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HaHaHaHa. I crack myself up. Nacho cheese … not. yo. cheese. … I’m way too easily amused.

This past weekend, the DH was out of town and I was craving Taco Bell. Luckily for my stomach, Taco Bell is inordinately hard to get to from the comfort of my couch (srsly, I only know where 1 Taco Bell is in the city, and I was in zero mood to travel 1:15 and deal with whatever weekend train shenanigans NYC wanted to throw at me just for a meal that was bound to make me sick afterward), so I stayed in and scrounged what I had.

Lucky for me, that included cauliflower and cashews.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, keto


Vegan Not-Yo Cheese Breakfast Bowl

1 cup raw cashews
1 cup water
1/2 – 1 cup almond milk
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoons fat of choice (I used ghee and coconut oil; you do you)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1.5 – 3 Tablespoons garlic powder
4 – 5 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 – 3 Tablespoons ground mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Juice 1 – 2 lemons
1 chipotle chile in adobo, chopped
Salt & black pepper

First, put your cashews into a large glass measuring cup with 1 cup of water. Microwave on high or heat in a pan on the stove until boiling. You could also soak the cashews overnight like you’re “supposed” to, but I had zero forethought or capacity for patience, so I went the lazy route. Lazy ftw.

When your cashews are done, blitz in your blender with the almond milk.

A quick note here about consistency: I first tried blitzing in the food processor, but my cheese was starting off way too chunky and I was disturbed. I switched to my Vitamix, blended the shit out of the nuts, and life was much better. If you do not have a high-powered outboard motor of a blender, you may want to run your cheese through a strainer after completed.

Dice and add your onion and garlic to a smallish pan with your fat of choice. Sautee over medium until the onions are translucent.

While you are waiting, grab all your spices and a spoon – you’ll be tasting things and adding ingredients quickly.

When your alliums are translucent, add the cashew mixture, along with the cumin, paprika, half the garlic powder, half the mustard powder, half the nutritional yeast, the chili powder, the apple cider vinegar, half the lemon juice, and 1/4 cup almond milk. Whisk or stir aggressively to combine.

Add a big pinch of salt and some pepper. Stir and taste. Add more salt, pepper, garlic powder, mustard powder, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and almond milk until your desired consistency and taste is achieved.

Some taste notes: Mustard powder, garlic powder, nutritional yeast and acid are what makes the “cheese” taste here. Err on the side of aggressive seasoning.

When you have what you want taste and consistency-wise, drop the cheese in your blender and whiz to make smooth.

To make the pictured breakfast bowl, pour over some roasted cauliflower (I roasted mine in grass fed buffalo ghee with turmeric, which is why it looks weird) and top with a couple fried eggs. Or whatever vegans eat instead of eggs.

Also great over roasted brussels sprouts with taco-seasoned ground beef and scallions.