By now, you know that little gives me more pleasure than recreating recipes traditionally recognized as delicious AND blatantly unhealthy. These hurts-so-good “comfort food” dishes are my absolute favorites to mess with, because a healthified victory means everybody wins! You get your familiar flavors, textures and satisfaction, and I get the sneaky knowledge that I’ve kept your immune system, blood sugar, hormones and brain happy!
With Superbowl Sunday coming up, I thought it apt to experiment with an improved version of the classic Spinach and Artichoke dip. Utterly drowned in sour cream, cream cheese and mayo, original recipes for this dip are a clogged artery waiting to happen. Plus, all that dairy is sure to cause a congestion/breakout hangover tomorrow!
My vegan version isn’t quite as…gooey?…perhaps as the traditional, but it is just as rich and yummy! Plus, you can eat significantly more of it before you hit the proverbial “wall”. I think my Pine Nut Cream does a bang-up job substituting all that dairy, and I absolutely love its toasted flavor.
My other secret weapon in this recipe is nutritional yeast—the go-to “parmesan” of the vegan world, which adds an extra salty bite. Nutritional yeast is also a great source of B vitamins, particularly B12. B vitamins are tough to come by in the plant-based world, since they’re mostly found in animal protein. So I consider nutritional yeast a vegan pantry staple!
Vegan Spinach and Artichoke Dip
- 1 cup pine nuts for Pine Nut Cream
- 1 10 ounce bag frozen organic spinach, chopped
- 1, 14 ounce can artichoke hearts
- 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 –2 teaspoons sea salt (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Water as needed
For Pine Nut Cream:
1.Add pine nuts to a medium-sized and cover with warm water. Allow to sit for 2-4 hours
2.Drain and add to a high-speed blender or keep in bowl if using an immersion blender. Add ½ cup filtered water and puree until smooth.
3.Defrost the spinach and squeeze out the excess water (I place in a bowl of hot water and refresh the water several times). Set aside.
4.Drain, roughly chop artichoke hearts and squeeze out excess water
5.In a large sauté pan, sauté the onions in olive oil until tender and slightly brown around the edges. Adjust heat to prevent burning. This should take approximately 10 minutes.
6.Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
7.Stir in the chopped artichokes, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne and nutritional yeast. Cook until heated through. Add tablespoons of water as you see fit, if mixture looks too dry.
8.Add in the spinach and apple cider vinegar and stir until heated through.
9.Stir in the Pine Nut Cream and cook until heated through.
10. Optional: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place dip in a baking dish and sprinkle with extra nutritional yeast. Bake for 20 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!
This dip is fabulous with raw, cut up veggies or tortilla chips…the latter of which is my preference, to be honest :).
I hope my recipe shows up on your coffee table during this Superbowl, and I’ll wager your guests scoop up every last bit!