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Posts Tagged ‘cheeze’

Would still just be cheesy sauce I guess. This stuff probably doesn’t even taste like cheese but one of the good things about not having had cheese in a few years is that you don’t quite remember what it tastes like. I have a friend in North Portland that would scoff at that, and I think one in Tigard too – I’m not sure they think there’s really anything good about not eating cheese.

I came across Vegan Yum Yum’s cheese sauce recipe quite awhile ago. But being that there are about 13 ingredients in it I often find myself lacking one or two of them, or I just can’t bring myself to put 1/3 cup of butter and 1/3 cup of cashews in it. Thankfully, this conglomerate is quite forgiving and flexible. I don’t think I’ve made it the same way twice.

Last Saturday the old man and I (he called me old lady already so it’s payback time) went to Higgin’s for dinner before going to The Decemberists show at the Schnitzer (phenomenal show by the way). Higgin’s technically has nothing to do with my cheesy pasta, but since we went to a nice place for dinner we did the whole before, during and after dinner drinks thing. Then we had wine at the show (well I did, the old man stepped on his – but I was nice enough to share). That said, I was just a teeny tiny bit hung-over on Sunday. My favorite hangover food? Aside from pizza? Mac and cheese!!!

So whether or not it tastes like cheese I don’t really give a damn. It’s good. It’s versatile. It’s healthy. And it hits the spot. Nothing like carbs the day after!

This time I found myself without carrots, and I didn’t feel like using butter or tahini. So I threw a few slices of orange bell pepper and sesame oil in the mix and gave it a whirl. I used gluten-free pasta and added some arugula, broccoli, olives and mushrooms (I just don’t feel right eating pasta with just pasta).

So, here it is.

Cheesy Pasta (vegan and gluten-free)

  • 2 medium red potatoes
  • Half an orange bell pepper, chopped
  • ¼ cup whole cashews (roasted, unsalted)
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • Couple dabs of mustard
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 T red miso
  • A few splashes of GF tamari
  • 1 t sesame oil
  • ½ t vinegar (light tasting)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Several dashes of paprika, thyme, basil, sage, cayenne

Roughly chop the potatoes, throw them in a pan and cover with water. You can peel them if you want but I don’t think it’s necessary. Boil until soft and drain the water.

Grind the cashews in a small food processor, blender, or coffee grinder.

Add the cashews and everything else to the pan with the potatoes. Use an immersion blender and blend until smooth and creamy. You can use a normal blender if you don’t have an immersion blender.

Poor over cooked pasta and veggies. Mix. Eat.

This makes a decent amount of cheesy sauce. I cooked about 9 ounces of pasta and still had 3/4 – 1 cup left over. I like to munch on the remains with chips or veggies. You can throw some jalapenos, tomatoes and Mexican spices in and call it nachos. Enjoy.

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The thing most of my friends say they could never do without food-wise is cheese.  People don’t comprehend how I can go without it.  Truth be told I love cheese, or loved it rather.  My sister and I used to sit in this ugly green chair when we were little and just eat slices of cheese.  My favorite place to eat growing up was Bananza (I lived in the south, what do you expect) because there was always this great big mound of cheese on the buffet line waiting for me to take a big chunk out of it.

In my early 20’s I finally started looking at what’s in all this food I was eating.  I never paid attention to labels or fat content or any sort of calorie information period.  Once I started noticing these things I began to cut back on higher fat foods, cheese being one of them.

Today I don’t pay nearly as much attention to fat content and calories as I used to, but everything I eat is so damn healthy I don’t really need to.  A vegan diet isn’t necessarily healthy by default, but mine is (lots of veggies, fruits, whole grains, good fats, and no high fructose corn syrup).

But every once in awhile I still miss cheese.  One of my all time favorites is a plain ole grilled cheese sandwich.  I can’t honestly remember the last time I had a “real” one, but the other day I made a strikingly similar replica of one and it was flippin awesome!  Of course, if I had recently had cheese it probably wouldn’t have tasted anything like it, but the good thing about not having eaten cheese in years is that I don’t remember exactly what it tastes like.

The best part about my “cheese,” it’s not some over-processed, pre-packaged, non-melting, stupidly expensive variety of vegan cheese you find in the stores.  I’ve actually never bought that stuff because it just seems like a waste of $5.  And I can make my own.  The “cheese” recipe I used is actually from Vegan Yum Yum’s Mac & Cheeze recipe.  This is the best cheese sauce recipe I’ve come across (even though my omnivore friends think it tastes like pureed veggies).  It’s extremely versatile too.  My favorite way to make it so far is with a yam instead of a white potato.  And, you don’t need half of the stuff it calls for either, in case you find yourself halfway through making dinner and realize you don’t have miso, tahini or carrots (oops!).  It works great as cheese dip too by adding some salsa, jalapenos, etc.  The version that made its way in between two slices of grilled bread was made with a red potato, no carrots, sesame seeds, only a spoon full of margarine, 1/4 cup cashews and soy sauce.  Cheesy, melty, toasty and healthy!  It was so good I even sent a text message to my sister telling her about it. =)

So, here’s to being vegan (or mostly vegan) and having your cheese too!  All I need now is some tomato soup and cold weather.

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