Friday, November 11, 2005

Lunch Box Fondue

Kids love to dip things! Be sure to include a long-handled fork to dip the veggies with. This recipe also makes a nice "cheese" sauce to pour over baked potatoes or steamed greens.

makes about 2 cups

½ cup chopped baby carrots
one 12-oz. package soft or firm silken tofu
¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
¼ tsp. dry mustard
1 TB mellow brown rice or white miso
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
¾ tsp. salt, or to taste
pinch of white pepper
pinch of nutmeg

Place the carrots in a small saucepan and cover with a scant ½ cup of water. Bring to boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook until the carrots are completely tender.

Meanwhile, place all the rest of the ingredients in a Vita-Mix or other blender. When the carrots are done add them and their cooking liquid and puree until completely smooth.

Place the fondue back into the saucepan and heat on medium low heat, stirring frequently, until piping hot.

To serve, pour the fondue into a small crockpot or fondue pot and serve surrounded by vegetables and bread for dipping (see our list of favorites below). To pack for a lunch, pour hot fondue into a small thermos that has been preheated with boiling water for 10 minutes.

Some Favorite Fondue Dippers:

cubes of crusty wholegrain bread
boiled baby new potatoes
lightly steamed baby carrots
raw or lightly steamed cauliflower florets
raw or lightly steamed broccoli florets
steamed Brussels sprouts
blanched aspargus spears
bell pepper strips
apple chunks
cherry tomatoes
artichoke hearts
raw button mushrooms
raw zucchini slices
blanched whole green beans


allie said...

Thanks for posting this! I've been looking for an excuse to buy a fondue kit!

Louisa said...

Yum! Thanks! I think I will make some for my birthday lunch this week.

Katy said...

Apples!! Apples would be really good dipped in a cheesey fondue!

michelleknits said...

yeah -- thanks!

Anonymous said...

thanks! that sounds better than the one i've tried to make after i was insprired by your lunchbox fondue post. nutmeg and miso. thanks!!!

Knit Knat Knut said...

Mmmmmmmmmmmm! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I have stuck this in my recipe file! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Jennifer! Thank you so much for reposting this. :D I know what dinner tonight is going to include.

Thank you!

Himani said...

What an interesting recipe! Fondue for a lunch box! I'm intrigued and must try...but...I was wondering how long the fondue keeps in a heated thermose?

rachel b. said...

made this tonight. i'm not vegan, but it was delicious. it was much more like cheese sauce than i expected - the consistency and color were perfect. i don't know that my bf would have known the difference, if i didn't tell him! thanks for the recipe.

Jennifershmoo said...

Thanks, rachel b.! That's great to hear!

Hi, himani -- I preheated the thermos with boiling water for 10 minutes, then drained and wiped it dry and filled it with the hot fondue. It kept it nice and warm until lunchtime, which was a little over 4 hours.

Anonymous said...

iv'e made this,

i made it with regular soft tofu (not silken) and it tasted pretty bad. not tasty at all. have very strong tofu taste. it's looks much tastier in your photo.

SusanV said...

Hi Jennifer, I'm wondering if the 1 tbsp of miso is a misprint. I tried it that way, and it overwhelmed the taste of the entire recipe. Or perhaps my miso wasn't as mellow as yours? Either way, I'd recommend that people start with a tsp. and add more as needed.

Jennifershmoo said...

1 TB is right. My guess is your miso isn't mellow or white miso. It should be very pale in color, labeled mellow or white or sweet, and have a much milder flavor than regular, dark miso. In this recipe it doesn't stand out or overwhelm, it lends an "aged" taste like cheese.

Anonymous said...

I think I did something wrong....

I just tried the recipe this evening, and I was totally overwhelmed by the yeast. I am new to nutritional yeast flakes, but it smelled kind of like bread dough gone horribly wrong. I had a very tiny bit to try and it tasted sort of cheezy, but on my veggies the yeast taste just seemed too strong again. Is 1/4 cup the correct measurement? If I need to sut it down, how much would you suggest?

Thanks, Nicole :)

Jennifershmoo said...

Ah, yes, some people do feel that way when they are new to nutritional yeast, and some people never really warm to it at all.

First, make sure you really have nutritional yeast, not brewer's yeast (which is bitter) or active dry yeast (the kind you make bread with). Red Star and Kal are two common brands; it should be bright yellow and flaky.

1/4 cup is the right measure, but if you're not sure about nutritional yeast yet, try putting in just a tablespoon at first and see how it goes.

Kate said...

Hi Jennifer,

Thanks for sharing! How do you think this would taste without the miso? I noticed a website suggested substituting a veggie boullion cube for 1 TB white miso--think that would work?

New to all of this :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks for the recipe! I made it last night and it was delicious! I didn't have miso so I used 2 Tbsp vegetable broth and a Tbsp of white vinegar. Seemed to work perfectly! It would be so great to eat with friends and I can't wait to make it for my vegan brother when he comes to visit. Thanks - Brooke

Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks for the recipe! I made it last night and it was delicious! I didn't have miso so I used 2 Tbsp vegetable broth and a Tbsp of white vinegar. Seemed to work perfectly! It would be so great to eat with friends and I can't wait to make it for my vegan brother when he comes to visit. Thanks - Brooke

terra said...

just made this recipe - yum. thanks jennifer! you're awesome!

cv said...

Nicole, Be sure to use nutritional yeast flakes, not powder. Use far less powder than flakes or you'll be sorry!

Norima said...

There is not "nutritional yeast" available in my city. Do you have any idea about replacements?

rocklizard said...

Oh this looks great and I'd love to try it. Unfortunately my husband is allergic to soy. Any ideas for eliminating the tofu??

speedwell said...

Norima, try adding a spoonful of tahini... but I don't know if it will quite do the trick. There is really no good alternative to the nutritional yeast when you are making a cheesy sauce. But nutritional yeast is actually available online. Make sure they say it is Red Star Nutritional Yeast.

Rocklizard, use some drained well-cooked white beans (Great Northern, cannelini, or even garbanzo), and blend until super creamy. You may need a little extra liquid.

Anonymous said...

I'm not vegan and haven't been for many yesrs. In hopes of getting my family closer to it, though, I am trying new recipes. Unfortunately, this just didn't convince my cheese-loving kids. I liked it, but it didn't taste anything like cheese. Maybe it's been too long since y'all have tasted real cheese?

speedwell said...

Actually I'm a vegetarian out and a vegan at home, so I have eaten cheese recently, and I like this. It's possible you are overanalyzing; the flavor is more of a process cheese spread, not a block cheese. The best cheesy flavor is obtained by using roasted red peppers or pimentos in the recipe, maybe in place of some of the carrots. Also make sure the mixture is tangy enough (I would use fresh lemon juice to adjust this) and salty/savory enough (miso would do perfectly, as other commenters have pointed out). I sometimes add a drop of liquid smoke to mine, not enough to taste smoky but enough to complicate the flavor a bit.

rachel said...

Hi Jennifer
Thank you so much for your column! I'm a vegetarian slowly switching to vegan and since cheese is my last thing to go, this recipe sounds fantastic! I have one question, though. I like to make a bunch of meals on Sunday and then use them in my lunches throughout the week. How long do you think the fondu will keep in the fridge?

Jennifershmoo said...

I think the fondue would keep well for at least 3 - 4 days in the refrigerator. Simply reheat it when you're ready.

Anonymous said...

I used white miso, added a splash of liquid smoke, a tsp of onion powder and a tsp of garlic powder and it was super-fantaaastic. Tasted somewhere between a great welsh rarebit and a boxed mac and cheese sauce. I'm pouring some over a baked potato. mmmm.. Heavenly. Thank you very much.

tasha roe said...

this recipe is so good! my kids just devoured it all!! gotta love that!

Anonymous said...

I'd really love to try this but nutritional yeast doesn't agree with me (which seems to be a more general problem with a lot of vegan recipies). Does anyone know any alternatives?

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I am home sick today from work and made this for lunch. I was craving comfort food and it was perfect. I had it over some pasta with spinach and broccoli and it met my craving!

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Carry said...

I've been sad lately that our fondue pot doesn't get used anymore. This has totally inspired me to dig it out! My husband will be thrilled too; he loves fondue, but not the way cheese makes him feel. Thank you!