VEGAN JALAPEÑO POPPER DIP

I can’t believe that I’m saying this, but I’m getting bored with beans and lentils in our stay-at-home life! It’s a nonstop parade of them in our soups, pasta, on top of salads and bowls. I know that they are the saviour of plant-based pantry cooking, they’re economical, super wholesome, accessible, full of fiber and protein, the whole package! But the thought of making YET ANOTHER chickpea stew has become less appealing these days.

So I’m whipping our pantry saviour ingredient into dips for a bit. Specifically this vegan jalapeño popper dip that’s topped with some crispy breadcrumbs and served warm. It feels indulgent, but is honestly the highest vibe version of this dip humanly possible, I think (lol). This global situation always has me thinking that I  should be sharing super practical, very easy dinner recipes nonstop. The feeling this week was very much: f*ck it, I’m making jalapeño popper dip. I just wanted a slightly naughty-feeling warm dip to casually snack on and call it dinner. We’ve been playing A LOT of cribbage the last few weeks and a delicious dip/snack-based dinner seemed extra appropriate. Make the dip, bake it up, cut vegetables, pour a beverage, play crib, good times.

The base is mostly white beans, some cashews, lots of lemon, spices, my all-time favourite thing ever nutritional yeast, miso, and some well-charred jalapeños. Ours turned out HOT because I got a little cocky with the amount of seeds that I decided to include, oops! It was still so delicious and like a lot of spicy snacks, it’s hard to stop eating it. You can control the level of spice, by omitting or including however many seeds/inner membranes of the peppers that you can handle. It tastes even better the next day if you’re planning to make it ahead. Just save the breadcrumb and baking step for right before your serving time.

Hope you make this vegan jalapeño popper dip when you’re in need of a “dip for dinner” kinda night ;). Other great options include my caramelized onion dip and my spicy pepperonccini artichoke dip. Big hug this week!

VEGAN JALAPEÑO POPPER DIP RECIPE

Print the recipe here!
SERVES: Makes 2 ½ cups of dip
NOTES: Raw cashew substitutes: soaked macadamia nuts, pine nuts, skinned and sliced almonds.
-I wound up using 4 roasted jalapeños with about 1 pepper’s worth of seeds and it was pretty hot!
-I got this dip super silky in my high speed blender. I think a food processor could work in a pinch, but the resulting dip may not be as silky smooth.
-If you have a gas stove, you can char the jalapeños in the open flame by holding them with tongs.

DIP:
4 jalapeños
1 cup cooked and drained white beans
½ cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 clove of garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon light miso
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon agave nectar
¼ cup filtered water, plus extra if necessary
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

TOPPING:
⅔ cup breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs (use a gluten-free option if necessary!)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons avocado oil
chopped chives/green onion, for garnish

Preheat the oven to broil. Line a small baking sheet with foil. Place the jalapeños on the baking sheet and slide them into the oven. Broil the jalapeños until they are charred, carefully rotating them with tongs throughout the process. This should take about 5-7 minutes! Once done, lower the heat to 350 degrees F.

Transfer the charred jalapeños to a small bowl and cover. Let the jalapeños steam for 5 minutes.

While jalapeños are steaming, make the base of the dip. In an upright blender, combine the white beans, cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic clove, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, lemon juice, miso, dijon mustard, agave nectar, water, salt, and pepper. Blend the mixture on high until completely smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of your blender pitcher if necessary. If the blender is struggling to whip up everything, add more water by the tablespoon until it gets going.

Taste the vegan jalapeño popper dip base, checking it for seasoning. Adjust to your liking (more lemon, more salt, more onion powder etc) and blend it to combine one more time. Transfer the dip base to an oven-safe serving dish with 3-cup capacity.

Back to the charred and steamed jalapeños! Uncover them and carefully peel off the charred skins. Cut the roasted jalapeños in half and scoop out the seeds if you like (or leave some in if you want some heat). Finely mince the roasted jalapeños and then stir them into the dip base. Smooth out the top of the dip in the serving dish.

Make your topping. In a small bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and avocado oil. Once the breadcrumbs are clumping a bit like wet sand, you’re good. Evenly top the vegan jalapeño popper dip with the breadcrumb topping. Bake the dip for 20 minutes, broiling the top for a couple minutes at the end to get some browning on top.

Serve the dip warm with crackers, cut vegetables etc!

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