Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Vegan Chipotle cheese sauce

Smokey Chipotle Cheese Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons chickpea flour (or other gluten-free flour)
  • 2 cups non-dairy milk of choice (make sure it is unsweetened!)
  • 4 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped (use only 1 if you don't like really spicy!)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp African Smoke spice mix (from Trader Joes)
  • 2 tsp 21 seasoning mix (from Trader Joes)
  • 2 tsp regular red label Spike spice mix (found at most grocery stores, Clark's should have it)
  • 1 Tbsp 'low sodium' yellow label Spike spice mix (Clark's had it)
  • 2 cups Daiya cheddar (one 8-ounce package), OR 5 oz 'Hickory Smoked' cheese spread (found at Clark's Nutrition. I think it was cheaper than Daiya, and I thought it tasted WAY better too!)


Melt coconut oil in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add chickpea flour, whisking until smooth. Cook into a rue by stirring constantly until the mixture begins to just barely brown.* Add non-dairy milk and Nutritional Yeast and whisk continually for 5 minutes (to avoid lumps) until thickened. Remove from heat and add chopped chipotles as well as a couple tablespoons of adobo sauce from the can (to taste), and all the spices; stir to combine. Gradually add Daiya cheddar or cheese spread, whisking as you do so, until smooth consistency is reached (may take a few minutes).

 *Some people say it smells like buttered popcorn when it reaches this point, and that is how you know it is ready! You can find lots of videos online that show you how to make it, so head on over to Youtube and practice a bit before you plan to make the sauce. Rue is the secret to the BEST vegan sauces, and it is SO easy to make once you get it down!

Regular Cheese Sauce

1 1/2 Tbsp Vegan Margarine, such as Earth Balance (found at most stores)
2 1/2 Tbsp flour
2 cups nondairy milk, divided (I use soy. Make sure it is unsweetened!)
4 ounces pimentos
2 1/2 tsp regular red label 'Spike' spice mix
3 Tbsp dehydrated onions
3-4 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
black pepper, to taste
5 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
1/4 cup raw cashews
1 tablespoon lemon juice, more to taste
arrowroot, as needed to thicken (around 2 tsp. Mix well with a small amount of COLD water before adding in!)

Blend together cashews, pimentos, and a few tablespoons of soymilk (don't be afraid to use too much, you just need some moisture so the cashews will blend into a puree) and set aside. Make a rue with margarine and flour. Add the remaining soymilk to the rue and cook down on medium low heat for a few minutes. Add the cashew puree and all the spices and cook down for around 5 minutes, or until thick. Add cornstarch only if you need it to thicken the sauce more. The lemon juice makes the sauce taste more 'sharp', like sharper cheddar. Try the sauce with the 1 tbsp, and add a bit more, teaspoon at a time, to adjust the flavor to be a bit more bold. Or, leave it out all together to make it more mellow.

You can also use a bit of plain old yellow mustard to give it a nice bold flavor instead of the lemon juice, or use it together with the lemon juice. Experiment! Feel free to add more spices to it for specific uses, like some canned chilies and olives for nachos. You can make a great Alfredo sauce for pasta or a white vegan lasagna (crumble some tofu and fresh spinach between the layers and pour this sauce on top of the layers). To make Alfredo, use only the rue, soy milk, cashews, garlic powder, a bit of salt, bit of pepper, and an Italian seasoning blend!