I made this vegan nacho dip for our daughter’s birthday this weekend.
Her 17th birthday! WHAAAT?
I know. 😳
Some of you have been with me and my recipes for a long time – since I was blogging here. Yep, long ago. Before instagram, twitter, and yes before facebook.
I started blogging a year after our second daughter was born. I remember thinking “yeah, I can do this now“! (I also recall once saying “what is next after blogging?” Wow, I had no idea what social media had in store.)
Life had just started to normalize again after baby number two. A new normal, anyhow. At that time, Charlotte was just 4 years old. I told stories of how I was trying to juggle motherhood with two young children, after finishing my second book and starting on my third. After that third book… a third baby soon followed.
The running joke was I had a baby with every book.
With let them eat vegan, I decided to stop that pattern. 😆
Here we all are, over a decade later, our girls now (almost) 17, 13, and (almost) 8.
Char turns 17 this week, and wanted to do something that she’d remember with friends. Yet, she didn’t want it to be a big fuss of going into Vancouver and couldn’t think of much to do locally. So, I played it cool and planned a surprise party.
Such a fun time! She has a good group of friends, and they all had a blast, and loved the food.
You knew I’d get to the food… VEGAN NACHO DIP
I had to get the food prepped quickly. We were doing the surprise around 6:30, and she was only out of the house for about an hour. I didn’t want her to see too much food prep, so it had to be mostly pre-prepped and still easy to ‘conceal’. Here’s what we had:
- Pizza. It’s party food, and pleases just about everyone! I ordered 3 varieties from Famoso. Their pizzas have great base flavor, and while they use Daiya cheese as a dairy sub, they use it sparingly. Sometimes the use of Daiya can be too heavy, and I don’t love how greasy it is. Famoso uses just enough to make the pizzas work, and I don’t think people would know they are even dairy-free.
- Guacamole. Again, great party food and easy to make. I was short on time and needed to make a good batch, so instead of mashing the avocs I threw them in my food processor and blitzed with lime juice and salt until just slightly smooth. Worked a charm! Served with tortilla chips.
- Vegan Nacho Dip. This is the recipe I’m featuring today. It’s from The Cheese Trap and I mentioned it in this vid. I prepped it earlier in the day, and stored in a covered baking dish in the fridge until ready to bake. I served with some sliced artisan breads, and extra salsa on the side (also for the kids to have with the tortilla chips).
- Fruit and Veg. Kept this simple with carrot and cucumber sticks in cups, and fresh strawberries and sliced honeydew.
- Drinks. I found these MADD drinks at Choices and thought they were brilliant. They proved to be a hit, everyone loved them in their fancy glasses with ice! Along with these virgin cocktails, I had some natural sodas, water, and lemonade.
- Popcorn and S&V chips.
- Crazy Brownies. She loves these and had mentioned a while back she’d want these instead of cake.
All the food went over well – especially the nacho dip and guacamole. The group told both myself and Char how much they loved both dips. These aren’t vegan kids, and one girl professes to be a huge carnivore. But, as I often say – good food is just good food. Plus, who can resist great dips? They loved the guac too because it was simple. Just the lime and salt, no herbs, onions, garlic, or tomatoes.
Shall we get on with the recipe for this vegan nacho dip?
The method is simple: Puree base ingredients (except salsa), then pour into baking dish. Add salsa and swirl through lightly. Bake. Eat!
Healthy Vegan Nacho Dip
A cheesy dip with salsa swirled in before baking. Makes the perfect party food, and no one will know it's made with such healthy, whole foods ingredients! Makes about 4 1/2 cups, serving 5-6 or more.
- 2 cups plain unsweetened nondairy milk
- 1 cup presoaked raw cashews
- 1/2 cup frozen cubed sweet potato or precooked sweet potato
- 1/4 cup potato flour - OR 1 cup precooked white potato
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 2 tsp mild miso use chickpea for soy-free
- 1 small clove garlic peeled/cut in smaller pieces
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 - 1 1/4 tsp sea salt see note
- 3/4 - 1 cup mild salsa use medium for extra heat
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking dish (roughly an 8” x 8”) by wiping/spraying the inner surface with a touch of oil. In a blender, add all ingredients except salsa. Puree until very smooth. Transfer to prepared dish. Add the salsa, and just swirl slightly into the dip (if you have children that don’t like salsa, you can swirl into just a portion of the dip). Bake for 25 minutes, then remove and let cool about 5 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips, or to top on potatoes, beans, or as part of a Mexican platter. Serves 5-6.
- Salt Note: If you need to lower sodium, use less salt. Also you can adjust, using less salt if your salsa has salt. If you start with 1 tsp, just taste the blended cheese sauce mixture and adjust to add extra if you feel it needs it.
- Serving Idea: If you like, you can add some veggies to the sauce, before adding the salsa. Try chopped bell peppers, pitted olives, sliced green onions, chopped baby spinach, or corn kernels. Also, try adding a cup or so of black beans.
Food photos by Nicole Axworthy.