The perfect plant-based snack for Super Bowl Sunday – this Slow Cooker Vegan Chili Cheese Lentil Dip is full of spicy chili flavor and a delicious and satisfying meaty texture. I feel like I don’t need to bore you with my whole Super Bowl spiel again. You heard that last week with my Vegan Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos recipe.
I will share with you a different story though, one called #RealLifeImAFoodBlogger. It goes something like this…test a vegan cashew cheese dip for the blog on a time crunch…looks and tastes like soup…debates for 60 seconds whether or not to try again…worries about the sun going down for shooting…stares at sink overflowing with dirty dishes…decides to go for it…in a hurry, drops the food processor blade covered in cashew cheese on the kitchen rug…cashew cheese everywhere…cleans up cashew cheese…pulls off second recipe attempt…no longer looks like soup…tastes great…shoots just as the sun is setting…and wipes sweat off of face.It’s funny I went out to dinner earlier this week with some clinical dietitian friends of mine who I know from my dietetic internship (which is the clinical training to become a RD) and they looked at me in awe when I spoke about what I do on a daily basis and said wow, that sounds amazing. And it IS. I wouldn’t deny that for a second. But it’s far from glamorous. Exhibit A above.
But it is pretty cool what opportunities have come about from blogging. Like just two weekends ago, I was invited to join the American Pulse Association and the USDA Dry Pea and Lentil Council for a blogger/media pulses immersion at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa, CA to celebrate the International Year of Pulses! Yes, 2016 is the year of pulses!
I’m not going to lie I had no idea what pulses even were until a year ago. In case you’re in the same boat, let me fill you in. Pulses include dry peas, lentils, chickpeas and beans and only the dry version. So, fresh peas are actually legumes, not pulses.
Anywho the pulses event at the CIA totally inspired me to start doing more with pulses. I cook with pulses all the time but I never bake with them! And we spent hours in the CIA kitchen exploring with different baking and cooking applications. I can’t wait to start experimenting more with baked goods made with pulse flours and purees for the blog!
But for now, I make delicious vegan snacks with them like this slow cooker vegan chili cheese lentil dip. Throw ingredients for the lentil chili in the slow cooker, run Super Bowl errands, come back, throw your cashew cheese ingredients in the food processor and pour the cashew cheese into the slow cooker and you’re done! Easy. Peasy.Plus, the chili cheese flavor is so on point that you wouldn’t believe it was meat and dairy-free. Plus, the lentils add a savory, meaty texture that’s totally satisfying. Not to mention, added protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. And then there’s the extra nutrition boost from the cashews, too.
And most importantly, this does not taste like soup. 🙂
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 3/4 cup diced tomatoes (about 1/2 14-ounce can)
- 1/2 cup dry brown or green lentils
- 1/4 cup canned diced green chilis, drained and rinsed
- 1 3/4 teaspoon chili powder, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least two hours
- 1/2 orange bell pepper
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 3/4 cup hot almond milk
- extra salt to taste
- optional: cilantro for garnish
- Tortilla chips for dipping
- Add onion, tomatoes, lentils, chilis, 1 teaspoon chili powder, garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and vegetable stock to a slow cooker. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
- In a food processor, add cashews, bell pepper, nutritional yeast, 3/4 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and almond milk and pulse for 3-5 minutes, or until smooth and creamy. Add extra salt to taste.
- Pour cashew cheese into slow cooker and mix in with the lentils. Dip should be served warm, with tortilla chips and option to garnish with cilantro.
Tell me, did you know what pulses were? Have you ever used them in the kitchen before?
For other pulse inspiration, check out the recipes below: