September 8, 2009

Raw Nacho Cheese

As I play around with raw food more and more, I am consistently delighted to find that I can easily still enjoy all of my favorite flavors in some permutation or another. I've sifted through dozens of raw recipes and tried a variety of dressings, vegetable combos and meal formats, and I don't see myself getting bored any time soon!

Knowing my own tastes, however, has given me the courage to occasionally ditch the recipes and start playing with ingredients I knew and loved prior to incorporating more raw into my diet. Namely, Mexican food has lent itself to my creations quite nicely, and it is on that note that I give you what I consider to be hands-down the best recipe to come from my experimentation yet. It is, indeed, Raw Nacho Cheese! A nut pate with flavor to spare and countless opportunities for consumption.

Observe me enjoying Raw Nacho Cheese in all the usual Mexican ways:

Tacos! (Raw-cos)

Not the most photogenic of meals, but I was low on groceries the day I made the cheese, so I simply spread it inside romaine "taco shells." If I'd had time to shop, I might have sprinkled on some bell peppers, tomatoes or other supplemental produce what for prettifying the plate a bit.

How about some burritos? No problem. Get yourself some collards...

Stuff 'em with the Raw Nacho Cheese and other fixins (I had red bell peppers and cilantro in mine), roll 'em up and serve with a gigantor salad for a meal that looks disproportionately pretty in comparison to the time it took you to assemble it.

This senorita made her salad with romaine, dulse, raisins, pumpkin seeds and balsamic vinaigrette.

But let's see those burritos again...

And again...

Ok, I will leave the burritos alone now in favor of the grand finale, because at the end of the day, there really is no better use for Raw Nacho Cheese than as the star of Raw-chos!

I was inspired by Gena's pizzettes to make a Mexican version, and I do believe this was my favorite way to enjoy the Raw-cho Nacho Cheese.

The "tortilla chips" were cucumber slices, each of which I topped with about a teaspoon of "cheese" and half a grape tomato. I sprinkled fresh cilantro over the whole plate because I wasn't quite patient enough to insert a sprig into each raw-cho's filling. You understand.

Lest I go hungry (ha!) in the face of all that nacho nummyness, I also prepared a salad fiesta.

Romaine tossed with cold-pressed EVOO (so good), lemon juice, S&P; topped with tomatoes, red bell pepper, dulse, raisins and pumpkin seeds.

This was, in fact, my dinner this very evening, and after three meals starring Raw Nacho Cheese, I still have more to use! The recipe generates a mighty generous quantity. Fine by me! I don't think I could get sick of it if I tried!

So where's the recipe already? Without further ado:

Raw-cho Nacho Cheese
  • 1 cup soaked almonds or cashews (I actually used the pulp from making almond milk)
  • 4 sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lemon & 1/2 lime
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp miso
If starting with whole nuts, soak them for at least an hour or two first, then put them in the food processor on their own and blend until they are ground well.

Otherwise, everything goes in the food processor at once! Pause processing to scrape down the sides every so often so all the ingredients are well incorporated. After several minutes in the food processor, your cheese should be sufficiently nut pate-ified and ready to do a Mexican hat dance onto whatever you choose as the delivery method to your boca.

I do hope you consider giving this recipe a try--I hereby declare it enjoyable for all foodies, even the raw-skeptical (I mean, you could just put it in a real tortilla!).

In other news, I won Miss Katie's Upwelling giveaway recently and my prize arrived today!

I'm the proud new owner of The Upwelling's new album and happily munching away on (vegan and gluten free!) Double Chocolate Mocha Biscotti.

It goes smashingly with peppermint tea and balmy butter-stuffed dates. :)

I'm already listening to the CD for the second time tonight! Trust me, you need this album.

Off to whisper sweet nothings to my food processor--she has served me so very well in her short time with me thus far...


VeggieGirl said...

Love your nacho cheese recipe; but I'm too fixated on the dulse (a daily staple of mine) right now, haha ;)


Gina said...

LOVE the nachos!! How clever. I bet they tasted amazing, with all those wonderful ingredients.

Anonymous said...

that nacho looks delicious! I need to make it! :)

Anonymous said...

OOH, that "cheese" looks great! I have to admit, I am sosososo jealous of your food processor.

Glad you got the package! I didn't know how it would fare in the labor day mail rush...

Hope to see you soon!

ari said...

I'm goona make my lady make those cheezy nachos they look delish. Hope our cd provides a nice soundtrack for some of your future masterpieces. Rock on!

BroccoliHut said...

Wow, love your raw nacho idea! You can come cook for me anytime;)

Devan Geselle. N said...

i am making EVERYTHING you just posted here
and i have all the indredients to boot!!
..well.. could I use raw almond butter vrs. almonds? i dont see why not..

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said...

Nice work Miss S & C! Nacho cheese...very crafty. I love it in the collards. Very pretty and looks like you really labored for a long time at it. And of course barney buttah medjools. There is a god, after all :)

Hayley said...

Excellent!! I have come to love nut cheese so I can't wait to try nacho cheese. Why is it that I can never get my collard "burritos" to look as pretty as yours and Gena's? What am I missing?

GF Gidget said...

Thank you so much! Another use for my almond pulp! I can't wait until next week when I make another batch of almond milk!

Diana said...

Devan -

Hmm, using almond butter as the base might make for an interesting alternative, but fair warning: I don't think it'll come out quite the same as mine! It'll be thinner, that much is for sure. Let me know how it goes if you try it.

Hayley -

For collard wraps, it's definitely key to slice off as much thickness from the stem as possible so the leaf is more flexible to fold. They also stay together better when you make sure not to stuff with more filling than it can handle. Other than that, just fold the leaf onto the filling from the top and bottom, then roll from one side to the other! You should be good to go that way. :)

brandi said...

that nacho cheese sounds awesome! i love the raw nachos :)

K from ksgoodeats said...

After the ode to the cheese, I want to try it!! I love that CD!!

Hayley said...

Thanks Diana! Next time I'm going to try cutting off more of the stalk. I'll also check out Gena's tutorial again - that should help too. :)

Emma said...

Those burriots look great! I wish my apartment had a blender. Sigh. I'm in Ireland, and I shouldn't really buy a blender only for 3 months. I would love to try this though!

Jenny said...

I am still in awe of how you can "rawify" so many great recipes! you are such a whizz!

Erica said...

SO creative! I love the nachos best :) I have never tried making anything like this but would lurve to! I need to pick up some almonds.

Glad to hear I'm not the only one who has trouble getting enough sleepies!!

Cheddar Cheese said...

Amazing! The Nachos looked simply astonishing.

The Healthy Apple said...

Love love love your nacho are so talented and it looks beautiful! I love making wraps with the raw nacho cheese....
Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

That looks wonderful :) I just wrote down the recipe and am planning lots of ways to use it next week!