So it’s that weird time of the year between Christmas and New Year’s which feels like limbo. You just don’t feel motivated to do any work since next year is around the corner and is there really any point in putting yourself under pressure to achieve something while it’s still this year?
Besides, with my kids at home for the holidays, I find it hard to do anything other than look at my lovely Christmas gifts (I got a Tacopedia!) and eat various tasty treats. I didn’t do much cooking for Christmas this year other than assemble my annual trifle and prepare some easy eats for friends who visited us on Christmas Eve. For Christmas itself, our little family enjoyed a Chinese banquet at Silks.
In spite of not having much time pre-Christmas to play around in the kitchen, I’ve been fairly inspired to try some new recipes lately. One thing I really wanted to try was a vegan cheese (or cheeze) sauce made in the Thermomix.
I happened upon this curious, oxymoronic concoction by chance. I generally ignore most of the things shared on Facebook (sorry friends!) but one video caught my eye some time ago. The video whizzed through a recipe for vegan macaroni cheese which used a sauce based on boiled vegetables. Genius! But did it taste good?
I researched a number of recipes for a vegan cheese sauce (this one by Veggie On a Penny appears to be the recipe) and felt rather enthusiastic. I mentioned this miracle cheese sauce to my vegan colleague and he shook his head. He told me that his partner made it for him once. Being a relatively recent convert to veganism, he said the sauce left him horribly disappointed.
“It just isn’t cheese.”
I realised once again that for those born and/or raised vegan, if you don’t know what cheese tastes like, then a mystery blend of vegetables and seasoning is going to taste pretty good. For new vegans who still remember how awesome Brie is, this sauce runs a very distant second.
Undeterred, I made my vegan cheese sauce; determined to make a difference! I changed a few ingredients and tinkered with the method a bit to make sure it tasted as much like cheese as possible. I was pretty happy with the result although I think I know what else I might try next time.
The ultimate test was using the sauce on my decidedly non-vegan family. I made up a cauliflower cheese dish using the vegan cheese sauce. The kids didn’t really notice anything different to the usual white sauce I use, and my husband thought the dish as a whole tasted great, so who was he to complain about the lack of cheese? As my husband’s the one who needs a cheese alternative, this was a pretty cool discovery.
Since my family isn’t vegan, I will use a sprinkle of cheese and a dash of cream to prepare veges with this sauce, but to be honest, it was more than fine on its own. I think it could also be pretty good to use with pasta dishes such as lasagne.
Watch this space ;)
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced into chunks
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced into chunks
- 1 clove of garlic
- ½ white onion
- ⅓ cup of water
- ¼ cup of olive oil + extra tablespoon for sauteeing
- pinch of paprika (if desired)
- 2.5 tsp salt
- pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- ⅓ cup nutritional yeast flakes (or a touch more if you like the flavour)
- Prepare Thermomix bowl with enough water for steaming (usually 2 cups of water).
- Place potato and carrot chunks into the Thermomix steamer and steam on Varoma setting for 15 minutes or until tender. Set aside and dry out the Thermomix bowl.
- Blitz the garlic glove by dropping into Thermomix bowl while running at Speed 8. Add onion and blitz further for a few seconds. Scrape down.
- Add one tablespoon of olive oil to the bowl and sautee garlic and onion with 100C, Speed 1 for 5 minutes. Onion should be transparent.
- Add potato, carrot, water, olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, yeast flake and lemon juice in bowl. Blitz content for 30 seconds on Speed 10 until mixture is super smooth.
- Taste the sauce. If it lacks a 'bite', try adding another squeeze of lemon or ½ teaspoon of salt.
- Use sauce immediately or store in fridge for up to a week. You can warm this sauce up gently in the microwave.