Cafe Rio Dressing Knock off (Vegan) and Accidental Overnight Chocolate Pudding

So Cafe Rio is probably my favorite place to eat. I could eat there two or three times a week and not get sick of it. Their fresh ingredients and made from scratch recipes totally win me over. Not to mention that a plant-based fool like me can go crazy there and not break the calorie bank (If you order a pork, chicken or beef salad there with all the fixins, you will be somewhere in the ballpark for 1,200 calories for a salad!).

Their website is pretty cool because it has this page with information for vegetarians and vegans!

Here is how I order: Tostada with small whole wheat tortilla instead of fried corn shell, black and pinto beans, no rice (it’s not brown, and it’s converted rice, ew), a scoop of mild enchilada sauce, no cheese, extra shredded lettuce, extra limes, no tortilla strips, extra salsa fresca (I like a little spice!), guacamole, no sour cream, no cojita (cheese) and NO DRESSING (Their Cilantro lime dressing is vegan, but is basically cilantro in a pool of oil and not tasty).

I used to just be pleased to eat it that way with the enchilada sauce, limes and salsa fresca being plentiful instead of dressing.

No more. I now bring my own dressing, yes it’s a bit ridiculous, but I can’t help myself! I love their creamy dressing and have been so sad that I can’t have it.

Of course like most things vegan, it’s not a perfect flavor substitution, but it’s pretty dang good and has all the elements you need to make a Cafe Rio fan like myself really, really happy. Oh and I made 2 versions. One is oil free and the other is made with vegenaise (based on Amanda’s Vegan Ranch)  and probably tastes a little more like the real deal.

Knock off Cafe Rio Creamy Dressing 1 (Oil Free)

3 chopped tomatillos

1/3 C. raw cashews

1 1/4 C. unsweetened soymilk

1 T. chia seeds

2 T. lime juice

2 cloves minced garlic

1/2 t. ground black pepper

2 diced scallions

1/2 C. packed chopped cilantro

1 t. salt

1 t. spike seasoning

Blend till combined.

Knock off Cafe Rio Creamy Dressing 2

1 cup vegan mayonnaise (original vegenaise is best)

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

2 T. fresh lime juice

2 minced garlic cloves

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 scallion, chopped

1 large handful fresh chopped cilantro

3 diced tomatillos

2 T. raw cashews

Toss all in blender, and whizz up until chopped and mixed.

Yield: 1.5 Cups

Of course either dressing is delicious on your own Cafe Rio type creation at home. Enjoy!

Accidental Overnight Dark Chocolate Vegan Pudding

I originally made this as a chocolate banana smoothie for an after school snack for my daughter. (I drank half, makes 2 servings). She left it on the counter-top, so I stuck it in the fridge and forgot it was there. The next morning, I found it in the fridge and was going to chuck it, but she wanted it. It had turned solid somehow. It was thick creamy and spoon-able and even tastier then when I made it the day before.

1 1/2 C. vanilla almond milk

2 bananas

2 heaping T. cocoa powder

2 heaping T. Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter (has replaced nutella at our house and is divine)

splash of pure maple syrup

Blend. Refrigerate overnight, serve.

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6 thoughts on “Cafe Rio Dressing Knock off (Vegan) and Accidental Overnight Chocolate Pudding

  1. Can’t wait to try these- though I only allow the snack packs of hazelnut butter in our house- I lack self control to own a whole jar. 🙂

  2. Pingback: ETW: Cafe Rio and why I’m Boycotting the Draper Location « Good Clean Food

  3. I was just wondering if you knew why the hot enchilada sauce isn’t vegan or even vegetarian? Pretty bummed as this is our favorite kind!

  4. Pingback: Nacho cheese and ranch dressing? Done. | lessons by teeth

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