Kathy Hester, a local author and slow cooker enthusiast, recently came out with a cookbook, The Vegan Slow Cooker. And with so many eyes on basketball this week, I thought I'd share one of her appetizer recipes: vegan pimento cheese fondue.
Hester notes that the recipe uses a 1 1/2 to 2 quart slow cooker. You can double or triple the recipe and use a larger one if you like.
"It's easy to make and no one will realize that they are having vegan cheese instead of the real thing," Hester tells me. "I use a base of pureed white beans to make it healthier while ensuring that my fondue won't separate during the party. And you still have a gooey, flavorful dip that tastes like somebody's Mama made it."
Vegan Pimento Cheese Fondue
- 1 can (15 ounces, or 420 g) white beans, drained and rinsed, or 1 1/2 cups (340 g) homemade
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) water
- 2 tablespoons (12 g) vegan chicken-flavored bouillon
- 1 jar (2 ounces, or 56 g) diced pimentos, drained
- 2 cups (225 g) shredded Daiya vegan cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons (28 g) vegan mayonnaise or olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon stone-ground mustard
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Add the beans and the water to a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. Oil the crock of the slow cooker. Add the purée and the remaining ingredients and cook on low for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the cheese is fully melted.
You will need to stir it a few times (about every 20 minutes) during cooking to fully incorporate the cheese as it melts. If you prefer a thinner fondue, just add more water until it is the consistency that you desire.
Yield: 16 appetizer-sized servings