Last weekend I made a vegan spinach and artichoke dip from http://www.plantpoweredkitchen.com (great ideas on this site). I really enjoyed the idea of pureeing cashews with almond milk to make a dairy-free creamy base for a dip or spread. I took the recipe a step or two in a different direction to make a vegetable based dip (no longer vegan) with peppers, basil, and a little parmesan. After a few trials I found a combination that is really good and very healthy. Earlier this week I baked it with chicken over a bed of onions, not bad. The real winner came today when I used the dip as a spread on a prosciutto panini (recipe to come), it was perfect. The spread alone is a simple snack to bring to a gathering or to put out on football Sunday. Serve warm with veggies, pita chips or toasted bread. If you are into the dairy-free thing, skip the cheese.
3/4 cup raw cashews
3/4 cup almond milk (more for consistency)
1/2 lemon, juice
2 cloves garlic
10 small fresh basil leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (add more if you like it spicy)
1/2 jalapeno, seeds removed
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 lb frozen spinach (you can use fresh as well, try 1 cup packed)
12 oz artichoke hearts (frozen or canned-drained)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1. Add cashews, almond milk, lemon juice, garlic, basil, salt, mustard, red pepper flakes, and jalapeno to food processor with “s” blade. Process for 1-2 minutes until liquid.
2. Add red pepper, spinach, and artichokes to food processor and blend until combined to desired consistency. Add more almond milk as needed. If you are planning to serve this as a warm dip, just pulse in the vegetables to leave larger pieces of artichoke and pepper. If using as a spread then pulse to the consistency above. Stir in the parmesan cheese.
3. Spread the mixture into a small baking dish to heat for serving at 400 for 20-25 minutes.