Melty Cheezy Sauce

We’ve been really busy the past several weeks with traveling, moving business locations, and, concurrent with the latter, generally not being in charge of our own lives! We’ve been eating whatever we can grab when we can grab it, and unfortunately a little bug is going around and my husband caught it.

I thought to myself, that’s it, time for some real food this weekend. So last night we made Lemony Red Lentil Soup and this morning I wanted more than just oatmeal.

Enter Breakfast Nachos topped with a melty “cheezy” sauce.

Simple enough concept: start with chips, substitute meat with potatoes and a tofu scramble, make some salsa, bring out the hot sauce, and top with some sort of cheese. Now, as a whole food plant based vegan, most any kind of cheese sauce is considered a bit “heavy” since it usually involves added fat (even if it’s cashews). When we’re feeling a little decadent, we use a little Daiya cheese that we keep in the freezer. This time, I felt like whizzing up a quick cashew-based cheese sauce that Isa Chandra Moskowitz uses for her breakfast nachos.

I don’t use miso consistently so it sticks out a lot to me when I use it. (It also could be the brand that I have — some are more strong than others.) So I tweaked her cheese sauce slightly and added a little lemon juice instead to reach that necessary acidic tang. Nonetheless, I’m always impressed how much miso can mimic the fermented and nuanced flavors found in cheese.

If you don’t like the word fermented then ignore what I said and just give it a go!

Melty Cheezy Sauce

by Isa Chandra Moskowitz with slight adaptations

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup unroasted cashews
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 scant tablespoons mellow white miso
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon lemon juice, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Throw everything in your blender or food processor and blend till completely smooth. You may have to stop and scrape down the sides several times. Keep in mind that you also may need to give your unit’s motor a break here and there if it takes a while.

Recipe Notes:

  • If you don’t have a high powered blender (Vitamix, Blentec), then you really need to soak your cashews for at least two hours, overnight is better. If you need them asap, make sure you soak them in hot water, or you could bring them to a boil and let simmer for as short as you dare.
  • Whenever I see a recipe calling for any kind of “broth”, I usually use the Asian mushroom powder seasoning I have on hand (1 rounded teaspoon to 1 cup water). I tend to stock up on several bags when we happen to go to an Asian grocery store so I always have it on hand. You can use whatever kind of broth seasoning you want although keep in mind that it might turn the cheese sauce a different color.
  • I hardly use miso so I make sure to get the mellow-est and mild-est kind there is, which is a mellow white miso. I’m sure you can use another kind but use even less to start with.
  • I have a 8 or 12 ounce squeeze bottle (like those ketchup or mustard kinds you may see in a diner) that I put the cheeze sauce into and stuck it in the fridge for later. I have a feeling it’ll come out best when warm or at room temperature.
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