Here is my warning to you: This dip in insanely addictive and not for the faint of heart. This is not a healthy dip, although it could be much worse; but it is absolutely perfect for parties, get-togethers and any other occasion in which you would need an awesome appetizer. I know first hand that this dip pairs well with Mexican lagers and margaritas!
I will say, this was not a completely original idea from myself. This started with my mother and her crazy bean dip that she’s made for at least the past 10 years. Ever since I went vegan, I was smell the dip and get a tad bitter that I didn’t want to eat any. This past week, I figured it was time for my own (vegan) version, and my parents and I agree that this is definitely a good match! Not to mention it was gone within a night between 4 people. Oops.
Melted Daiya Pepperjack shreds paired with the salty, well-seasoned soyrizo and an added kick from some pickled jalapeños means that this filling dip packs a punch when it comes to flavor. The TVP and black beans add some texture and protein to the mix, and (vegetarian) refried beans make up another part of the base. This dip is super easy to make, so it’s great for a last-minute dish to bring to a party; maybe one of the Super Bowl variety, since that’s tomorrow??
It seems as though the Summer heat is still raging on here in Southern California, doesn’t the Mother Nature know that I want it to be Fall already?! Oh well… ‘Tis the season for the start of football, from what I’ve heard from family and friends. I’m not a huge sports fan, as far as following teams goes; I’m more into the idea of actually playing sports, myself. Either way, I do like to find any reason at all to get together with friends and have a great time, even if it does revolve around 300 lb. men ramming their heads into each other. *Ouch!*
What better snack to have on hand than guacamole? Seriously. I feel as though it is a mandatory party food, and is almost always amazing (depending on who makes it, obviously ;)). I have made guacamole several different ways, but thought that I’d try something a little different this time around. Something that gave the guacamole deeper flavors, that weren’t necessarily as fresh as some recipes, but that made it utterly addicting. It just so happened that my grill started malfunctioning a couple of days before I made this, but that alone did not discourage me. On to the oven!
I know that the last thing you want to do in this heat is turn on your oven, but I assure you, this is more than worth it. Plus, you can chop up the ingredients smaller when they’re on a baking sheet as opposed to being on the grill, which makes the veggies roast faster and saves you time and more of a mess. Also, roasting the onion and garlic takes a bit of the bite away that it usually has when it’s raw, giving it a sweet, more mellow taste. Mmmm…
I told you that there would be tons of zucchini recipes coming your way! This time, I was craving some fried zucchini; my mom got me hooked on fried zucchini when I was a kid, and now that I can’t just go out and get it at any ol’ restaurant it always sounds so good. But, I refrained from frying them, because the last time that I did I was dumbfounded by how much oil actually stays in the zucchini fries. (duh!)
So, I broke out the panko crumbs and invited a couple of girlfriends over for some baked zucchini sticks and brews (gotta even out the void that the oil left ;)). What a smarter person would have done is look up a recipe like what I was trying to accomplish and change it up a bit to their liking, but at least have a solid foundation. What I did was go into this without doing any of that and used my instinct and knowledge of ingredients to make something that was at the very least edible.
Do not fear, because not only were these zucchini sticks edible, they were delicious even without the savory, spicy queso dip that we poured onto them. The only thing I regretted not doing with this recipe was making more of them. They disappeared in mere minutes! (We were very hungry)
Crunchy baked zucchini sticks paired with a creamy, spicy queso dip makes for an awesome appetizer!
1½ lbs. Zucchini, Cut into ½" wide x 4" long sticks
⅓ Cup Hot Water
1 Tbsp. Ground Flaxseed
1 Tbsp. Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 Cup or So Panko Crumbs
Salt & Pepper
¾ Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
6 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast
2 Tbsp. Diced Green Chiles
½ Cup Finely Diced Tomatoes
½ tsp. Dried Cilantro
½ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Onion Powder
⅛ tsp. Cayenne Pepper
Stir the ground flaxseed and AP flour together in a small cup, add the hot water in gradually so that the flour does not clump. Once fully mixed, pour into a shallow bowl and let sit for 3-5 minutes to thicken.
Cover the surface of a small plate with panko crumbs until it is roughly ¼" deep; sprinkle a couple of pinches of onion powder, salt and pepper over the crumbs.
Preheat the oven to 375°F and get a large baking sheet ready for placing the zucchini sticks.
Submerge the zucchini sticks, one at a time, into the flaxseed mixture and make sure to cover all sides. Next, press the zucchini into the panko mixture until all sides are crusted with crumbs.
Repeat crusting steps until all zucchini is used and place the breaded zucchini sticks on the baking sheet roughly 1-1/2" apart.
Bake zucchini for 7 minutes on each side of the stick (almost 30 minutes).
While those are in the oven, in a small pot, bring the almond milk to a boil.
Once boiling, add in the remainder of the ingredients and still until the nutritional yeast has dissolved.
Lower heat to low-medium and simmer for 5 minutes, taste the sauce and add salt and pepper to your liking. Serve the sauce warm with the zucchini sticks straight from the oven.
This is a vegan food blog, run by Jackie Sobon, that covers everything from indulgent desserts, to healthy dinners, and even raw recipes! I also write up restaurant reviews and am sort of a beer snob. You'll find that there is something for everyone, here!
If you would like to contact me about photography jobs, testing out a recipe, review your restaurant or just have a question you'd like me to answer email me at: [email protected]!