Monthly Archives

April 2010

bowls, recipes

Veggie-Based Cheese Sauce

There are many, many reasons to make this cheese sauce.

1) It’s delicious – delicious as in, eat it straight-up with a spoon delicious. This is an obvious requirement.

2) There is NO nutritional yeast in this recipe, which is perfect for the nooch hater in your life (*cough* Logan), or someone who’s new to veganism and isn’t armed with all of our standard kitchen stuff.

3) No oil. The original recipe(s) call for some type of oil, but I always omit it with great results. There IS fat from the wee little amount of cashews in this recipe, but c’mon, don’t be harsh to the cashew.

4) Fast. It takes about 20 minutes from the time you start choppin’ to the time you blend and eat with a spoon. And you reap a decent amount of sauce for this recipe, about 2 cups worth.

5) It’s versatile! These are some of the ways we’ve enjoyed this sauce:

Other things I’ve done with this sauce that I haven’t pictured are:
-pizza ‘cheese’
-a sauce for asparagus (still haven’t tried it with broccoli but I KNOW it would be awesome!)
-a salad dressing (I know, I know. It was really good, though.) and a sauce for romaine wraps
-cheesy potatoes
I’m sure there are a zillion other things you could do with this, too. Now, if these reasons haven’t compelled you to make this sauce, then nothing will. Let me tell you, though, I didn’t think it would be that special when I glanced at the ingredient list. It’s mostly just vegetables with a little bit of seasoning. Please don’t let that deter you. Just trust me when I say that you will LOVE this.
I wish I could call this recipe my own, but alas, I use Ricki’s recipe as a guideline (her recipe was based on this one). The only changes I’ve made are:
-plain water, not vegetable broth
-no coconut oil
-no extra garlic
-no cayenne (since I don’t have any for some reason)
I’m going to post my changes here, but I strongly urge you to check out her recipe, because then you can also discover her beet pepperoni (for pizza, of course), which is AMAZING.
The Best Cheese Sauce

1c water
1 med onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, cut in chunks
1 large/2 small carrots, cut in chunks
1 medium potato, peeled and cut in chunks
1/4c raw cashews
1/2 tsp salt, to taste
1/2 tsp yellow mustard powder
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
Put the water, onion, garlic, carrots and potato into a small saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer, covered, until everything is tender, usually 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the vegetable chunks. When soft, drain the veggies but save the liquid!
While that’s on the stove, throw all of the remaining ingredients into your blender and give it a quick spin to de-chunkify the cashews. Add the drained veggies, and just enough of the cooking liquid to get your concoction to the right consistency – I usually use 1/2 c or less. Blend! You’ll need to scrape down the sides a few times so everything gets nice and smooth. Don’t add too much water, because you want the sauce to be thick! Just use enough to help it along in your blender. That’s it! Now you have delicious sauce that you can use in many ways! 🙂
recipes, sandwiches

The Best Burritos

Today I’m posting the easiest recipe ever that Logan and I just fiend for. It’s amazing. It’s fast. It’s hearty. It’s perfect. It has been derived from this recipe, but we’ve made some modifications.

Sweet Potato and Bean Burritos

1 med onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, chopped (optional – you can leave them raw and serve as a side)
1-2 heads broccoli, chopped (optional, but adds a nice crunch!)
2 15oz cans of black beans, drained and roughly mashed*
1 tbsp chili powder, heaping
1 tbsp cumin, heaping
splash of red wine vinegar (or lemon juice, or lime juice..)
2 tbsp soy sauce
*we almost always cook beans from scratch and I never measure the amount out – 1 1/2 – 2 cups of dry beans, probably)
sweet potato, cooked (about 2 cups)
1 avocado, chopped
romaine lettuce
large whole wheat tortillas
Peel and chop the sweet potato, then boil until tender. Drain and mash. The amount of mashed sweet potato isn’t too particular – 1 large or 2 small should suffice (small sweet potatoes are much easier to chop!).
In a large pot (I use my non-stick soup pot), cook the onion in a little water until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, bell pepper and broccoli and cook several minutes, until the veggies have softened. Add the chili powder, cumin, red wine vinegar, soy sauce and mashed beans, and just a little water, enough to incorporate the chunky, mashed beans with the veggies. I usually use around 1/2 c water. You want the consistency to be fairly thick, so your burritos aren’t drippy. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to medium low, and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes (often less) to cook off some water and get a nice consistency. Stir often, as you don’t want the beans to stick to the pot! Once it’s the consistency you want, taste to adjust seasonings. I’m a cumin fiend, so I tend to throw more of this in.
While the beans are doin’ their thing, you can get your table set so everyone can create their burritos buffet-style. Set out the mashed sweet potatoes, salsa, chopped romaine, optional bell peppers and tortilla shells. Peel and chop the avocado and set out.

*A note on avocados: black skin means it’s ripe. It should give to slight pressure, but not feel too soft. If you have a rock-hard green-skinned avocado, don’t use it until it’s ripened up! Let it sit on the counter for a few days. Avocados are amazing, so make sure you have a nice ripe one for this recipe! Cutting it is easy – slide a knife around the circumference of the avocado (there is a large pit in the middle). Twist it apart so you have two halves. From there, you can peel it, which is easy to do with your fingers if it’s soft – it might get a little messy though! Once you’ve got it peeled and pitted, cut it into long, thin slices.

When your beans are done, put them on the table with all the goodies. To assemble, put about 1/4 c of sweet potato on the bottom of the wrap, then add about 1/2 c of the bean mixture, then pour some salsa along it, then a few slices of avocado, and finally, a small amount of romaine. Roll it up burrito style and enjoy! This is not rocket science – layer how you like to layer. But seriously, this is delicious. If you make it, don’t be surprised if it suddenly appears in your regular meal rotation.
Also, sorry about the lack of picture. For whatever reason, this burrito was forgotten by the camera. Twice. But I’m sure you know what a burrito looks like 🙂