Tag Archives: superbowl

Creamy Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

I used to follow football and some how I’ve drifted away from it in recent years. However, I’m still a bandwagon Superbowl enthusiast.  I don’t even need to watch the game, I usually just come for the food.  What can I say, I just love foods that encourage you to eat with your fingers, and Superbowl parties tend to offer that opportunity.

Right now, I’m basically just using this Sunday’s Superbowl 50 game with the Panthers vs the Broncos as an excuse to finally post a new recipe for spinach and artichoke dip.  This is one that I came up with over Christmas. It was a huge hit at a gathering I hosted so I promised that I would share the recipe. Though the party was filled with all vegan guests, every single one of them said that if they didn’t know the dip was vegan they would have seriously questioned it.

While not as healthy as my other spinach and artichoke dip, this one is super satisfying and very reminiscent of classic cheesy dips. It’s the perfect dip to share with your omnivore friends, on special occasions, of course.

This recipe utilizes some of my favorite non-dairy cheese substitutes, but if you can’t find these particular brands, or have your own favorites, feel free to substitute. For mozzarella, I use Follow Your Heart’s soy free Vegan Gourmet Shreds, which can be found at Whole Foods Markets, Follow Your Heart Market in Canoga Park, CA, as well as other natural foods stores. My favorite vegan cream cheese is Kite Hill, which can found exclusively at Whole Foods Markets.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach artichoke dip
Serves 8 to 12 people
Ingredients
2 bags spinach, chopped and wilted
2 cans artichoke hearts, quartered
½ cup Cashews, soaked
½ cup water
4 Oz vegan cream cheese*
3/4 cup vegan mozzarella shreds, divided
4 cloves garlic
½ tsp salt
Dash cayenne, or more to taste
2 tbsp nutritional yeast

Directions
1. Rinse spinach under cool water, drain, but leave damp. Add to a pan over medium heat, cover until wilted, about 1-2 minutes. Squeeze out as much water as possible with the back of a spoon and set aside in a mixing bowl.
2. Combine 1/2 cup mozzarella shreds, along with remaining ingredients, except spinach and artichoke, in a blender and process until smooth.
3. Pour mixture over the spinach in the mixing bowl. Add in artichokes and remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella. Stir well to combine.
4. Transfer to a 8 inch casserole dish, or a bread bowl. Bake for 20 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Mixture should thicken slightly.

*If you cannot find vegan cream cheese, or prefer not to use it, sub with an extra 1/4 cup of cashews and 2 Tablespoons water or non-dairy milk.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Sweet Potato Nachos

We all have our weaknesses when it comes to food. Am I right? The weakness is usually the one food that you know you shouldn’t be eating, but find oh so irresistible, that you just can’t say no. It’s the food that every now and then, even though you know you may pay for it later, you will indulge in for that moment of sensory pleasure. Heck, you may even have more than one food that makes you feel this way.

My number one weakness has always been nachos.  There’s just something about the gooeyness of the cheese, the spice of the salsa, the cool creaminess of the avocado, and the crunchy saltiness of the chips that make my tastebuds flutter. Just reading about nachos on a menu gets me salivating like no other food can do.

When my overall desire to eat healthier got in the way of indulgences like this, my occasional foray into a plate of nachos became less and less frequent. (And trust me! Corn chips are harsh enough on a normal digestive system that they can be brutal for anyone suffering from IBD or IBS. Just think about scraping your knee and instead of rubbing aloe on it to heal, you use sandpaper.)

Of course, it’d be inhuman to think that I don’t give in every now and then. I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I am eating perfectly healthy 100% of the time. Anyone who has seen my instagram feed knows that I like to enjoy what I eat, within reason. It did get me a while to get to this point, but these days as long as I am eating clean 80-90% of the time, it allows me that extra 10-20% to satisfy a craving, without too much physical (or emotional) repercussion.

Whenever I can enjoy a healthier version of a favorite “treat food”, I nearly dance with joy.

With Super Bowl just a day away and the thought of all the fried, greasy, salty, spicy foods that tend to come along with it, it’s peaked my desire for nachos even more. After seeing Jackie of veganyackattack.com post a recipe for Buffalo Chickpea Nachos, I was done for!

I knew I needed to create a healthy vegan nacho version of my own that would be game day friendly. I had sweet potatoes on hand and thus I was inspired. You can be healthy and have your nachos too!

Vegan Sweet Potato Nachos

sweetPotatoNachosCloseup_013114

 What You’ll Need for Toppings 

1 medium avocado or guacamole

Salsa (recipe follows or use your favorite)

Vegan Sour Cream (recipe follows)

Vegan cheese (use your favorite, or make a cashew cheese using recipe below)

Black or pinto beans (seasoned with 1/4 teaspoon cumin, onion powder, smoked paprika, chipotle powder, coriander, a dash of salt and cayenne and a splash of lime juice)

Fresh jalapeno

Green onion

For the “chips” 

Ingredients

1 large sweet potato or yam, thinly sliced

1/2 Tablespoon oil

1/4 teaspoon each – ground cumin, onion powder, smoked paprika

dash cayenne

large pinch of salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 450.

Combine everything in a bowl and toss to coat potato slices. Lay in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes on each side, until crisp, watching so that they do not burn around the edges. I recommend checking every 5 minutes or so and rotating the baking sheet.

Vegan Sweet Potato Nachos

To Assemble 

Arrange sweet potato chips on a plate, or an oven safe dish.

Sprinkle shredded vegan cheese, or pour cheese sauce over chips.  If you are using a cheese that requires melting, place in oven for 5 to 10 minutes until melted.

Remove from oven. Scatter black beans over the plate, spoon some salsa on as well. Finish it off with sour cream and avocado or guacamole, then garnish with green onions and cilantro.

Cashew Sour Cream and Cheese Sauce 

Makes about 1 Cup

Ingredients

1/2 Cup cashews, soaked at least 30 minutes

1/2 Cup non-dairy milk

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

Combine milk and vinegar let sit for about five minutes.  Add milk mixture, nuts and salt to a blender and blend until smooth. Add more milk if needed for a thinner consistency.

To make cashew cheese sauce, divide the sour cream and set some aside. Keep remaining cream in blender and add a couple tablespoons more milk, 1 to 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, another 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon chipotle and a dash of cayenne and blend until smooth.

Easy Roasted Tomato Salsa 

Makes about 1/2 Cup

Ingredients

2 medium roma tomatoes

1 clove garlic

juice for 1/2 a lime

1/2 jalapeno, or 1/2 tsp red chili flakes (adjust to your heat level)

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Cut tomatoes into quarters and arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place in oven while roasting the sweet potatoes, and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until softened and browned on bottom. Transfer to food processor or blender, along with remaining ingredients and blend until desired consistency is reached. I like mine smooth, but you may choose to pulse instead of blend to keep it chunky.

 

What are some of your food weaknesses? Do you have a healthy go to alternative?

Vegan Super Bowl Party Snacks

Last year, we hosted a super bowl party at our place, and I had a blast preparing all sorts of yummy foods for my friends that weighed on the healthier side, but were still decadent enough to fool everyone into thinking they were eating your standard football fare.  This year, we’re keeping it low key so I don’t have any personal recipes to share.  Instead, I thought it would be fun to do a short round up of some great recipes from some of my favorite blogs.  Who says vegans can’t pig out on junk food too! (Oh how anti- natural chef that statement is!)

I bring you the Vegan Super Bowl Party Snacks Round Up!

   
From Vegan Dad: Vegan Chickenless Hot Wings (the vegan equivalent of buffalo wings)
OMG Oven Baked Onion Rings from The Post Punk Kitchen




Game Day Nachos from Alicia C. Simpson’s Quick and Easy Vegan Celebrations          
Bryanna’s Low Fat, Vegan Artichoke Heart and Spinach Dip