Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

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 plastic 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.

Alt=”Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip”

Alt=”Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip”

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

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)

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip Recipe Card

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!

Alt=”Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip”

Herbed Pasta Florentine

My husband and I have been traveling so much for work lately that our fridge has been fairly bare.  I didn’t want to order out and I sure as heck wasn’t going to venture to the grocery store in rush hour with kids in tow to try to put together a family dinner.  The alternative?  I took a quick look at the few things we had in our fridge and pantry, then threw together a meal on the fly.  Sometimes the unplanned really surprises you!  It has carbs, is creamy and garlicky, has the brightness of fresh herbs, and the smokiness of roasted tomatoes…so pretty much the best of all worlds.  Add some vegan bacon and you’ve got a pasta carbonara!  Pair with some garlic bread and you’re in garlic-carb heaven!

Alt=”Herbed Pasta Florentine”

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces penne, uncooked
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 cubes Edward and Sons Not-Chicken Bouillon, (or your favorite bouillon cubes)
  • 20 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-6 drops liquid smoke
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon earth balance
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced (approximately 1 tablespoon chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 6 cups baby spinach
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Add 6 cups of water and 4 bouillon cubes to a medium pot and bring to a boil. When boiling vigorously, add the pasta and reduce heat to medium low, stirring occasionally.

3. In a medium bowl, toss halved tomatoes in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, liquid smoke, and salt. Once the oven is preheated, place the tomatoes in one layer on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 10 minutes until they begin to break down, flipping halfway through. Turn the oven to a high broil and brown for 2-4 minutes until a small char is achieved.

4. In a large frying pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of Earth Balance and increase heat to medium high. Add minced garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add chopped sage, rosemary, and thyme and sauté for another 2 minutes.

5. Monitor pasta to see when the desired texture is achieved then remove from heat. Do not drain. Add 1.5 cups of the boiling broth to the frying pan along with the spinach and nutritional yeast. Sauté until spinach is wilted and the sauce becomes creamy. Remove from heat.

6. Drain the remaining pasta. Add the pasta and roasted tomatoes to the frying pan and toss to coat. Serve.

Alt=”Herbed Pasta Florentine”

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!

Power Smoothie

Shakes and smoothies can be a great way to load your body up with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  I tend to make a batch of smoothies and have one for breakfast for the week.  The below recipe makes 6-8 cups and will last the whole week.

I prefer to make my own at home rather than order them somewhere, mostly to save money, but also because you never really know what is in them.  My recipe changes week to week depending on what I have in the house, but I always include both fruits and veggies.  It’s also a good way to get your kids to eat veggies, since all they see is juice.  This one is my favorite.  I hope you enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup kale, chopped
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 cup broccoli, approximately 3-4 florets
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, approximately 1 inch portion the root
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 lemon, juice from
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup mango, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup, optional
  • 4 tablespoons protein powder, optional (I use NutriBiotic Raw Organic Rice Protein Vanilla)

Directions:

1. In a high powered blender or Vitamix, add the kale, spinach, broccoli, ginger, carrot, lemon juice, blueberries, mango, and strawberries. Add three cups of water and blend on high until the mixture is smooth. Add more water to create the consistency you like.

2. If you’d like a bit more sweetness, add maple syrup.

3. Another optional addition is protein powder, if you so desire.

(Makes 6 – 8 cups)

Alt=”Power Smoothie”

Kale and spinach are a good sources of vitamin A,vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, vitamin E, folate, manganese, riboflavin, iron, fiber, calcium, and potassium.  Broccoli provides excellent vitamin C and vitamin K, as well as several B vitamins.  Carrots are a great source of beta-carotene antioxidants.  Ginger is an anti-inflammatory and contains antioxidant compounds such as gingerols, beta-carotene, capsaicin, caffeic acid, curcumin and salicylate.  Lemons are rich in vitamin C and potassium.  Blueberries are considered a superfood that have proven to benefit the cardiovascular system and help regulate blood sugar as well has contain cancer fighting nutrients.  Mangoes provide vitamin C and alkalizes the body with its richness in tartaric acid and magic acid.  Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese and are a very good source of dietary fiber, iodine, folate, copper, potassium, biotin, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B6 and omega-3 fatty acids.  Overall, this smoothie is a great way to start your day and your body will thank you!

You can add protein powder, I typically do.  My favorite is NutriBiotic Raw Organic Rice Protein Vanilla.  I like the subtle vanilla flavor, but I love the fact that it doesn’t leave my shake tasting chalky, like many can.  NutriBiotic also makes a pea protein powder that I have yet to try.

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!