Eating slightly left of center

Sometimes cooking can seem like such a chore. Blogging about my kitchen adventures holds me accountable though. Just when I think, “I can stop blogging and no one will notice,” I get oodles of positive comments and feedback. It’s your inspiration and encouragement that keeps me creative in the kitchen.

This blog is about my continued experiment with gluten-free recipes. I’ve been doing this more out of curiosity and a quest for eating better rather than a necessity. I have no plans to omit gluten from my diet completely. Last week, I needed to bring a vegetarian, gluten-free appetizer to a friend’s house. After some research, I settled on this Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip.

You will need:

  • 1 can of plain artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1 package of frozen spinach (I used about four cups of fresh spinach steamed and drained)
  • ½ cup veganaise
  • 1 cup vegan sour cream (I might use less next time as I wasn’t crazy with the taste of this)
  • 1 cup vegan mozzarella cheese (use more or less depending on your preference)
  • Crunchmaster Multi-Seed Crackers (or any gluten-free variety will do)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Steam and drain your spinach, or thaw and drain it if you’re using frozen. Drain and roughly chop the artichoke hearts.

In a bowl mix the spinach, artichoke hearts, veganaise, sour cream and about ¾ cup of mozzarella cheese. Combine the ingredients well and put the mixture in a casserole dish or pie dish. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake the dip for about 25-40 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.

Cool and serve on crackers. Don’t expect this to taste just like the real deal. The vegan sour cream had a peculiar flavor and an even stranger smell when cooked, but it tasted fine. We actually tried the dip on a regular baguette and to be honest, it went better with the gluten free crackers.

If you’re not a vegan, I would recommend you just make this dip with regular mayonnaise and dairy-based sour cream and mozzarella cheese, but if you’ve got a friend or family member who’s vegan, gluten-free, or eating a heart-healthy diet, you could possibly make their day by whipping up this appetizer for your next get together with them. Warning, the cost of all the ingredients totaled close to $30. I never said eating healthy was cheap!

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