Cheese Sauce: 1 cup raw cashews 1 cup peeled and chopped carrots (not diced) 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 large garlic clove 1 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 3/4 teaspoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon onion powder 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Dip: 1 cup chunky marinara sauce (I used salsa because I make and can it every fall) 1 cup chopped sweet onion 2 to 3 handfuls of baby spinach roughly chopped 1/3 cup crushed corn chips 1 to 2 green onions (optional)
1. Make the cheese sauce. Place the cashews in a medium bowl. add water to cover and soak for at least 2 hours or overnight if you plan ahead, unlike me. Using boiling water will speed this up. Drain and rinse.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly grease a 2-L dish. Cast iron or stone wear will keep the dip warm longer.
3. Steam or lightly boil the carrots until fork tender. Drain.
4. In a blender, combine the soaked and drained cashews, cooked carrots, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, salt, chill powder, onion powder, cayenne, 2/3 cup water and blend until silky smooth, adding more water if needed. Pour into a large bowl.
5. Make the dip: Stir the marinara sauce, onion, and spinach into the Cheese Sauce until fully combined. Spoon the sauce into the prepared dish and smooth out, and sprinkle with the crushed corn chips.
6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, uncovered, watch to toping doesn't burn. Garnish with green onions. Serve warm.