Blue-Less Cheese Sauce :: Recently, I created an incredibly easy and quick Air Fried Buffalo Chickpea recipe. Traditionally, Buffalo flavored foods are accompanied by a sauce or dressing. I most often see a Blue Cheese Dressing on menus but some will also use Ranch or Sour Cream.
I set out to create a Blue Cheese dressing…
One that is vegan and healthy.
What I have created is not only healthy but is also gluten-free and oil-free for all that require these specifics.
Why do I call it Blue-Less?
Well, let’s be real. This is not a traditional Blue Cheese Dressing. Would I call it creamy and pungent? Creamy, yes. Pungent? In terms of smell… No. In terms of taste? Yes. I do say that loosely though. This sauce has a powerful tangy punch that balances the heat from Buffalo sauces well.
I also have chosen to not use tofu crumbled in it that would resemble the blue cheese chunks in traditionally made Blue Cheese Dressings. You can absolutely add it but I personally did not find it necessary or texturally pleasing.
What ingredients will you need?
Cashews. Raw Cashews to be specific. You will be soaking these in water before blending so make sure you allow for enough time to do so.
-Are you using a high speed blender like a Vitamix? Soak for at least 30 minutes. If not, soak for closer to 4 hours. If I know I’m making this sauce the day before, I will add the cashews and enough water to cover to a bowl with a lid and keep in the refrigerator overnight.
Ume Plum Vinegar. Ume Plum was a new vinegar to me a few years ago. I honestly don’t use it enough for how much I like the punch of salty & sour flavor it gives to a sauce.
Ume Plum is a traditional Japanese vinegar made from the juice of pickled and pressed umeboshi plums. I purchase it through Amazon but you can look for it in your local grocers. The most common brand I see is Eden. If you cannot find Ume Plum Vinegar, replace it with Red Wine Vinegar.
Apple Cider Vinegar. Apple Cider Vinegar could get a post all on it’s own for its healthy properties. It is a vinegar made from fermented apple juice. I use it in close to 90% of my cheese sauces, in my Tangy Lime Sour Cream recipe and take a shot of it on the very seldom occasion that I have heartburn. An abbreviation you may see for Apple Cider Vinegar is ACV.
Rice Vinegar. Rice Vinegar has become a staple in my Asian inspired dressings. It is made of fermented rice and has a mild and slightly sweet flavor. You will see rice vinegar used to flavor sushi rice or in dressings like my Japanese Carrot & Ginger Dressing.
Braggs Nutritional Yeast. Nutritional Yeast was completely foreign to me pre-vegan. Current vegan me uses it almost daily. I will say it is an acquired taste. So while it is used in vegan cheese sauces, on it’s own, do not expect it to taste just like cheddar.
White Miso. I’m not a huge fan of calling foods Superfoods but if I could put one thing into a top list, Miso would be on it. Miso is generally made from fermented soybeans but it could also be from fermented rice, barley, buckwheat or even chickpeas.
The lighter the miso, the milder and sweeter it is. The darker miso’s have a stronger deep umami flavor. I personally only use the lighter miso’s like white or yellow. Miso Master Organic Mellow White Miso is what I see most often.
Yellow Mustard, Salt & Black Pepper. Not much more to explain with these…
Are you seeing all of those vinegars? When I say this is a punchy cheese sauce, ya better believe it!
Blue-Less Cheese SauceCourse: Sauce, DressingDifficulty: Easy
This punchy and tangy vegan cheese sauce is a perfect accompaniment to any Buffalo flavored vegan foods; like, Buffalo Chickpeas, Cauliflower or “Chicken” fingers.
raw cashews, 1/2 cup soaked & rinsed (see notes for soaking times)
ume plum vinegar, 1 tbsp
apple cider vinegar, 1 1/2 tbsp
rice vinegar, 1 tbsp
nutritional yeast, 2 tbsp
white miso, 1 tbsp
yellow mustard, 1/2 tbsp
salt, 1/2 tsp
pepper, 1/8 tsp
water, 1/3 cup
- Add all of the ingredients into your blender.
- Start on low to break up the cashews. Slowly turn up to high and blend until creamy; stopping to scrape down the sides when needed.
- Store in an airtight container. Use within 4-5 days.
- Are you using a high speed blender like a Vitamix? Soak for at least 30 minutes. If not, soak for closer to 4 hours. If I know I’m making this sauce the day before, I will add the cashews and enough water to cover to a bowl with a lid and keep in the refrigerator overnight. Drain and rinse well before blending.
What do I serve my Blue-Less Cheese Sauce on?
- Salad. Chopped romaine with Buffalo Chickpeas, shaved carrots, diced tomatoes, thinly sliced green onion and celery; top with the Blue-Less Cheese Sauce.
- Wrap. Add all of the ingredients in the salad into a flour tortilla. Wrap it up.
- Tacos. Add all of the ingredients in the salad on top of crunchy or soft corn tacos shell
- Pizza. Add a little Frank’s HotRed Original or pizza sauce on the crust as the base. Top with vegan cheese. Bake. To serve, top with all of the salad ingredients, including the air fried Buffalo Chickpeas.
In place of the Buffalo Chickpeas, you could also use:
- Cauliflower Wings, or
- Vegan Chicken Fingers/Wings. I like to coat Gardein’s Seven Grain Crispy Tenders in Frank’s RedHot sauce once cooked then dip in this Blue-Less Cheese Sauce or make a Buffalo Tender Salad.