I used to work at Dr. Andrew Weil’s restaurant, True Food Kitchen in Scottsdale, AZ. They have a pretty amazing sauce there called “Umami Sauce” which they put on their buffalo burger, it’s made with nutritional yeast. I went out and bought some nutritional yeast last year hoping to copy that sauce, I tried it once and it didn’t quite taste the same. Basically what I’m getting at is I had this big container of nutritional yeast in my cabinet that I didn’t know what to do with, and then I came across Vegangela.com. She has some really great recipes on her blog, but the one that struck me the most was called Best Ever Vegan Mac & Cheese. Even though I didn’t make the mac part, the cheese sauce was AMAZING. Even my boyfriend went crazy over this sauce. Since pasta (in any form) isn’t really in my diet, I put it over roasted broccoli with grape tomatoes, roasted potatoes, and quinoa. I will just say that it was so good I will probably have to make it again next week.
You can find her recipe here http://www.vegangela.com/2011/04/27/best-vegan-mac-and-cheese/ I changed it very slightly only because I can’t eat corn products. This recipe made enough sauce for 4 large servings.
Best Ever Vegan Cashew Cheese Sauce
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp raw cashews
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 20 grinds black pepper (or 1/8 tsp)
- 1 ¾ cups nondairy milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk)
- 1.5 T Arrowroot Powder (or cornstarch)
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 2 tbsp light (yellow or white) miso paste
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Place cashews in a large-sized bowl of the food processor and finely grind–just don’t let the cashews turn to a paste. Add nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Pulse three more times to blend in spices.
- In a heavy saucepan, combine milk and coconut oil. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Make a slurry out of arrowroot powder and 1 T cold water. Add to saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once sauce has thickened, remove from heat.
- With the food processor running, gradually add milk/oil mixture to cashew/nutritional yeast mixture. Blend for 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Next blend in miso and lemon juice.
- Pour over whatever you desire!
Since I used coconut oil and coconut milk, the sauce had a somewhat coconut-y flavor but I still thought it was delicious. Not exactly like cheese but extremely tasty. I would even say better than Umami Sauce… just don’t tell Dr. Weil.