The winning snack was definitely Mr. Cool's spinach-artichoke dip, adapted from this recipe from the Healthy Librarian over at Happy, Healthy, Long Life. We subbed leeks for sweet onions, since we had a ton from our Community Supported Agriculture box. As usual, we also doubled the amount of garlic called for in the recipe.
Start by sauteing (in vegetable broth!) the chopped leeks, garlic and crushed red pepper called for in the recipe:
Add spinach and combine until just wilted:
Silken tofu adds the element of creaminess to the recipe that usually comes from high-calorie cheese. Drain the tofu, then combine it in the food processor with fresh basil, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper:
Nutritional yeast is a vegan's dream for emulating the taste of cheese in risottos, vegan macaroni and cheese and dishes like this one. We buy ours in bulk at a specialty co-op in San Francisco. It can also be found at Whole Foods and online here. It's also a great source of Vitamin B, which many strict vegans don't get enough of:
Next, add the spinach saute to the food processor along with one can of drained artichoke hearts, and pulse 15 times until a chunky mixture forms:
Place the contents of the food processor into a square glass baking dish - no need to butter or oil the dish!
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then broil for another two minutes to nicely brown the top:
Serve with plenty of crusty bread or crackers:
The best part? This appetizer is 100% guilt-free, so no one felt bad indulging. I really like that I haven't had to give up some of my favorite snack and comfort foods during my quest for heart health. This dip will certainly be in heavy rotation at our parties and get-togethers from this point forward.
Have you found a way to make any of your favorite recipes more healthy? If so, please share!