There’s a vegan restaurant not far away from where I live that serves some pretty wicked jackfruit nachos on Fridays only. For months if not years, Sis and I have been meaning to recreate the nachos at home. Because we have been eating lots of pasta recently, Sis said she wanted to try a vegan mac and cheese recipe. I didn’t realize when I agreed to give one a try that the sauce would double as a vegan cheese sauce, nor did I realize I would have so much sauce leftover we could make the nachos we had been wanting to make for so long.
This recipe is modeled after the Love and Lemons recipe for Vegan Cheese. I had to modify it a bit because I used the entire potato instead of measuring it. Originally I figured I probably had close to 1 cup of potato each. But after having to adjust the recipe considerably, I’m thinking I probably had significantly more.
For me this sauce didn’t really come together until I mixed it with the noodles and some pasta water. I was actually quite frustrated with it because I felt like it didn’t taste at all like cheese. This is when I began adding more nutritional yeast and got the idea to add some cayenne pepper and ground mustard powder. And only when I tried the sauce with the noodles did I realize it actually tasted quite good.
With so much sauce leftover, I decided to thin it down a bit using more pasta water and try it with some tortilla chips. Immediately Sis and I knew we had a winner and knew that we could finally make the vegan nachos we have been craving.
- 1 extra large Yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 1 sweet potato (about the same size as the Yukon gold potato), peeled and cut into large chunks
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- ½ c. raw cashews, soaked in enough warm water to cover the cashews
- 1 T. apple cider vinegar
- ¼ to ½ c. nutritional yeast
- ½ to 1 tsp. onion powder
- ½ to 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- pinch of ground mustard (optional–good for Mac and Cheez sauce)
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ to ½ c. extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ to ½ c. water
- Place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Add a few pinches of salt. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, until fork-tender, 8 to 12 minutes. The potato chunks should easily fall off the fork when you poke them with a fork and hold the fork right-side up over the pot.
- Drain and transfer to a high-speed blender with the garlic, cashews and water, apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt, olive oil, and water. Blend until smooth. Adjust the seasoning by adding more nutritional yeast and/or cayenne pepper. Adjust the texture by adding more olive oil or water. If you’re making pasta right along with the sauce to make Mac and Cheez, you can use the pasta water to thin the sauce out a bit.
- Serve with tortilla chips for dipping, over pasta to make vegan mac & cheese or use it to make vegan nachos.