Cheez-less Queso

Cheez-less Queso  (DF, GF, EG, V) 

Whether you are dairy intolerant or a plant based eater, this "queso" will satisfy anyone's desire for a creamy cheese dip! Serve with chips as a dip or top your lettuce wrap tacos with some of this goodness.

P.S. eggplant is your new BFF!

 

Ingredients

  • 8-10 rounds of eggplant, sliced 1/4-inch thick (1-2 eggplant)
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups unsweetened plant milk (almond, coconut, Ripple)
  • 2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast (see instructions)
  • 1/4 tsp finely minced garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cornstarch (optional for thickening)
  • 1/4 cup chunky medium salsa, slightly drained 

Optional: Smoked paprika and hot sauce for added flavor.

My favorite additions are Cholula hot sauce and Tabasco Jalapeño sauce for extra tang!

 

Instructions

Slice your eggplant into thin rounds. Then sprinkle both sides of the flesh with a little sea salt and arrange on paper towels to help draw out some of the moisture and bitterness. Let set for 10-15 minutes. Then rinse with cool water and thoroughly pat dry with clean paper towels.

Preheat oven to high broil. Arrange the dried eggplant rounds on a baking sheet lightly spritzed with non-stick spray and drizzle both sides of the eggplant with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with a very small amount of salt.

Broil on high on top rack for 4-5 minutes on each side, watching carefully to not let them burn. Flip at the halfway point to ensure even cooking. Once the eggplant appears tender and both sides have golden brown color, remove from the oven.

After a few minutes, peel the eggplant skin off. It will be almost 2 cups depending on size of eggplant.

Place eggplant in a blender with the 1.5 cups (to start) milk of choic, 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast, minced garlic, cumin, chili powder, salsa, hot sauce and cornstarch and blend on high until smooth and creamy.

Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. I added more sea salt and a little more nutritional yeast. 

Transfer to a small saucepan and warm over medium heat until slightly thickened – about 5 minutes. Thickening will happen over time on the stove. 

Serve with chips, crackers or veggies. Keep warm in a mini crockpot

Alexa Schmidtvegan, queso, dip, sauce