Sometimes you just need some serious inspiration to break out of what is holding you back recipe-wise. Because there are certain recipes that intimidate me and some that I don’t want to try again because I failed big time. Like my very first post on here? Veggie burgers and pita bread? I so need to make them again because I know I can do better and I see recipes with amazing burgers that I want to try. You know what? Still haven’t tried it yet, and this is not a burger post. Nope – this is another intimidating recipe I am tackling today. Nut cheese! This recipe is everything I love wrapped up into a surprisingly simple package! Vegan and gluten-free Cashew Ranch Cream Cheese Dip and Crispier Potatoes.
So it’s another month and I get another recipe inspiration from The Recipe Redux. This month’s recipe theme is nuts! Yep, we’re taking advantage of the fact that National Nut Day (October 22nd!!) falls in one of our ReDux monthly theme posts – so we can all go nuts! The task this month is to share a healthy nut-filled recipe – and let me tell you, this one was kinda hard for me to come up with! I have done so many recipes with nuts – Pad Thai’s anyone? Or nut filled bites or cookies? I wanted to come up with something totally different – and also kinda hard and intimidating. Something that I have put off because I didn’t ever want to be one of those people who makes their own cheese. Because cheese is the ultimate in intimidating. Everything can go wrong. So I’ve put it off. But I wanted to do it now – give me something to really be proud of.
And ooooh, cream cheese. And ranch seasoning? Oh man! And I was so ridiculously surprised with how easy this recipe was to put together! Now, when I was Googling nut cheese I did decide to try the easiest looking, so why I’m surprised with how easy this was, I don’t know. All you do is soak the plain cashews overnight then drain and dump them into a food processor, add your homemade ranch seasoning – yes, homemade ranch seasoning!! – add the vinegar and yogurt and whip. And that is all there is to cream cheese dip! So why do I call this cream cheese dip? Well I made the cashew ranch cream cheese while the potatoes were roasting so the cream cheese was still loose and creamy – a perfect dip! The leftovers? I put them in a small air-tight container and tossed it in the fridge. The next day? Perfectly thick like how cream cheese is supposed to be! If I’d been able to eat bagels (my own elimination diet fault) I would have slathered it all over a toasted everything bagel. Oh gosh – salivating now! And oh yes – the ranch. I made up a large amount of the ranch seasoning to have on hand. I love baked potatoes with ranch dressing so I figured if I had it on hand I could healthfully season my baked potatoes with the ranch and some veg stock!
Crispier potatoes you say? Yes, making a crispy potato is so elusive to me that I have quit even trying. I can get the fries baked through, and I have pulled them out when they are not quite done to keep a little crunch. But crispy? Nope, hasn’t happened yet. Then I saw on some random website how to bake fries crispy. And I figured since I was making some ranch that fries were needed. So how did the crispy go? Well pretty good! And if you have a wire cooling rack that can go in the oven then you will rock these! Me? My rack didn’t make the move with me and I haven’t been able to find one yet – I looked. But the secret to these potatoes is baking them in the microwave first! Yes, just like when making breakfast potatoes and microwaving the potatoes to soften them up to make them cook faster, that is what you do for these! Bake them until just soft then let them cool enough to handle, then slice in thin wedges. Since I didn’t have the rack I place my wedges up around the edge of the pan so air could get under them then drizzled oil and the seasoning and baked them. Crispier edges and totally baked through!
2 Tbsp Dried Parsley
1 Tsp Dried Dill
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
1 Tsp Onion Powder
1/2 Tsp Dried Basil
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
1. Dump all herbs in bowl and mix. **If you have a coffee/spice grinder I would suggest grinding the spices together so all the spices are the same size and mixed together. Store in a spice container or ziplock baggie.
1 1/2 C Cashews, soaked
2 Tbsp Homemade Ranch Seasoning
1 1/2 Tbsp So Delicious Dairy Free Unsweetened Coconut Yogurt
1 1/2 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
1. Soak cashews in an airtight container overnight in the fridge.
2. Drain cashews then dump in a small food processor and add all other ingredients.
3. Process until creamy and smooth – stop and scrape the sides if necessary.
4. Serve immediately for creamy dip; place in airtight container in fridge and let sit overnight to harden into cream cheese.
2 Large Potatoes
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 Tsp Onion Powder
1/2 Tsp Paprika
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
1. Set oven to 425 degrees and line baking sheet with foil.
2. Wash then poke potatoes with a fork then microwave about 5-6 minutes total-turning potatoes halfway through.
3. Let potatoes cool slightly then slice in half, then slice thinly.
4. Dump potatoes onto the pan and drizzle oil over then mix to coat. Line potatoes around the edges of the pan.
5. In small portions, sprinkle spices onto potatoes.
6. Bake 18 minutes then take out and enjoy!