Cheesy Goodness by the Chip-full
Step aside Velveeta, this chili cheese dip is comin' in hott.
I first discovered this recipe on a blog I follow called Delish Knowledge (ALL CREDIT TO HER).
I was searching for something to prepare for a Summer grill out with friends, that both I could eat and everyone else would also love.
This recipe stuck out to me in particular because the classic crockpot cheese dip has always been one of my favorites at parties. Who doesn't love cheese dip.. right? However, I'll admit I was a little nervous about the title "Vegan Cheese Dip," afraid that it may not taste quite like the typical velveeta and hamburger dip I was thinking of. But the blogger swore up and down that this cheese dip would be meat-lover AND vegan approved - she was right! Even though the dip is gluten, dairy, and soy free, you would never know it. As she says, "It’s perfectly spicy, meaty, and creamy- without the usual suspects."
The cheese sauce is a blend of cashews, nutritional yeast, and peppers. That's it! I use to have serious disbelief that a bunch of cashews could ever be turned into anything close to cheese. But this recipe proved me wrong, I was wowed by the way the combination of these foods blended into something so rich and creamy.
The chili base comes into play by simmering black beans, delicious salsa, and onion together in a large sauce pan I added jalepeños to give it a little extra kick. Once the base is prepared, simply stir in the cheese sauce combination and wah-lah! You have a chili cheese dip (made with pure vegetables and nuts) that is extremely versatile. I was so impressed by it that I wanted to put it on EVERY thing I could think of - chips, celery, tacos, nachos, veggie burgers, you name it.
All deliciousness aside, the cheesy goodness of this dip entails zero cholesterol, low saturated fat, high protein, and the best part of all.. it's a combination of whole foods.
My favorite ways to enjoy this dip:
- As a dip for chips or cheese sauce for nachos
Taco bowls with cauliflower rice, avocado, salsa, and fresh veggies!
cheese dip recipe
COOK TIME - 15 mins
TOTAL TIME - 25 mins
SERVES - 6 cups (party size recipe, half if you're wanting a smaller batch)
- 1½ cups cashews, soaked for at least an 1 hour, drained
- 1 orange bell pepper, roughly chopped (gives it rich color)
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk milk
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup minced onion
- 2 tbsp. taco seasoning
- 2 15 oz. cans, black beans, rinsed an drained (I used organic black beans from Trader Joe's)
- 12 oz. fresh salsa (I used the fresh homestyle salsa container from Trader Joe's)
- Optional garnishes: jalepeños to taste for desired spiciness
Pre step: soak 1.5 cups of cashews for 1 hour or more in a medium sized bowl, with purified water covering them enough so that they float a little bit in the water
- Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.
- Place the cashews, orange bell pepper, milk, chili powder, and nutritional yeast in a high powered blender or food processor. Blend until thick and creamy (~ 3min, best in a Vitamix or Blendtec blender).
- In a large saucepan, mince the onion.
- Add taco seasoning, black beans and fresh salsa to the large sauce pan over medium heat. Stir constantly until heated through, (~ 7-8 minutes).
- Add in the cheese sauce and stir to combine.
- Season to taste with salt/pepper if needed.
- Garnish as desired and serve.