A trio of dips with guacamole, corn pico de gallo, and chili cashew cheese served with pan-fried tortilla chips and Belgian endives.
This dip trio is the perfect munching food for serving at family gatherings, game night, or a Sunday fun-day of solitary Netflix! Portions can be altered for individual consumption – or not, if you want to have a snack palooza party for one (been there).
When I was making these dips, I had a real hankering some banging, not-so-good-for-you tortilla chips. Tortilla chips can also be made by baking them in the oven, but I decided to indulge myself this time around. I’ll included baking directions for my health conscious friends out there!
Another health conscious substitute you can make is using Belgian endives or celery for dipping instead of or in addition to the tortilla chips. I adore Belgian endives for this because their awesome curved shape makes for optimal scooping!
8-10 tortillas, cut into 6 or 8 pieces each
1 cup avocado oil for frying
I used Trader Joe’s Habanero Lime Flour Tortillas because I love the subtly spicy kick and zesty lime, but any conventional tortilla will do! Likewise, you can also opt to swap out the avocado oil for any other oil with a high smoke point. Some other high smoke point oils include grapeseed oil, corn oil, almond oil, and safflower oil.
Heat large pan over high heat for 1 minute and add oil. Heat oil for 2 minutes and reduce heat to medium. Fry chips in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan.
Fry tortilla until bubbles start to form and chips are lightly crisped, approximately 1-2 minutes per side. Remove tortilla chips from oil with tongs and absorb excess oil with paper towels.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange tortilla chips on baking pan or parchment paper in a single layer. If desired, season the chips with oil and spice mixture by brushing on each side of the tortilla. Bake for about 7-9 minutes until chips are crispy.
2 roma tomatoes, seeds removed & diced
½ small red onion, diced
1 large jalapeño pepper, seeds removed, deveined, & diced
1 tbsp paprika
Large handful of cilantro, finely chopped
Salt to taste (I used about 1 ½ tsp)
Remove seed from avocado and scoop flesh into a mixing bowl. Roughly mash avocado with a fork. Avoid using a blender when making guacamole – we want the guac to still have the delightful chunky texture rather than being a puréed mush.
Add diced tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, paprika, lime juice, salt, and cilantro to the bowl. Mix thoroughly and serve sprinkled with additional paprika for stellar presentation.
For those of us who are not spice-friendly, feel free to substitute bell peppers for the jalapeño pepper or leave that part out entirely. If you want your guac to have a bit more bite without the extra kick, try adding finely diced celery to the mixture.
While this guac was absolutely banging, I could have amped up the spice a bit more – those of you who are familiar with my recipes know I’m an absolute spice fanatic! The next time I make this recipe, I’m definitely going to double the amount of jalapeño I use.
Chili Cashew Cheese
1 generous cup of raw cashews, soaked for 2+ hours
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped (can substitute 1 tsp garlic powder)
1 tsp herbes de provence (I used dried)
2 tsp basil (I used dried)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp lime juice (I used freshly squeezed organic limes)
1 ½ tsp red chili powder
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp salt (I used pink himalayan salt)
¼ cup of water, more as needed
Cilantro for garnish
Note: you will need a food processor to make this cashew cheese recipe. If you don’t have one, feel free to substitute store bought cashew cheese!
Combine rinsed and drained cashews, herbs, garlic, nutritional yeast, lime juice, salt, red chili powder, and paprika in food processor. Pulse mixture until it has a coarse, mealy texture – about 1 minute. Use spatula to remove chunks from sides of food processor bowl as needed.
Turn the food processor on and add water to mixture slowly. Turn off and scrape sides of bowl when needed. Continue blending for 2-3 minutes until cashew cheese is smooth and creamy – about the consistency of hummus. Add more water by tsp as necessary. Garnish with cilantro if desired.
Corn Pico De Gallo
6 roma tomatoes, seeds removed & diced
1 ½ cups of corn (I used frozen)
1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed, deveined, & diced
½ small red onion, diced
Large handful of cilantro, finely chopped
Salt to taste (I used about 1 tsp)
I decided to rev up the traditional pico de gallo by adding some corn to the recipe, which gives it a wonderful sweetness to compliment the tang!
After dicing the veggies, mix them on up with the freshly squeezed lime juice, salt and cilantro. If you don’t have fresh limes readily available, as always please feel free to substitute with store bought lime juice (about 1 tbsp).
Cashew – Cashews are a good source for magnesium, essential in healthy bone and muscle function and blood pressure regulation. They also have high levels of protein, iron, zinc, copper, and manganese. Monounsaturated fatty acids found in cashews contribute to healthy levels of HDL “good” cholesterol and phytosterols inhibit the body’s absorption of LDL “bad” cholesterol. Cashews support eye health and heart health.
Onion – Onions includes high levels of sulfuric compounds, which stimulates the body’s anti-inflammatory processes to promote healing. It also has folate, vitamin C, and fiber and can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Garlic – Garlic contains manganese, vitamins B6 and C, and selenium. It has incredible medicinal properties including combating illness, reducing blood pressure, lowering LDL cholesterol, and promoting longevity of life.
Lime – Limes are a good source of Vitamin A, B, and C, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Like other citrus fruits, limes promote healthy immune function and are a fantastic source of antioxidants. It can also help increase absorption of water and make the body more alkaline versus acidic.
Corn – Corn is a grain that is a good source of antioxidant carotenoids and promotes eye health. Corn may also reduce the risk of anemia. It is a rich source iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid. Corn may help lower blood sugar and maintain healthy levels of cholesterol.
Tomato – Tomatoes are the major dietary source of antioxidant lycopene, a carotenoid which reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer. They also contain vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, and folate.
Cilantro – Cilantro, the leafy portion of the coriander plant, contain high amounts of antioxidant flavonoids, essential oils, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, and vitamins, A, C, K, and folate. It may help reduce levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol as well as promote healthy cardiovascular function.
Paprika – Paprika is a spice that is rich in beta carotene which can aid in maintenance of healthy skin and may even have anti-aging effects. It is abundant in Vitamin A which encourages eye health. Copper and iron found in paprika help in production of healthy new blood cells. Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, and potassium are also present in paprika.
Red Chili Powder – Red chili powder contains vitamin C which boosts immune system function to fight off infections and heal injuries. Capsaicin found in red chili powder has been found to release endorphins that stimulate sexual arousal and powerfully boost metabolism. Red chili powder can also promote healthy digestion and prevent acid reflux and fight bacteria that cause stomach ulcers. It’s anti inflammatory properties can help those with osteoarthritis by increasing blood flow and reducing joint swelling.
Herbes De Provence – Herbes De Provence is a French blend of herbs that usually contains rosemary, basil, thyme, bay leaves, marjoram, and savory. Rosemary can help relieve muscle pain, boost memory function, and promote immune and cardiovascular health. Basil is rich in antioxidants and can reduce inflammation. Thyme is an incredible mood booster with high vitamin C content and can help lower blood pressure. Bay leaves are great for detoxification, promoting healing, reducing inflammation, and managing diabetes. Marjoram (oregano) is high in antioxidants and vitamins. Savory, a mint family herb, may be beneficial in treating headaches and improving digestive health.
Basil – Basil is an anti-inflammatory herb that contains powerful antioxidants. It also has antibacterial properties and high level of magnesium which promotes blood flow.
Avocado – Avocados are a fantastic source of fiber, potassium, vitamin K, folate, vitamins C, B5, B6, and E. Potassium found in avocados can help those with hypertension and is essential in the electrical activity of cells. Avocados are abundant in monounsaturated fatty acids which are essential for cardiovascular health. Oleic acid (the major fat source in avocados) can help reduce inflammation and prevent cancer cell growth. Avocados can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce triglycerides.
Jalapeño Pepper – Capsaicin found in jalapeños acts as an anti-inflammatory, can help to promote weight loss, clear the sinuses, and reduce pain associated with headaches. Jalapeños, being a kind of chili pepper, have high amounts of flavonoids, vitamin C, B6, K and A, and have antioxidant properties. Flavonoids can help to lower blood pressure.
Happy eating folks! And remember, food is art.
“Let food be thy medicine.” – Hippocrates
If you liked this recipe, share with a friend! What are your favorite vegan dips?