People ask me for the recipe for my no-cheese sauce all the time, and this is about as close as I can come. Feel free to experiment with this master list of potential ingredients to create your own flavor combinations! We made a big batch of this today. I’ll try to post on Instagram (@spiritfiredew) what I’m making with it the rest of the week, so you can get an idea of how we use it. Please let me know if you make this, so I can get ideas too. For reference, today’s no-cheese sauce was made with navy beans, roasted onions, a raw carrot, a couple tablespoons of nutritional yeast, and some seasonings.
When I’m in a hurry I don’t want to scroll to the bottom for the recipe. For any additional delightful* musings feel free to read to the end. 🙂
Roasted onions (we tend to keep these on hand all the time because we add them to lots of things)
Roasted peppers (we get the kind that are jarred in water, not oil, because that matters to us, in case that matters to you too)
cooked or raw carrot
roasted squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, etc.
baked or boiled regular potatoes
Cooked white beans like navy or cannelini
nutritional yeast (a tablespoon or a cup! You know your taste buds. Nutritional yeast has a very specific flavor that some people enjoy in vegan cheesy things)
baba ghanouj (smoky! Tasty! Exclamation point!)
salsa (this can also be added at the end to create a no-queso kind of situation)
lemon juice, rice vinegar, or red wine vinegar (go easy on this and add a little at a time because it’s hard to adjust for too much acidity once you’ve added it)
almonds, sunflower seeds, tahini, cashews, etc. (we use these very sparingly if at all due to the high fat content–the kiddos need the fat but the husband following the Ornish plan doesn’t).
dried seasonings of your choice (today I used black pepper, smoked paprika, and a little salt to taste at the end)
In a blender, combine whatever ingredients you decide to use. Make sure you have enough liquid to make a thick sauce (I usually start with a cup or so of water or bean cooking liquid) Blend on high until very creamy, then adjust seasonings as needed.
This cheese sauce looks a lot like the stuff we used to get at Steak n Shake when I was in high school. They brought it out liquidy, and then five minutes later our french fries would stand up straight in them. I have *no idea* what was in that. Probably some sort of “processed cheese food” or something. However similar it looks though, the flavor is pretty different and highly adaptable depending on what you have on hand and decide to use. Sometimes my kids are very excited and eat it all very quickly. Sometimes (especially at the beginning!) they say politely “thank you for the work you put into making this.” Not every dish can be the best one we ever made. 😀
*Delightful is in the eye of the beholder and not everyone wants read an essay before the recipe so that’s why I’ve put extra thoughts at the end. If you read them anyway, then thanks! That’s delightful.