Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Queso Dip with Raw Cashews
For years I was a “card carrying cheeseaholic”. There, I said it. I love the taste and texture of cheese. I always have, and I probably always will. Even though I still love the taste, I don’t eat the stuff anymore. Now that I know how bad it is for me how could possibly enjoy its rich gooeyness?
For those of you that don’t know there are two major components that make up dairy protein, they are casein and whey. Whey has been associated with positive health benefits. However the problem is that 80% of the protein in dairy milk is casein and that is known to be tumor promoting. Sadly, that is why we gave up dairy at our house. No matter how good it tastes, since it promotes cancer tumor growth, it is out our house and our lives. Given how cheese is made, where the whey is separated, cheese must be much higher than 80% casein. Something to think about if you are concerned about cancer.
Since I was someone that worshipped at the altar of cheese I knew to survive a vegan diet I had to come up with suitable cheese substitutes. I don’t mean the type you buy at the store with full of mystery ingredients, but something that I could make at home so I knew what was in it. The first cheese that I began making was the cheddar cheese brick, then there was the almond feta. Finally there was queso dip. I have been modifying this recipe each time I make it. Both vegans and omnivores have enjoyed the version that is posted below. If you are looking for a queso dip that is lower in fat and calories (than the dairy version) and has no cholesterol this is good choice.
This is the dip I took to Jackie and Walid’s house on Christmas Eve. The queso dip was so popular I needed to remake it and document exactly what I had done so I could give them the recipe. There was one change between this recipe and the prior version and that was the diced tomatoes/salsa. When I remade the dip my elderly parents were going to be eating it with us so I backed off on the heat and used canned diced tomatoes in place of salsa. If you have any extra dip this is great on baked potatoes with broccoli. Here is what I made.
Queso Dip with Raw Cashews
Makes approximately 7 ½ – ½ cup servings
½ cup raw cashews, soaked and drained
½ cup oatmeal, ground into flour
1 ½ cups water
2 teaspoon onion flakes, dried
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 clove garlic, peeled
14 ounces diced tomatoes (or substitute an equal amount of salsa if you like heat)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon hot crushed peppers (wet hots, finely minced pickled peppers), or to taste
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 dash cayenne, or to taste
salt and pepper to taste
Combine the cashews, oatmeal, water, onion flakes, turmeric, and garlic in your blender. Puree until the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture into a heavy bottom saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring often to keep it from sticking. Add the canned diced tomatoes with their liquid (or salsa if using), paprika hot crushed peppers, chili powder and cayenne and stir to combine. Taste the mixture and add salt and pepper, as you desire. Cook the mixture (continuing to stir) until it is hot and the texture you want. You can add more liquid if it gets too thick.
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 65.95
Calories From Fat (39%) - 25.78
Total Fat - 3.08g
Saturated Fat - 0.55g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 5.32mg
Potassium - 209.9mg
Total Carbohydrates - 8.69g
Fiber - 1.68g
Sugar - 2.01g
Protein - 2.35g
This dip is thick and rich and tastes much more decadent than it actually is. We like to eat it with corn chips, but more often it shows up on a baked potato stuffed with broccoli.
Each serving of the queso dip contains 600IU of vitamin A, and 70mg of phosphorus.
Today is going to be hectic. My husband has taken the day off and we are going to spend the day together shopping and then have dinner with our good friend Louis. I will be back later with a dinner recap. I hope you all have a great day today.