Spicy Bacon Vegan Cheese Sauce (and it tastes like cheese!)

STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING! A miracle has occurred!

I found a VEGAN cheese sauce that I actually like! I can hear it now, “But Dotchi… Bacon and cheese isn’t vegan.”

I know! That’s why this recipe is so cool. It is vegan but it tastes like Bacon Cheddar spread you would buy for crackers, only it tastes better… and spicier. I should warn you: I like spices. You can adjust the intensity to your liking though.

First the recipe because it drives me nuts when I have to scroll through 40 pages of recipe tales to get to the actual recipe. I am adding links to the stuff I use. I get nothing for this (I wish) this is just to help new cooks and those unfamiliar with some of the ingredients.

Further down I will tell the story of how I got to this…

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Vegan mac and cheese

Spicy Bacon Vegan Cheese Sauce

Ingredients List in order of use (don’t judge it by the ingredients)

Step 1 ingredients

  • 2 cups Sweet Potatoes (the white ones, not yams) peeled and cubed
    • You could use regular russet, red, or golden potatoes.
  • 1 cup Carrot, peeled and cubed
  • Water for boiling

Step 2 Ingredients

  • 1/4 Cup Canola oil or Olive Oil
    • Honestly, you can use whatever oil you have on hand. Soy, Corn, flaxseed, avocado… As long as it is an edible oil and not automotive oil or snake oil.
  • 1/2 Cup So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer
    • You can use whatever creamer you like or use Almond or soy milk. I prefer the creamer because it’s thicker… and it’s what I had at the moment.
    • Water works too if you are out of creamer or milk. It just tastes like it’s missing something.
  • 1 TBSP Honey or, for the strict vegan, Agave Nectar or Bee Free Honee
    • I know some vegans who allow honey and others that do not. Depending on how it was… raised?
    • This is easier to get out of the spoon if you add it after the oil – slides right out. You’re welcome.
  • 1 tsp Salt (I use Pink Himalayan Salt)
  • 1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp Ground Chipotle or Paprika (I use chipotle for the spicy taste)
    • DO NOT spend that much on ground chipotle unless you have to. That is a ridiculous price! Hell, you can grind your own for cheaper than that!
    • Use less if you can’t handle spicy foods. Smoky paprika shouldn’t be spicy but will add a nice flavor to it.
  • 1/4 cup White Vinegar.
    • I use white vinegar because that’s what I have but you can use Apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, or anything else you like. It will taste a little different. I’ve been known to use any wine I have lying around *cough*.
  • 1/3 C Nutritional Yeast. This is NOT Brewer’s yeast or yeast in the little packets!

Step 1 of Spicy Bacon Vegan Cheese Sauce

  1. Put the potato pieces and carrot pieces in a pot with enough water for boiling.
  2. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat for about 20 minutes or until the food pieces are fork tender. Fork tender means it’s really super easy to stab it with a fork. 
  3. Once tender, drain the veggies and place them in a food processor (or blender. I’ve done both. Either works just fine)

Step 2 of Spicy Bacon Cheese Sauce

  1. Add all the other ingredients into the food processor or blender.
  2. Turn on your food processor or blender and run it until everything is blended and all smooth and creamy like.
  3. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides in between running it. Sometimes I do. Sometimes it cooperates.

It will look like this:

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Serve this over veggies, pasta, potatoes… I really loved it on broccoli!

How I discovered Spicy Bacon Vegan Cheese Sauce

Okay, now for the rambling chatty part.

My friend, Java, is allergic to milk and cheese. One of the things we’ve been trying to find is a cheese substitute. We ran into a few problems… 

1. Some “non-dairy” cheeses have casein, a milk derivative, in them.

  • To me, that is as stupid as putting peanut oil on cashews (even when they aren’t salted!) or putting soy lecithin in almond milk and then declaring it a safe alternative to soy (I think they all switched to sunflower lecithin – another allergen of mine but not as unreasonable as soy lecithin).

2. Daiya has xanthum gum, which isn’t very kind on the digestive system. And I didn’t really care for the taste. It’s been awhile and I haven’t retried it. It didn’t win me over though.

3. Some are impossible to find in the areas we live. I live in NW Montana and shop in Montana, Idaho, and Washington. Java lives on the east coast in a southern state.

4. We needed to avoid Cashew because of dietary restrictions on Java’s end plus, it’s impossible to find it not drenched in peanut oil. 

What we’ve tried…

I tried various alternatives I found, like a box of Macaroni and Chreese. It was gluten-free, dairy-free, and supposed to taste like regular macaroni and cheese. I know what regular macaroni and cheese tastes like. It wasn’t even in the same ball park. It was like macaroni and dirt vomit. 

I tried a few others and they just flat sucked. They didn’t even have a hint of cheese flavor. They either tasted like dirt, vomit, bitter lemons, or something like that. They just were not good.

We also tried whatever store brand we could actually eat. But none of them had a good flavor. 

Mouth feel – It’s not really a criteria, but it does help.

And I haven’t even touched on mouth feel yet! (<- Hahaha, see what I did there!)

I am not a huge “mouth feel” kind of person. I survived on puree mush for quite a while. If it just has the flavor I am mostly happy. Hell, I drank pizza that wasn’t too bad!

BUT, mouth feel does compliment or destroy a food. If it’s supposed to be “melty and delicious” but comes out tasting like ass and having the consistency of curdled milk… nope nope nope!

Alternatively, if it’s supposed to be like pancakes, soft and fluffy, but comes out kind of flat and dense but tastes pretty okay, I can handle that.

But it takes a LOT to make “mouth feel” make or break something for me.

SQUIRREL ALERT! 

A.D.D. is easy as 1-2- OH EM GEE! A SQUIRREL!
Hey Sparky!

My worst mouth-feel story was vegan chocolate pudding. It had maple syrup, avocado, and cocoa powder. I like maple syrup. I like avocados. I like chocolate. So I didn’t think it would be too bad. I thought it might taste a little weird with the avocado.

But, meh, I made it anyway. I have never gagged so hard on something before in my life. It coated my mouth with a goo that felt like snot, acted like glue, and clung to my uvula for dear life. Luckily, the stomach acid helped clean it off as it went rushing by. It was absolutely horrible! 

Vegan Cheese Google Search

The other day, I was surfing around Google looking for something not food related when I found this link… 

Life-Changing Vegan Cheese Sauce

It’s gluten-free. It’s vegan. It’s cheese-ish. It looks like cheese sauce. It’s freaking orange!

She created hers from another recipe. You can find it here. It’s a nut-free, yeast-free, dairy-free, vegan, cheese-like sauce.

I looked at both and noticed that I would not be eating those because they call for soy sauce or coconut aminos. I can’t have soy. The coconut aminos are too expensive for me. Also, I can’t have lemon or paprika. Almond milk is out for us but I could use coconut milk. I altered the recipes to suit my needs and started cooking.

I made the first batch with the substitutions and it was pretty okay. Was it cheese-like? No. Was it a good substitute? Yes. I think it was.

Sharing the cheesy joy – the substitutions

Then I wanted to make it and share it with my older son and that’s when I ran into problems. He can’t have garlic, onion, lemon, or mustard. Also, I can’t have paprika. So there went a lot of flavor.

I substituted paprika for chipotle because I didn’t have any cayenne or mild pepper. I felt ground jalapeno would be too much.  

I added honey instead of lemon (a common substitution for me) because vinegar went in for mustard. I figured the lemon was probably for smoothing out the taste which is why I picked honey and not lime juice (which I am out of).

I think the mustard added zing to it so when I substituted it to share I just added vinegar since mustard is just mustard seed ground and LOTS of vinegar.

I skipped substituting the garlic and onion since chipotle is so much stronger than paprika.

I used sweet potatoes because I don’t react to them like russet potatoes (which is a rather painful reaction I would like to avoid).

I tinkered with the recipe a couple of times. I tossed one batch because it was too… something. It just wasn’t tasty. FINALLY, I came up with the recipe you see above but not with as much nutritional yeast. 

I liked it okay but I decided to add just a LITTLE bit more nutritional yeast. Fun fact: The nutritional yeast lid has two sides. One for sprinkling nutritional yeast and one for accidentally dumping too much into the blender. Whoops.

I decided it couldn’t be worse than some of the other concoctions I have come up with so, I blended it in.  

Vegan Spicy Bacon Cheese Sauce was born!

Then I tasted it. I couldn’t place the flavor at first. Cut me some slack… I haven’t had bacon, real or fake, since August 25, 2010. I had my son try it and I said, “Does it taste cheddary to you too?” He replied with, “It tastes like cheddar bacon spread you put on crackers.”

That’s when it clicked in my head! OMG! He was right! That was the flavor! I made cheddar bacon cheese sauce. Wait! No… I made VEGAN cheddar bacon cheese sauce. I also added too much chipotle. It was setting my face on fire.

I cut back on the chipotle, took out the black pepper I had added to my first batch, and carefully measured the nutritional yeast to see how much got to the “bacon cheddar” flavor. (1/4 cup for mild flavor, 1/3 cup for awesomeness)

We ate it by itself. I ate it with half the nutritional yeast which I think has a less bacon flavor but I like it. We also ate it on rice noodles. Today we ate it on broccoli and that is honestly my favorite way. It tastes so much like cheddar when on top of broccoli that I kind of impressed myself.

I finally dubbed it “Not-Cheese” and added it to the family recipe book.

I am more excited now about trying other recipes of homemade non-dairy cheeses and I’ll let you know when I try them.

My question to you is… 

How do you feel about mouth feel?

 

 

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50 Questions: Those Medicine Commercials

This is #46 in the 50 Questions Series.

46. Create a post asking for advice on something that’s troubling you.

It’s not something that is bothering me but it something my friend and I were talking about the other day. We would like to hear your ideas on it.

Java and I were talking about medicines that we take because both of us have upcoming doctors appointments. We were comparing notes. I take Benadryl and it makes me tired. She takes Benadryl and she is wired for sound. We were comparing differences, discussing what medicines we take for what problems, and comparing symptoms to conditions we both have.

Then, as we usually do, we changed subjects and started talking about commercials. This lead us into medicine commercials. You know the ones… “Do you feel nauseous? You need Heavehalt. Talk to your doctor today!”

SQUIRREL ALERT!

A.D.D. is easy as 1-2- OH EM GEE! A SQUIRREL!
SQUIRREL ALERT! Hi, Sparky!

Okay, while this is still related to the post, this just reminded me of a YouTube video by IISuperwomanII. She is hilarious. I love her videos!

She did one on different types of commercials and the first one is about medical commercials and how what they are telling you does not match what you are being told in the commercial. 

You can watch it here. Enjoy!

Side Effects Listed in Commercials

We were discussing the side effects that they mention, that you may have, before they suggest talking to your doctor about Insertamedicinehere. The issues we have with these commercials are 

  1. They are trying to sell medicine. That should be your doctors thing. Not a company. But I will skip that for a minute.
  2. The symptoms are usually vague when they mention them. Back pain, nausea, sudden urge to urinate, feeling tired, etc. Who hasn’t had those?
  3. They tell you to talk to your doctor to see if Medicineyoudontneed is right for you right after listing all these vague symptoms.

So here is what we are wondering. For people with chronic health problems, how would you know when to talk to your doctor or if it’s just a part of [insert medical condition here].

For example, if a medicine says, “Do you have muscle aches and pains?” That goes with severe vitamin D deficiency and Fibromyalgia. Sometimes it goes with epilepsy too.

The Question: When do you talk to your doctor?

How would I know my muscle aches and pains are normal Fibromyalgia pains and when it’s a pain I need to see my doctor for?

If you have chronic health issues, at what point should you go to your doctor?

Since living here, I have learned not to go to the doctor for anything. If I can handle it at home, I am not going. I’ve taken epi-pens to the leg, downed some Benadryl and Ranitidine, and hoped it kicked in fast enough rather than go to the ER here.

I will deal with pain at home. It has to actually make my life a living hell before I will go to the doctor. 

It’s not that I don’t trust the doctor I see now. I do! But from past negative experiences with the medical care here, I am very leery of going to an appointment to ask about anything. It’s that psychological abuse that Dr Vindictive put me through. I recognise this. I acknowledge it. Still doesn’t make it any easier to go to a doctor when I should.

Which is why Java and I thought this would be a great question to ask.

At what point do you go to the doctor about your symptoms?

What do you think of those commercials?

 

50 Questions: Heat Wave! Hello Summer!

I am using this rambling post for question #31 of my 50 Questions. Because I do this a lot to figure out what I want to write about… so now, you get to see the brainstorming process. I just realized… this whole post is one gigantic squirrel alert. I’ll just put that here…

A.D.D. is easy as 1-2- OH EM GEE! A SQUIRREL!
SQUIRREL ALERT!

A quick welcome to new readers. I saw my page views jumped up by a lot. That usually means new readers. So Hello! And Welcome to my asylum. Feel free to leave a comment. I don’t think you have to be signed in to leave a comment. I’ll double-check the settings later today.

The last couple days have been hot here. We hooked up the air conditioners after I swelled some. And I have been on a falafel kick lately. Those are delicious! I think I ate those for the last three days. At least I am getting 800 calories a day! Celebrating the small things.

I even learned how to make my own garbanzo bean flour. It’s really easy. Dry chick peas into the blender. Run on “blend” for about… well, until it looks like flour. Then run through a bread sifter. One cup of dry chick peas makes about one and one half cups of flour.

I was thinking about the heat this last week because I know it is coming. It’s summer time (almost). First day of summer is June 20th. The only reason I look forward to that day is because the days will start to get shorter. I never understood how people could like, and look forward to, summer.

I am debating on how much Benadryl I want to live on this summer. The boys are going to visit their dad soon and I will have the whole house to myself! I am totally running around naked.

But I also don’t want to hermit myself away the entire summer. I can go outside in the evening. The weirdest thing about living in Montana is the really long summer days. I really look forward to winter because it’s dark around 4 pm. In the summer, it gets dark at around 10 pm or a little later. So much sunshine! And I get to be a hermit through it all.

I am going to make a sun cover for myself with some material I have. It’s 1970’s green and pattern. So that will be fun! Now I just need to find bell bottoms LOL. AND, I found my Mexican shoes so I am happy!

For the two people who asked how I do the word cloud pictures: I make them at this website and then save them to my desktop. Here is the word cloud for this post.

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I am of to make more falafel. Some of these random thoughts will be turned into post eventually.

Enjoy the heat… or the air conditioning.

 

Questions From This Week … Answered!

I get questioned throughout the week about my blog and posts. My squirrel, Sparky, working in the background suggested that I make a post each week of the questions people asked. Her thinking was, if one person asked you, other people may want to know too. Good idea!

How is this different from MAILBAG! posts? These weren’t sent through email, comments, or any other social media site. These are questions my friends and family members asked in person, through text messages, or in chat.

Question 1: Did you reschedule the sleep study?

Continue reading

50 Questions: The Last Thing That Made Me Cry

 What is the last thing that made you cry?

Here is an easy question with a very easy answer. The last thing that made me cry was back pain. While medical marijuana is nice for helping with pain, there are times when I wake up, or I move wrong, or I walk one step too far where I go from “manageable pain” to “oh dear GAWD! Make it stop!” within just a few minutes. Yesterday was one of those days. I sat down too fast and the pain started screaming.

Yes, I sat down too fast. That is why my pain went from a 5 to an 8 within minutes and there you have it. Not the most exciting question to answer or anything.

SQUIRREL ALERT!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA
SQUIRREL!

My coffee is almost done brewing for the morning and I have to say, I am so proud of myself! I thought I was going to need to buy more coffee before my food money for the month got here but I have JUST enough to make it until food money day! YAY! Go frugal me!

Back to the original post

Most people won’t understand this if they aren’t living in chronic pain. I have Fibromyalgia and it makes my days very painful. I take marijuana for it (tincture in the morning, vape in the evening) and while I love it and I love living in a pain reduced life, some days just suck worse than others. 

I still can’t go and do the things I have wanted to do for a while. There is no camping (yet) or long walks or running and playing. We don’t have a pool here for swimming so my exercise is a but limited right now. But it’s still a hell of a lot better than what it was. I am not crying every day anymore. I just have those days where my body just snaps and yells, “I HATE YOU!” That was yesterday.

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