Vegan Nacho Cheese Dip
For many diehard fans, today marks the start of a Monday night tradition that will unite or divide friends and families across the country for the next several months and put some serious wear and tear on couches everywhere.
It’s football season folks.
As you may know, watching football is not exactly my favorite Fall pastime.
It’s not the game itself that I dislike, it’s the typical unhealthy activities that I’m not so fond of.
You know, wasting your time sitting on the couch, screaming at the television, guzzling cheap beer, and stuffing your face with trans fat.
Don’t get me wrong, back in undergrad I loved partaking in all of the above. As I get older though, I really don’t want to blow a whole day/night sitting on my butt eating junk food.
This season is a little different though. Now that I’m in school again — Go Trojans! — I’ve been getting back in school spirit mode and wanting to actually watch our team Fight On.
To avoid the pitfalls of years past, I’ll be making healthy snacks to avoid noshing on the typical fatty football grub.
I’m taking part in a new campaign with Silk to encourage sports enthusiasts to sideline meat on Monday nights as a part of their #MeatlessMondayNight challenge. Going meat-free on a regular basis is not only great for your health, it’s also good for the planet, and Meatless Monday is something I’ve been partaking in for a while.
I decided to use my first Monday night challenge to tackle my college football favorite. So without further ado…
“Are you ready for some Nacho Cheese Dip!?!”
I remember going to games and getting chips or soft pretzels and just drenching them in cheese sauce — then regretting it later. This dip however, does not contain any of the creepy mystery products of my former guilty pleasure.
Using all animal-free products, this cheesy dip is totally vegan, lactose-free, easy to make, and absolutely delicious.
The cashews provide a creamy texture and some heart healthy fat, while the nutritional yeast contributes a cheesy, nutty (vegan) flavor, along with a bunch of essential vitamins.
Smoked paprika also adds to that nacho taste and the tapioca starch gives it the gooey nacho cheese consistency.
You can make this recipe on the stove or use a slow-cooker, which will keep it warm throughout the big game.
- ½ C. Cashews, soaked
- 1 C. Warm Water
- 1 C. Unsweetened Almond Milk or Vegetable Broth
- ¼ C. Tapioca Starch*
- 2 T. Nutritional Yeast
- 1 T. Lemon Juice
- 1 Garlic Clove
- ½ T. Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp. Salt
- Soak cashews in water for at least 2 hours (you can also do this overnight).
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor or high powered blender.
- Pour mixture into a slow cooker and heat on low for 3-4 hours. OR pour into a sauce pan and heat at medium-high for about 3-5 minutes, stirring continuously.
Saucewill get thick and gooey.
- Serve immediately!
**The longer you heat the sauce the thicker it gets. Thin it out with more vegetable broth/almond milk if necessary!
This recipe works great as a cheese sauce for nachos, pretzels, and baked potatoes, or a dip for cold, crunchy veggies.
Note: if you cook it in a pan and let it sit, it will get very thick and sticky. You can always reheat and stir it to make it more sauce-like. Adjusting the liquid by adding a little more or less water will also help achieve the desired consistency.
Stay tuned till next Meatless Monday when I’m going to show you how to take this Nacho Cheese and use it to make another football favorite: Spinach Artichoke Dip!
That recipe will also be vegan and I’ve incorporated some nontraditional dip upgrades.
If you’d like to take the #MeatlessMondayNight challenge with me, sign up at Silk.com, where you can find more awesome meatless recipes. In addition to benefiting yourself and your planet, you could also win some great prizes!
Weigh In: Have you tried vegan cheese dip/sauce? What’s your favorite Monday Night Football meal?
*This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.