Posts

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

vegan spinach artichoke dip

Spinach artichoke dip is one of those weird things that almost everybody seems to love. I say weird, because even people who don’t love veggies or think they hate artichokes or spinach, seem to dive into a bowl of spinach artichoke dip whenever it’s around. This vegan spinach artichoke dip is no exception. I had people diving into this dip the second it was plopped down on my coffee table.

My kids used to order this dip (the cheesy original version) every time we went to a restaurant that had it. It always came out steaming hot and creamy and it smelled so good! It’s one of those things that I could never eat because of all the dairy. Well, this vegan version finally gives me my turn!

This dip is warm and creamy. It may be vegan, but it tastes so similar to the cheese-laden original, that nobody will know.

I loved this dip with sliced radishes and cucumbers and peppers, but the not-so-health conscious eaters in my crowd scooped up mounds of this dip with chips and pita.

It’s that time of year when we are post-Thanksgiving but pre-Xmas and Hannukah and New Years. So, we all try to eat as healthy as we can for the next few weeks. Right? I mean if we can do okay now, then we can really let loose that last week of the year. So, if this is your plan, slip this vegan spinach artichoke dip into your apps rotation during football games, basketball games, happy hours, whatever… because it sure helps when you are eating something that tastes sinful, but really isn’t.

Okay, enuf selling of this dip. Haha, you’d think I was getting a commission on it or something… but I’m not… I just want you to be happy from healthy food. Wow, that sounds pretty corny, huh?

Anyway, happy everything!

I want to thank Sina at Vegan Heaven for the original recipe for this dish.

Oh, and if you are looking for another healthy dip to try, take a look at my recipe for Beet Hummus.

This is Steve, with that look on his face saying this bowl is all for him and nobody better come near him… haha.. vegan spinach artichoke dipvegan spinach artichoke dip

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this delicious vegan spinach artichoke dip:

White beans are good at boosting energy and calming the mind. They can help improve your memory and can lower cholesterol. And, they are a great source of protein.

It is true that spinach contains iron, but it’s this vegetable’s lesser-known qualities that really hold my admiration. Spinach contains a substance that helps eliminate prostate cancer. It’s also great for your bones and also for memory loss. Diabetic patients may find that eating spinach helps combat excessive thirst and can even be good for night blindness. Spinach can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb calcium, so calcium-rich foods should be avoided when eating this leafy green.

Artichokes are a good source of vitamins C and K and they also contain a healthy amount of magnesium. The are low in fat and calories but they do have some fiber, so they are a healthy choice. In Chinese medicine, we recommend adding artichokes to the diet to combat sadness, headaches, indigestion, and diarrhea. In olden times, steamed artichokes were sometimes prescribed to combat a yeast infection.

Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice.

Nutritional yeast gives things a cheese-y taste without using any dairy and it adds amino acids and Vitamin B, iron, zinc, and selenium to your diet. Nutritional yeast is a complete protein and also contains fiber, so it’s a really good thing!

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. In the winter, I eat lots and lots of onions… I guess I should feel sorry for the people close to me! Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better; they actually can rid the body of bacteria. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!

vegan spinach artichoke dip

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip
Author: 
Recipe type: appetizer, dip, vegan, vegetarian
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Vegan Heaven
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This is one of those dips that people just keep eating and eating and nobody knows it's vegan. It's really creamy and delicious... and easy to make! Great for a crowd!
Ingredients
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 5 oz fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 14-oz can artichoke hearts, drained, roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Place the lemon juice,cashews, beans and nutritional yeast, and water in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Heat oil in a large pan and add the onion.
  4. Saute until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute.
  6. Add the spinach, and stir until completely wilted, about 1 or 2 minutes.
  7. Stir in the artichokes.
  8. Stir in the cashew mixture.
  9. Season with salt.
  10. Spoon into a bowl and serve warm with crackers, chips, or fresh veggies.
  11. Enjoy!

vegan spinach artichoke dip

Beet Hummus

                           Beets are good for endurance and digestion!
beet hummus

I used to make homemade hummus all the time. I don’t know why I stopped, but stop I did. I think I forgot how easy it is to make it and how much better it tastes than those store-bought containers. But, let me tell you, it is easier to make homemade hummus than it is to go out to the store and buy it! And when you can add in your own flavors, there’s no need to ever buy it. Hmmmm…. I hope I remember this next time. Anyway, this Beet Hummus is delicious! And, look how pretty!

Long, long ago, when I would be preparing for a dinner party, I fixated on the appetizers. I would put out pretty platters of way too many finger foods and dips. I loved to make them and I loved the idea of eating all of my creations with awesome cocktails before dinner.

And everyone would be full before dinner.

Then I got smart. Nobody needs a boatload of appetizers if you are serving a delicious dinner. They may need the cocktails, but not all of that pre-dinner food.

So, now I pick one dip and maybe one finger food and I’m done… OK, so now I feel I have carte blanche to make way too many courses for the actual dinner… but it’s still better…

Last week, when I had some of my favorite people to dinner, I made 2 bowls of this beet hummus and served it with some divine breadsticks, some gluten-free chips, and some fresh carrots and radishes. Yum. That’s all I can say. Just yum.

And if you want a recipe for the best beet side dish ever, you have to try my Pomegranate Glazed Beets!

beet hummusbeet hummus

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this beet hummus recipe:

Beets are SO good for you. I try to find ways to fit them into my meals as much as possible. Really… many times a week. Beets nourish blood and tonify the heart. Athletes are starting to drink beet juice as a form of endurance therapy. They are anti-carcinogenic, good for anemia, and relieve constipation. I also think it’s a great idea to eat them raw sometimes because their amazing goodness is even more pumped up this way.

Chickpeas actually help calm the spirit. They relieve anxiety and soothe irritability… it kind of makes you realize why hummus is so popular…

Sesame seeds have many great nutritional benefits. This recipe is made with tahini (sesame seed paste). They are an anti-aging food. If you have backaches, hair thats graying way too fast, ringing in the ears, weak knees, blurry vision or general weakness, go for the sesame seeds; just sprinkle them on everything. Long ago in China, sesame seeds were ground into honey to form a paste and was taken as a medicine to counter old-age and weakness. For this recipe, you can use store-bought tahini.

Lemons are good for your stomach, they help detoxify your body, they balance your pH and they act as an antibacterial. If you have a sore throat or a cough, go for lemons to make things better. Lemons are great for quenching your thirst, and, in China, many years ago, hypertension was treated by drinking tea made from lemon peels.

beet hummus

Beet Hummus
Author: 
Recipe type: appetizer, dip, hummus
Cuisine: vegan, vegetarian, simple
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
This amazing beet hummus is so easy to make! You just toss everything in the food processor and it's done!
Ingredients
  • 3 medium red beets, peeled, quartered, and roasted until softened or 3 pre-cooked medium beets
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • sea salt to taste
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • 3 Tbs tahini
  • 3 Tbs water
Instructions
  1. Put all of the ingredients in the food processor and whiz it up until smooth!
  2. That's it! Enjoy!

beet hummus

The World’s Best Nut Butter Recipe

This truly is the world’s best nut butter recipe!

world's best nut butter recipe

I don’t think I’ve ever called any of my recipes “the world’s best”. I mean, I love a lot of my recipes, but I try not to be cocky about any of them. And it’s pretty easy not to be cocky when I have so many kitchen fails… and I do. Way too often. You just don’t see them…

But this recipe calls for some kind of special treatment when I talk about it. When I started blogging as a means of sharing my recipes with my friends and family years ago, this was one of the recipes I first posted. Everyone wants this recipe. This nut butter used to go with my daughter to camp and now it goes to college with her. It gets re-made over and over again by my friends who don’t cook. It’s a staple in my fridge at home. It truly is the world’s best nut butter recipe.

Sometimes when I make it I change up the variety of nuts, and it always comes out good. The only nuts I stay away from are peanuts. But I’ve made this with some hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, pecans, brazil nuts… and it has always been incredible.

Did I talk you into it?

All you need is a food processor. Really, you must try it.

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now (okay… always…), so let me customize a recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. I’ve got a great recipe with your name on it…  So CLICK HERE  to be taken directly  into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

And, if you want to try another great nut-based vegan spread, try my recipe for vegan cream cheese!

world's best nut butter recipe

Here’s why this homemade nut butter is so good for you:

In Asian medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation.

Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice. I know some of you have a problem finding raw nuts sometimes — I’m happy to try to help you locate them if you need shopping suggestions, so just leave a comment and I will try to help. I buy then whenever and wherever I see them. I’m also lucky enough to live near a Whole Foods, so I sometimes buy them from the bulk bins here.

Pecans are good for energy and they can also help you get rid of a cough. They are also good to help combat constipation, lower back pain, low libido, and erectile dysfunction.

Chia seeds are ancient seeds that got their name from the Mayan word for “strength”. These tiny seeds have the unique ability to turn liquid into a gel-like substance when making puddings and they are great added to smoothies and shakes. They are really good for you because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber.

Hemp seeds are a superfood. They are high in protein, easily digestible, and contain a full complement of amino acids. They contain disease-fighting phytonutrients that are good for your blood, immune system, tissues and skin. Hemp contains a specific fatty acid that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also helps balance hormones, making it a great choice to fight the symptoms of PMS. This super seed is also good for your liver and your brain.

Flax seeds can relieve constipation and lower cholesterol.

In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. Coconut oil is my go-to for so many things and it works great in this nut butter.

world's best nut butter

If you make this World’s Best Nut Butter recipe, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

The World's Best Nut Butter Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: condiment, spread, nut butter
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: about 1 pint
 
This truly is amazing nut butter. Let your food processor do most of the work, use whatever mix of nuts and seeds makes you happy, and enjoy!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 300°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Combine all of the nuts and seeds in a large bowl.
  4. Stir in maple syrup.
  5. Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet in a single layer.
  6. Place the tray in the oven and roast the nuts for 12 minutes, making sure they don't burn.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.
  8. Scrape the nut mixture into the food processor and process until the mixture in finely ground and starts to stick together a bit. This may take a little time. Be patient. You will probably need to scrape down the sides of the processor bowl a few times.
  9. Once it starts to stick together a little bit, add the coconut oil and the salt and turn the processor back on. Let it process until you get the consistence of a thick nut butter. Again, be patient -- it will happen!
  10. Store in a glass jar in the fridge. Enjoy!

 

world's best nut butter recipe

Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese (Grain-Free Bagel & A Schmear…)

If you haven’t found a dairy-free spread you like yet, make this vegan cashew cream cheese!

Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese

A bagel and a schmear… really, is there a more delicious breakfast? (Do I sound too New York-ish or what…)

It’s been many years since bagels have had a place in my breakfast rotation. I feel so much better without grains in my diet, that bagels went by the wayside. But I’m trying to fix this. Really I had no choice but to fix it because I really love this recipe.

I made this cream cheese out of cashews and it was so good that I was craving a bagel. And lox. So, what I’m telling you is twofold: One — make this vegan cashew cream cheese. Two make or buy some grain-free bagels and stock up on some lox. You may be eating this several times a week. Maybe even several times a day.

And when I ran out of lox, I ate it with just the tomato and cream cheese…

bagel with tomato (better edit)-1452

When I have time I bake these Grain-Free Bagels, and now, some supermarket even sell grain-free bagels, so I’m set. The ones I make are kind of cake-like but taste good. The ones I buy are crunchier but they have a little bit of cheese in the dough, so I’m torn…

Let’s get back to this cream cheese. It’s really really good. Even Steve, who’s does eat dairy sometimes, thinks it’s great and loves it on the bagels. And, when you add lox and tomato… OMG, we are happy campers.

I ate the sandwich you see in these pictures for lunch when I was by myself. Then there were days that I had some version of the bagel and a schmear for breakfast AND lunch. It started to get a bit out of control. So, now, I try to pace myself. Sunday brunch is enough. OK, maybe once during the week too if no one is looking…

Vegan Cashew Cream CheeseVegan Cashew Cream Cheese

Here’s some reasons to make this cream cheese:

Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice. For this cream cheese I used raw cashews. I know some of you have a problem finding raw nuts sometimes — I’m happy to try to help you locate them if you need shopping suggestions, so just leave a comment and I will try to help. I buy them whenever and wherever I see them. I’m also lucky enough to live near a Whole Foods, so I sometimes buy them from the bulk bins here.

Nutritional yeast gives things a cheese-y taste without using any dairy and it adds amino acids and Vitamin B, so it’s perfect here.

Lemons are good for your digestion, they help detoxify your body, they balance your pH, and they act as an antibacterial. They also can soothe a sore throat, lessen a cough, and hydrate the body.

Scallions, if you know me, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb(Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever. And, they make this cream cheese taste more like traditional cream cheese.

Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese (Grain-Free Bagel & A Schmear...)
Author: 
Recipe type: condiment, spread
Cuisine: recipe adapted from:connoisseurusveg
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: about ¾ cup
 
This cream cheese is dairy-free and vegan. It tastes great spread on a bagel with lox and tomato!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients, except scallions, in blender or food processor. (You will have to stop the machine and scrape down the sides several times, but be patient and it will come together!)
  2. When the cream cheese is smooth, scrape it into a bowl and stir in the scallions.
  3. Spread it on a grain-free toasted bagel with lox and tomatoes!
  4. Enjoy!

 

bagel, lox, and cream cheese collage