A Grilled Cheese Recipe for the Indulgent Hippie

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I have two eating personalities at war within me: one is a real ’70s California Girl. She gets genuine pleasure from sprouts and sesame dressing and jiggly blocks of tofu. She lives for brown-rice pudding and chia seeds blended into a gray-green smoothie that has a texture akin to getting sand blown in your face. She wants to take all her meetings in the back of a dingy health-food store, surrounded by women with long grey braids and purple hemp Nehru-collar coats. She will always try an algae shot or some aloe water.

But then there’s the girl I like to call Luxury Foods Pizza Queen. She subsists solely on hamburgers, fancy prosciutto sandwiches, and late-night pizza, possibly followed by a Funfetti doughnut. She feels a unique mix of nausea and elation at all times. She is living her truth — and it’s also giving her diarrhea.

In an effort to streamline my adult life and stay healthy as a woman with a chronic illness, I’ve had to kiss Pizza Queen good night for the most part. But sometimes she comes roaring out with a vengeance, demanding to be heard. Which is why it was so amazing when my friend Jessica Murnane, founder of (1), introduced me to Butcher’s Daughter.

This place is more than a café — it’s a lifestyle. Founder Heather Tierney’s mission is to treat veggies like you would meat and create the kinds of dishes (a spaghetti-squash carbonara, an egg sandwich with tempeh bacon, avocado, and homemade ketchup) that both California Girl and Pizza Queen can get behind. I also love the ambience of the place (the Nolita location in NYC is my home base, although it’s also popping in Venice Beach) with its proto-Etsy hanging plants/reclaimed wood energy. Plus, the color-blocked graphic design on the prepackaged juices is so on point that Pantone should take a look and get inspired.

Butcher’s Daughter has been generous enough to share two of my favorite recipes — a grilled cheese that can easily be made vegan and a smoothie that tastes way more indulgent than the ingredients would suggest — so you can capture some of this magic at home. And even if you’re culinarily challenged like me, these recipes are simple enough that you could impress a friend without even boiling water.

We’ve all had that “I goddamned deserve this!” moment with a brownie or In-N-Out (pick your poison) and the “I guess I need this” moment with a salad or three. It turns out the two realities can live in sweet, sweet harmony — just ask the Butcher’s Daughter.

SEASONAL GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH

GRILLED ASPARAGUS WITH BRIE

(Please note that you can substitute vegan cheese as well.)

Makes 4 sandwiches

**Ingredients:**

2 medium white onions

3 tbs. grapeseed oil

Salt and pepper

1 bunch of thyme

3 tbs. butter, plus more for grilling sandwich

1⁄2 cup Vegenaise “mayo”

1/3 cup Dijon mustard

1⁄4 cup horseradish

2 bunches of medium asparagus

1 loaf of sourdough, or even brioche

1⁄4 wheel of Brie (soft ripened cheese) or Camembert

***

**Directions:**

**Step 1:** Start with caramelizing your onions. Place onions, either diced or sliced, in a large smoking-hot pot with the grapeseed oil. Let onions cook down, stirring every 5 minutes to ensure even browning. Once onions have a dark chocolate-brown color, season with salt and pepper. The taste should have a nutty and caramelized depth to it. Finish cooking onions with 1⁄4 cup of chopped thyme and butter.

**Step 2:** Mix Vegenaise, Dijon, and horseradish in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper; make sure it has a nice balance of spice from the horseradish and Dijon.

**Step 3:** Grill asparagus until major char marks take place. Season with salt and pepper.

**Step 4:** Slice bread into 8 pieces; generously smear mayo mixture on one side of all 8 slices. On only 4 slices, place asparagus lengthwise on the face of the bread. Repeat with a generous amount of sliced Brie, followed by the caramelized onions. Place other 4 slices on top of the assembled slices and grill the sandwiches in a medium-hot pan with a little more butter until golden brown and delicious. Cut in half, and enjoy!


|||Whitney Leigh Morris

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SMOOTHIE RECIPE​

This is a seasonal version of the Seven Minutes in Heaven: the “Spring Fling.”

**Ingredients:**

4 oz. frozen raw coconut meat

1 tbs. coconut yogurt

6 to 7 frozen lychees

3 dates

1/2 tsp. vanilla-bean liquid1 tsp. Tocos

***

Directions:

Put in blender and mix!


1) (http://jessicamurnane.com/)