I have never eaten Velveeta before. Nor do I ever aspire to.
Why? Because I trust those who give me a grimacing look when I mention the ‘V’ word. I don’t need any more answer than that!
(Please) enter: my eco-friendly, animal-friendly, people-friendly version of cheese sauce:
This sauce/spread thing is not Velveeta. (And between you and me, I actually had to research what velveeta was to write this post!) Nor is it cheese. (Well, it’s the Vegan Month of Food. So, um, duh?). My little sauce makes no attempt at being cheese, but fellow vegans (who ate cheese prior to their switch) know that we have this thing known as a “cheese button”.
Not only does this sauce hit that “cheese” button in you (<— even my dad admits it, and he eats non-vegan cheese), but it is low in calories, is highly nutritious, and gets you a serving or two of veggies! I mean, we are on a roll with the veggie spreads…. so you know that seeing orange cauliflower at the farmers markets got my neurons jiggling like crazy!
Vegan [Cauliflower] Cheese Sauce
I’m sure you can replace orange cauliflower with white,
if you don’t mind the color of the sauce being very pale.
½ head (approx. 4-5 loose cups) orange cauliflower, chopped
Up to 2 cups water, depending on desired consistency and dependency of your blender.
1 small tomato OR ¼ cup canned diced tomato
5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 ½ tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon cashew butter (OR 2 tablespoons cashews, if you have a gung-ho blender)
½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
½ teaspoon tamari OR soy sauce
¼ teaspoon ground tumeric
1/16 teaspoon ground ceyanne pepper
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Optional: maca powder* (adds interesting flavor)
Chop the cauliflower and steam until soft. Drain the cooking water into a liquid measuring cup and top it off to get two cups. Add water as needed to allow your blender to process the cauliflower to a smooth consistency. The amount of water you use will give you anything from fondue, sauce, spread, and gel. Blend in remaining ingredients. Store leftover “cheese” in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.
Suggested uses: use as a spread in sandwiches or vegan burgers. Make mac ‘n’ cheese. Use as a salad dressing (highly recommended!). Use as a sauce for veggies, and much more. On October tenth, I’ll be featuring some of these uses for cheese sauce as a Vegan Mofo guest blogger on xgfx.org!
*I haven’t experimented enough with maca, which is an expensive powdered ‘superfood’ product, to vouch for a measurement. I used 4 teaspoons in my second test batch of cheese sauce, which was a bit too much. It worked much better the third time around as 1 teaspoon.
I have a new little feature I want to have after each recipe highlighting ways you can make a dish more eco-friendly. I need a cute name for it, so if you have any suggestions, leave ’em in the comments!
Ways to make Cauliflower Cheese Sauce more environmentally-friendly:
- Buy cauliflower at the farmers market, and bring your own produce bag!
- Buy your spices in bulk
- Use in-season tomatoes (or can them when they are)
- Make your own raw cashew butter (it’s delicious with everything!)
- Store you cheese sauce in reusable glass jars, instead of plastic.