vegan queso on seared shrimp with green chile-cilantro rice

Ok, let’s have a quick chat about this vegan queso. I must admit, that the only other queso I’ve eaten (to my recollection) is from Torchy’s Tacos. And let me tell you, this vegan queso ain’t no Torchy’s. It’s thick but it’s just not creeeeamy. You know what I mean? But as longs as you don’t compare this to other queso dips and just think of it instead as a bomb vegan dip, it’s surprisingly flavorful! I used butternut squash, which gave it a sweet flavor, and all the spices create a savory, slightly spicy, very yummy dip.

Keep in mind that this recipe makes a TON of queso, so be prepared to have queso on everything. Dip your chips in queso. Pour your queso on your shrimp and rice. Drizzle queso on your pizza. Spread your queso on your quesadilla. Drench your avocado toast with queso. Maybe even create a queso cake? I’d say that would be the ultimate “cheese cake” lol get it?? :p

vegan queso from Vegan Under Pressure by Jill Nussinow
makes about 4 cups

what

– 1 cup chopped onion
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 2 cups diced peeled winter squash
– 1 cup vegetable stock
– 2 Tbsp chickpea flour
– 1 (15 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes with chillies
– 1/2 cup almond or cashew meal (dry almonds or cashews ground into a fine powder)
– 1/2 cup unsweetened nondairy milk
– 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
– 2 Tbsp mellow white miso
– 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
– 1 tsp turmeric
– 1 tsp paprika
– 1 tsp mustard powder
– 1/4 to 1/2 tsp hot chili or chipotle powder
– salt and freshly ground black pepper
– hot sauce, optional

how

– Turn the instant pot on to saute. Add the onion and garlic and dry saute for 2 minutes.
– Add the squash and stock and sprinkle the chickpea flour on top.
– Lock the lid. Set to cook on Manual for 5 minutes.
– Quick release the pressure. Carefully remove the lid.
– Blend using an immersion blender, OR cool the squash mixture completely then blend in a stand blender.
– Add the tomatoes, almond meal, milk, nutritional yeast, miso, vinegar, turmeric, paprika, mustard, and chili powder. Blend until smooth.
– Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Add hot sauce if you want it spicier.
– Enjoy! 🙂

Watch out – this rice is spicy! Make sure you get mild green chiles, unless you like the feeling of your face melting off. Just kidding, it’s not that spicy. *blows nose loudly k into a tissue as sinuses are cleared from the heat…*

I used brown rice instead of converted rice because converted/parboiled rice sort of freaked me out. Like what did it get convert into? Why was it not okay just being normal rice? What the heck does parboiled even mean?
Well, I did some research and apparently converted/parboiled rice is actually more nutritious for you! Converted rice is steamed before it’s husked, which causes the rice grains to absorb a lot of the nutrients from the husk. These nutrients are lost in white rice, which is stripped of its bran and germ layers during processing. Converted rice also has a lower glycemic index than brown rice. So it’s actually healthy. Who knew?!

Overall this dish is super yummy. It’s got a kick of heat from the chilies in the rice, and the freshness of lime zest and fresh lime juice really balance it all. I would definitely suggest getting raw shrimp, if you can find it. Because “precooked shrimp” sometimes means overcooked shrimp, aka rubbery shrimp.
This recipe is super filling and I would definitely make it again. Next time, I’ll try it with converted rice, which isn’t so scary after all! <3

seared shrimp with green chile-cilantro rice
from The Oregonian Cookbook – Best Recipes from FOOD DAY in The Oregonian newspaper

what

– 1 (7 oz) can salsa verde
– 1 (4 oz) can diced mild green chiles
– 1 1/2 cups converted rice [or brown rice and just cook it for about twice as long]
– 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
– 1/2 tsp grated lime zest
– 1 lb large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
– 1/4 tsp garlic salt
– 1/4 tsp ground cumin
– 1/4 tsp chili powder
– 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
– Garnishes: salsa, tortilla chips, lime wedges, vegan queso!

how

– In a 1-quart measuring cup, combine the salsa verde, diced chiles. Add enough water to make 3 ⅓ cups of liquid.
– Pour the liquid mixture into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil on the stovetop.
– Stir in the rice. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes [or about 45 minutes if using brown rice].
– Remove the rice from the heat and let stand for ~ 5 minutes with the lid ajar so it can release some of the steam.
– Stir in the cilantro and lime zest. Cover and set aside until ready to serve with the shrimp.
– When the rice is nearly done cooking, toss the shrimp with the garlic salt, cumin and chili powder in a bowl.
– In a large skillet, heat the oil on medium/high heat, until the oil is shimmering.
– Add the shrimp and sear for ~ 1 ½ minutes on one side, then flip the shrimp and sear the other side for ~ 1 minute.
– To serve, divide the rice among four bowls and top with the shrimp. Drizzle with a generous helping of the vegan queso. Serve with lime wedges, salsa and tortilla chips!

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