We are a family of eight who over the past year have removed all animal products from our diet. It was a big step for us as parents. But for my little ones, who think cheese is the best thing in the world, it was a huge blow.
I admit, my two year old still asks daily for cheese. She is strong willed - but in this case, I get it. When you go from vegetarian to vegan, it is that lovely, creamy cheese that is so hard to let go of - and can have you bouncing between vegetarian and vegan for months! Unless you find a cheese substitute that gives you the taste, texture and creamy sensation that totally fools the mind and senses. I had found one recipe that we were all smitten with and then...
Happy Herbivore Abroad brought Quick Queso into our lives, the quintessential cheeze recipe that everyone here loves. It whips up in less than 3 minutes. No lie. My kids are nuts over it. My hubby asks for it. There is always a jar in the fridge. It has a beautiful consistency and we have put it to the test! Hot, cold, over entrees, with a spoon. Trust me here folks, that recipe alone is worth the purchase of the book!
Now the other recipe we use is something I have been making for years. We still love it but it isn't our cheese replacement anymore. While Quick Queso is superior on nachos, this other family favorite really shines as a delicious veggie dip. It is what I call Red Pepper Dip. And if the taste alone weren't enough to recommend it, its a raw recipe - and we strive to have as much raw food in our diet as possible.
Red Pepper Dip
1 large red pepper (I don't even cut it, I tear it so I don't have to wash knife and cutting board)
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup raw cashews
3 Tbs. Nutritional Yeast
1 Tbs Tahini
1 tsp salt
2 tsp onion powder
1 clove garlic
2 Tbs lemon juice (fresh is best)
Sometimes I add chili powder if I want a Tex-Mex zing.
Put all ingredients in Vitamix or blender until smooth and creamy. I like to it make ahead of time and put it in the fridge for a couple of hours because it thickens up a bit.
And there you have it. Easy Smeasy.
You don't have to be vegan to enjoy these. Try them and leave me a comment to let me know what you think!