More cauliflower? YES!! Because its still the Year of the Cauliflower (all year long!), and I had a serious cheeze craving. And who doesn't love a good batch of vegan nachos, anyway? This deliciously cheezy sauce started as an attempt to use up the rest of the cauliflower left over after the Kung Pao Cauliflower recipe and turned into 2 more heads of cauliflower worth of recipe testing, but I am SO EXCITED to share this one with you. In my (clearly humble) opinion, this is the BEST knock-off queso I have EVER eaten. Its spicy, full of flavor, and tastes like the real thing! Its even mimics the texture almost exactly, without any weird stabilizers. Plus, its a nacho topper you can feel pretty good about, being that its made from cauliflower. But trust me, if you don't tell anyone, they would never know. Top it with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes or cilantro and serve on homemade nachos, burritos, and enchiladas. Its great warmed up but pretty darn good straight out of the fridge, too!
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 heaping cups cauliflower florets (about 1/2 head of cauliflower)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1-12 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon white miso (or any color, but I prefer the tanginess of a lighter, sweeter miso)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a medium sized frying pan, begin to melt the tablespoon of coconut oil. Add in the cauliflower, garlic, and chopped onions. Cover and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally and cook until onions turn glassy and cauliflower begins to brown, about 8-12 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to slightly cool.
While the veggies are cooling, pull out a high speed blender or food processor (we used our Vitamix), and toss in all the other ingredients- from the roasted red peppers to the salt. Mix them on high for about a minute, just combining them. Add in slightly cooled veggies and blend or process on high for 20 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on the strength of your machine. You want everything to be completely blended, so you're left with a pourable, dippable queso cheeze. Once finished, move the queso to a bowl and serve with chips or over your favorite Mexican dishes.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks, or freeze. To reheat, pour into a saucepan and cook on low, stirring frequently, until heated through. Makes 4(ish) cups.