Vegan Cashew Cheese Sauce

Although I love meat and fish, I appreciate vegan cuisine because of how creative it is. A lot of recipes like this one are replacing and trying to recreate meat or dairy. I always thought to myself, “Well that’s silly…Why would vegans want to make something that tasted like meat or dairy.”

I think as a culture we need to be more creative with our use of ingredients, textures, and flavors. At home Veronica and I cook vegan meals often.

We found this recipe in one of Gweneth Paltrow’s cookbooks and as skeptical as I was at first, I was amazed by the flavor and likeness to cheese sauce it really is!!

We put it on things like nachos, tacos or veggies at home but don’t stop there!

cashewcheesesauce

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (hot or sweet)
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Instructions

  1. Heat the 2 tablespoons of the oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Add the cashews and stir to coat, then add the cumin, chili powder and sweet smoked paprika and stir to coat. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the nuts begin to brown.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a food processor, then add the jalapeno, lime juice, water, sea salt and the remaining 1/3 cup of oil. Puree until smooth. Add more water if too thick. Serve immediately or transfer to a container to cool before refrigerating.

*when reheating from the refrigerator, heat very slowly will stirring.