when i think of cozy autumn days as a kid, i think of grilled cheese. my dad made the best grilled cheese sandwiches! i think the secret was his use of pillowy potato bread though; it soaked in all the butter, allowing it to get crisp enough while still leaving the inside a bit fluffy. he made a pretty generic american cheese variety, and as i got older i would make them for my friends and me when we would get home from school. as we got older (and more accepting of other varieties of grilled cheese) my mom or brother would make them with swiss cheese, sliced fruit like apples or pears, greens, and various spreads like mustard or pesto. i love a traditional grilled cheese, but i get really excited when you can play around with flavors and textures and make an iconic sandwich your own!

that’s where this grilled cheese comes in. it contains two of my favorite flavors paired together: apples and sautéed crisp onions. for whatever reason when the weather starts getting a little chillier, i crave those 2 ingredients in everything. it’s important to use crisp tart apples here (sweet mushy ones just don’t cut it), and to keep them as bright as they can be i’ve been using Rubbermaid’s new line of FreshWorks Countertop containers. they’re designed to keep any moisture out, using a FreshVent™ Lid with innovative technology that naturally regulates the flow of 0 2 and CO 2 to create the optimal environment, keeping countertop produce fresher longer compared to produce left on the counter.. (side note: i especially love storing apples in their own separate container to prevent my other countertop produce from ripening too fast or spoiling.) but in all honesty, fall is the time of year where all my produce hangs out on the counter. and there are a variety of sizes that i can accommodate fall tomatoes, pears, pomegranates, shallots/onions/garlic, and winter squash. i keep them all fresh and tidy in the corner of my kitchen in the super sleek and modular FreshWorks Countertop containers that fit neatly together, and easy to access. it’s also worth mentioning that the containers also keep fruit flies away! which is amazing, considering they’re still around here in southern california throughout the year. they’re definitely worth the purchase just for that alone!

happy autumn, sweet friends! xo

*this post was created in partnership with Rubbermaid. all opinions, as always, are my own. D&O thanks you for your support.

apple-arugula grilled cheese w/ crispy red onions | gf & v

there are so many ways you can adapt this grilled cheese - use sliced pear or figs instead of apples. use crispy leeks or shallots. play around with the cheese, there are so many great vegan varieties out there. and most importantly, serve your grilled cheese with some quality soup :)

| makes 2 sandwiches |

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil

  • 1 small red onion, sliced thin

  • fine sea salt & fresh ground pepper

  • 4 slices whole grain gluten-free bread

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter, for cooking

  • 1-2 tablespoons dijon mustard

  • 3-6 slices plant-based cheese (i used this one)

  • 1/2 tart, crisp apple (preferably honeycrisp), sliced thin

  • 1 cup baby arugula


  1. place a saute pan over medium heat. add the oil, then the sliced onion. stir, and add a few pinches of salt. cook the onions until they’re soft and a bit crispy on the edges (if you notice them burning or cooking too quickly, turn the heat down to medium-low), about 10 minutes. transfer the onions to a paper towel lined plate to remove any excess oil.

  2. wipe the saute pan with a clean cloth or paper towel, and preheat over medium heat

  3. generously butter one side of each of each of the bread slices. spread the dijon in an even layer onto the insides of each slice. place one of the slices of bread, butter side down into the pan. layer with cheese, apple slices, arugula, and crispy onions. top with another slice of bread, mustard side down. cook 2-3 minutes on each side until browned, and cheese is melted. slice in half and serve. repeat with the remaining sandwich.

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