The Kinder Kitchen

Veggie Nuggets With Quinoa and Brown Rice

What kid doesn’t love a nugget?  And what grown-up doesn’t feel the nostalgia of childhood when dunking a plateful of nuggets into their favorite dipping sauce? 

Of course, if you ask most people what comes to mind when they think about nuggets, they’ll likely say “chicken nuggets” from a fast-food restaurant.  Well, here in The Kinder Kitchen, our nuggets are made from veggies and grains, not living beings who don’t want to be your lunch!

The good news is, not only are there many vegan chicken-style nuggets available in stores that kids ADORE (our favorite brand is Gardein), there’s also a bazillion recipes floating around the interwebz for both meaty and more veggie-based nuggets.

You might be asking, “What makes YOUR recipe so special among those bazillions, Shannon?”

Well, I worked for awhile to come up with a veggie-packed recipe that was healthy, with no oils or other refined ingredients, that would hold together beautifully, bake up crispy in both the oven AND the air-fryer, taste awesome with a variety of dips and coatings, and of course my kids had to LOVE it! 

We sampled these veggie nuggets with ranch dressing, marinara, and my homemade vegan cheddar cheese sauce, all with rave reviews, and also tried them coated in Frank’s Red Hot which was a HUGE hit!

 

 

Well alright, let’s get to making some nuggets!


5.0 from 1 reviews
Veggie Nuggets With Quinoa and Brown Rice
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These fun and healthy veggie nuggets are sure to please even the most discerning nugget afficianado! They're packed with veggies and whole grains for a nutritional punch and taste great!
Author:
Recipe type: Lunch, Dinner, Kid-Friendly
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 40 to 50
What You'll Need
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper *
  • ½ cup finely chopped kale *
  • ½ cup finely shredded carrot
  • 1 large or 2 small green onions, white and green parts, finely chopped *
  • ½ cup frozen peas, defrosted and finely chopped
  • ½ cup frozen corn, defrosted finely chopped
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • few twists cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 flax eggs (2 TBS ground flax seed mixed with 6 TBS warm water- let sit til thickened)
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • Frank's Red How Buffalo Wing Sauce (optional)
  • Your choice of dipping sauces
  • *I use my food processor to make quick work of finely chopping these ingredients.
Make It Happen!
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. If using an air fryer, no need to preheat.
  2. When all ingredients are prepped, gathered, and measured (remember mise en place?), add them all to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Thoroughly mix- using your hands is the best way to get everything combined as good as possible!
  4. Once mixed, place mixture in the refrigerator for half an hour to firm up.
  5. FOR OVEN BAKING:
  6. Using your hands, form mixture into small oval or round nuggets, approximately ½ an inch to ¾ inch thick, an inch or so wide, and 1½ to 2 inches long. Really, you're in control of what shape to make them!
  7. Place nuggets on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed with nonstick coking spray, no closer than an inch apart.
  8. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and turn the nuggets, then bake another 15 minutes.
  9. **If making Buffalo-style nuggets: after baking, toss in wing sauce. Serve immediately while nuggets are still crispy.
  10. FOR AIR-FRYER BAKING:
  11. Spray the bottom of the air-fryer basket with a very light mist of cooking spray, OR, if you're avoiding oil, cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the basket.
  12. Form nuggets, then assemble as many as you can at a time in the air-fryer basket without the nuggets touching. If you have a rack apparatus that allows you to cook multiple layers at a time, your cooking time may need to be adjusted from what follows, because I don't have such a rack and tested this recipe in a single layer only.
  13. Air-fry nuggets at a temperature of 380 degrees for 8 minutes, flip nuggets, then cook another 8 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on the outside.
  14. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy!
Stuff You Should Know
To save time and multitask, cook brown rice and quinoa, and chop veggies the day before, OR prep your veggies and seasonings while your brown rice and quinoa cooks.

Brown rice and quinoa should be fairly cooled before proceeding, because you'll be shaping the nuggets with your hands.

These freeze beautifully! Simply layer cooked and cooled nuggets on a baking tray and freeze, then plop the frozen nuggets into a freezer container.

 

Hearty Corn and Vegetable Chowder

There’s plenty of cold weather left, at least in my neck of the woods, so soups, stews, and chili are still in high demand and enjoyed by all in the Cuoco household!  This flavorful, rich chowder is no exception- when I whipped it up a few weeks ago, murmurs of “Oh, yeah, this is good stuff” and “Oh wow, yum!” could be heard ’round the table, so I knew it must be shared with my readers.

Now, let’s settle an issue here: what exactly IS chowder?  Originally, it was a thick, chunky fisherman’s stew made with seafood, and nearly always involved the use of milk or cream.  Interestingly, the word chowder even comes from the French word for cauldron, which fishermen usually used to cook most things they ate at sea.

These days, however, the definition has become more vague and inclusive, and we can call most any chunky soup with a creamy element chowder, and with the wide variety of dairy replacement options available to vegans, it’s easier than ever to achieve the silky creaminess needed for a truly satisfying chowder.

Side note: you know how when you say (or type) a word over and over, it starts to sound nonsensical and made-up?  CHOWDER CHOWDER CHOWDER CHOWDER CHOWDER.  Yep.  That’s what it’s like inside my head, folks.

This recipe for Hearty Corn and Vegetable Chowder is amazeballs.  It’s oil-free and only 170 calories per cup, making it a huge score for those of us adhering to a more whole foods, plant-based diet, but rich and creamy enough that you would never guess it’s not a dairy-based soup.  It whips together fairly fast, making it an excellent weeknight meal for busy families.

Alright, enough yammering, let’s do this!  Start by doing what I call “getting your act together.”  Chop all veggies, measure out seasonings and broth, etc.  If you want to get all fancypants, call it mise en place- French for “putting in place” or “everything in place.”  It’s a good habit to get into when cooking, because then you’re never stuck having to stop stirring or whatever and risk your food burning in order to measure something out or chop something.  Plus, it makes you feel like the host of your own coking show when you have all of your ingredients all ready to go in little dishes! 

 

Hearty Corn and Vegetable Chowder
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 cups diced Russet potato (about 1/2 " cubes)
  2. 1 1/2 cups sliced celery
  3. 1 cup diced carrot
  4. 1 cup diced red bell pepper
  5. 1 cup diced white or yellow onion
  6. 2 cups fresh, frozen, or canned corn
  7. 1 box (32 oz) low-sodium vegetable broth, OR 4 cups homemade veg broth
  8. 1/2 cup cashews (see notes for nut-free alternative)
  9. 1 cup water
  10. 1 tsp garlic salt, OR 1 tsp sea salt and 2 cloves minced garlic
  11. 2 tsp dried parsley
  12. 1 tsp thyme
  13. 1 tsp smoked paprika
  14. White wine, optional
  15. Black pepper to taste
  16. Fresh parsley for garnish, optional
Instructions
  1. First, chop all veggies and measure out ingredients to have at the ready.
  2. In a high-speed blender, blend cashews and 1 cup water until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a large soup pot, cook celery, carrot, onion, and bell pepper in a few splashes of water over medium-high heat until fairly soft, about 6 to 8 minutes. If using minced garlic in place of garlic salt, add it to this step.
  4. Add garlic salt, parsley, thyme, smoked paprika, and stir well to combine. Cook another 5 minutes or so, until the water and moisture from the veggies has mostly evaporated and you can see brown bits starting to cling to the bottom of the pot. Don't let it burn!
  5. At this point, if you would like to use the white wine, add a few splashes to the pot to deglaze. See my notes if you prefer not to use wine.
  6. Add the potatoes, corn, broth, and cashew/water mixture.
  7. Bring pot to a boil, then cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
  8. Using a handheld wand blender, briefly blend until about 1/3 of the chowder has been coarsely pureed. Alternately, you can put about 2 to 3 cups of the chowder in your blender and briefly puree, then add back to the pot.
  9. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.
Notes
  1. Using white wine to deglaze the pot: If you're unfamiliar with the term "deglaze" it's basically fancy-talk for putting cold liquid into a hot pan to loosen up the gunky brown bits from the bottom. Those bits are full of flavor, and deglazing with wine not only loosens them so they can mingle with the rest of the ingredients, the wine itself (the alcohol will burn off) lends a lovely depth of flavor. However, if you prefer not to use wine or simply don't have any, you can deglaze the pot with vegetable broth or water.
  2. Nut-free alternative: If you prefer not to use cashews due to an allergy, or would simply like to pare down the calorie content further, you may use 1 cup non-dairy milk of your choice instead.
The Kinder Kitchen http://thekinderkitchen.com/

Baked Ratatouille Stew

 

Mangia, mangia!
Mangia, mangia!

Confession: I never even knew what ratatouille was before I saw the Disney Pixar animated movie of the same name. I mean, I knew it was a dish, but I really didn’t know what exactly it WAS. Even after seeing the movie, I had to consult Uncle Google to find out that ratatouille is basically a dish comprised of eggplant, tomato, zucchini, and onion- that’s the easy explanation. I found recipes for ratatouille as a casserole, as a soup or a stew, served hot or cold, alone or with a side dish such as rice or bread. This was back in the day when I was the mom of several very small people, though, and taking the time to learn to cook what seemed to be a very complex and nuanced vegetable dish was NOT high on my list of priorities.

My four boys are much older now and open to trying dishes with actual recognizable veggies in them, as opposed to the toddler days when stealth-health (hiding vegetable purees in food they would actually eat) was the name of the game, and my take on this classic savory dish gets gobbled every time.

In cobbling together my own version of ratatouille, I found that I liked the stew versions over the layered-casserole versions for one major reason: it drove me CRAZY when I was not able to get an equal amount of equally-sized slices of the zucchini, eggplant, onion, and tomato. Yeah, I’m weird like that. My family probably wouldn’t have cared less if the eggplant slices were far bigger in circumference than the zucchini slices, but I cared. Deeply. So I gravitated more toward a cubed-veggie approach with this recipe. The veggies are baked in a savory, herbed tomato sauce, then are stirred into pasta. I prefer small pasta shells, but any shape pasta will work just fine. When I want to stretch the amount (no small feat when feeding four hungry boys and a husband), I might add a package of Beyond Meat Beefy Crumble that I’ve cooked in a skillet, and a great finisher for this dish is vegan mozzarella and fresh sliced basil.

I hope you enjoy this hearty, comforting Ratatouille Stew, or as my boys like to call it, Ratatouille-Stewie! I put my foot down at calling it Rat-Patooty.

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rata 3

Baked Ratatouille Stew
Serves 6
A hearty, crowd-pleasing take on an Italian classic.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 large or 2 medium zucchini
  2. 1 large eggplant
  3. 4 large tomatoes
  4. 1 medium Vidalia onion (or any variety that you may have on hand)
  5. 2 cups of canned fire-roasted, crushed tomatoes, un-drained.
  6. 2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  7. ¼ cup loosely packed fresh basil, sliced, plus extra for garnish (or about 2 tablespoons dried)
  8. ½ tsp each of dried thyme, oregano, and rosemary
  9. ¼ tsp black pepper
  10. ½ tsp salt
  11. ¼ tsp flaked red chiles
  12. ½ tsp lemon juice OR apple cider vinegar
  13. 1 16 to 20 ounce package of pasta of your choice, prepared according to package instructions.
Instructions
  1. 1) Preheat the oven to 350F, and lightly grease an 8x8-ish baking dish (or oval, round, whatever!)
  2. 2) Cut the eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, and onion into roughly 1-inch pieces and combine in a large bowl. I leave the skin on the eggplant because it gives the dish more color and contains nutrients, but you can certainly peel it if you wish.
  3. 3) In another bowl, combine the crushed tomatoes in their juices, lemon juice, and all herbs and seasonings. If you’re using fresh basil, be sure to set aside some for garnish.
  4. 4) Spread the tomato mixture evenly in the bottom of your prepared pan and top with the veggies. If desired, brush lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle on more herbs.
  5. 5) Bake at 350F for 1 hour, or until both the eggplant and zucchini are fork-tender. No stirring necessary!
  6. 6) Once you’ve cooked and drained your pasta, stir in the baked veggies and combine. Add meatless crumbles or vegan sausage, and vegan mozzarella if desired. Garnish with fresh basil.
The Kinder Kitchen http://thekinderkitchen.com/

The Veganized Famous Bowl

 

Fast food?  Fuggedaboudit!

 

bowl 2

Far back into my pre-vegan days, when I was pregnant with my oldest son Dominic, I had what you might call a love-hate relationship with food.  I loved it, all of it, in large quantities, and hated when I couldn’t satisfy a craving!  I don’t recall every having any of those outlandish, cliched cravings like pickles and ice cream, but it’s no exaggeration to say that I had a passionate love affair with junk-food.  I look back on those nine months now and cringe, knowing that I could have been kinder to my body and my growing baby.

One of the things I HAD to have, at least  two or three times a week, was KFC’s Famous Bowl.  Actually, it’s funny that they call it that, because hardly anyone I know has ever heard of it.  If you’ve never had one, here’s the gist: layers of mashed potatoes, corn, chicken, gravy, and shredded cheddar cheese.  It’s a bowl of stick-to-your-ribs, comforting bliss.  I would hit the drive-thru, pull into the parking lot with my bag, and inhale it, the bowl resting half on the steering wheel and half on my giant pregnant belly.

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Crispy Oven Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

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Superbowl mania has swept in and out like a tornado, and Uncle Google has seen the last “Superbowl party snack ideas” search request for a while, but that’s no reason to let your vegan appetizer game get rusty!

 

Any self-respecting hostess or bringer-of-snacks to someone else’s party should, at all times, have a handful of tried-and-true recipes at the ready when the need arises to wow a crowd with vegan eats and treats. Well, I am here to bring you what is sure to be a hit that will be a staple for every potluck and party!

 
One of the most ubiquitous vegan dishes floating around on the internet at the moment is the buffalo cauliflower wing (or “bite” for those that don’t want to call them wings). Google that, and you’ll likely find hundreds of recipes, but something tells me that I know just what you’re looking for: a bite that’s tender but not mushy on the inside, with a light, crispy-crunchy coating on the outside. Oh- and you’d like them to be healthy, so you want them baked, not fried, only you just KNOW they can’t be crispy unless they’re fried in gobs of oil, right?

 
While I have sampled fried cauliflower buffalo wings before and beheld their crispy, crunchy awesomeness, let’s face it- that’s a TON of unnecessary fat. I wanted a recipe for crispy cauliflower wings that still had that satisfying crunch without the added calories of oil. I tried dozens of recipes that claimed to result in a crispy bite, but was disappointed every time. In developing this recipe, I used elements of many others and tried a few ideas of my own. The result is a healthier wing that is tender on the inside and crunchy on the outside. When I first made these for my husband, Chris, his eyes lit up like a little kid’s! I don’t make these just for parties, either- they’re great any time, and are kid (and husband) tested and approved.

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Using panko breadcrumbs and a two-step baking method is KEY for a great crunch, and these are best served right away for optimal crispiness, so if you’re making them to take to a party, I suggest shortening the cooking time in the second step by about 10 minutes, then finishing them in the oven of your host- IF there’s room!

Crispy Oven-Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
Serves 6
Oven baked, tender cauliflower with the crispy coating and classic taste you crave. No oil....no kidding!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 large head of cauliflower, or 2 small ones
  2. 1 cup of brown rice flour (NOTE: a variety of flours can be used, but in my experimentation I have found that brown rice flour resulted in the lightest, crispiest batter, while whole wheat flour yielded the heaviest, soggiest results)
  3. 1 ¼ cup non-sweetened, non-dairy milk of your choice
  4. 1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, and sea salt
  5. 1 cup (plus extra if needed) panko bread crumbs, regular or gluten free
  6. Large bottle of buffalo wing sauce (I use Frank’s Red Hot!)
Instructions
  1. 1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. 2) Cut cauliflower into bite-sized pieces- I cut mine a little smaller than the size of a golf ball. Cauliflower can be tricky to cut up and you’ll likely end up with a lot of little bits. Save those for salad!
  3. 3) In a large bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour, non-dairy milk, and seasonings. I like to throw in a few dashes of the hot sauce, too.
  4. 4) Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, OR you can use cooling racks sprayed with cooking spray on a baking sheet. I do NOT recommend simply greasing the baking sheet, as I’ve found that the wings tend to stick even on a heavily greased sheet. They release much easier from parchment paper.
  5. 5) Toss the florets in the batter a few at a time, shake off excess batter, then toss in the breadcrumbs in separate bowl. To keep things tidy, I like to use one hand for handling the battered ones, and my other hand to handle the ones finished in the breadcrumbs. Place them on the prepared baking sheet. If you need to use more than one baking sheet, switch racks in the oven halfway through each phase of the baking time.
  6. 6) Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.
  7. 7) Remove racks from the oven and set aside. In another bowl, dump in about half your bottle of wing sauce . One at a time, dunk the baked cauliflower florets in the wing sauce, turning gently with a fork to coat. Using tongs, return the sauced florets back to the baking sheet.
  8. 8) Bake an additional 20 minutes, turning florets halfway through baking time. This is key to prevent sticking.
  9. 9) Optional: for a little extra crunch, I sometimes like to finish them with a little blast under the broiler. Your call! Also optional: brush with a little extra wing sauce for added zinginess. This will, however, make the wings a little less crunchy.
Notes
  1. To make this a totally gluten-free appetizer, look for gluten-free panko breadcrumbs!
  2. Note about the sauce: You may choose to use another sauce such as barbecue or teriyaki sauce rather than wing sauce. However, if your sauce is thick, I would advise thinning it out a bit with water prior to the second baking stage. If the sauce is too thick, it will result in a less-crispy finished product.
  3. Serve with a vegan ranch dressing such as Follow Your Heart's High-Omega Vegan Ranch or Bleu Cheese, and carrot/celery sticks
The Kinder Kitchen http://thekinderkitchen.com/

Easy Vegan Cream of Potato Soup

potato soup

Is there anything better than a piping hot bowl of creamy, chunky, savory potato soup on a chilly winter day?  (psssst- the answer is NO)

When I first became vegan, I had this idea that my days of enjoying rich, creamy soups and bisques were over.  I hadn’t cooked much with non-dairy plant and nut milks, and had yet to discover the wonder of the mighty CASHEW in whipping up all manner of rich creaminess.  As far as I knew, things like cream of potato soup required CREAM, and since I had sworn off all dairy products, I turned my attention toward brothier soups and bade creamy potato, broccoli, and tomato soups farewell.

It wasn’t until I’d been vegan for almost a year that I was introduced to the wonders of cooking with cashews– which are partly responsible for the rich and creamy texture of this potato soup– and began experimenting with using them to replace things like cream and butter in sauces and soups.  And don’t even get me started on cashew cheeses!  SWOON.  That’s a post for another day.  Replacing the traditional milk and butter in this soup with a scant 1/2 cup of cashews lets you keep the creamy richness at just a fraction of the fat.  WIN!

So without further ado, let’s get cooking, shall we?

***Just a quick note about blenders (okay I snuck in a little more “ado” there, sorry):  Optimal blending and incorporation of the cashews in this recipe really requires a high-powered blender like a Vitamix, which I use, or a Blendtec, which is of similar calibur.  For years I swore I didn’t need one, that my regular blender was just FINE.  And it was, for some things, but in many areas it just fell short, like getting sauces or cheese bases with cashews silky smooth, or blending a kale smoothie to perfection with no chewy bits.  I won’t lie, I hated spending the money for my Vitamix, even after I found the best deal possible on a reconditioned model from The Blender Lady, but when I used it for the first time, I was HOOKED.   But, if you don’t yet have a high-powered blender, don’t worry–you can STILL make this soup!  Just follow the alternate instructions at the end of the recipe, and it’ll still be just as tasty.

 

 

Easy Vegan Cream of Potato Soup
Serves 8
You're sure to love a bowl of this velvety, comforting soup, and I promise you will not miss the dairy in my version.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 cups cubed Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes
  2. 1 small or 1/2 large yellow or white onion, cut into chunks
  3. 1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews
  4. 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  5. 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  6. 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond, cashew, or other plant-based milk
  7. 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  8. salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add potatoes, and cook until soft but not mushy.
  2. While potatoes are cooking, add all other ingredients to your blender, and process until the cashews are blended smooth. Add additional salt or pepper if needed.
  3. When the potatoes are done, drain and return to pot, then coarsely mash, leaving it as chunky as you'd like it. I personally like to mash the potatoes so that about half of them are left in nice bite-sized chunks.
  4. Pour the blender sauce into the potato pot and stir to combine. If it's too thick, more broth or almond milk can be added to thin a bit, then adjust seasoning accordingly if needed.
  5. Garnish with sliced scallions and vegan bacon bits, or if desired, vegan cheese shreds. I've even added sliced sundried tomatoes to this soup--super tasty!
For those without a high-powered blender: A little extra prep here
  1. Soak your cashews in water overnight, then just before blending, boil them for about 5 minutes to soften them up. This helps a lot, but you may find that your sauce is still just a tad grainy. In this case, I'd leave your potatoes a little chunkier to mask any residual graininess.
The Kinder Kitchen http://thekinderkitchen.com/

Vegan Potato Cheese Sauce

Golden, gooey cheesiness!
Golden, gooey cheesiness!

 

 

 

“I’d go vegan but I could never give up cheese!”

 
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this, I’d probably be set for life.

 
It’s a sentiment I understand. In my first months of being vegan, I worried that I would never experience the joy of cheese again. Tangy, salty, savory, melty, gooey cheese. Over the years in my pre-vegan days, I’d tried a few non-dairy cheeses, and was not impressed. I vividly remember making hamburgers for my boys and slapping a slice of soy cheese on each, hoping it would melt. It didn’t. My son Charlie, who was about 3 at the time, poked at it skeptically and said, “Mom do I have to eat this toy cheese?”

 

Experiences like this did not make me enthusiastic about the giving up of cheese when I decided to be vegan, but once I found out that dairy cheese is far from a cruelty-free product, I knew I could never eat it again in good conscience, and as I learned more about the non-dairy cheese products available nowadays and tested them out for myself, I breathed a sigh of relief. These newer products had more complex flavor profiles, a more satisfying mouthfeel, and more importantly, MELTED! Today’s vegan doesn’t even need to rely solely on store-bought non-dairy cheeses with the abundance of DIY recipes available online. I sometimes come across a product or recipe that doesn’t please my palate, but at least now, when someone says, “I’d go vegan but I could never give up cheese,” I can say to them with confidence, “Don’t worry, you don’t have to!”

 
I thought I’d make this blog’s inaugural recipe my own rendition of one that is quite popular among the vegan/plant-based crowd at the moment (though I was working on this recipe long before similar ones started popping up!), and popular for good reason! This cheesy sauce is thick and velvety and sure to please (and fool!) everyone, and doesn’t rely on gobs of oil to achieve a rich, smooth texture and taste…in fact, it’s oil-free! When I gave my mom a jar of it to sample, I asked her if she could identify its main ingredients, and she couldn’t! Its versatility can take it anywhere from mac and cheese to nachos to chili queso dip and beyond, and the star ingredients may surprise you, but they work together to create a truly satisfying cheesiness.   Be sure to check out my recipe for Lentil Nachos Supreme at the end of this post using this very sauce!

This recipe makes enough to fill about 1 3/4 quart Mason jars.
This recipe makes enough to fill about 1 3/4 quart Mason jars.

 

Vegan Potato Cheese Sauce
Yields 1
A rich and tangy vegan cheese sauce that is sure to satisfy your cravings! Suitable for mac n' cheese, nachos, baked potatoes, or any dish you'd like.
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Ingredients
  1. 4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced to equal about 4 cups (russets will work, too)
  2. 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into thin rounds to equal about 1 heaping cup.
  3. ½ large yellow or white onion, diced
  4. ½ cup cashews (see note below)
  5. 2 teaspoons each garlic powder and onion powder
  6. 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  7. 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  8. ½ cup nutritional yeast
  9. 1 tablespoon tapioca starch or cornstarch
  10. 2 teaspoons each mellow white miso paste and tomato paste
Instructions
  1. Cover the potatoes, carrots, and onion in a large saucepan with about 4 cups of water, and boil until soft.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, lift out the veggies and transfer to your blender, then add all remaining ingredients. DO NOT throw out your veggie water! You'll need it for blending.
  3. Add to the ingredients in the blender 2 cups of the veggie water, and blend on high until fully incorporated. If you have a blender with a tamper, you may need to use it to get things going. If you have a regular blender, you may need to stop and shove things down a bit with a spatula. Add a bit more of the water, blend, and repeat, until you get a free-flowing cheesy vortex happening. If you find that you've added too much water and your cheese sauce is too thin, you can blend in more tapioca or cornstarch a teaspoon at a time to thicken it back up.
  4. This cheese sauce is ready to rock and roll! Try it on this Lentil Nacho Supreme recipe below, then pour the rest into jars and refrigerate for up to a week.
Notes
  1. Cashews: if you have a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix or Blendtec, cashews can be added dry without soaking. If you are using a standard blender, I recommend soaking the cashews overnight for a minimum of 8 hours, OR boiling them until very soft before blending.
The Kinder Kitchen http://thekinderkitchen.com/

 

LENTIL NACHOS SUPREME (serves 4)

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INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup (plus a bit more) vegetable broth or stock

2 cups cooked green lentils (not green split peas!)

1 cup each diced white or yellow onion and diced bell pepper of any color

1  14oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained but not rinsed

1  4 oz can diced green chiles

1 TBS taco seasoning  OR 1 tsp each ground cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder

2 tsp Mexican (or regular) oregano

About 1 cup of That Potato Cheese Sauce

Any additional nacho toppings desired, such as black olives, salsa, guacamole, etc

 

DIRECTIONS

Heat broth til bubbling in a large skillet.  Sautee peppers and onion in the broth til soft, adding additional splashes of broth to the skillet if needed to keep from sticking.

Add all other ingredients and another splash of broth and heat til bubbly.

Spoon the lentil mixture onto tortilla chips, drizzle with the cheese sauce, and add desired toppings.

 

Enjoy!

 

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