When I was a kid, I would almost throw a fit if we were eating Tex-Mex and there was not a bowl of steaming hot queso on the table. I mean, it was a moral imperative! It served as both appetizer and condiment. And it made everything in the world seem right. Comfort food at its finest.
Now that I’m older and eat plant based, I needed a worthy stand in for the dairy laden queso of my childhood dreams. When it was still open, Radical Eats in Houston used to have a pretty good vegan version. Much to my dismay they closed and I was left to my fend for myself. Though I’ve wanted to create my own version at home for quite some time, it kept getting pushed aside because I was a little afraid of it to be honest. What if I failed miserably and was left with an even bigger vegan queso void in my heart? It’s sort of like when you’re craving curry, and you make said curry, but it’s mediocre and only increases your craving rather than quell it. Well I’m happy to report that didn’t happen this time. QUESO CRAVING SATISFIED!
In honor of Friday and the wide open weekend, I’m posting not only this magical vegan green chile queso, but 10 drool-worthy spring recipes in case you are looking for inspiration for your holiday get-togethers. There’s plenty of springy goodness in this list that will help you use up those finds from the farmers market or your CSA share. Happy weekending lovely friends!
Vegan Green Chile Queso
notes: You can use hot or mild green chiles depending on what level of spice you like. Or, you can add in heat with a few dashes of hot sauce. If you prefer jalapenos to green chiles and want more of an authentic queso, feel free to use pickled jalapenos instead.
1 cup raw cashews
1/4 tsp granulated garlic/garlic powder
1 tbsp mellow miso (I use chickpea miso)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
juice of 1/2 a lemon
scant 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, plus more for garnish
1 tsp juice from the green chiles
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp plain/white vinegar
pinch of sea salt
hot sauce as needed (optional)
1/2 cup warm water, plus more as needed to thin
3 tbsp canned green chiles (I like using Hatch chiles)
Place the cashews in a large bowl and cover them with boiling water. Allow them to soak for about 30 minutes. Drain and rinse the cashews, then add them to a blender along with all of the ingredients except for the green chiles. Blend this mixture until it is smooth. Add the queso mixture to a pan with the green chiles and heat it gently over low heat, stirring constantly. If it thickens too much for your liking, add water as needed. Serve the queso warm with a sprinkle of smoked paprika. Makes about 1 1/2 cups of queso.
10 Drool-Worthy Spring Recipes