Sunday, February 6, 2011

Nutty Pimento Tomato Sauce (Vegan Cheesy Sauce)

On Friday, one of my coworkers (and fellow veggie-lover!) in the accounting department emailed me some vegan recipes to try.  I was super excited about the vegan cheese sauce recipe because I've been trying to find a good cheese to make on my own.  The recipe says you can serve it warm as an actual sauce over pasta or baked potatoes, etc.  Or, you can refrigerate it to use as a "cheese spread."  I wanted to try both!  

First, I made the sauce and some quinoa spiral pasta.  While they were both still hot I mixed them together and added a few dashes of Tapa Tio to spice it up a little.  After tasting a few bites and deciding it was delicious, I gave a small dish to my husband to try.  I warned him, "You can't think of this as tasting exactly like cheese..."

Because, in all reality, it doesn't taste like cheese.  But it's yellow and creamy and I like it.  It will do just fine for me, thank you.  W took a bite and nodded his approval before gobbling down the rest of his bowl full of "cheesy" pasta.  He did manage to mumble through his mouthful that it tasted nutty.  Of course it does!  It's made of cashews.  After a few bites I started to vaguely remember something like this my mother made once when I was a kid.  At that time, she sold it to the family as a "cheese" and I hated it!  I remember I couldn't even get one bite down my throat, and she never made it again.  Funny how our tastes change as an adult, and we are more open to try to different things.  Another example is mushrooms.  I was disgusted and nauseated by even the smell of mushrooms until about two months ago when I made a vegan green bean casserole that called for mushrooms, and I loved it!  Now I use mushrooms in everything!

Anyway, back to the cheesy sauce...

Once the sauce stiffened a little, we tried it as a nacho sauce with our corn chips.  It was AMAZING mixed with a little roasted tomato salsa and garlic salt.  I didn't take a picture of that because we were too busy enjoying our new Nacho creation.  It will be perfect for Super Bowl Sunday today!  I'm also making a loaf of pignoli bread on which to try the cheesy sauce as a spread.  I'm going to bring all these creations to the super bowl party today and see what the "non-vegans" think.  W said I shouldn't market it as a "cheese," which is true, because if I put the word cheese in the description, it will be misleading to people who are expecting something to taste like cheese.

Therefore, I am now calling it my "Nutty Pimento Tomato Sauce (or Spread.)"

Here is the recipe.  Thanks C.N!

2 cups water
1/4 cup pimento
2 tbso nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder (I didn't have this, so I used seasoning salt instead!  Worked out great!)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup raw cashews
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Place all ingredients in a blender.  Blend until smooth.

Pour mixture into a saucepan.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture becomes thick.  (I did this for about 10 minutes).


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