Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip
One of the most difficult things about transitioning to a plant-based diet is feeling like you have to give up some of your all time favorite foods. For me, spinach artichoke dip was one of those foods. I didn't eat it a lot growing up, but when I did, oh boy did I know it was something special. It was usually eaten at a nice family dinner out, or as a side dish to celebrate game day. It was so oozy, flavorful, and smelled delicious.
But, as we all know, just because something looks, smells, and tastes good doesn't mean we should eat it (I know, I know, it's totally unfair). Especially because we cannot just stop eating spinach artichoke dip after two tablespoons, which is the no joke actual serving size of this delicious dip according to the label of one popular U.S. brand. TWO TABLESPOONS YA'LL. For the very brief moment you enjoy those two spoonfuls of artichoke dip, you would have to walk for 28 minutes to burn those calories.
I don't know about you, but if Imma walk 28 minutes for anything, it's going to be a lot more than 2 tablespoons.
That's where this artichoke dip comes in. It's low fat, low carb, yet creamy and flavorful.
Serve this at any family or friend gathering and watch people get all excited when you tell them that eating 10 dang tablespoons ain't gonna ruin their diet. They will probably hug you for it, so get ready.
2 1/2 C roughly chopped cauliflower
3 C water
1 veggie bullion cube (optional, I just add these to everything because they add so much flavor, but if you are trying to cut out salt, plain ole' water will do)
1 medium onion, chopped medium
5 cloves garlic, chopped small
1/2 C soaked cashews
2 tbs tapioca flour
3 tbs nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 C loosely packed baby spinach leaves, washed and roughly chopped
1. In a large pot, add the water and veggie bullion if using. Bring water to a boil and add chopped cauliflower. Lower heat and to medium high and cook for around 15 minutes, until cauliflower is tender.
2. While cauliflower is cooking, add a bit of cooking oil to a large pan (you will need it later for the mixture so it needs to be a bit large) and heat over medium high. Add onion and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes, until onion is translucent.
3. In a high powered blender add soaked cashews, cauliflower with remaining water from pot, tapioca flour, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and half of the cooked garlic and onion.
4. Blend on high until the mixture is smooth. Try not to liquify it completely so a bit of texture remains. If it does become too liquid-y, don't sweat it.
5. Transfer the mixture from the blender to the pan with the remaining onion and garlic. Heat over medium heat and stir frequently to activate the tapioca flour. You will notice the mixture start to thicken. Cook over medium low heat for 4-5 more minutes until all of the mixture is evenly thickened.
6. Slowly add and fold in the chopped spinach, cook for an additional 2 minutes. *Note-since you are using fresh, uncooked spinach it will begin to color the mixture over time, so if you are serving this at a party you might prefer to wait for this step unit right before serving.
7. Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle a bit more nutritional yeast and fresh ground pepper over the top. Serve with bread, crackers, or veggies. Spoons have also been used as the dipping vehicle in this household and there was no judgement.