Saturday, January 12, 2013

Unquestionably Unqueso!

Queso, chili con queso, cheese dip, all these things refer to a tempting treat for parties or for one! The cheesy goodness is always a pleasant pair with some good tortilla chips.

But it can also be a challenge to prepare, both because of the way cheese sets up and the way it can be unhealthy in large amounts. Add to that the fact that some people's diets don't include dairy, and you've got a tempting dish with a limited audience.

However, that's not to say it's an impossible dish to provide for guests to a party...or even to have a party of your own!

Today I've provided two different recipes, both very easy to do and delicious, nutritious, and fun! You won't have to feel bad about the occasional splurge with my unqueso that's unquestionably delicious!

Traditional Unqueso


2-3 spoons nutritional yeast flakes
3-5 spoons diced tomatoes and chillis
1-2 spoons flour
1 spoon oil
milk or soymilk

to taste:


1) First, in a saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it moves freely. Add the garlic and other spices and lightly roast, then add the yeast flakes and stir them to combine with the oil as much as possible.

2) In a small jar, combine the flour with a small amount of milk. Close the jar and shake to blend completely. It should be a thick liquid, not dough, so add a little more milk if it's just doughy. Add the mixture to the saucepan once it's ready, making sure to scrape the jar. Stir thoroughly, combining with the yeast mixture.

3) Add the tomatoes and chillis, one spoon at a time, stirring after each is added so that the mixture is blended thoroughly.

4) Add small amounts of milk, stirring to blend thoroughly and work out any lumps, and as the mixture cooks down and thickens, add small amounts more, stirring and cooking down as before.

5) Continue to cook until it reaches desired thickness. It will thicken as it heats and the liquid cooks off, although if it's still too runny you can add a little more flour or nutritional yeast, as both will thicken the mixture. Add any seasonings you like.

6) Serve hot!

Tips and Such

- You can add any spices you like to this mixture. Liquid smoke can give the mixture a smoky, cheesy flavour, and chipotle powder can too, as well as giving it an extra kick of heat. You could also try adobo seasoning for added dimension, olive brine, a splash of soy sauce, or a variety of other things to add depth to the bouquet.

- You don't have to use the jar method to combine the flour and milk, but it helps to avoid lumps. If you don't have a sieve for your flour and don't want to use a jar, use a wire whisk to stir your flour before adding it, to avoid or at least minimise clumping.

Skillet Unqueso


1 can prepared vegetarian or vegan chili
3 spoons nutritional yeast flakes
1-2 spoons oil
1/4 onion, chopped
sliced chillis (optional)

to taste:

any spices

1) In a frypan, heat the oil over medium-high heat and chop the onion into it, stirring to coat and cooking until the onions become semi-transparent and the oil moves freely. Add spices and stir again, then add the nutritional yeast flakes and stir.

2) Add the prepared chili very slowly and gradually, a little at a time. Stir to combine all the ingredients after every addition.

3) Stir to keep from sticking, making sure it is thoroughly blended. Once it is hot, serve in a bowl and garnish, if desired, with sliced chillis!

Tips and Such

- You can use any spices for this, and by adding them with the onion and cooking them in the oil, you will open up the flavour. Especially tasty spices include garlic, sage, cumin (for that extra chili taste!), chipotle powder, liquid smoke, and many more.

- If you use vegan chili, this recipe is vegan!

- You can make this into a layer dip with the simple addition of a layer of the chilli slices, a layer of olive slices, a layer of shredded lettuce, a layer of salsa...whatever strikes your fancy!

As you can see, both dishes are delicious, tempting, and not junky snack foods. They're quick and easy to prepare, especially the ultra-simple skillet unqueso. Ready in literally a couple of minutes, it can thrill unexpected audiences you didn't have enough time to prepare for...or so one might think! With my unqueso, you can make any party, or even just an evening at home, festive and delightful.

};) Dhiar ♥

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