Quick & Dirty 5-Ingredient Vegan Cheeze Sauce & Recipe Challenge

225 comments

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One of the things that has surprised me the most with vegan cuisine is how I’m able to create similar flavours and textures that I used to enjoy while eating animal products. The goal, for me, is not to aim for the vegan dish to taste exactly the same, but to try to bring out something about the non-vegan dish that I really enjoyed, like a rich sauce or a thick chocolaty pudding. This doesn’t apply to all foods however, I have no desire to create a dish that has the texture of meat because I just don’t crave that texture or taste anymore. It really just depends on the food!

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[Butternut Squash Mac n Cheeze: Two Ways]

One of the things I’ve always loved about Mac ‘n Cheese is that it’s comforting and creamy. When I make a vegan version of Mac ‘n Cheese, I’m not trying to create a carbon copy, but a dish that gives me that same type of comforting feeling when I eat it.

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Over the past couple years, I’ve found that I can create dishes that satisfy my cravings without having to sacrifice. I crave the new dishes that I make, instead of the dishes I used to eat. Now that I’m used to this lifestyle I rarely feel like I’m missing out. The only time I feel left out is when I am eating at a non-vegan friendly restaurant, otherwise I have so many choices the hardest part is trying to decide what I will eat!

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One thing I don’t always enjoy about vegan cooking and baking is the often long ingredient list that is required to make some recipes. The recipes tend to involve more creativity, more spices & seasonings, and other ingredients to achieve that outcome that I’m looking for. It’s not necessarily a bad thing per say, but sometimes I just want a quick and dirty recipe that I know I can whip up within a minute’s notice.

This 5-ingredient cheeze sauce is one of those quick and dirty recipes that I know I will keep coming back to again and again! It’s hands down the easiest cheeze sauce I’ve made and it doesn’t require a food processor or other special kitchen tool. Just a stove top and a whisk…gotta love that!

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Just 5 ingredients and just as delicious as the other sauces I’ve made!

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I first made this sauce a couple weeks ago and we’ve been enjoying it a lot! I’ve poured it into pasta, on vegetables, sandwiches, etc. It’s so silky and delicious, you really have to try this. You could also get creative and add some herbs or spices to it to change it up quite easily.

Yesterday, I also made a fantastic lunch with it…

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more on that recipe tomorrow!

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The Quick & Dirty 7-Ingredient or Less Challenge

Speaking of short ingredient lists, I thought it would be fun to challenge myself to create more vegan recipes with as few ingredients as possible. Quick & Dirty recipes if you will!

My goal is to create more recipes with 7 ingredients or less that don’t require a lot of time or even special kitchen tools. It’s going to be tough, but I’m really excited for the challenge!

I’m curious, what’s your biggest cooking or baking hurdle? Long ingredient lists, hard to find ingredients, special kitchen tools, not enough time?

Leave me a comment below if you have any recipes in mind that you’d like ‘condensed’…no pun intended!

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{ 225 comments… read them below or add one }

kalli August 18, 2011

i cannot stand a long ingredient list and detailed directions. the words start swimming on the page. i figure if i can’t make the recipe while i am enjoying an evening with my husband with a glass of wine in hand-forget it!
love the cheeze sauce!

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Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet August 18, 2011

This is definitely easy enough to make on any night! And the biggest recipe hurdle I face is seeing a long list of ingredients that I don’t have in the pantry. Who wants to spend that extra money on things they may never use again??

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Peggy @ freshnutrition August 18, 2011

You gotta love a good cheese or “cheeze” sauce and I love that everytime I make one of your sauces, my kids love them too. Looking forward to making this one!

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Amy @ The Whole Sweet Scoop August 18, 2011

My nephew has very bad food allergies and cannot have any dairy. This looks so good, I’m going to try making it for him this weekend. Thanks for the idea!!

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table August 18, 2011

“Quick and Ddirty” made me giggle. :) I will have to try this. I’ve been mixing hummus and apple cider vinegar since reading your post on that and I am LOVING it.

My biggest hurdle is more about time. I work a lot of hours and sometimes I succumb to “grab and go” options. I actually don’t mind longer ingredient lists, especially when they involve fun spices.

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Faith @ For the Health of It August 18, 2011

Quick and dirty recipes are always my favorites – who has time to slave away for hours on a daily basis? Cheese sauces have been one of my favorite vegan things to make – that comforting factor is so irreplaceable!

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Cupcake Kat August 18, 2011

I love this recipe for all of the reasons you gave! I am going to try this out for sure. My biggest baking hurdle is having too many baked goods already in the fridge and freezer so I can’t make more

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Elle August 18, 2011

I would say my biggest hurdle is overly complicated recipes – like pitting 30 olives for example. No thanks! Also, recipes that get too many kitchen appliances dirty.

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat August 18, 2011

I love the simplicity of this! I don’t really have many cooking hurdles and actually really enjoy it, but I’d say the biggest one for me is probably just finding time to prep the recipes I want to try. For example, a lot of the raw recipes I’m lusting over involve soaking things for hours or overnight, so you really have to plan ahead. Your pizza looks SO good!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 18, 2011

yea those can get me too…esp. when I come across a raw recipe and want to make it *now* but then I have to wait overnight. I think that’s also why I never got into my dehydrator.

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Bev Weidner August 18, 2011

Dad gummit, woman – that looks good!

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Becky August 18, 2011

Wow, that looks delicious and SO easy to make! Simple recipes are so refreshing, especially when the few ingredients are common ones – I have all of these items on hand. What’s more, most of the “cheeze” recipes I see call for blended cashews, which are delicious but expensive just to blend into a simple sauce. Definitely trying this recipe soon – easy and affordable! Thanks!

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Aine @ Something to Chew Over August 18, 2011

I love cheese sauce, that looks amazing! Looking forward to the pizza recipe too :)

I don’t have a food processor and so many recipes require one. Also because I’m in Ireland I can’t always get my hands on certain ingredients – chia seeds, nutritional yeast and sunflower seed butter come to mind!

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Cait's Plate August 18, 2011

Gah – delicious!!

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Sweet and Savvy August 18, 2011

That cheese sauce looks perfect!!! thanks for sharing:)

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Laura @ Starting Out Fit August 18, 2011

Need to try that sauce!!

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Laura August 18, 2011

Honetsly as soon as I see a really long ingredients list I know I won’t be making the recipe. I am a college student and the only vegan in the house, so I am always looking for minimalistic and easy vegan recipes. I don’t have the money or the space to keep every different kind of flour, sugar, or other ingredient on hand. I am really looking forward to that pizza recipe!

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Julie @ Shining From Within August 18, 2011

I’d like to see more easy ways to change a regular recipe into GF without a big hassle of different flours or other things (although that’s really hard, but definitely do-able). I also HATE to bust out (and then clean) the food processor. If there’s a really delicious sounding recipe that I have all the ingredients for, but requires a food processor (and/or blender), 9 times out of 10 I’ll pass it up because I don’t feel like cleaning the food processor. I just want EASY not hard or “over-done”. Everything is so complicated now-a-days… we need to shorten the steps and then more people will want to get in the kitchen and cook!

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Katie @ Peace Love and Oats August 18, 2011

My biggest problems are too many ingredients and too expensive ingredients! I live in a studio alone and I’m building up my kitchen! If there are too many things I’d have to buy I move on to another recipe!

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katie@ KatieDid August 18, 2011

My challenge is being intimidated in the kitchen. I don’t have too much confidence in my cooking skills, so I tend to avoid trying new things all together and I get stuck eating the same things over and over. I like ‘quick and dirty’ recipes, especially is they have me trying out new ingredients and cooking methods because they aren’t as intimidating yet they have me trying out new things.

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Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing August 18, 2011

This looks awesome! I can’t wait to try it (with arrowroot or some other GF substitute; I’ll let you know how it goes). It’s true that simple wins the day in my kitchen — both in recipes I create and those I follow. But needing to eat GF and vegetarian can sometimes be a challenge to that goal, so I definitely resonate with what you’re saying. I’m excited to see what you come up with! :)

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Laura August 18, 2011

My problem is long ingredient lists and/or expensive ingredients. I’m a grad student, shortly to be a non-grad student/unemployed, so quick, easy, delicious recipes are something I always look for. No matter how busy/tired I am I try to take the time to cook something good. I splurged on cashews this week for your cheeze sauce that I will try shortly. Love nuts but they are pricey. I will have to try the above cheese sauce too soon! I’ve been making pizza this week w/ a chickpea version of your oil free pesto and it’s delish! Trying it with white beans today and putting it on my pizza, can’t wait!

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Emily August 18, 2011

Hi Angela,

I am a long-time reader and I rarely comment, but I am really excited about your 7 ingredient or less challenge, as lately I am just in the mood for quick and easy recipes. I normally love to cook, but at the moment, I just want something tasty to eat without all of the effort.

Thanks for reading my mind on this one, and for all of your amazing posts and recipes (which I use at least weekly if not more)!

~Emily~

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Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance August 18, 2011

Your little pizza looks delicious :D I made something similar to this a few days ago except it had hummus and black beans. Needless to say, it was an absolute DREAM

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coffeeaddict August 18, 2011

definitely special ingredients with a short shelf life, like fresh herbs or exotic veggies

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Daniel August 18, 2011

Usually it’s a list of ingredients that call for things that come from two different seasons, or ingredients that I can’t find out here in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin.

Hmm, well curries have tons of ingredients, but those are mostly spices and I would think “condensing” them might ruin flavor… plus using a bunch of pre-packaged sauces and stuff kind of defeats the purpose. :P

Maybe something like simple salads with simpler dressings that still have a ton of flavor? Or rich and healthy casseroles that don’t call for a ton of cheese?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 18, 2011

Great ideas!

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Julie August 18, 2011

omg that pizza looks AMAZING. I want that pizza…now.

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Gillian @bite size pieces August 18, 2011

OMG I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS CHALLENGE!!! I struggle with having enough random ingredients in my cupboards/fridge.. Since im single and generally cook for one, my food budget is smaller so I tend to have less variety. I would love to see some 7 ingredient baked goods as well as some easy high protein dinners!! Thank you so much for putting this together.. Best idea ever

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Leanne (Bride to Mrs.) August 18, 2011

One of my biggest stressors in the kitchen is having a recipe where there’s so many steps, or use of sixteen different bowls/tools.

I like the idea of recipe’s with 7 or less ingredients! I think it’s completely doable :) and I look forward to seeing the recipe’s you come up with!

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Ellen August 18, 2011

Hi Angela – I just want to say thank you for showing some gluten free substitutes for your recipes! It’s hard finding delicious vegan and GF combinations!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 18, 2011

No problem Ellen…I will try to do it as much as I can.

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Laura @ the first mess August 18, 2011

It’s always, always time. I’m regularly pondering if I can make a batch of SOMETHING before I have to get to work, classes etc.

Also that avocado chocolate pudding blows allllll the omnivorous versions in existence out of the water. I keep going back to that one for chocolate fixes :)))

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Claire @ Live and Love to Eat August 18, 2011

I love simple recipes, I’m excited to see whats in the pizza!

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Charlie August 18, 2011

Hard to find ingredients! Many ingredients that are easy to find in the US and some provinces are not here. I’ve been looking for nutritional yeast everywhere and can’t find it!

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Ashley August 18, 2011

That cheese sauce looks awesome! I am excited to try it!

My fiance doesn’t have a sweet tooth like I do. I would like to see a quick chocolate recipe that doesn’t require a blender. It would even be cool if it was a single serving! Less temptation to eat more that way. ;)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 18, 2011

I love that idea…and single serving? Yes!!

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Natalie Cottrell August 18, 2011

My biggest hurdle is definitely the volume of ingredients in a lot of veggie/vegan dishes. I love cooking with the freshest ingredients possible, so I try to use whatever I buy to its fullest before it goes bad. But some of the ingredients are totally new to me/never heard of, so I only know of one recipe in which to use that ingredient. I generally just skip the ones that are too complicated and stick with ones with fewer ingredients, usually in the realm of what I already cook so I know I’ll always have things on hand to whip it up again (or at least a variation on it). Tips for appropriate substitutions (for similar texture, taste, diet restrictions, etc.) like you’ve done here are always appreciated to expand on what I may already have in my fridge/pantry, especially for a newer cook.

Love your blog! :)

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Stephasaurus August 18, 2011

Hard-to-find ingredients are a turn-off for me, ESPECIALLY when combined with long ingredient lists, or lists with many hard-to-find ingredients on them! But on a related note, thank you for mentioning that Bob’s Red Mill makes nutritional yeast! I’ve been scouring the grocery stores for nutritional yeast lately and haven’t found any. But I see that brand all the time, and never even thought to check for the yeast next to their other products (I use their whole wheat flour). So thanks! Helpful as always. :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 18, 2011

Yes it’s kind of hidden among the other Bob’s products…I didnt notice it on the shelf for a while.

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shamima August 18, 2011

I would have to say recipes that involve hard to find ingredients and take lots of time/ingredients are a turn off for me. I don’t have as much time to cook anymore so I want something quick. It’s also helpful if it can be made in stages. ie. I love that you can make the sauce you mentioned above and then use it for a bunch of different recipes throughout the week.

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Judy August 18, 2011

I have always struggled with ‘what to make’.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 18, 2011

me too :)

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Shelly August 18, 2011

My challenge would be kitchen tools I don’t have- like special pans or thermometers. I also get sort of turned off by unsual kitchen ingredients like unusual flours. If I see something that calls for spelt or rice flour for example, I don’t try it b/c I’m worried about how the texture would turn out if I used ww flour or oat flour (b/c oats + food processor= oat flour, right?) and I don’t want to buy something I don’t have.

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Holly @ The Runny Egg August 18, 2011

For me, I like short ingredient lists — I like to throw things together and not worry about 1/2 tsp of this, 1/4 tsp of that, etc. So this is definitely a recipe I want to try! I love that I don’t have to chop cashews :)

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Donna @ Life of a Happy Blonde August 18, 2011

Can’t wait to try this sauce and i love that there is no cashews in it which i find very heavy and not to mention expensive!!!
I would definitely like to see fewer (and less crazy expensive) ingredients and i just love that you are canadian and i can actually find everything you use :)

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