Vegan Cheese Sauces

Blog June 1, 2016

Vegan Cheese Sauce

In San Diego our weather can become a cool challenge in June.  We call it “June Glum”.  It is usually overcast until around noon and then the “Glum” returns around 5:00 and it can be downright cold for us sun loving creatures that have been spoiled by our consistent good weather.  The good thing for my taste buds is that I start craving rich comfort foods.   Today I have a cheese craving:  queso, Mac ‘n Cheese, grill cheese sandwiches, cheese pizza & broccoli/cheese soup.  You name it and I think I would eat it.  But I know the calorie count and my lactose free stomach would not like it. 

You know it is summer time and those summer time cloths do not like lots of calories!  I also crave vegetables so I went on the hunt for the ultimate vegan cheese sauce.   I found several! 

I also played with Terra Verde Foods’ products and the cheese sauce!  Queso with the Green Chile Salsa for your chips, baked potatoes, fish, tacos or cheese soup.  Hatch cheese sauce with the Hatch Green Chile Sauce for your eggs, roasted broccoli, cauliflower or Brussel sprouts, cheese pizza and all of the suggestions for the Green Chile Salsa!  I mixed the Plum Chipotle with the cheese sauce and it was delicious!  It had a great smoky flavor.  I can see it on anything grilled.

I used the nutritional yeast instead of the Daiya and I used EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) instead of the butter spread.  I used Diamond Kosher Salt; it has less sodium content (12% Sodium verses Morton’s 20% sodium).  I used both the unsweetened coconut and almond milk to see which on I liked.  I liked the results of the almond milk the best.  The coconut milk left a flavor I didn’t care for.  The almond milk did not.   I like the coconut milk for my yogurt not cheese sauce.    That is another story!

The following recipes use different base ingredients.  Play with them and see which will become your favorite. I also used a little turmeric for that rich cheese color if you prefer a white cheese, leave it out.  Please note the time it takes to make your cheese sauce is 5 to 30 minutes.  That is my favorite part besides having some delicious vegan cheese sauce.  Have fun!!

Katie had a couple of interesting recipes, one for Mac ‘n’ Cheese and the other one for an Alfredo sauce.  Go to her site for more interesting recipes.  You can tell by her site name she loves chocolate.  I am looking forward in trying some of her chocolate recipes!
 5 minute cheese sauce by Katie
1 cup cooked white beans, such as cannellini
1/2 cup milk of choice, preferably unsweetened
1/3 cup cheese shreds, such as Daiya vegan, OR 5 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
¼ or ½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder
If using nutritional yeast, add 1/2 tsp rice or apple cider vinegar (can be omitted)
Optional:  2 tsp buttery spread or olive oil – I really like the rich depth of flavor this adds, especially if not using the cheese version
Optional:   pinch turmeric, thyme, rosemary, etc.
Yield: 1 3/4 cups
Drain and rinse beans if they are canned. Blend together all ingredients except cheese, either in a blender or with a hand blender. Transfer to a pot, and add the cheese, if using. Heat on low, stirring occasionally, until desired serving temperature is reached and optional cheese is melted.
Suggestions:   If you are making Mac ‘n’ Cheese stir in cooked pasta at this time.  Add more milk of choice if a thinner sauce is desired.  The cheese will thicken the longer it sits.  This makes a delicious cheese sauce for fish, chicken or veggies.  I mixed TVF’s Green Chile Salsa with this for a great Queso!
A serving size is 59 grams, about 1/3 cup, and has 37 calories, total fat is 5 grams, sodium about 148 mg depending on the amount of salt used, 116 mg of potassium, 5.7 grams carbohydrates, 2.6 grams protein.  1% Vitamin A, 5% Calcium & 5% Iron based on a 2000 calorie diet.
The good points are:  Very low in saturated fats, no trans fats, no cholesterol, no sugar, high in calcium, very high in dietary fiber (1.9 grams), high in iron, magnesium, niacin and very high in riboflavin.  Good points!!
Katie’s Cauliflower Alfredo Recipe
1 1/2 cups raw cauliflower (160 grams)
1/4 tsp garlic powder, or 2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt (depending on your taste preference for salt – I used 1/4 tsp)
2 tbsp. butter spread of choice, such as Earth Balance or Smart Balance Light (I subbed 2 tbsps. olive oil) and a little extra salt as needed (30 grams)
1 cup milk of choice (240 grams) I used Almond unsweetened.
Optional:  1/2 cup of either of the following: nutritional yeast or mozzarella-style shreds (such as Daiya)
Note:  I used the nutritional yeast.  I also added a little Dijon mustard but you can use lemon juice if desired. You can also add dried oregano or rosemary.  I added TVF’s Lavender Pepper.  I felt it could use a creamer, richer taste and feel on the mouth.  I am still working on this one.  Will let you know.
Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce Recipe: Put all ingredients into a medium pot and bring to a complete boil, then cover and simmer 15 minutes or until the cauliflower is fall-apart tender.
Drain cauliflower. 
Add other ingredients.
Pulverize with either an immersion or regular blender.
Serve over cooked linguine, or elbow pasta (for cauliflower mac ‘n’  cheese), or spaghetti squash, rice, steamed veggies, or whatever!  Makes about 2 cups, and it gets much thicker as it sits.
Yield: 2 Cups
This recipe has 15 grams serving size, 13 calories per serving, 5 g total fat, no Tran’s fats or cholesterol, 48 mg of sodium, 1.4 grams carbohydrates, and 1.2 grams of protein.  Vitamin A is 1%, Calcium 2%, Vitamin C 3% & Iron 3% of your daily intake based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Brandi has a fat-free Vegan “Cheese” Sauce using zucchini and Yukon gold potatoes.  This recipe is very specific in the ingredients and weights of the ingredients.  It takes time but it is worth it! 
She has made a fat-free, nut-free, guilt-free cheese sauce that tastes authentic. This cheese is smooth, flavorful, creamy and good for you if you use it on the right kind of food. It will leave you satisfied without feeling heavy. It goes great on nachos, tacos, burritos, mac ‘n’ cheese and roasted or grilled veggies!
1 small zucchini, peeled and sliced (130 grams is needed.  You will need about 1 cup sliced zucchini before cooking, make sure you weigh the correct amount or you will get an off taste of zucchini!)
5 small Yukon gold potatoes (220 g, use can any yellow or “buttery” potato, but not russet! Weigh your ingredients, if possible!  You should end up with 1 lightly filled cooked/mashed potato)
¾ cup -1 cup water, as needed to reach desired thickness (used 1 cup, so keep that in mind in regards to other ingredients)
¼ cup nutritional yeast (20 g)
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt or Diamond Kosher salt
½-3/4 teaspoon paprika, add to taste keeping in mind the water amount. Use smoked paprika if you like a little touch of smoke.
2 teaspoons liquid aminos (or low-sodium soy sauce or tamari, do not omit, this is what gives the         cheesy flavor, do not use coconut aminos, it will not yield the correct flavor!)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
Note: This recipe is only 8 ingredients (+ salt & water), so each ingredient is crucial to the final flavor result, so subbing or eliminating an ingredient can greatly alter the result. The weight in grams is provided for accurate results.
First prepare the zucchini.  Preheat your oven to 415 degrees.  While your oven is preheating line sheets pan with parchment paper. Peel all the green skin off the zucchini and slice into ¼ inch slices.  Salt and pepper well. It’s imperative to peel the zucchini; otherwise your sauce will be an ugly green. Place the pealed slices on the sheets pan.  Bake for about 15 minutes until tender.
Meanwhile, cook your potatoes either by roasting, steaming or in the microwave (about 5 minutes) until very soft. Do not boil them as they will get water logged and make the sauce runnier. If you have a Vitamix you can leave the skins on, but if you are concerned about getting the sauce smooth, peel them before cooking.
After the potatoes are cooked, mash them with a fork and measure out 1 cup. If you followed the correct weight measurement, you should get just about 1 lightly filled cup of mashed potatoes. If your potatoes are large, you may need less. It’s important to measure the mashed potatoes for accurate results. Add them to your high speed blender. Note: Using a food processor will make this too gooey.
Once the zucchini is done, add it along with all of the remaining ingredients (start with ¾ cup water and add as needed, stopping at 1 cup) to your blender and blend until smooth.
Note:   You will need to stop and scrape a couple of times from the bottom during. Do not add extra water until you’ve really blended it up a couple of minutes on high to get it completely smooth. It will seem too thick at first, but it will start to turn very smooth from all the water from the zucchini. It will get super thick and creamy this way, don’t add water unless you blend it up a few minutes and If necessary, add just a TINY amount of water just to blend it. If it’s a bit thinner than you like, you can reheat it over the stove to thicken it up some.
Sauce makes 2½ cups.
Taste and add extra lemon juice and/or salt/spices as you see fit for your taste buds. Add any desired toppings.
To make it as a mac ‘n’ cheese add cooked pasta and stir until completely covered.  You can either warm the cheese by running it awhile in the blender or gently warming over the stove.
Optional toppings: red pepper flakes, chopped tomatoes, sliced jalapenos or any of Terra Verde Foods sauces or hot sauces. 
Nutrition Information:
Serves 4:  Calories 65.25, Fat 0 grams, Carbohydrates 13.1 grams, Sugar .55 grams, Protein 4.4 grams

Angela Liddon had developed a low fat vegan cheese sauce with only 5 ingredients and it doesn’t require a blender or food processor.  You can do it on the stove top with a whisk!  Her sauce is extremely smooth and buttery in flavor.
Low-Fat Vegan Cheese Sauce
3/4 cup unsweetened, unflavored almond milk (or more as needed to thin out)
6 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 tbsp. Earth Balance or other non-dairy buttery spread
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour (or other flour)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a skillet or pot, melt the Earth Balance over medium heat.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour and milk until all clumps are gone.
Add milk & flour mixture and nutritional yeast to pot and whisk well. Reduce heat to low-medium.
Add Dijon, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste and whisk frequently until the sauce thickens up, for about 5 minutes. If it’s still too thin you can add more flour to achieve the thickness you desire. (Be careful to whisk while adding more flour and add a little at a time so you do not end up with lumps in your sauce.)
To reheat: Reheat in the microwave or on the stove-top (add a splash of milk if it’s too thick) and whisk well.
Refrigerate and it will store in an air-tight container for up to 5-7 days.

Losune has developed a rich cheesy looking vegan cheese sauce using potatoes and carrots.  It tastes like real cheese and it is gluten free.  Check this out!   There are some twists on the ingredients so they are not hard to find; they substitute beer or brewer’s yeast for nutritional yeast.
2 cups potatoes (360 grams)
1 cup carrots (135 grams)
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil (70 grams)
½ cup water (125 milliliters)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
Dash of cayenne (optional)
Boil the potatoes and carrots for 20 minutes or until soft.
Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
If you can’t find nutritional yeast, you can use brewer’s yeast instead of nutritional yeast, or you can use beer instead of water with no added yeast..
Serves: 6
Nutrition Information:
Serving size:  ⅙ of the recipe Calories: 180 Fat: 12.2 g Saturated fat: 1.7 g Carbohydrates: 15.6 g Sugar: 1.6 g Sodium: 411.1 mg Fiber: 3.6 g Protein: 3.9 g
Prep time:  5 mins    Cook time:  25 mins    Total time:  30 mins
Blendtec is a blender manufacturing company but they have some amazing, easy recipes.  Their recipe also uses potatoes and carrots but has some different ingredients that you might be able to find in your pantry.
2   cups potato, peeled & cubed
1   cup carrots, chopped
3   tbsps. Olive oil
1   tsp lemon juice
1   tsp Dijon mustard
1   tsp soy sauce
34   tsp garlic powder
12   tsp onion powder
12   tsp paprika
12   tsp sea salt
Put the potatoes and carrots in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender. Most potatoes will be done in 10-20 minutes. (If you’re making mac & cheese, cook your pasta at the same time!)
Drain potatoes and carrots, place in your blender and add remaining ingredients and secure lid.
Blend on a Medium speed for 25 seconds.
Serve immediately.
Servings 6.0
Serving Size 4 oz.:  Sodium 290 mg, Carbohydrates 13 g, Calories 120, Fiber 2 g, Fat 7 g, Sugar 2 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Protein 1 g, Cholesterol 0 mg
120 Calories 20:25m
Add ½ – 1 tsp apple cider vinegar if you want a tangier flavor
Gin’s favorite. Another potato and carrot recipe but does that look like cheddar cheese sauce?  It is making me hungry!  Check out some of her other recipes:
Prep time:  5 mins     Cook time:  20 mins      Total time:  25 mins
This recipe is thick, creamy and has the tangy cheddar flavor.
2 c peeled, cubed potato
1 carrot, chopped
Water for boiling
4 Tbsp. olive oil
½ c unsweetened almond milk
3 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp smoked or regular paprika
4 tsp mustard (Dijon or brown work well)
1 tsp lower sodium soy sauce or tamari
Combine the potato and carrot in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until fork-tender. Drain and transfer to a food processor or power blender.
Add all the other ingredients to the food processor and process for about 2 minutes, or until totally smooth.
Serve over veggies, potatoes, rice or pasta for a healthy meatless meal!
Serves: about 3½ cups
I hope you find your favorite.  Let me know!   I’m so hungry after writing all of this that I am going to go raid my frig with all of those vegan cheese sauces in it.  I can’t wait because we are all about…
Good Eating,
Sandi Sabel
Terra Verde Foods

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