Vegan Cashew Cheese Sauce

My children often refer to it as “nacho cheese,” but this vegan cashew cheese sauce can be so much more!  We have used it to top baked potatoes, chili, and tacos.  It is great as a sandwich spread, and we try to have it on hand when grilling burgers and hot dogs.  We enjoy using it as a dip for fresh vegetables.

Oh, I forgot to mention.  If you mix this cashew cheese sauce into warm pasta (make sure to choose a small, sturdy pasta), it makes a perfect vegan mac and cheese!Vegan Cashew Cheese Sauce

Vegan Cashew Cheese Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 12 ounce can of cashews
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 medium lemon (juice from)
  • 1 roasted red pepper (jarred)
  • ½ cup water
Instructions
  1. Reserving the water, place all other items in a food processor or high speed blender.
  2. Pulse or run on low setting to break down cashews and combine ingredients.
  3. If using a Vitamix with a hot soup setting you may add in water and use your preset.
  4. If using a food processor or high speed blender without a heat setting, you will want to heat your water before adding it in. (This will help activate the cornstarch.) Blend on high until sauce is a creamy consistency.

 

Vegan Potato Chip Cookies

Vegan Potato Chip CookiesWhen I moved into my first apartment, my mom gave me a recipe box filled with blank cards.  At that point in my life, “winging it” and “semi-homemade” were my mottos in cooking.  I asked her to write down her recipe for potato chip cookies in case I wanted to venture into the world of baking from scratch.  I have been a vegetarian for almost nine years now and a vegan for over six of those years, so almost all of my baking is now done from scratch.  When I heard that my mom was making these cookies for Christmas, I decided to make vegan potato chip cookies.  A quick peek at the recipe for a refresher, I realized that it would be easy to make a vegan version as it didn’t require eggs. Continue reading →

Vegan Stuffed Shells

There have been a lot of things that I have learned from my grandmother (referred to from here on out as “Granny”).  Some tidbits of knowledge aren’t really applicable in my current life; like a plastic bag can work in a pinch if you are stuck in a storm and need to protect your perm.  The lessons and values that carry the most weight are those related to family.  Sunday dinners are mandatory, and you must always cook enough food to feed a small army.  Same goes for any holiday gathering or any event where friends and family come together.  And Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter aren’t complete without a stuffed pasta dish.

Vegan Stuffed Shells

That is why it was a no-brainer for me to make stuffed shells for Granny’s wake back in June.  Pasta dishes were already well represented (hello, eight billion pounds of baked ziti), but we needed something for the lactose intolerant and vegan members of the family.  The stuffed shells were a hit, and without the deterring label of “vegan” they were the first dish to disappear.

Watermelon and Feta Salad

Summer is winding down and I would be remiss if I didn’t share this recipe with you while I still have the chance.  This dish is perfect for potlucks, picnics, or the days where it is just way too hot to cook.  Don’t worry about preparing too much feta, as you will end up adding it to salads, sandwiches, and pasta dishes.

watermelon and vegan feta salad

Tofu Feta

Ingredients:

fresh pressed tofu

1 tbsp 1 tsp brown miso paste

1 1/2 tsp basil

1 1/2 tsp oregano

1 1/2 tsp parsley

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

This recipe is best made using fresh pressed tofu, with very little water ln it.  This is what gives it the consistency of crumbled cheese.  If you decide to use extra firm tofu that has been packed in water, you will have to drain and press it a couple times to get as much of the water out as possible.

Muddle the herbs with the miso paste before adding oil to loosen it up.  Next, crumble the tofu into the dressing.  You’ll want to leave the pieces on the big side since they will break down more as you combine them.  Mix together the tofu and the dressing.  This step will take the longest because you want to make sure the miso is spread out evenly.  Finish the feta mixture with salt and pepper and give it another stir.  (Note: this recipe will provide you with a mild feta.  If you prefer yours with more tanginess, increase brown miso paste by one teaspoon until it reaches the strength you desire.)

Toss leftover feta with a drizzle of olive oil and store in an airtight container.

watermelon and vegan feta salad

Add the tofu feta to your chopped watermelon and enjoy!

Tortilla Soup

I’ve been a little nervous to post this since I have never really shared my recipes before.  I rarely measure anything, so it is kind of hard to tell others how to make something that I just instinctively make.  I actually had to make this a few times just to get the accurate measurements.  Stephen was pretty excited about that.  We really love this soup.  So without further ado…

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ingredients:

1 package tempeh

1 10 oz package of sliced portabella mushrooms

3 bell peppers

2 15.25 oz cans of sweet corn

2 14.5 oz cans of tomatoes with chipotle peppers

2 14.5 oz cans of tomatoes with green chilies

garlic powder

onion powder

cumin

salt

pepper

jalapeños

scallions

cilantro

flour tortillas

avocado

limes

First, cut your tempeh into spoon sized pieces.  I like to cut 1/4 inch pieces down the long part and then I cut those into thirds.  Use cooking spray or a light coating of oil to cook the tempeh on medium high until they are a bit crisp on the outside.  Sprinkle a pinch of salt & pepper and 1 tsp garlic powder on them as they cook.  Next add your mushrooms.  If any of them are on the large side, break them into smaller pieces.  Slice your peppers into bite sized pieces.  I prefer mine to be around 1/2 inch x 1 inch.  Feel free to use a mixture of yellow, red, and green bell peppers if you want, but it won’t hurt the soup if you go all green.  When the mushrooms have cooked down and gotten darker, add your peppers.  You are going to want to add a pinch of salt to help them sweat.  Drain your cans of corn (and give them a rinse if they have salt added.  I prefer to get the no salt added, so I skip this step).  Add the corn and 1tsp cumin and let the corn cook for a few minutes.  You’ll hear some popping and sizzling.  This is to be expected.  Next add the four cans of tomatoes in their juice.  Fill those four cans with water and add them to the pot.  Now add 1 tablespoon each of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder and 2 tablespoons of cumin.  Turn the heat down to medium low and cover.

Toppings.  I really love a good topping.  In this case, the topping really makes the soup.  Cut up wedges of limes and some jalapeños, scallions, cilantro, and avocado.  Take a small stack of flour tortillas and cut the stack into quarters.  Then from the triangle tip outwards, cut strips.  In a frying pan (with oil or spray) over medium high heat, cook the tortillas with a pinch of salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Make sure to toss the tortillas to get them crispy on both sides .

Let the soup cook covered for at least thirty minutes.  I know it’s hard to resist it right now with it staring you in the face, but snack on a crispy piece of tortilla and some avocado while you wait.  When it is finally ready, layer your soup with your toppings.  I save the strips for last and give a nice squeeze of lime on them.

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Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some soup to eat.

Check back soon for more recipes!