Recipe: Cauliflower Queso

Howdy! If you’ve visited or hail from the great state of Texas, you know that queso is a Tex Mex staple. If you don’t know, queso is Spanish for cheese and is also a liquidy, cheesy heaven of a dip. I’m here with a cauliflower(!) version so you can indulge your craving without guilt.

Ingredients

1/4 c raw cashews, soaked in hot water for one hour
2 T organic Earth Balance
1 yellow onion, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapeños, seeded and minced
1 large cauliflower head, chopped
1/2 c vegetable broth
1/3 c + 2-3 T coconut milk
2 sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 c nutritional yeast
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t chili powder
1/4 t turmeric
1/2 t sea salt, more to taste
tortilla chips or crudité for serving

Instructions

  1. Poor boiling water over cashews and allow to soak for one hour. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet heat butter over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and jalapeños and sauté for about six minutes, stirring occasionally. Then, remove about half of the onion/jalapeño mixture and set aside.
  3. Stir cauliflower and vegetable broth into the remaining half of onion/jalapeño mixture, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender.
  4. Add cauliflower mixture to a food processor or high-powered blender along with remaining ingredients, including cashews. Blend mixture until smooth. If too thick, add additional milk 1 T at a time until desired consistency is achieved.
  5. Taste queso and add more sea salt, if desired.
  6. Transfer queso to a large bowl and stir in remaining onions and jalapeños. If desired, top with fresh jalapeños or cilantro.
  7. Serve immediately with tortilla chips or crudité.

This recipe creates a vat of cauliflower queso. I advise freezing most of it in small portions and, when ready to eat, move from freezer to fridge 24 hours in advance and then reheat on the stove. Consume unfrozen queso (or incorporate it into another recipe calling for cheese sauce) within one week.

Super into cauliflower? Buy too much cauliflower for this recipe? Try one of these recipes:

Spiced Cauliflower with Feta
Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

Adapted from Vegan Cauliflower Queso.


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Recipe: Spiced Cauliflower With Feta

Hi every body.* The truth is I was putting together this post, dispassionately conducting my minor-league photo editing, and I felt so glum. Valuing consistency, I powered through to get this post scheduled and ready to roll for the good people out there looking at this, and when I was done I remembered that I literally named this site BUMMED OUT BAKER, so why would I try to push through something without being honest?

Sometimes I don’t know what I’m working for or if it’s worth anything. I’m telling you this because I know I’m not the only person out here struggling internally. One of my long-standing, involuntary pastimes is having an existential crisis in the moments between when I climb into bed and pick up my book to read. They are the longest, most hollow moments. It’s as if I’ve been moving, moving, moving, and when I finally still my body to rest my mind opens up.

As you move through your days, do you ever rest your head on your pillow at night and wonder if what you do even matters? Well, me too. Whenever you feel that, remember I am there with you. We share a headspace, and you’re not alone.

*Yes, every body. Not a typo.

Welp, see ya later.

Ingredients

1 head cauliflower
5 garlic cloves, crushed
4 T olive oil
2 t cumin seeds
1 t turmeric
pinch red pepper flakes
sea salt to taste
black pepper to taste
3 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 c parsley, chopped
1/4 c cilantro, chopped
1/4 c dill, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Cut off leaves before slicing cauliflower head into slices about 1/2″-1″ thick. Pieces will fall apart – this is okay!
  3. Distribute cauliflower and garlic cloves in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 3 T olive oil and sprinkle with cumin seeds, turmeric, red pepper flakes, sea salt, and black pepper.
  4. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, flip the bigger pieces with a spatula and stir around the smaller bits. Replace in oven for ten minutes.
  5. Transfer cauliflower to a serving bowl and top with feta, herbs, and the last 1 T of olive oil.

Serves six, and will disappear quickly.

Adapted from Spiced Roasted Cauliflower With Feta and Garlic.


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