Inspiration strikes at the most random of times. For me, it is usually in the produce section…go figure…it’s always about food. I saw the most beautiful artichokes the other day and just had to have them, probably like how most women feel about a new pair of shoes. So there I stood in the check out line, in a six year old pair of plasti white (now grey) flip flops that are being held together by a safety pin, clutching my beloved artichokes. And I couldn’t have been happier. Although, I’m pretty sure I do need to suck it up and buy some new shoes sometime soon.
Normally, I just boil my artichokes and eat them plain or with a bit of lemon butter, but I felt like getting a little fancy so I decided to make some spinach artichoke dip to have with it. I am so happy with how it turned out, especially since it is made with actual real food ingredients, as opposed to using a vegan based cream cheese or other processed replacements. The base of the dip is a combination of cauliflower, beans, cashews, and artichoke hearts and is flavored with nutritional yeast, salt, and sautéed onions, leeks, and garlic. This recipe can easily be made oil-free by sautéing the onions, leeks, garlic, and spinach in water or broth. Did I mentioned each serving has 6 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, and less than 1 gram of saturated fat? Guilt-free comfort food. Yes, please.
You can serve this dip pretty much however you want. My favorite is either on a french baguette or inside the artichoke itself using the outer leaves to scoop. The latter is fairly easy and makes for a beautiful presentation. All you need to do is trim an artichoke, boil until soft (a butter knife can easily pass through the bottom stem), drain, then hollow out the center. Click here to learn how to prepare an artichoke for boiling if you are new to working with them.
- 1 medium caulflower, chopped and boiled
- 1 cup cannellini beans
- 1 cup cashews, raw, soaked
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 medium leek, approximately 5 inches of white end, washed and chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ¾ cup non dairy milk
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 cans artichoke hearts, quartered in brine, drained and chopped
- 8 cups fresh spinach
1. Place cashews in a bowl of water and allow to soak during your prep work. Trim, wash, and chop a medium cauliflower. Bring a pot of water to boil and boil cauliflower until soft.
2. While the cauliflower is boiling, chop the onion, wash and chop the leek, and mince the garlic. Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the onion, leeks, and garlic and sauté until soft, approximately 5 minutes. Set aside.
3. When the cauliflower is soft, drain and place in a high powered blender or food processor. Add the sautéed onions, leeks, and garlic along with the beans, drained cashews, nutritional yeast, 1 can of the artichoke hearts (drained), non dairy milk, and salt. Blend on high until the mixture is smooth. Pour into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
4. Reheat the frying pan over medium high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, spinach and two pinches of salt. Sauté the spinach until wilted, approximately 5 minutes. Place the spinach on a cutting board and chop well. Add the spinach to the mixing bowl.
5. Open and drain the remaining can of artichoke hearts. Place on the cutting board and roughly chop. Add the chopped artichoke hearts to the mixing bowl.
6. Stir all ingredients until well mixed. Serve warm. Great with veggies, chips, bread, or artichoke leaves.
(Party size recipe – Serves 20 – approximately 6-8 cups)
Did you make this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista. Can’t wait to hear from you!