Loaded Nachos with “Cheesy” Dip

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This dip is full of veggies, so sort of healthy, no? Since going to the dark side (mostly vegan), every now again I crave nachos. I’m not a fan of fake cheese so decided to try making my own vegan cheese dip. Not bad! I combined a couple of recipes to come up with this one (America’s Test Kitchen Vegan for Everybody and Minimalist Baker). You don’t have to be too precious about it; play around with flavours and ingredients. This one works for me and I often use what I have. Cauliflower florets are also good chucked into the cooking water. It seriously helps to have a high powered blender—mine is a shiny red vitamix! Serve with your favourite salsa and guacamole and call it supper. -bvox
 

Loaded Nachos with “Cheesy” Dip

Ingredients

Nacho Dip
  • 12 ounces russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1‐inch pieces
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and cut into ½‐inch pieces (1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cashews
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1½ tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1½ teaspoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of your favourite hot sauce
  • 1/4 spicy salsa
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 tsp mixed spices*

*Feel free to add any spices you like! I added some of Steph McVox’s homemade taco seasoning, but you could add chili powder, cayenne pepper etc.

Nachos

  • 8 ounces tortilla chips
  • 1 recipe for nacho dip, warmed
  • 1 small can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup fresh salsa
  • 1 jalapeno chiles, stemmed and sliced thin
  • 1/4 each red and orange peppers, seeded and diced
  • Green onions, sliced thin
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges

Instructions

For the Nacho Dip

Bring 2 quarts water to boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add potatoes, carrot, and cashews and cook until tender, about 12 minutes; save 1/2 of cooking liquid then drain in colander.

Combine cooked vegetables and cashews, 1/3 cup reserved cooking liquid or water, 2 tablespoons oil, nutritional yeast, vinegar, hot sauce, salsa and salt in blender. Pulse until chopped and combined, about 10 pulses, scraping down sides of blender jar as needed. Process mixture on high speed until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Add more cooking liquid if you need to thin it out.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in now-empty saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and jalapeno and cook until softened and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, chipotle, cumin, and mustard and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds; remove from heat.

Stir processed potato mixture into onion mixture in saucepan and bring to brief simmer over medium heat to heat through. Transfer to bowl and serve immediately—or top it with nachos. Note: this usually makes extra and it freezes well. Bring to room temperature and whisk well.

For the Nachos

Spread half of tortilla chips evenly into a large oven-proof dish. Drizzle 1 cup nacho dip evenly over chips, then top with half of the salsa, followed by half of beans. Repeat layering with remaining chips, nacho dip, salsa, beans and then the jalapeños. Bake until warmed through and edges of chips on top layer are beginning to brown, 5-8 minutes.

Let nachos cool for 2 minutes, then sprinkle with green onions, chopped peppers and cilantro; serve immediately with lime wedges, your favourite guacamole, and more salsa. 

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