Friday, October 30, 2009

Nacho Cheese with Cashews

(pictured: 1 potato, 3 cups of broccoli, 1 cup nacho sauce with 1/2 avocado and a few pumpkin seeds)

After getting a little over four hours of sleep last night I ran out of steam early this afternoon so that I didn’t get to cross everything off my to-do list. When it was time to make dinner I wanted something fast and easy. This normally means what can I pop in the microwave, which is part of what I made tonight. For dinner tonight we had potatoes topped with broccoli and nacho cheese sauce topped with avocado and pumpkin seeds. Start to finish dinner was ready in about 15 minutes because I used the microwave for both the potatoes and frozen broccoli florets. Here is the sauce I made.

Nacho Cheese with Cashews
Makes a little over 4 cups


½ cup leek, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
¼ cup water to water sauce the aromatics above
¼ cup nutritional yeast
¼ cup whole-wheat flour
¼ cup raw cashews
1 ¾ cups water
½ tablespoon onion flakes
¼ teaspoon turmeric
dash of cayenne
¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
¼ teaspoon cumin seed
14 ounce can diced tomatoes
½ tablespoon hot crushed peppers (wet hots)
kosher salt to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste


Water sauté the leek and garlic until soft.

Combine the nutritional yeast, flour, cashews, water, onion flakes, turmeric, cayenne, and cumin in the blender. Puree until smooth. Pour the wet mixture into the saucepan with the leeks and garlic and add the diced tomatoes, and hot crushed peppers and cook a few minutes until the mixture thickens.

Taste the sauce and adjust the salt and pepper level to your tastes.

Nutritional Information (for ¼ of the recipe):

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 125.83
Calories From Fat (28%) - 35.7

Total Fat - 3.08g
Saturated Fat - 0.54g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 84.89mg
Potassium - 359.49mg
Total Carbohydrates - 14.41g
Fiber - 2.79g
Sugar - 3.73g
Protein - 3.44g


I don’t know if we have just been away from cheese so long that I have forgotten what it tastes like, but this really reminds me of cheese sauce. Additionally the percentage of calories from fat is so much lower than a traditional cheese sauce. This worked really well on baked potatoes, and broccoli. I added the avocado and pumpkin seeds on top the dish because both of those remind me of Tex-Mex food. Overall I was very happy with this quick meal. I need to remember this the next time I need food fast and don’t have anything in the freezer.

I am going to bed early tonight to catch up on my lost sleep. Tomorrow I will be making more seitan for the freezer. I try to stock up on seitan in the freezer to make it easier to make meals during the week.


  1. Oh, that looks fantastic!!! It does sound quick and easy to make which is my kind of food. I'm not a BIG fan of cheese so I've never liked Nacho cheese but your version is really calling my name. I love that you topped with avocado and pumpkin seeds, YUM! I can't wait to make this recipe for my son because he's a cheese lover, I want to know how he likes it (just skip the crushed peppers).
    p.s. Where do you buy your nutritional yeast? I've never tried this stuff before. Thanks, Alicia.

  2. Oraphan,

    I used to buy my nutritional yeast at the grocery store (Wegman's) or the healthfod store from the bulk section. Just recently we started to order it from Amazon grocery. I need to check the order to confirm which brand I bought. I think it was Red Star. I will get back to you on that tomorrow morning after I confirm.


  3. Oraphan,

    The brand of nutritional yeast I just ordered from Amazon was Bob's Red Mill. We have had a few different brands and they all taste pretty much the same to me so I don't think there is a lot of difference. When we first started using nutritional yeast it tasted strong. Now the flavor seems more mild to me. Nutritional yeast has an umami that is similar to cheese. If you have any other questions please let me know.


  4. Yum, this looks like such a tasty combination. Avocado is so satisfying.

  5. Rose,

    I guess this was a marriage of a potato stuffed with broccoli meets nachos, minus the chips. I really wanted the chips but know they aren't the most healthy for us so this was my compromise. I love avocado and the hubby isn't thrilled with them so I need to include them in food, he won't touch them straight.


  6. Hi Alicia,

    Me again, just wanted to let you know that I didn't know that you've already given me the website for nutritional yeast. I hope you don't mind that I asked you again. I'll try to find it from local market first, if not I'll order online. I think I might need them, thanks again:)

  7. Oraphan,

    I put the link to the yeast in after you asked so you could see the brand and what it looks like since the bag is clear. I think they all taste similar. At both our healthfood store and Wegman's they sell it in bulk so you can just buy a little to try. I would recommend you do that to make certain you like it before purchasing a large amount.

    talk to you later,

  8. Shenandoah,

    The hubby has been spoiled for a long time now. We have many friends that don't cook at all (and I mean that literally). The hubby always marvels at the concept that that guys he knows don't get home cooked meals. See what I mean, he thinks everyone eats like he does or should. To be fair he does spoil me too, just in other ways.


  9. I hope so. If you ever open a carry-out window, let me know;-)

  10. Shenandoah,

    That is very sweet of you. Thanks! :)



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