Mexican Inspired Cashew Queso

IMG_3690Truth be told, the term “cheese” or “queso” is slightly deceptive for this recipe. The evolution of food has introduced so many variations of everyday dishes making it feel strange to call this recipe anything but what it is. So I’m just going to come right out and say that this delightful dip is just that —

a delightful cashew dip that happens to taste like cheese and goes really well with nachos

Inspired by the Minimalist Baker, this recipe is packed with healthy fats and leaves you feeling full and satisfied without the the bloating of devouring a dairy-based cheese. It’s easy to make, and the only thing you may not have in your pantry, but is totally worth the investment, is nutritional yeast. This is what gives it that “cheesy” flavour.

Nutritional yeast is a nutrient-dense flakey powder (not to be confused with baking yeast). I really like the Bob’s Redmill Brand. It keeps for a long time, but chance are, once you start experimenting with this ‘seasoning’ you might find yourself running out sooner than you thought (it makes for an amazing popcorn topper with a drizzle of olive oil OR use it in your salad dressings, one of my all-time favourites is Glory Bowl Salad Dressing)

It tastes…

Creamy, spicy, salty, garlicky and cheesy

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups cashews, soaked overnight OR pour boiling hot water overtop and let soak for at least 20 min.
  • 1 – 2 tbsp. sliced hot peppers (I used chilis from Terroni’s Chili oil, but you could use 1/2 – 1 whole jalapeno roasted OR 1 – 2 tsp. of your favourite hot sauce)
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup water (I used the water from the soaked nuts, give or take a bit extra)
  • 1/2 tsp. of each chilli powder, cumin, onion powder and sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric (this is what gives it that incredible golden colour)

Make it like so…

  1. Soak nuts overnight OR in a bowl of boiling hot water for at least 20 min.
  2. Roast your Jalapeno pepper (if using) on broil for 4-7 min. in the oven
  3. Strain nuts (reserve the water) and add them to your blender with the fresh garlic and 1/2 cup water
  4. Blend until finely chopped
  5. Add dry ingredients (nutritional yeast and spices), peppers and 1/4 cup of water
  6. Blend until creamy, adding 1 tbsp. of water at a time until you reach desired consistency

*Since I took the quicker route and soaked the nuts in boiling water, my dip was warm and heavenly. If you want to heat your warm, add 1 – 2 tsp. extra of water and heat on medium-low on the stove, stirring often.

Serve with guacamole, salsa fresca and toasted nachos. IMG_3692

 

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