Saturday, January 18, 2014

Not So Cheese Buffalo Chicken Dip

I didn't make up the name, Vitamix did.  I recently made Vitamix's Not So Cheese Sauce and I have to say, I've been a little bit addicted.  I've used the base recipe to make a not so cheese queso and even mac and not so cheese.  While I love me some cheese sauce, I think I'm just in awe that you can throw cashews, roasted peppers and nutritional yeast and some spices into a blender, and have a creamy cheese-like sauce. 

The most recent experiment was turning this into a buffalo chicken dip and I have to say it was love.  Not just, "this is healthy so I guess I should love it" love but more like the  "I love the volleyball scene in Top Gun" love.  The fact that the ingredient list makes you feel a lot less guilty does contribute to this, but it tastes good as well.  Throw this on the table as game day eats and you might have a few people ask what's a bit different about your version, but I doubt it.  I served it up (with full disclosures that it contained nuts) and peeps thought it was just as good as the 45 packets of cream cheese version.  

What is nutritional yeast you ask?  I don't really know much except that it's full of Vitamin B, protein and is  popular amongst vegans as a cheese substitute.  I'm sure its unfortunate name precludes many from even trying it, but it's quite tasty.  It definitely doesn't taste like white cheddar on your popcorn but it's strangely addictive.  I actually prefer my popcorn with nutritional yeast these days.  

Blended with other ingredients, it definitely has that tangy cheese-like flavor.

I have to admit that when blended, the color was eerily so similar to nacho cheez with a "z" that I hesitated before tasting it.   Turns out it was pretty yum poured over broccoli.  Does it taste exactly like Nacho Cheez?  Probably not but that's not necessarily a bad thing in my eyes.  I've been eating a lot more broccoli recently.

To turn it into buffalo dip I reduced the salt, added a bit of garlic powder,  Ranch dry dressing mix, Franks Red Hot Sauce (you could use wing sauce but adjust amount to taste since pre made sauce usually has oil/butter/margarine as well) and of course shredded chicken.  

This dip definitely taste best served up in a platter like this.  

I topped it with blue cheese crumbles.  You can leave that off (and omit the ranch dressing)of course and the dip stays dairy free.  

Even though it's not a  identical to the version with the packets of cream cheese and cheddar, it's still super creamy, and full of tangy buffalo sauce.  Since buffalo sauce is the shining star, you don't miss the cream cheese.  And given that most of my Game Day Eats posts are hardly nutritional superstars, it feels good to get something healthier on the game day table.  This dip makes even celery palatable.  

This town is ready for a little football tomorrow.  Time to Ride folks.

Not So Cheese Buffalo Chicken Dip

2 c water
1/4 c  lemon juice
1/2 c chopped roasted red peppers (if you use jarred make sure they are not pickled)
1 1/3 cup  whole raw cashews (or almonds)
1 1/4 teaspoons onion powder
1/2 c  nutritional yeast
1 tsp sea salt
1/3--1/2 c Frank's Red Hot Sauce
2 tbsp Ranch dressing dry mix
1 tsp garlic powder
3 c shredded cooked chicken
blue cheese crumbles for topping (optional)

  1. Place all ingredients except Chicken into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
  2. Blend for 2-3 minutes until sauce is fully blended. 
  3. Pour into pan, add chicken and heat through
  4. Serve hot with celery sticks, tortilla chips and/or pita chips.
  5. Top with blue cheese crumbles if desired.


Kim said...

Okay, I have to admit that this does sound interesting. My mom has been raving about nutritional yeast for awhile now and the word "yeast" has put me off. She said it's really good on popcorn though so I'm thinking I might be missing out on something now. We eat this dip by the gallons so anything that would make it healthier is great!

June said...

I made the cheese sauce when I bought my vitamix and my kids now eat broccoli and cauliflower. They love the cheese sauce and they've never commented on the flavor not being right. I like that they are getting red peppers and nutritional yeast which is good for you. We eat a lot of cheese and dairy so it's just good to mix this into their menu sometime so that they are not always eating cheese. Definitely going to try the buffalo chicken dip!

June said...

Oh, and the volleyball scene in Top Gun love? LOL, very true. We watched that growing up and we'd talk about it at lunch at school. :)

Melody said...

Wish we could watch the game together today. If you hear yelling from the north it's just me! :).

Kara said...

Goooooo Broncoooooos! My heart still belongs to Denver even though I left so many years ago!

My sister made popcorn with the yeast on it and I was surprised how good it was. You're right. You wouldn't thinks so from the name but it's delish!

sophia said...

I just hate the Patriots and Brady so any team that's playing them is my favorite team! I love this! I use Nutritional yeast in a lot of foods and my kids especially love it. This looks amazing!

chrisbcaldwell said...

I already have a spinach artichoke dip made up in the fridge for today, but hopefully there's occasion for gameday snacks in two weeks and I can try this. GO HAWKS!

Wendy said...

What a game or really not a game! Go home Patriots, you're drunk!

My family is lactose intolerant so I'm making this for sure!!!!

Corrine said...

Tried this right away for the hawks game yesterday and my family had no idea that it was different. This was wonderful thanks for sharing!

Jen said...

This is really fun. Can't wait to try it!

Kendra said...

This was absolutely delicious! I could fast a little bit of a difference but I think only because I knew. I can't believe it's so good considering what it's made of but wow!

Kara said...

This looks very, very interesting for sure! I think I'll give it a whirl. We eat a lot of cheese which I don't mind, but I kind of like the idea of getting veggies and other proteins mixed in too!

Emily said...

Okay this is the funnest thing ever. I am so excited because I am trying to get my boyfriend to eat healthier but he is a junk food lover. I think I'll just try this and see if he even notices.

Bronwyn said...

I love this, I love this, I love this! We use nutritional yeast all the time but I've never thought to make dip with it. YUM!