Hello! This week I am (so) excited to share this new recipe with you. Up until now I had always thought that hot dips were things filled with cheese and cream and that all of the dairy-free versions were packed with nuts. But, no more! Today is the day that changes. I have recently been experimenting with sunflower seeds (the raw version) in a lot of recipes. (In the future, I’m sure that you’ll see it crop up more). Sunflowers seem to be a willing participant in replacing nut-type items in baking and cooking, which I happily enjoy. Filled with vitamin E, manganese, vitamin B1, folate, selenium, magnesium, and phytosterols (which fight cardiac concerns), they squeeze in a lot of nutritional value in such a small, delicious package (1). And spinach is no nutritional slouch either. It has vitamin K, vitamin A, several B vitamins, magnesium, fiber, and so many other things. See this chart. It’s been a great week so far. I always look forward to seeing clients. (Also, if you didn’t see the Facebook page call for testimonials, and you want to send yours in (and you’ve been a client of mine), you are definitely welcome to as well! Just write it out (including how you’d like your name to appear, or if you prefer to only use initials, etc), and to me). This dip has no weird fillers or artificial flavors or colors. Everything is made from foods that are easy to pronounce. It’s a big party pleaser, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll have to make a second batch because you were too busy enjoying the first one to take any pictures of it (true story). I’ve “tested” it on a lot of people, and got a unanimous “yes” vote. It’s a little spicy, and very creamy, thick and wonderful. And really, with some vegetables or pita to dip into it, it is such a filling snack, or even a light meal. Once you try it, I know you’ll like it. And it’s not super hard to make. It needs a little planning, but can also be made ahead and reheated. (Still good). I am really excited for the next couple weeks. There are some fun articles in the works, and I can’t wait to share them. Make sure to check back! How is your month going? With school letting out soon (10 school days left in Canada!), do you have any summer plans? Or are you more of a spontaneous summer adventurer? Let me know if the comments below! Or, do you like to stay inside and pretend it’s not 40 C out and that no plants are growing? (If summer weather makes you miserable, book an appointment to see me).
Spicy Baked Sunflower Cream and Spinach Dip
Serves: 10-12 Serve with: pita triangles, carrots, your favorite cracker, cauliflower, or your favorite veggie. Ingredients:
- 1 recipe raw sunflower cream (see below)
- 2 tbsp grape seed oil (or oil of choice)
- 1/2 medium yellow onion (diced)
- 3 cloves of garlic (finely minced)
- 1/4 C water
- 1/2 C nutritional yeast
- 4 C raw baby spinach (thoroughly washed, with the stems pulled off)
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper (fresh is better)
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp marjoram (dried)
- 1 1/2 C Daiya™ shreds (mozzarella flavor)
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a food processor, make the sunflower cream and leave mixture in the processor.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the oil and sauté the onion and garlic until they are slightly browned. Add in the nutritional yeast, and cook until the oil is absorbed, and the yeast is fragrant and a little browned. Add in the 1/4 C water, and stir until thoroughly combined and the mixture is simmering again. (1-2 minutes, stirring constantly). Remove mixture from the heat and scoop into the food processor.
- In the same pot, quickly sauté the spinach until it is just fully wilted and bright green. In a sieve or dish towel, squeeze out the spinach to remove any excess moisture.
- Add the spinach to the food processor, along with the spices, and process on the highest setting until the spinach is just broken into smaller shreds, but not pureed.
- In a 1.5 quart stoneware dish, combine the spinach mixture with 1 C of the Daiya™ shreds, then sprinkle the remaining 1/2 C on top of the mixture.
- Bake for 60 minutes, or until all of the Daiya™ shreds are completely melted, and the mixture has golden edges, is bubbling consistently in the middle and it has reduced in volume to make it thicker (reminder: it will thicken as it cools off, too). Stir thoroughly upon removing the dish from the oven.
- Allow to cool a little, and then serve while still warm.
- Under cool running water, thoroughly rinse 1 C raw, shelled sunflower seeds. (Pick through and remove any debris or shells).
- Place rinsed seeds in a bowl, and then cover with cool water. (Make sure there is at least 2-3 cm of water above the seeds, as they will absorb it and swell).
- Refrigerate the seeds in the bowl of water overnight.
- Remove seeds from the refrigerator and again rinse thoroughly with cool water.
- Place rinsed and drained seeds in a food processor.
- Add 2 C cool water, and process the seeds on the low setting for 1 minute, and then increase to the high setting for 3-5 minutes (until the seeds are completely broken down and pureed). You may still see small pieces of seeds, but this is perfectly ok.
When you try this recipe out, let me know how you liked it! Or if you made your own modifications! Send me a tweet, leave a picture on the Facebook page, or write it in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you! Take care, and have a great day!
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