Keepin it Real – Fake Nacho Cheese

Hi lovers! (Unless you’re a man)

It has been a great time of recovering from the Holidays and mourning the loss of the amazing 2012 we had: Marriage, new home, new jobs, new niece, 1st every holiday there is being married. So much to be thankful for.

Rich & I are even creeping up on our 1st wedding anniversary! Eeek! I know its a great thing to be married a long time and all, but I do long for the days of the “Oh, us? We’ve been married for 3 months”. Sigh. But there are new and great things ahead and like Rich reminded me the other evening as I had my glass half empty moment, “Babe, let’s be newlyweds every year!”. I am Eeyore. He is my Poo. (There is probably a more appropriate metaphor for that statement…)

It joys me to say that in 2013 we are not just starting resolutions, we are actually continuing them! SO much easier! I’ve recently taken up running and even bought some new running shoes to remind me that I am committed to this thing! Started off the beginning of January by running 3 miles with a friend, a 5k! Just as, ya know, something to pass the time 😉

With this new commitment to exercise it is even more important to me that we keep our standards when it comes to creating healthy, wholesome food around here. I told Rich,

“Babe, I want to make sure we eat healthy this year”

You should have seen the confusion. This poor guy has been munching on kale, quinoa and organic oatmeal for the past year.

What I meant was , I want to take it to the next level. Pushing the boundaries of things we just accept and buy because we think we can’t make it ourselves. Ha! I laugh at that challenge.

I’ve decided there is one phrase that sums up how we will approach this good challenge: Keep it real.

Hilary that’s so 90’s of you. I know.  What I mean is, there is so much to keep up on when it comes to healthful diets. Whole wheat, dairy free, gluten free, free range, organic, no soy, the list goes on. So when in doubt, just keep it real. If God didn’t grow it, don’t eat it!

I hope you’ll take this challenge with me. And let me gain your trust by letting you know that, in my heart of hearts I want nothing more than to be eating a Beefy Crunch Burrito from Taco Bell© right now. Because that’s how much I love food. Except that’s not really food. That’s why I stick to eating them in my imagination now. (Except for the time that I made them homemade and they were still so not nutritious, but better than from the chain 😉

This “Keep it real” mentality has led me on crazy adventures recently. Like, ready for it? Homemade nacho cheese that is so healthful. Ill give you a moment.

No joke. Husband approved. CASHEW based, nacho “cheese”. *Disclaimer. This is not going to satisfy your craving for Velveeta. If you crave Velveeta we have a bigger issues on our hands. This is a new and improved “cheese” that will curve your craving for the good stuff. Don’t cry when it doesn’t taste EXACTLY like it came from a jar. This is part of your “Keep it real” journey. Adapting your taste buds to real food. I digress and I mourn the chemically derived orange sauce with you.*

So here it goes:

Inspiration: Fitness, dignity, keepin it real, passion for nacho cheese

Cost: All of the ingredients below were used so many times I’m guessing I spent about $1.50 making this cheese per serving. Even including the raw cashews I bought from Trader Joes. 1 bag of cashews lasted me for about 3 nacho cheese recipes and some snackage on the side 🙂

Ingredients:

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1. Cashews – 1 cup (Some recipes say to soak for at least an hr. I’ve done it soaked and not soaked and can’t really tell a difference. But soak if you’re feeling productive)

2. Nutritional Yeast – 1/3- 1/2 cup

3. Water – 2 cups

4. Pimentos, or chiles (or salsa)

5. Chile powder, garlic salt, garlic powder, cumin (All to taste, but more chile powder than all cause I like it spicy)

Here’s the deal. Cashews make your cheese creamy. The yeast makes it cheesy. The water makes it liquidy. The spices and chiles make is spicy. You can add more or less as you go along depending on your preferences. The measurements above are what worked for Rich and I and lasted for about 3 nights of nacho cheese usage!  (But I would call it quits after one overnight use. It’s just not the same after that).

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P.s. This is what nutritional yeast looks like. This is what will create our “cheese” flavor. My best guess says you do not have this on hand. I bought it for $6 or so at our local nutrition store. May seem a bit pricey but its lasted me for a good run an even contains some great nutrients like B-Vitamins and zinc (to name a few). Find out more here: Fat Free Vegan Blog

Recipe: 

1. Blend all ingredients in a loud appliance:

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2. Transfer mixture to the stove for heating. Heat on low and stir slowly! If you go too high and let it sit it clumps together. Ewwy. We don’t want this to be your first experience with healthful nacho cheese.

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3. Taste test and add whatever spices you think best. Once hot its ready!

Finale:

Mmm…. Sometimes I add my “cheese” over some cheese. Just cause I’m a rebel and don’t have self control.

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Then you add all your glorious nacho toppings and even some organic ground beef to keep the vegans confused.  Drool.

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Like I said, this is not ball park nacho cheese, but let me tell you, it does the trick! Rich and I are so satisfied with our healthy jumbo nachos or burritos. It is also GREAT over roasted red potatoes!

So go ahead, indulge on your guilty pleasures by Keeping it Real. Let me know what YOU make and how you keep it healthy at home!

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9 thoughts on “Keepin it Real – Fake Nacho Cheese

  1. I really want to enjoy this, but nacho cheese is already fake to me. So fake fake nacho cheese scares me a ton. Velveeta, tasty but so so bad…

    • Oh Christina thank you for mentioning that! I am going to edit the post. I’ve done it with them soaked and not soaked and I couldn’t tell the difference! But most recipes say to soak them for creaminess.

  2. YUM! I want it right. Now. I was just thinking about it yesterday and hoping you would write this soon. Yay for you!

  3. I’m so excited to try this new receipe! I’m on the Daniel fast and I’m thinking this may still qualify 🙂 Thanks!

  4. Can’t wait to try this, Hil! And i discovered that they carry nutritional yeast in bulk at winco….one of my favorite finds 🙂

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