Saturday, March 05, 2005

Vegan 'Cheese' Sauce (Don't knock it 'till you try it)

Vegan cheese that tastes "cheesy"... is there such a thing?
Well, in a word, NO!
However, if you're desperate - or curious like we were, there IS this stuff. It's a sauce sorta-thing made with nutritional yeast and stuff. It IS sorta "cheesy" and sorta not. I'm really struggling with the whole cheese thing right now, so it's a tough sell for me, but it's still good and definitely worth a try. My kids'll eat it on crackers or chips, rice or pasta, though they still like good ol' Kraft too, so,
I'm continuing to experiment with it...
I can verify that it's actually pretty good (it grows on you, give it a chance!) in mac-n-cheese or cheezy broccoli rice (pictures and recipes follow).

'Cheeze' Whiz

1 (15.5oz or about 1 1/2 cups) can Great Northern Beans or Navy Beans rinsed well and drained
1/2 cup pimiento pieces, drained
6 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2-3 tablespoon tahini
1/2 teaspoon onion granules
1/2 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard (use the plain old American hot dog mustard)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Place all the ingredients in a blender and process until completely smooth. Transfer to a storage container (preferably glass) and chill thoroughly before serving.
Great on crackers and sandwiches, or in almost any recipe that calls for cheddar cheese. Spread it on buns and serve with vegetarian burgers or add a few spoonfuls to soups or sauces to turn them into cheezy delights.

1.) For Mac-n-'Cheeze':
Simply mix the above recipe with some cooked, hot pasta - any shape or variety.

Place in a casserole dish and bake until bubbly and crispy on the edges.
I use whole wheat pasta and add peas, though the girls prefer "no veggies please" in their mac-n-cheeze

2.) For Cheezy Broccoli Rice:

Mix above sauce with desired amount of cooked rice and some barely cooked broccoli flowers.

(I use white rice for this, for some reason the brown rice always gets very weirdly textured and 'gummy'...)

Bake until heated through. Top with vegan cheese shreds if you want, I usually add a bit of chopped red pepper for color. Yum, my kids LOVE this...