Friday, October 12, 2012

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

Generally, I would not even entertain the idea of vegan foods. I like animal products waaaaay too much. But I have a friend who has been vegan for over a year now, and while my other friends and I make sure to mock him constantly, I recently began to think that it might behoove me to find some vegan recipes so that he can eat things that I make.

We have a lot of artichoke hearts in my house right now that my mom bought as snacks. I know, eating artichoke hearts as a snack seems weird, but they're really tasty, and I would totally snack on them, except that I can't stand the texture. It's like chewing on rubber. Or styrofoam. Either way, it's awful and I can't do it. But I thought, maybe if I puree it with other things I could enjoy the taste of artichoke without all the pesky feeling-like-I-would-rather-die-than-chew-on-that-rubbery-crap. So artichoke dip! And then wanting to make something my vegan friend could enjoy, I began searching for vegan recipes. I found this one.

  • About 1 cup of artichoke hearts from a jar, drained
  • 3 cloves of garlic (or less, I just love garlic)
  • 1 can of white beans, drained
  • Less than 1/4 cup sesame seeds (like maybe 1/5 cup? Just eyeball it)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup steamed spinach, chopped 
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Italian seasoning, to taste
Put the sesame seeds in a bowl, then put the beans on top of them. (This is to keep the sesame seeds from flying everywhere when you get to the next step.) Using an immersion blender (or I guess a regular blender if you don't have an immersion one) blend them until mostly smooth. Then add all the other ingredients and blend until as smooth as you want. I'm all about these easy recipes lately. Also, I discovered that if you don't add the artichokes and spinach, you essentially get homemade hummus, which is also great.

Oh! But be sure that all of your ingredients are fresh and/or haven't turned. The first batch of this I made was with sesame seeds that were about two years past their expiration date and they made the whole thing awful. I had to dump it and start again with fresh sesame seeds. The same goes for your oil and artichokes, as these things sometimes stay around in a cupboard for a while. I served the final (not expired) product with blue corn chips. It went over very well. Even with the vegans!

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