Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cheeseless Queso 2 Ways

If you're looking for a vegan "cheese" dip or simply looking for a healthier alternative to that oh so good, but oh so bad for the waste line indulgence that cheese dip is, you may want to give one of these two Cheeseless Quesos a try!

The first queso comes from Alicia from Vegan Epicurean.The second version is another version of the original.

Cheeseless Queso

Ingredients:
½ cup raw cashews, soaked and drained (30-60 mins)
½ cup oatmeal, ground into flour
1 ½ cups water
2 teaspoon onion flakes, dried
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 clove garlic, peeled
14 ounces diced tomatoes (or substitute an equal amount of salsa if you like heat)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon hot crushed peppers (wet hots, finely minced pickled peppers), or to taste
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 dash cayenne, or to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Combine the cashews, oatmeal, water, onion flakes, turmeric, and garlic in your blender. Puree until the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture into a heavy bottom saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring often to keep it from sticking. Add the canned diced tomatoes with their liquid (or salsa if using), paprika hot crushed peppers, chili powder and cayenne and stir to combine. Taste the mixture and add salt and pepper, as you desire. Cook the mixture (continuing to stir) until it is hot and the texture you want. You can add more liquid if it gets too thick.

Personal Notes:
  • I had some chipotle powder and flakes that I used to add in some heat. 
  • I didn't have onion flakes so I just used finely diced white onion. 
  • I also had some fire roasted tomato flakes that I added.
  • Last tweak, I added cumin powder.
I don't think I originally pureed the cashews enough, so I put everything back into the blender to puree again. So it was super smooth and creamy. This was an awesome recipe. I didn't really know what to expect, but I am really glad that I found it and tried it. It's a great alternative to a "yellow" queso. No, it doesn't taste completely like cheese, but it's a super healthy alternative that's a definite keeper! Hubby even took this to his office (all men) and left with a perfectly empty bowl.


White Cheeseless Queso
Ingredients:
½ cup raw cashews, soaked and drained (30-60 mins)
½ cup oatmeal, ground into flour
1 3/4 cups water
1/4 - 1/3 cup red onion, finely diced

1 clove garlic, peeled
14 oz can Rotel
1/8 cup pickled jalapenos diced
1 tbsp chipotle pepper flakes
1 dash cayenne, or to taste
sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Combine the cashews, oatmeal, water, and garlic in your blender. Puree until the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture into a heavy bottom saucepan, add onions, Rotel, and remaining spices and cook over low heat, stirring often to keep it from sticking. Taste the mixture and add salt and pepper, as you desire. Cook the mixture (continuing to stir) until it is hot and the texture you want. You can add more liquid if it gets too thick.



The result is a "white" version of the original queso. It was absolutely fabulous. I promise you that you could serve this to any cheese dip addict and they would be very content digging in!