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: Roasted Beets and Sweets

 

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Ingredients

3 large beets*, peeled and diced
3 T olive oil, divided
3 sweet potatoes*, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 t garlic powder
1 t sea salt
1 t black pepper
1 t cane sugar**

*Bonus points if you use rainbow beets and different sweet potatoes. The more color, the better!

**Ditch the sugar to make this recipe paleo.

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  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  2. In a bowl, toss beets in 1 T olive oil until coated. Distribute evenly on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes.
  3. Rinse the bowl, then toss sweet potatoes, onion, garlic powder, sea salt, pepper, sugar, and 2 T olive oil until coated.
  4. Mix sweet potato mixture with the beets on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, stir the mixture, then bake another 25 minutes until all vegetables are tender.

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Serves six.

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Adapted from Roasted Beets ‘n’ Sweets.

Recipe: Açaí Bowl

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Açaí bowls are more than internet photo fodder, they’re healthful and delicious. Because I eat vegetarian (erring on the side of vegan) I often start my days with one. Cooking has become a bit of a love language for me, so on a recent trip home I racked my brain trying to think of something to accommodate both my dietary ideals and my parents who eat paleo. Açaí bowls are adaptable and are the only vegan / paleo crossover meal I’ve managed so far. They also, you know, look nice.

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Ingredients

1 t coconut oil
2 T unsweetened coconut flakes
1 4 oz pack frozen unsweetened açaí
1 banana
2 T coconut milk*
1 Medjool date, pitted*
1 T peanut butter*
1 T chia seeds
2 T granola
1 T dried goji berries
1 T cacao nibs
small handfuls of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries

*Other types of milk, dates, and nut butters can be used. Almond butter works great for paleo folks.

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  1. Melt coconut oil over medium-low heat. Add coconut flakes and toast until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes.
  2. Blend açaí, banana, coconut milk, date, and peanut butter until smooth.
  3. Pour into bowl and top with toasted coconut, fresh fruit, chia seeds, dried goji berries, cacao nibs, and granola.

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Toppings can be edited to fit tastes. Since berries have such a precarious shelf life, often I do not have all four kinds on hand so I just use what’s around. Sliced kiwi is a delicious topping, too.

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Serves one.

Recipe adapted from It’s All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook by Gwyneth Paltrow.