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Vegan Planet: Nacho Chips with Pinto Queso Dip

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Nacho Chips with Pinto Queso Dip

I was excited when the nice people at Beanfields offered to send me some samples of their bean and rice chips.  I’ve been hearing wonderful things about their line of chips, especially the Nacho Bean and Rice Chips which won the “Best of Show” award from VegNews at the Natural Products Expo West.

The chips are not only free of dairy, MSG, and anything artificial, they’re also corn- and gluten-free as well.  With 4 grams of complete protein in each serving and likewise 4 grams of fiber, these healthy chips have a terrific resume.  But how do they taste?  Absolutely outstanding: crispy, flavorful, and hearty. All the flavors are good, but those vegan nacho chips -- wow.

Because I had a feeling that the chips would be as delicious as everyone says they are, I figured I’d want to eat more than just a few.  I decided to make a special dip to enjoy with them that could be served as a kind of fantasy lunch. I mean, chips and dip for lunch?  Why didn’t I think of this sooner?

I adapted my Easy White Bean Queso Dip, giving it more depth of flavor to stand up to the nacho chips. I used pinto beans, but I could totally see using black, white, or red beans to make this.  The clincher for me is the addition of spinach in this dip, making the dip not only rich in protein, but with lots of veggies as well, helping to make “chips and dip” a well-balanced (but fun!) meal. The color of the dip turned out to be about the same as the nacho chips!  If you get a chance to try Beanfields Bean and Rice Chips, you’ll be glad you did.  Here’s my yummy dip recipe that, like the chips, tastes almost too good to be so good for you.

Pinto Queso Dip with Spinach
If Rotelle brand tomatoes with chilies are unavailable, your favorite tomato salsa (well drained) can be used instead. This dip is great with Beanfield Nacho Bean and Rice Chips, but if you can serve them with whatever chips you have on hand.

1 1/2 cups or 1 (16-ounce) can pinto beans, drained, rinsed, and blotted dry
1 (10-ounce) can Rotelle tomatoes with green chilies, drained
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil or 1/4 cup water
1/3 cup chopped yellow onion
2 to 3 garlic cloves, chopped
6 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

In a food processor or high speed blender, combine the pinto beans, tomatoes, nutritional yeast, cornstarch, paprika, cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Process until smooth. Set aside.
Heat the oil or water in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and spinach and cook 2 minutes longer, until the spinach is wilted and any liquid is absorbed.
Add the spinach mixture to the bean mixture and process until smooth. Transfer mixture back to the saucepan and cook, stirring over medium heat until the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring, for 15 minutes. It should be thick but pourable. Stir in the lemon juice.  Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Transfer to a bowl and serve with chips.

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I'm not a big fan of chips, but I have to say, those look good! The dip sounds great too. I'm going to have to see if I can find these around here.
Lisa Marie, These chips really are terrific -- loaded with flavor and protein. I hope you can find them -- and I also hope you try the dip!
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