Queso with Black Beans and Pickled Vegetables

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January 16, 2018

Ingredients

Queso

2 cups water

½ cup almonds or cashews, soaked

½ cup sliced pimentos (4 oz. jar, including juice)

1 ½ tbsp. fortified nutritional yeast flakes*

2 tbsp. cornstarch or arrowroot

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1½ tsp. pink Himalayan salt, or Celtic sea salt

½ tsp. onion powder

¼ tsp. garlic powder

Pickled Vegetable Filling

1 can cooked black beans, drained and well rinsed

¼ cup finely chopped red pepper

½ cup chopped tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped

¼ cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

2 tbsp. finely chopped red onion

2-3 tbsp. finely chopped pickled vegetables (I used a few beans from a jar of pickled beans in my fridge but you can use any pickled vegetables you have)

1 tbsp. chopped pickled jalapenos (or finely chopped fresh jalapeno)

1 tsp. fresh lime juice

1 tsp. maple syrup

Sour cream (optional, recipe follows)

Directions

1Blend the nuts with about ½ cup of the water until completely smooth. This takes about 20-30 seconds in a VitaMix, scraping down the sides once during blending.

2Add the next 7 ingredients and puree another 15-20 seconds.

3Pour blended mixture into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 2-3 minutes until cornstarch is cooked and sauce has thickened. Adjust the seasoning and keep warm.

Load it up!

1The addition of all the vegetables take this dip to a whole new level!

Pickeld vegetable filling

1Heat an oven dish while chopping the red peppers, tomatoes, red onion, pickled jalapeños and vegetables, lime juice and cilantro.

2Drain and rinse the black beans, and reserve a few of the beans, chopped tomatoes and cilantro for garnish. Place prepped vegetables into heated oven dish.

3Pour queso over top of the beans and pickled vegetables. (For those of you who like a lot of heat, add extra fresh or pickled jalapeños to kick it up a notch).

4 Swirl in a little of the sour cream, if using, and serve warm with corn tortilla chips, raw or lightly steamed vegetables.

Vegan Sour Cream

Ingredients

11/2 cup cashews, soaked for 2 – 4 hours; 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice; 1/2 tsp. sea salt; 1/4 cup water

2Place all ingredients in your blender (I used a Vitamix). Blend on high for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the blender and then blend on high for another 30-60 seconds, until very smooth and creamy. You'll need a fairly powerful blender to get the consistency really smooth. Yields a little under 1 cup, and lasts 7-10 days, refrigerated.

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