Vegan “Queso” Dip

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Ok….This stuff is PHENOMENAL!!!!! I love recipes like this because it makes it so simple to not miss the “real” thing. This dip is creamy, velvety, cheesy and you’d never guess that the main ingredient is eggplant. Yup. EGGPLANT! This also means that there are only about 55 calories per serving. Now that is a dip I’ll really enjoy eating!!! It also reheats really well so you can keep the leftovers in the fridge for several days 🙂

Makes roughly 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 7-9 rounds of eggplant, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened  almond milk
  • 2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp finely minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 3 tsp cornstarch (sub another thickener if desired)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chunky medium salsa, slightly drained
  1. Slice your eggplant into thin rounds just under 1/2 inch (not quite 1/4 inch), then sprinkle both sides of the flesh with a little sea salt and arrange in a colander to help draw out some of the moisture and bitterness. Let set for 10-15 minutes, then rinse with cool water and thoroughly pat dry between two clean towels.
  2. Preheat oven to high broil and place an oven rack near the top of the oven. Arrange the dried eggplant rounds on a baking sheet lightly spritzed with non-stick spray and drizzle both sides of the eggplant with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with a very small amount of salt.
  3. Broil on high for 4-5 minutes on each side, watching carefully as to not let them burn. Flip at the halfway point to ensure even cooking. Once the eggplant appears tender and both sides have golden brown color, remove from the oven and wrap loosely in foil to steam.
  4. After a few minutes, unwrap and peel the eggplant skin away. It should come right off. If you pack your roasted eggplant into a 1-cup measuring cup, it should be almost 1 cup.
  5. Place eggplant in a blender with the 1.5 cups almond milk, 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast, minced garlic, cumin, chili powder and cornstarch and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. I added a pinch more sea salt and a little more nutritional yeast. To thin, add more almond milk.
  6. Transfer to a small saucepan and warm over medium to medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly – about 5 minutes. The longer you go the thicker it will become.
  7. NOTE: If it isn’t looking as thick as you want, thicken with a slurry of cornstarch by adding an additional 1 tsp cornstarch to a small bowl with a little almond milk. Whisk to combine and then stir back into the pot. This should thicken it right up.
  8. Once hot and thickened, remove from heat and stir in salsa. remember to slightly drain your salsa so it doesn’t make the dip too runny. I added extra salsa on top of mine once it was in the serving dish 🙂
  9. Serve with chips, crackers or veggies. Or use it for in burritos, quesadillas, tacos, or on top of a veggie&rice bowl, or on pasta…the options are ENDLESS!!!

Eat. Enjoy. Love

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