Vegan Sour Cream, Queso and Nacho Heaven

Hello there. Ha ha! — look at me. I am going from sweet to savoury. And how savoury it is.

I don’t miss dairy. Can’t really remember it now.  But I am nuts about nut cheeses. Who knows how close to the real thing they are. That I can’t tell you. Think I was 12 or 13 last time I had it.

But I am darn sure that I am particularly nuts about this cashew based sour cream from Oh She Glows. We put it on our nachos made with plant based cheese using eggplant. No kidding. That’s coming up in a few minutes. It’s by Dana at Minimalist Baker. One of my heroes.

First up though. Here’s another hero. This recipe from Oh She Glows is oh so delicious.

:: Cashew Sour Cream

Angela Liddon states:

“Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, no bake/raw, oil-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free.

Rich and tangy, this vegan sour cream is the perfect complement to My Favourite Vegan Chili or any Mexican entrée. Be sure to soak the cashews (either overnight or using my quick-soak method) before you begin.”

1 1/2 cups (225 g) raw cashews, soaked
3/4 cup (180 mL) water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Scant 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Place cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Soak overnight or for 8 hours if you have the time. For a quick-soak method, pour boiling water over the cashews and soak for 1 hour. Rinse and drain.
Place the drained cashews in a high-speed blender.
Add the water, lemon, vinegar, and salt. Blend on high until super smooth. You might have to stop to scrape down the blender now and then or add a touch more water to get it going.
Transfer into a small, air-tight container and chill in the fridge. It makes 2 cups. The cream will thicken up as it chills. The cream will keep in the fridge for about 1 week. You can also freeze it for up to 1 month. I like to freeze it in silicone mini muffin cups. Once solid, transfer the cups into a freezer-safe zip bag for easy grab and go portions.

Next up . . .

:: Make the Queso

My husband, who is not vegan, could care less about cheese. He doesn’t put it on anything. Totally weird right? That’s not human.

My daughter is not crazy about cheesy things. Only wants it occasionally. Gets it from her father. But when I want it, I want it. Because I love nachos for all the stuff that goes on them, not so much for the cheese. Until now.

All three of us LOVE this queso, and LOVE these nachos. We eat them a three or four times each month, especially in the summer. They are a great hit for pajama parties for the kids too. With root beer floats later on. Ka-pow!

The recipe for the vegan queso comes from Dana at Minimalist Baker. Here we go!

:: Make the Cashew-Less Vegan Queso

Standard drill on this. I will list the ingredients so you can get an idea if you will like it, how much you will need to shop for, and then send you over to her site for the how to.

First off, Dana writes:

“Once I discovered the secret to Cashew-Less Vegan Queso, I wanted to put it on everything within reach; starting with nachos, of course.”

Once you conquer her queso, you can build something as amazing as what’s coming up. It is the awesome-est, taste bud heavenli-est thing ever. Ingredients list on the other side of the nacho image. Look!

Click image to visit Minimalist Baker for her "to live for" vegan queso. The rest is easy. Once you've got that you can build this.
Click image to visit Minimalist Baker for her “to live for” vegan queso recipe. The rest is easy. Once you’ve got that you can build the above, any way you like it.

Here we go with the ingredients for the queso . . . see what you think.

Ingredients (US Customary – Metric)

7-9 rounds of eggplant (sliced 1/4-inch thick // half of a medium eggplant yields 7-9 rounds)
Olive oil
Sea salt
1 1/2 – 2 cups unsweetened original almond milk
2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast (see instructions)
1/4 tsp finely minced fresh garlic (I used crushed garlic from Trader Joe’s)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cornstarch (optional for thickening // sub another thickener if desired)
1/4 cup chunky medium salsa (slightly drained // OR 1/4 10-ounce can of Rotel original diced tomatoes and green chilies)
Smoked paprika and hot sauce (optional // for added color and flavor upon serving)

Tip: Make sure you don’t grab “sweetened” almond milk by mistake, cause that will be a disaster for this recipe.

Go here to learn how to make the Queso. Yessssss! Reheats really well too — this gorgeous queso does.

:: Make the Best Damn Vegan Nachos

For that plate of nacho heaven like you saw above, Dana advises:

“Once you have your chips on a serving plate, you just need to heat up your beans, queso and mash your guacamole and go to town.”

My gang favor pinto beans over black beans, so I cook a pot of them, then add whatever seasoning I have on hand, and mash them. I have used canned too, which works fine.

Drop delicious spoonfuls of warm mashed beans over the chips. Smother in queso. Add chopped red onions and salsa. Add more queso. Sprinkle with cilantro. Did I mention lettuce? If we’ve got some in the fridge, I chop it up too. Have I said guacamole yet? I have now!

Oh, yeah. How about a big dollop of sour cream to top it all off.

My mouth is watering. How about  yours?

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