I swear it was Monday, then I blinked and it was Friday. The days fly by so fast. I can never ever seem to get caught up with my giant to-do list. Things get added faster than I can cross them off. I managed to order my Christmas cards a couple of weeks ago. They arrived last week. And I haven’t mailed a single one yet. I did buy stamps today, though… so that counts for something, right?
Nonetheless, the weekend is nearly here and I’m looking forward to attending a couple of holiday parties! For both parties, guests have been asked to bring a dish to pass. Today, I decided to do a trial run on Dreena Burton’s Creamy Artichoke Spinach Dip (without all the junk, as Dreena puts it). I should know by now that no trial run is necessary with Dreena’s recipes because they are ALWAYS delicious. She never disappoints. In fact, if you need a great gift idea for the foodie in your life (vegan or not), I highly recommend her latest cookbook, Let Them Eat Vegan! I have made several recipes from this book and I’ve loved them all. (This particular recipe is not in the book, but there is another artichoke dip, along with many others.) Dreena is the real deal.
I absolutely LOVE this recipe. I’m so excited to have found a healthy version of this dip that tastes like the non-vegan version I’ve always loved. It’s beyond me how these healthy vegan ingredients come together to form the same flavor and texture without the cheese, mayo, cream cheese, sour cream, commercial dairy substitute or oil. I’m telling you – you won’t even miss it. It also happens to be gluten-free and VERY easy to make.
¾ cup plain unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)
2½-3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-2 medium-large cloves garlic
¾ tsp sea salt
½ tsp dry (ground) mustard
freshly ground black pepper to taste
¾ cup raw cashews (unsoaked)
2 cups frozen artichoke hearts (I used one 9 oz. box), partially thawed (helps for pulsing in blender)
2 cups (loosely packed) spinach leaves
Preheat oven to 425ºF. In a blender, add milk, lemon juice, garlic, salt, dry mustard, pepper and cashews. Blend until very smooth. If using a Vitamix or other high-powered blender, this will only take a minute or so. If using a standard blender, keep blending until very smooth.
Add artichokes and spinach and very briefly blend or pulse. Do not fully blend, keep some chunky texture! My mixture wasn’t quite as chunky as I prefer, so I scooped the mixture into a bowl and stirred in a can of quartered artichoke hearts (drained, rinsed and chopped).
Transfer mixture to an oven-proof baking dish, and bake for 17-20 minutes. Do not bake any longer or the spinach will turn off-color.
Serve warm with raw veggies, bread, tortilla chips, pita bread/chips or crackers. I liked it even better after letting it cool, then refrigerating and re-heating it later.
Hubs doesn’t even like artichokes and he managed to put a good dent in it. House guest and friend, Amanda, also approved! So I will definitely be bringing this dish to at least one of the holiday parties this weekend, if not both. Thanks again to the fabulous Dreena Burton for another brilliant vegan recipe! Where would we be without her?!