Getting out of bed was soooo hard today.
It’s getting down into the 30s and 40s (Houston, WHAT??), so I doubled up on my comforters and wore sweats to bed and now I remember why I slept with two comforters all through high school. My favorite thing ever is getting under a heavy layer of blankets before going to sleep. So this morning I woke up all snug and comfy and my alarm was the only downside.
On the other hand, I’m not complaining about the cold since I can now look for excuses to turn on the oven. Warm kitchen + baking = winter upside.
Over Thanksgiving, my aunt made this spinach and artichoke dip. She’s stuck to Vegan before 6 for a few months now and has discovered some super tasty vegan dishes in the process. I was never really a fan of spinach artichoke dip, but this dip is monstrously good. And super simple!
It’s basically a sautéed onion and some garlic and spinach and artichokes thrown into a blender with a pureed tofu + seasonings. The key seasoning is nutritional yeast, which is what some people refer to as the vegan cheese substitute. Nutritional yeast does NOT taste like gooey, stretchy, melty cheese (it comes in flakes/a powder form), but it does, give a deliciously umami, savory, cheese-like hint to whatever you add it to.
This dip just tastes super fresh and healthy, but delicious at the same time. Sometimes even I equate “healthy” to “ew,” but this is healthy in a I’m-not-in-a-dairy-coma-afterwards type of way. No gooky cream cheese, sour cream or mayo <– ew ew.
And! This dip pairs perfectly with my favorite chips ever. These have been hands down my favorite chips ever since I discovered them at Costco. They’re studded with flax, sunflower and sesame seeds, so even Costco-sized bags can’t make me feel guilty about eating them. Sometimes, when I snack on Erik’s blue bag tortilla chips, I get a salt hangover the next day because they’re so.salty. These totally don’t do that! They’re nutty and crunchy and wholesome tasting and I adore this combo.
This incredibly creamy and tasty dip is completely dairy-free--the base is made out of pureed tofu, but no one will be able to tell. One GIANT serving is only 110 calories!
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 10 ounces frozen spinach, defrosted
- 1 14-ounce package soft tofu, drained
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 14 ounces artichoke hearts, drained (canned or frozen)
Preheat oven to 350F; lightly grease an oven-proof dish. I used a 7x11" pan, but you could use a lot of different sizes; it'll just vary the thickness of your dip and you can adjust the baking time accordingly.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the oil, then the onions. Saute for a minute, then lower the heat to medium. Saute for another 2 minutes, until soft (keep an eye on them and add water if they are on the verge of burning). Add garlic and cook for a few more minutes, then add spinach. Cover and let steam until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat.
Blend together the tofu, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, basil, salt and pepper until smooth. Add artichokes and spinach mixture and pulse until the vegetables are finely chopped.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Let cool a few minutes before serving. You can also serve this warm from the blender, but the oven makes it oh so steamyhot and delish!
Adapted from here.
For someone who used to eschew dips with a fiery passion, I sure seem to like appetizers. Ah well, tis the season. Here are a few of my favorite apps from the archives:
Baked Brie with homemade pie crust: omg if nothing else, make this dip just so you can eat 98234928309 crackers with this. This dip will cancel out that saturated fat. Trust.
Shelby’s Loaded Guac: my bff’s best guac recipe. So loaded. So good.
Pickled Onion Salsa: did you know you can pickle things, like, really fast? And that pickled onions make salsa 273468234x better? MAKE THIS NOW. (I eat it on everything.) (And then curse my garlic breath.)
Sardine Tartines: everyone thinks they hate sardines, but they secretly love them. They just don’t know it yet.