Smoky cashew queso and polenta napoleon

Watch out, world! Emily and Haley are inventing! Next time I’ll get a video of us hovering over the blender, tasting, discussing, adjusting… it was hilarious! Don’t know if we were more chef-y or evil scientist-y!

I’ve been seeing a lot of recipes for cashew “cheese” and I’ll definitely be trying them soon. Last night I was pressed for time (craaazy day) but was determined to put my new stockpile of raw cashews to work!

The result was heavenly smooth, rich and smokey with a hint of nutty cheesiness. The possibilities are endless! Use it as a dip or a sandwich spread! The best part is that a little goes a long way!


Smoky Cashew Queso

  • 1-1/2 cups raw cashews (cashew pieces are less than half the price of whole cashews in bulk!)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • scant 1/4 tsp smoked paprika (oh em gee – this is awesome)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/3 cup salsa, strained

Combine all items in blender and blend until completely smooth.

Polenta Napoleon

  • 1 tube prepared polenta (or make your own!), cut in slices
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and strained
  • salsa
  • smokey cashew queso
  • avocado (I used pre-packaged guacamole from Costco because avocados are gross now)
  • salt, pepper
  • cilantro, chopped

Heat a large non-stick skillet on a medium-high flame with a small amount of oil. (too much oil and your polenta will be greasy – which is what I did. boo.) Fry polenta slices on each side until golden brown.

In a small sauce pan, heat kidney beans with 1 cup of salsa. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Layer polenta, beans, queso, avocado and salsa. Top with chopped cilantro.

* The kid made this plate! Impressive!!


p.s. This whole dish is DELICIOUS as cold leftovers!


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