Life-Affirming Warm Nacho Dip
Prep Time: 25 -30 minutes plus soak time
Cooktime: 25-30 minutes
From: Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon
FOR THE CHEESE SAUCE:
1 cup (250 mL) raw cashews
1 cup (250 mL) peeled and chopped carrots
2 tablespoons (30 mL) nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons (30 mL) fresh lemon juice
1 large clove garlic
1 1⁄4 teaspoons (6 mL) fine-grain sea salt
3⁄4 teaspoon (4 mL) chili powder
1⁄2 teaspoon (2 mL) onion powder
1⁄4 to 1⁄2 teaspoon (1 to 2 mL) cayenne
pepper, to taste (optional)
FOR THE DIP:
1 cup (250 mL) chunky marinara sauce
1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped sweet onion
2 to 3 handfuls of baby spinach (about 3 ounces/85 g), roughly chopped
1⁄3 cup (75 mL) crushed corn chips or bread crumbs
1 to 2 green onions, finely sliced, for serving (optional)
Tortilla chips or Spiced Toasted Pita Chips (see page 91), for serving
Make the Cheese Sauce: Place the cashews in a medium bowl and add water to cover. Set aside to soak for at least 2 hours, or overnight if you have the time. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Lightly grease a 2-quart (2-L) cast-iron pan or casserole dish.
Place the carrots in a small saucepan and add water to cover. Bring the water to a boil and cook the carrots for 5 minutes, or until just fork-tender. Drain. You can also steam the carrots, if desired.
In a blender, combine the soaked and drained cashews, cooked carrots, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, salt, chili powder, onion powder, cayenne (if using), and 2⁄3 cup (150 mL) water and blend until silky smooth, adding a splash of extra water if needed. Pour the sauce into a large bowl.
Make the Dip: Stir the marinara sauce, onion, and spinach into the Cheese Sauce until fully combined. Spoon the sauce into the prepared dish and smooth out, and sprinkle the top evenly with the crushed corn chips.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, uncovered, watching closely toward the end of the cooking time to make sure the corn chip topping doesn’t burn. Garnish with sliced green onion, if desired. Serve immediately with tortilla chips or Spiced Toasted Pita Chips.
Reheat any leftovers in the oven at 400°F (200°C) for 10 to 20 minutes, or until heated through. Store the dip in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.