Vegan Nachos With Cashew “Cheese”

This recipe is from the Native Foods cookbook. Jack and I first stumbled upon Native Foods one night in California on our way back from Disneyland. I typically don’t eat foods at theme parks (I know, I’m “fun” like that), so after the fireworks we set out to drive around and find a restaurant. This was years before iphones and yelp, so it was nothing short of a Disney miracle that we aimlessly found ourselves at this awesome vegan restaurant.

If you are new to the idea of nut cheese, it’s really nothing like cheese… but more of a cheese-like sauce (sans the yellow #4 food coloring). Feel free to put together your nachos however you like. I did black beans, pico, a quick guacamole, and “taco meat” made from soy granules. If fake meat isn’t your thing (I admit, I enjoy it occasionally), just leave it out and use what you like.

corn tortillas, or tortilla chips
black beans
chopped scallions
chopped or sliced jalapeno
ripe avocado

cashew cheese (makes about 1.5 cups, you will have extra):
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup water
1 tablespoon tahini
2 tablespoons agar (flakes or powder), plus 1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup lemon juice (fresh)

taco “meat”:
1/2 cup textured vegetable protein granules (tvp)
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
pinch of garlic powder
pinch of onion powder

slice tortillas into quarters, sprinkle with salt, a drizzle of oil if you wish, and place them in a 400 degree oven until crispy.

cashew cheese:
Soak cashews in water and set aside.

Combine agar and water in a saucepan, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 5 minutes continuously stirring until the mixture thickens.

Put cashews and soaking water, tahini, garlic powder, onion powder and ¼ C lemon juice into blender and blend on high. Add agar mixture and blend for 3-5 minutes until the mixture starts to thicken. Refrigerate the “cheese” while you assemble the rest of the nachos. (it’ll thicken as it sits).

taco “meat”:
Put all ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes.

quick guacamole:
with a fork, mash avocado with a squeeze of lime and a pinch of salt.

Chop jalapeno and scallions. Chop tomato, onion and cilantro to make pico (or just buy pico at the store like I did this time). Assemble nachos.

If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.


  1. Yes!! I am so excited to see this recipe. I am two weeks in on cutting out dairy and I am already trying to think of clever ways to get around it in some dishes! This looks amazing, thank you so much for sharing. I can’t wait to try it.

  2. perfect for sunday! love the cashew cheese.

  3. Kathy Patalsky on said:

    gorgeous photo!! love 🙂

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