Sunday, 6 January 2013

Savoury Vegan Nacho Dip

Nutritional yeast is a staple in the pantry, especially for those of us who have chosen a plant-based diet.  Commercial nutritional yeast, aside from being savoury and delicious, is typically fortified with vitamin B12 which is lacking in a plant-based diet.  Vitamin B12 is produced by bacteria and a certain type of single celled organism, animals eat food contaminated with B12 and it is then absorbed into their flesh, this is how animal products come to contain it.  So if you're not eating animal products, you will have to make a conscious effort to include vitamin B12 in your diet either through supplementation or by finding products fortified with it.

I have used nutritional yeast in the recipe below to add a savoury, "cheesy" flavour to the mix.  You can also use it in sauces, sprinkle it on popcorn, make condiments with it..... use your imagination!!  I'm a big advocate of playing with your food. :-)

Note: people who are sensitive to yeast can usually have nutritional yeast without any issues.  It is a deactivated (dried and pasteurized) version of baker's yeast.

Preheat oven to 350f.

Taco seasoning:
4 tbsp chili powder
3 tbsp cumin powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp paprika

2 avocados
1 tsp cilantro
1 lime
1 can black or pinto beans
1 cup veggie broth
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
3 tbsp flax "milk"
2 tbsp earth balance "butter"
1 tsp flour
1/4 cup taco seasoning

Savoury sauce:
In a pot over medium heat, add the flax milk and taco seasoning and whisk until mixed thoroughly.  Add the earth balance "butter" and allow it to melt while whisking into the flax and taco seasoning mixture.  Add the nutritional yeast and whisk until mixed thoroughly.  Add the flour to thicken this mixture.

Refried beans:
Add broth and rinsed beans to pan over medium heat.  Allow to simmer for 5 minutes and mash or blend until puréed. (For more detailed instructions see my yummy vegan breakfast post :-)

Avocado mixture:
Mash avocados in a bowl (you can use a fork) with the juice from the lime.  Add cilantro and mix.

In a casserole dish, spread the avocado mixture over the bottom.  Layer the refried beans on top and the salsa on top of that.  Finish it off with the savoury sauce as the final layer.  Bake for 15-30 minutes.

Bon Appétit!

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