A Dairy Free Grilled Cheese Sandwich

My wife and my daughter have food allergies. I don’t have any food allergies, at least nothing major or that I know of. Having a kid with food allergies is rough, especially when the allergies are to common ingredients like cow’s milk, egg white, and peanuts. We can get by without the peanuts but it’s hard trying to avoid the first two because they’re in almost every thing. We’ve been cleared to try milk in baked goods, but egg is still off limits. It sucks that she can’t try all of the food we eat but I think we’re pretty lucky. Even though she’s only three years old, she understands and accepts when we tell her she can’t eat something because of the allergies. She doesn’t whine or get sad. She just says, “Okay,” and then offers to feed us. Then she continues not eating the food we prepared for her.

Since food allergies are so common now, we set out to find some dairy alternatives to help introduce Cara to some of the food she’s been missing. After a little bit of research, we found the perfect ingredients for a dairy-free grilled cheese sandwich. Use whichever bread you like best with:

Smart Balance Omega-3 “Butter”

smart-balance-omega-3

Smart Balance has many different styles of butter. We’ve been using the original Smart Balance for a long time, so we trust it. I like the flavor of the original and the Smart Balance Omega-3 has a good flavor too. It’s pretty hard for me to tell the difference in taste. The main thing is that it accomplishes the goal of providing some additional flavor to any type of sandwich or toast without causing an allergic reaction.

daiya Dairy Free Cheese Slices

daiya-cheddar-style-slices

Since I’ve never had anything like this before, I was worried that Cara wouldn’t like the flavor of it. Of course, I was curious about the taste too. I love cheese. There are actually three different flavors to choose from: cheddar, swiss, and provolone. We chose the daiya cheddar style slice since it seemed to be the safest option as a first introduction to cheese. When you open the package, the cheese itself looks dry and kind of like cardboard. But it’s all about the taste and I have to say that I enjoy it. I wouldn’t choose it over regular cheese but for what it is, it’s pretty good. There’s definitely a different flavor to it but the consistency is nearly the same as regular cheese once you melt it down.

I believe each package contains 10 slices. Regular price at our local Safeway grocery store is $4.99. As I started researching for this blog post, I found a handful of other daiya products that look interesting. They have several different types of pizzas, mac and cheese, and even ranch dressing! In my area, outside of the slices, these specialty items are located at Whole Foods. I’ve already accepted the $4.99 price for the slices, but I’m cringing at the thought of Whole Foods prices!

The Final Product

dairy-free-grilled-cheese-sandwich

I was pretty relieved that Cara liked it. It probably helped that I didn’t burn it to where one side was completely charred. So there you go. A grilled cheese sandwich that is free from dairy, and parent and kid approved.

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