Earlier this month, I posted a reader feedback survey and got back more than 200 responses from readers. It was great to have such honest and extensive feedback, and I was grateful for your opinions and thoughts. Although lots of it was positive, some of it was tough to hear, but definitely constructive! (That’s what I get for asking, ha!)
One of the resounding pieces of feedback I got was regarding the colors of the blog. When I first customized my template more than four years ago, I decided to go with an olive green and red color scheme to complement the name of the blog. I liked that it felt warm, and distinguished it from other blogs. On the other hand, I know that clean and white is the way to go, but have fought it for some time.
However, after getting such consistent negative feedback on the color scheme, I’ve decided to make some big changes to the look, feel and layout of this space. I’m a little afraid and sad to change what I consider my comfort zone, but it’s definitely time. Stay tuned for a new look in the coming months! ImsoexcitedImsoscared!!
One of my favorite indulgences is my vegan queso blanco dip. What makes cheesy dip so good is that it has a good amount fat—and unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk provides a fatty richness that’s perfectly smooth and silky. The addition of coconut vinegar neutralizes the coconut taste far better than other other acids like apple cider vinegar or white balsamic vinegar in my opinion, but feel free to select and use whatever you can get.
This recipe adds an entire charred red pepper to add another cheesy dimension to the dip. I did try a batch with prepared roasted red pepper, and I have to say it didn’t really work, so it’s worth the effort to char a fresh pepper yourself for this application. Once this cheese is cooked, cooled and allowed to set, you can add whatever chunkiness you want to it, or nothing at all. Serve with tortilla chips, on nachos, over a burrito or anything else that loves salsa con queso.
VEGAN SALSA CON QUESO
Yield 2 cups
FOR THE BASE
- 1 can (13.66 oz.) full-fat unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 fresh red bell pepper, charred, deseeded and chopped
- 2 TB nutritional yeast
- 2 TB tapioca flour
- 1 teaspoon agar powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vegetable or canola oil
- 1/2 green pepper, chopped
- 1/2 small red onion
- 1 jalepeno, chopped
- 1 garlic cloves, chopped
- To make the cheese sauce, add all of the base components to a blender, and blend until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan over medium heat and stir the mixture occasionally until it starts to come to a small boil. Continue to stir, maintaining the small boil for about 5 minutes more until it’s thick and bubbly. Transfer the mixture to a container and refrigerate for an hour or two to allow the mixture to slightly set up.
- To finish the sauce, warm the oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add in the green pepper and cook for a few minutes. Add in the red onion and saute for a few minutes more. Then add in the jalepeno and garlic and saute until softened. Set aside or refrigerate until you are ready to serve it.
- Once ready to serve, warm the cheese sauce, stirring it constantly over medium heat until smooth, then add your vegetables or prepared salsa to it until it’s well combined. Serve warm or in a small crock pot if desired.
- *you can add any combination or quantities you’d like to make the vegan queso chunkier or spicier. Or, you can add a desired amount of prepared salsa (drain it a bit) once the cheese has been cooked and allowed to slightly set.