan cream cheese
  • 1/2 ounce sweet potato chips or fries, baked (about 6 chips or thin sliced fries)
  • 1 ounce pepper jack vegan shredded cheese (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons mashed avocado
  • Cooking spray

Directions

1. Spray a flat-top pan with cooking spray and set over low heat.

2. Lay 1 slice of spelt round on the pan and spread chive vegan cream cheese all over. Top with sweet potato chips (or fries).

3. Place the other slice of the spelt round on the pan. Add the pepper jack vegan shredded cheese. Top with mashed avocado (this will help to "cement" the shreds in place).

4. Using a spatula, place one side on top of the other. Set a kitchen weight on top and let cook 3 minutes. Flip and repeat.

5. Once cheese is melted, enjoy!

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