Friday, November 11, 2011

Fat Free Smoky 'Cheese' Spread

Yesterday I cooked up a pound of dried large lima beans in my pressure cooker.  I was originally going to use some of them to make some of my Lower Fat Vegenaise Substitute, but I had small orange pepper that needed to be used and I ended up making this delicious spicy, smoky 'cheese' spread instead.

Now, I do have to clarify.  This really doesn't taste like cheese. I would never serve it to people who eat cheese and expect them to sing its praises.  What this spread does is hit many of the same flavor notes as cheese (especially when used as a mayo like spread or stirred into soups).  If you want a richer spread, feel free to add a couple tablespoons of melted earth balance or oil to this.

You can use any well cooked white bean.  I love large lima beans.  They get really soft and buttery.  Please DO NOT use frozen lima beans.  They will not work.  If you use canned beans, a 29 ounce can should suffice, just make sure to drain and rinse the beans well.  The miso should be a light colored. Miso also varies in sodium content and pungency, so I am including a range of 2-4 tablespoons.  Start with 2, then add more to suit your taste.  Finally, if you do not like heat, you can substitute the chiopotle powder with smoked paprika or regular paprika and 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke.

Fat Free Smoky Cheese Spread

  • 2 cups (preferably warm) large lima beans 
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 small red or orange pepper
  • 1 cup sauerkraut, drained of liquid (reserve liquid)
  • 2-4 tablespoons light miso 
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon chipotle powder
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2-4 tablespoons brine from green olives (or sauerkraut liquid) as needed to thin mixture
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  1. In a food processor, process garlic first, then add the pepper. 
  2. Puree completely, then add the rest of the ingredients. 
  3. Let mixture sit for an hour or so, then taste and adjust seasonings.
I divided the mixture into 3 equal parts. In one of the jars, I stirred in cumin, coriander, chili powder and lime juice for a southwestern sauce.

My breakfast this morning was super yummy.. I ran this under the broiler and had some collard greens and grapefruit along with it. 

You'll be seeing how I use the remaining spread in the next week or so.  I think it will keep for around 5 days.