Sunday, January 8, 2012

Creamy Sauces

I've been obsessed with vegan "cheese" and "creamy" sauces lately.  It's not like I'm trying to replicate cheese or cream exactly,  but sometimes it's nice to have just a little bit of that creaminess in dressings or dips or anything else.  At Native Foods in LA a couple months ago I had the nachos with a white "cheesy" sauce that tasted like it was made from cashews.  Of course it doesn't really taste like cheese at all, but like I said, it just adds some richness and texture to a dish.

 Of course I use Daiya vegan cheese all the time.  It's the best replacement cheese I've discovered for things like mac and cheese, pizza, nachos, or burritos.  But how bout some kind of dip or creamy dressing?  I decided to experiment and this is what I came up with:

Cashew Creamy Sauce
(To be used alone as a dip or added to anything as a thick, creamy base, such as salad dressing or guacamole)

2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
5 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
3 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
6 tablespoons safflower oil
1 cup raw cashews, soaked beforehand for at least 2 hours
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tablespoons rice milk
1/2 cup water

Throw everything in a blender and blend until smooth and thick.  You can play around with the amounts of water and rice milk depending on how thick or runny you want it.  I drizzled it over chips as an appetizer sort of thing, but also used it as a base for guacamole, and as a base for my special secret salad dressing I make. 

It has a very light, lemony flavor and is good alone or for anything you want add a little creaminess!  I took one cup of it and blended it separately with one California avocado to make a creamy avocado sauce.  I then mixed that with salsa and dipped my blue corn tortilla chips in for a spicy, creamy snack by the campfire at a friends campsite!  I think everyone else was skeptical to taste it, but that's fine with me -- the more for me the better! 

Creamy Avocado Dip

Creamy Cashew Sauce

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