Thursday, March 1, 2012

Not-cho Cheese Sauce (GF and V)

Hee-hee!  Get it?  NOT-cho cheese sauce!  You know, because it's NOT cheese.  Because vegans don't eat cheese.  So it's NOT-cho cheese sauce.  Get it?  I know.  Hilarious. 

Steak fries with cheese sauce.  Roasted veggies on the side.
 Okay, I'm over it. My family LOVED this cheese sauce.  I made baked potatoes with broccoli, cauliflower and carrots and smothered it all in this sauce as a one bowl meal.  So yummy.   My hubby ate THREE potatoes with this sauce.  That's how good it is.  My kids were licking the bowls clean, literally.  (Note to self--work on kid's manners.)

And it's not just me.  I gave some to a friend who is going vegan and is trying to transition her family into eating a little healthier.  They loved it, too! 

I used our leftover baked potatoes tonight.  I tossed them with a little olive oil and baked them for about 25 minutes. Then I served the steak fries with the cheese sauce.  You can serve it up over any tators or use for nachos.  Use it to make that famous salsa and cheese dip, or add in a cup of broth and use it to make baked macaroni.  Drizzle it over your veggies.  Use it anyway you would use melted cheddar/American cheese sauce.  I like to stir in a few jalapenos for a little heat.

It's a pretty easy recipe, so hopefully you give it a try.  Soaking the cashews first makes it a creamier texture, but if you don't soak them you can just process it longer in the blender and it will have a slightly different texture.  I actually couldn't find raw cashews in our local, small town grocery so I used the lightly salted and soaked them longer in hot water.

I looked all over on the web to find a good vegan nacho cheese, but ended up just using those as a guide.  I put my own spin on it and I hope you enjoy it.

1/2 - 1 c. raw cashews (soak in warm water for at least 1 hour)
1 1/2 c. cold water (plus more for desired consistency)
2 slices of roasted red peppers (jarred) or 1/2 red pepper that you roasted
2 T. cornstarch
2 T. Nutritional Yeast (Nooch)
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. onion powder
juice from 1/2 lemon
Salt to taste
2 T. vegan butter

Drain the cashews and then place all ingredients in blender and process for 1-2 minutes.  Whisk sauce in a saucepan over medium high heat until thickened and bubbly.  Add water to desired consistency. Serve warm.  Stir in a small can of diced chilis or some chopped jalapenos if you like.  

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