With the holidays just around the corner, I’m starting to think about fun foods to serve family and friends. I will be taking a “vegan holiday dinners” class this weekend, so hopefully I’ll have some recipes to post from that class. This week I’ve been focusing on appetizers. As much as I love hummus, I need to branch out a bit.
One of my favorite appetizers from when I was young and carefree and ate cheese with wild abandon was spinach artichoke dip. It had it all- cream cheese, parmesan cheese, mozzarella, and an added bonus, mayo. I set out to see if it was possible to make a vegan version that is anywhere close to as good. It is possible, thanks to a key ingredient, white beans. Pureed, they make a healthy, creamy base that holds everything together without anyone realizing it’s there. Kind of like Spanx, but in an edible way.
I’ll be posting another good appetizer recipe tomorrow. Cheers!
- 1½ cups cooked white beans (or 15 oz can, rinsed and drained)
- 1 10-oz box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1 15 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- Juice of 1 Lemon (about 2 Tbsp)
- ¼ t salt
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning herbs* (optional, you can use other spices as well)
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 4 oz Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
- ¼ tsp pepper
- salt to taste
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in medium pan. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes or so. Put the white beans in a food processor with the other tbsp of olive oil and the lemon juice. Process until smooth. Add the cooked onion, garlic, salt and red pepper flakes. Process until smooth. Add the artichoke hearts and briefly process, leaving it slightly chunky. Put this mixture back in the pan and heat over low heat. Add the spinach, vinegar, nutritional yeast and Tofutti. Stir until combined and creamy. Add italian seasoning, or any other spices that you like. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- *Note: Italian Seasoning herbs are a pre-mixed spice blend of oregano, marjoram, thyme, rosemary and sage. If it’s not available, you could substitute other spices. Basil would be good!