Be prepared for compliments when you take this dip to your holiday gatherings. It will shine on the snacks sideboard and please vegans, as the cheese is made from nuts.

This unique dip comes from the former Eden’s Alley, a restaurant that had a long run, a quarter of a century in Kansas City, before closing. Eden’s Alley still shares their plant-based recipes on their website, which still supports and promotes plant-based diets and whole foods, minimally processed. But that’s all bonus. The taste will be the appeal to both vegans and meat-eaters. Creamy Cashew Cheese complements the spinach for a fresh take on a spinach dip. Eden’s Alley sells most recipes for $2 to $4.50 per recipe, or you can buy 100 recipes for $99.

Photo credit: Harry Katz

Creamy Cashew Cheese

Courtesy Eden Alley

A great vegan “cheese” recipe will save you money at the market, impress your friends, and open the door to recipes that call for cream cheese.

1 1/2 cups raw cashews
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup filtered water (plus extra for soaking)

Cover cashews in filtered water and soak in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. Soaking the cashews ensures a creamy texture and reduces graininess.

Drain your soaked cashews and give a quick rinse.

Place soaked cashews into your food processor and add the yeast, agave nectar, sea salt, and filtered water.

Turn on your processor and set a timer for 5 minutes. You can add more water for a thinner consistency, or less for a thicker cheese.

Pour into airtight container and refrigerate.

Makes 2 cups

Spinach Dip

Courtesy Eden Alley Cafe

1 large yellow onion, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon each, fennel seed, oregano, and basil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
A pinch of chili flakes
1/2 pound fresh, clean, destemmed spinach
1 cup creamy cashew cheese

Sauté everything except the spinach and the cheese in a saucepan on medium heat until onions are translucent.

Put spinach in mixing bowl and pour the hot onion mix over it, which will slightly wilt the spinach.

Add 1 cup of creamy cashew cheese and blend in a food processor or with an immersion blender. Makes 4 cups.

Serve with fresh vegetables for a gluten-free snack or with toasted pita, if gluten isn’t a problem.


To buy recipes, visit Eden Alley’s shop.