Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Really REALLY Good (Vegan) Nacho Dip

I know! You're thinking VEGAN nacho dip?! Not possible. You may even think what's the point of nachos without cheese. I too was very skeptical. My neighbour recently lent me one of her cookbooks called "Oh She Glows" which I'm sure many many people have already heard about. This one happens to be all vegan food. I had flipped through it and was intrigued by this dip. But then I looked at the recipe and was a little weirded out by phrases like "soak your cashews for 2 hours and then puree" or "nutritional yeast will add a cheesy flavour!" whaaaaaat?! 

Well I decided to stop being a wuss and try it out. I mean, it looked amazing in the book. So I soaked my cashews and picked up some nutritional yeast and you know what? This dip is amazing. And nutritional yeast totally adds a cheesy flavour! Go figure! 

Life Affirming Nacho Dip by Oh She Glows slightly adapted from original recipe
Make It!
For the ‘cheese’ sauce:
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup peeled, chopped carrots
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 large clove garlic
1¼ tsp fine grain sea salt
¾ tsp chili powder
½ tsp onion powder
¼-.5 tsp of cayenne pepper (optional)
For the dip:
1 1/2 cups chunky marinara sauce and/or salsa (I used a combo of both)
1 cup finely chopped red onion
2-3 handfuls baby spinach
1/3 cup panko
1-2 green onions, finely sliced for garnish
To make the cheese sauce: Place cashews in a medium bowl and soak in water for at least 2 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews. Preheat oven to 400F and lightly grease a cast iron pan or casserole dish. Place carrots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil with water. Let carrots cook until slightly soft and drain. Combine the soaked, drained cashews with cooked carrots, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, salt, chilli powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper and 2/3 cup of water. Blend in a blender or food processor until silky smooth. This may require you to add in some more water. Pour the ‘cheese’ sauce into a large bowl.
To make the dip: Stir the marinara sauce, onion and spinach into the cheese sauce until fully combined. Spoon the sauce into casserole dish and sprinkle panko evenly on the top. Bake uncovered 25 to 30 minutes, regularly checking to make sure the panko doesn't burn. Garnish with sprinkled green onion and serve immediately. We ate it for dinner with homemade pita chips and corn chips.

Also, this was Iris approved, score! I think she was really just into the dipping part of the meal but she seemed to enjoy it :)

I highly recommend trying this one out sometime, even if you're not vegan (I'm for sure not!).

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