Initially I’d planned on making the Irish Stew from The 30-Minute Vegan’s Taste of Europe to stand in for the letter I…and then I realized that I had way too many soups and stews on tap, and this was the first to go. Not because it doesn’t sound delicious – it does! – but rather its replacement looks even better. Enter: the Inner Beauty Patty Melt from Betty Goes Vegan.
(Actually it was a bit of a toss-up between this and the Inside-Out Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger – so much junk food, so little give in my pants! – but the patty melt won out since rye bread proved easier to find than vegan whole wheat burger buns. Sorry, bacon cheeseburger. Them’s the breaks.)
So I’d never had a patty melt before, and now I’m afraid I might be addicted. Shane actually made these for dinner – after a day spent outside in 90 degree weather, I was much too tired – and I shouldn’t speak for him, but the recipe looks hella easy. Just mix your vegan ground beef (in our case, Lightlife) with some seasonings, shape into patties (special made to fit the bread perfectly!), and fry along with red onions (which smell heavenly, btw) until lightly browned. Then you stack them into sammies with the rye bread and vegan cheese (Daiya!) and bake at 350F until warm and gooey. After baking, the bread was a little on the dry side, so next time I might add a dab of margarine to each slice, but otherwise? Freaking amazing.
The name of the dish, by the by, comes from the fact that it’s not super-photogenic: “this sandwich may not have all the snazzy colors of a good old-school salad, but it has good personality, and that’s what counts!” I don’t know, I think it’s pretty smokin’. But then I like my food a little sloppy.
Served with a handful of my all-time favorite salt and vinegar chips, because what’s comfort food without a side of comfort food?