I’ve mentioned before that queso is very serious business in this family. I could comfortably survive on a diet of just margaritas and queso – and have, in fact. For about three days, anyway. Then it becomes a little… er… uncomfortable.
But still worth it.
The purist Jones queso as passed down through the years by Brad has just two ingredients: velveeta and rotel. While I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that velveeta is vegan in the same way that oreos are vegan (so gross), I’ve long been working on a vegan queso that is made from actual food.
Cashew crema is, of course, the classic deliciously creamy yet animal-product-free sauce but it’s a little heavy on the calories for me. I’ve lightened things up here with pureed cauliflower and a small amount of carrot for extra veggie-based creaminess and color. The result, while certainly distinguishable from the real thing, is perfectly satisfying.
If you’re laying off the animal products but can’t imagine game day without a bowl of queso, this is the recipe for you. As an added bonus, it’s accidentally gluten-free and intentionally low fat!
- 1/2 c cashews
- 3/4 c cauliflower
- 1 oz carrot
- 1.25 c unsweetened almond milk
- 1/4 c vegetable broth
- 1-2 chipotle peppers, to taste
- 1/4 tsp mustard powder
- 1/2 tsp white vinegar
- 1 clove garlic
- 6 tbs nutritional yeast
- olive oil spray
- 1/4 c onions
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- ground chipotle pepper, to taste
- 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles (I use Muir Glen Organic), well drained
Pour boiling water over the cashews and let sit at least 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, place cauliflower and carrot in a large bowl, ad 1/4 c water, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave for 10 minutes. (Alternatively, if you don't have a microwave, you can boil the vegetables until tender.)
Drain cashews. Add soaked cashews, cauliflower, carrot, almond milk, vegetable broth, chipotle peppers, mustard, vinegar, garlic, and nutritional yeast to a blender. Puree until smooth.
Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and spray with olive oil. Add onions and saute, stirring, until softened and translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Pour almond milk mixture into the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add salt, cumin and black pepper and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in diced tomatoes and adjust seasoning to taste.
Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy.
Total Fat 3.9g
Saturated Fat 0.7g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Total Carbohydrates 8.9g
Dietary Fiber 3.0g
Sherri@The Well Floured Kitchen says
It’s incredible how many packaged goods are touted as vegan, which is a shame because you don’t need to eat chemicals to avoid animal products! I love that you recreated one of your favorite dishes only using real foods. Looks amazing, pinned!
What can you replace the cashews with I have a nut allergy.
Maggie Jones says
Hmmm… you can try leaving them out but I can’t vouch for how it will turn out. It might be worth looking for a nut-free recipe. Good luck!
Im not going to lie.. that ingredients list is intimidating but I’m gonna give it a shot.
When you say mustard, are we talking mustard seeds or like American mustard sauce?
Maggie Jones says
Ugh! Terrible recipe writing. It’s 1/4 tsp mustard powder. Don’t buy it special for this, though. If you don’t have it on hand using regular American yellow mustard will totally work to give it that little tang.
I’m so happy you’re giving it a try! Let me know what you think!
I made this tonight and it was delicious! I’ve made queso before with nutritional yeast, but sometimes the smell of the yeast ruins the taste – I think all of the ingredients in your recipe helped with that. Thank you for sharing. I’ll make it again soon.