Cook Once, Eat Twice: VEGAN CHEESE SAUCE

Click here to download the vegan-cheese-sauce-recipe-pdf

I was given the idea to start a series on the blog called “Cook Once, Eat Twice”, which is a way to cut down on your time in the kitchen, and ensure that you have wholesome, homemade food on hand whenever you get hangry or don’t have time to make lunch for the next day. The best part about Cook Once, Eat Twice though, is that you have the opportunity to transform your leftovers into a completely different meal. This concept was taught to me by my mother, who taught me the benefits of cutting down on time, money, and food waste.

This week, I decided to make a vegan cheese sauce for macaroni and cheese, as I am experimenting with vegan cuisine. This cheese sauce is great for vegans (and non-vegans!) since it is nut based and contains nutritional yeast. The cashew base adds protein and healthy fats to the sauce, and the nutritional yeast is a great source of vitamin B12 for vegans while adding a familiar cheese flavour. The sauce can also be very versatile, acting as a great base for different seasonings and a great addition to several meals. The following are just a few dishes that I have tried with the vegan cheese sauce, as well as the base recipe for you to diversify at your own whim.

Vegan Cheese Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups cashews (soaked overnight, drained & rinsed)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup water (or plant-based milk)
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tbsp vegan margarine (or olive oil)
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste (you can also add other seasonings at this point, such as paprika, chili powder, nutmeg, oregano, or onion powder; depending on what type of cheese sauce you’re hoping to resemble)
  1. Put everything into a food processor and blend
  2. You can also add Daiya vegan cheese shreds after blending to add cheesy stretchiness to the mixture
  3. Store in a container with a lid in the fridge until ready to use


Vegan Macaroni and Cheese

  • Favourite pasta (whole wheat, quinoa, brown rice)
  • Seasoned bread crumbs (store-bought, or I used my sprouted flax bread and put it in a blender with oregano and seasoning salt)
  • Nutritional yeast
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C)
  2. Cook pasta according to directions, undercooking by a munite or two (since it will be going into the oven), and making enough pasta to fill the baking pan that you will be using
  3. Mix pasta with enough of the “cheese” sauce to cover it to your liking
  4. Spray pan with non-stick spray (I used coconut oil PAM)
  5. Spread sauced pasta evenly in pan
  6. Sprinkle bread crumbs and nutritional yeast over pasta, and drizzle with olive oil to give the dish a nice crust
  7. Bake for 30 minutes; allow to cool slightly, serve with a side salad and enjoy!

I don’t use all of the vegan cheese sauce for the macaroni and cheese, so I store it in a container overnight to use for another recipe (or more mac & cheese) within the next few days.


Vegan Nachos

  • Multigrain tortilla chips
  • Red peppers, diced
  • Red onions, diced
  • Black beans (drained, rinsed and [optional] smashed)
  • Guacamole
    • 1 avocado
    • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
    • salt & pepper to taste
    • squeeze of lemon juice
    • tomatoes, diced
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175-180°C)
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil to make clean up easier
  3. Spread tortilla chips evenly on tray, and sprinkle peppers, onions and black beans over chips
  4. Pour vegan cheese sauce over chips and toppings
  5. Place into the oven for 5 minutes
  6. While the chips and sauce are getting nice and hot, make your guacamole; mash avocado in a bowl with garlic, salt, pepper and lemon juice. When the avocado is at the desired consistency, mix in diced tomatoes
  7. Take nachos out of the oven and enjoy with the guacamole!

You can also just heat up the sauce on the stove in a small sauce pan, and then use it as a queso dip along with the guacamole.


Potato Croquettes

  • Left-over mashed potatoes
  • Vegan shredded cheese (I used Daiya mozzarella style shreds)
  • Flour
  • Seasoned breadcrumbs (I used the leftover breadcrumbs I made for the mac & cheese)
  • Vegan margarine and/or olive oil, for frying
  1. Mix mashed potatoes with vegan shredded cheese
  2. Assemble a breading station by putting flour on a plate, then the cheese sauce in a bowl (which will act as the egg/binder) and a plate of breadcrumbs
  3. Form mashed cheesy potato mixture into balls, then roll in flour, then cheese sauce and then breadcrumbs to create the breaded coating
  4. Fry coated potato balls/patties in vegetable oil over medium heat, turning until all sides are golden brown (it doesn’t matter what shape it turns out to be, it always tastes good)
  5. Place on a plate covered with paper towel (to catch any excess oil)
  6. Enjoy as a side with veggies and your vegan protein!

Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce

  • Cauliflower, rinsed and cut into chunks
  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add cauliflower
  2. Turn heat to medium and cook until it reaches your preferred tenderness, which could be 5-15 minutes (check with a fork; the tenderness will depend on the size you cut the cauliflower and how soft you prefer it, so make sure you’re checking for doneness)
  3. While cauliflower is cooking, warm the vegan cheese sauce in a small sauce pan
  4. When cauliflower is done, drain and place in a serving dish
  5. Either pour the cheese sauce right over the cauliflower and serve, or pour sauce into a gravy boat for guests to pour over cauliflower themselves, and enjoy!

6 thoughts on “Cook Once, Eat Twice: VEGAN CHEESE SAUCE

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s