When I first transitioned to a mostly plant-based diet, I thought that giving up cheese was going to be impossible. Now, granted, I haven't given up cheese completely, but I did give up everything besides imported Parmesan and fresh ricotta and mozzarella. And obviously anything that comes out of a box. So macaroni and cheese has become something that I've worked really hard as replacing. Queso is another. And Literally anything you can think of that involves a cheese sauce of some sort.
Fast-forward to about four months into my new diet. I've tried fourteen different sauces. Some had red pepper in them, others had sweet potato, some had a ton of oil, and others weren't even vegan they were just dairy-free. But after months of trying to find the perfect recipe, I realized I could use my favorite parts of the others to make my favorite. Why I didn't think of that sooner is beyond me, but I'm new to blogging, so leave me alone.
I love this recipe so much, and I really am excited to share it all with you. It's one that my friends enjoy, even if they aren't dietarily restrictive. Understanding that it's not cheese is the only important thing to eating this. It's not some processed cheese substitute. It's real ingredients that are good for you, blended together to make it so that life is just a little bit easier without cheese.
Easy Everyday Plant-Based 'Cheese' Sauce
Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 35 minutes | Yield: About 2 cups
- 1 cup red potatoes or cauliflower, cut into large chunks
- 1 cup carrots, cut into large chunks
- 1/4 cup cooking water (from the potatoes and carrots) + 3-4 tbsp plant milk or creamer
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp + 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- Boil vegetables in water + 1 tsp salt until soft, about 25 minutes.
- Drain vegetables and reserve 1/4 cup cooking water.
- Blend vegetables and water + milk or creamer until smooth. Next, blend in nutritional yeast and oil. Finally, add in spices and blend until completely smooth.