Today we are tasked with bringing you vegan food, creamy style. The deal is we are not allowed to use nuts. Actually, all this week we're tasked with talking about various topics encompassing dietary and lifestyle restrictions. I think this week is a lock for me. When I took over the kitchen here, all I planned on was delicious vegan food. In time I began seeing more and more guests with allergies, intolerance and health issues. In the beginning it was not always easy for me, some of the situations that cropped up were things I'd never even heard of. There would be hours and hours of research and recipe testing for some guests prior to their arrival. I always brought my "A" game, and I absolutely feel like when my head hits the pillow at night I have always done the best I could.
Now, this creamy thing WITH nuts vegan style... it's actually very easy to do. This includes decadent cream sauces, desserts, and meals. Cashews are especially beloved because they are soft in texture to begin with and they have a relatively neutral flavor. Too many nuts though.... not a good thing generally speaking for health issues, obviously much worse for those with raging nut allergies. Remarkably, I bring you a vegan cheese sauce crafted out of vegetables!!! Potatoes and carrots to be specific. LOOK!!
|The creamiest mac & cheeze you'll ever have|
Actually most of the ingredients are already in your pantry most likely (potatoes, carrots, neutral oil, water, lemon juice and sea salt). Nutritional yeast is the "wild card" in this recipe, many of us keep it on hand already too. Nutritional yeast ("nooch" to many of us) is an inactive yeast that has a mild cheese flavor. It's very versatile, and people like me sprinkle it on pretty much everything anyway. I'd forgotten about this sauce, somehow it popped up in my "memories" feed very recently and wow was that great timing. This recipe is from Vegan Yumminess, they published it about 4 years ago. It doesn't really taste like cheese because it has such a mild flavor, however the other happy vegan said if he didn't know it was vegan, he'd guess it was just a really mild dairy cheese. It's creamy, it's stretchy and it is super delicious. Add whatever you want to it (ie: smoked paprika, onion powder, hot sauce, whatever...) but do it AFTER you follow the recipe to the letter because honestly it is so good you may really not want to personalize this one. Come see!
Here's the recipe
(courtesy of Vegan Yumminess http://veganyumminess.com/creamy-vegan-mac-and-cheese/
2 cups peeled, boiled potatoes, mashed
3/4 cups peeled chopped boiled carrots
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/3 cup neutral oil (original recipe calls for olive oil, I used non-GM safflower oil it's more neutral)
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1.5 teaspoons sea salt
Boil the potatoes and carrots together til soft, drain. Mash the potatoes to measure the appropriate amount, carrots can be loosely measured.
Place everything in the blender (really, you need a strong blender here.... I use a Vitamix)
Blend low to high about 30 seconds til completely smooth
Serve immediately any way you'd like. Keeps they say about 1 week, but it won't last that long. Reheat as necessary.
This makes about 2 cups or so of sauce, roughly. I made a whole pound of GF pasta, and still had about .5 cups left over of the sauce.
This doesn't taste exactly like a cruel dairy sauce, it's mild, but no matter trust me this is absolutely delicious. You can customize as you like, but really follow this recipe first, you may not want to change it at all (I used it exactly as published).
It's super to have a recipe in your tool kit that is so allergen free. Not only are many people allergic to nuts, but I've met more than my fair share that seeds are off limits too. This fits the bill in the most tasty way possible.
My work here for the day is done. Go forth and be epic with your potato carrot cheese.