Easy Vegan Queso
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
½ cup carrot
1 cup unsweetened soy milk*
½ cup full-fat coconut milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp annatto powder**
½ tsp paprika powder
½ tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp pickled jalapeño peppers, chopped
2 tbsp pico de gallo (salsa)
• Peel, trim ends and roughly chop 1 medium carrot, and simmer in water or steam until fork tender, about 5 minutes, to yield about ½ cup cooked carrot.
• Add cooked carrot, soy milk, coconut milk, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt and spices to a high-speed blender and puree everything together until smooth.
• Whisk olive oil and flour together constantly in a saucepan over medium/low heat until it reaches a dark golden hue, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat immediately. Still whisking, pour the blended mixture into the saucepan and return to medium heat. Continue whisking constantly until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Switch to a rubber spatula to continue stirring sauce until it becomes the consistency of nacho cheese sauce, about 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chopped pickled jalapeños and pico de gallo. (A skin may form on the sauce as it cools; this is normal and can be whisked smooth. But I found adding the pickled jalapeños and salsa to the queso helps to avoid a skin from forming.)
• Serve right away with chips or cover in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Enjoy!
Notes: I haven’t tried this with gluten-free flour, but the interwebs say sweet rice flour makes a velvety roux, so subbing it for the all-purpose flour looks like it could work. If you try it, let me know. *Any unsweetened non-dairy milk can be used instead of soy milk.
**If you don’t have annatto in your pantry already, you can substitute it with more paprika.