Super Snacks: Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

The Superbowl is tomorrow-we’re getting hungry and excited planning our snack menus! So far this week we’ve shared Nachos two ways & Jalapeño Poppers two ways. To conclude snack week we’re sharing another classic favorite, Spinach Artichoke Dip. Jess has veganized the recipe into a creamy, salty, savory fan favorite dip. Plus it’s a little healthier than the traditional version, and Paleo too! I served most of the dip in little ramekins, but then I had a brilliant idea and rolled the remainder of the dip inside of Pillsbury crescent rolls. Little pockets of breaded, creamy dip-yum!!!

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Spinach Artichoke Dip

(VEGAN)

Ingredients:

  • 1 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, measured and then sliced in thin strips
  • 1/4 yellow onion, thinly sliced or diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • sprinkle of salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes, seasoned to taste
  • 1 1/4 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1 cup hot almond or soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons and 1/2 teaspoon tapioca starch/tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • Crescent roll dough (optional)
  • Bread, sliced veggies or crackers for serving

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together artichoke hearts, spinach, onion, garlic and generous sprinkling of salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine and set aside.

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In a food processor, blend together remaining ingredients for about 1 minute or until smooth.

Pour the mixture into a small pot or saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the sauce begins to thicken, stir continuously, turn down the heat a tad, and continue for about 2 minutes. Tapioca starch does amazing things to make sauces stretchy and thick!

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Pour the sauce over the veggie mixture and stir well. Add any spices you feel are lacking and pour into a baking dish, divide into ramekins, or roll into Pillsbury crescent rolls. For the crescent rolls, I laid a piece of dough out flat, spooned a small amount of dip at the base of the triangle and then rolled it forward as you normally would with a roll.

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The bake time will vary according to your dish, the crescent rolls take about 15 minutes to bake, while the ramekins took about 40. Keep your eye on the oven, you want the dip to get nice and golden on top. Serve warm with bread, crackers, sliced carrots or bell peppers.

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If you’re looking for more snack ideas try our popcorn, potato skins, or brussels sprouts!

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Super Snacks: Game Day Nachos

The Superbowl is around the corner and whether or not you’re into sports, the Superbowl is a great excuse to make some fun snacks and host a little get-together. Especially because it is hosted in one of our favorite cities and Nikki’s home- San Francisco! This year, Nikki will be celebrating in the streets of San Francisco, Super Bowl City here we come! Jess will be working in the hospital, but will definitely whip up some of these savory treats to stash in the break room for her lunch break! ER Potluck anyone?

To kick off our “Super Snacks” series, we’re sharing two nacho recipes, suitable for everyone at your Super Bowl party. Jess shows you how to make potato nachos with a homemade vegan cheese sauce (yum!) and Nikki shares BBQ chicken nachos with a green-chile queso sauce.

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Over the next week we’ll be getting you Super Bowl-ready by sharing a few of our favorite snack and appetizer recipes that have proven to be crowd pleasers for foodies following any diet. We’ve got your carnivore, vegan/vegetarian, GF and paleo friends covered here and with our flavor-packed upcoming snack recipes. Stay tuned!

Click the link below to find the recipes!

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Thanksgiving Series: Twice Baked Potato Casserole

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I’m so excited to share quite possibly my favorite dish ever! I grew up eating the omnivorous version of this every Thanksgiving and requesting it for any special event. When I first went vegan 4 years ago I was surprised and delighted at how easily this dish was made vegan. This is a great replacement and step up from the standard mashed potatoes and gravy. It’s creamy, cheesy, salty and just delicious.  All of the ingredients can be adjusted to your taste; increase any ingredient you feel is lacking. You can also choose to serve this as stuffed potato skins instead of a casserole. I think the skins are great as an appetizer or snack before dinner. Depending on how many people you’re serving (and/or your love of leftovers!) you may want to double the recipe. This dish can easily be made the day before Thanksgiving and reheated right before dinner.

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In case you missed it, on Sunday we started Thanksgiving Series off with a Pomegranate Mule. We have 3 more delicious recipes to share over the next week, so stay tuned! Also check out last year’s Thanksgiving Series where we shared vegan Green Bean Casserole, Nikki’s Mac and Cheese, and a vegan Pecan Pie!

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Twice Baked Potato Casserole

(VEGAN)

Ingredients:

  • 6 russet potatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 3 tablespoons Earth Balance butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegan sour cream
  • 1/4 cup vegan cheddar cheese shreds
  • 2 slices of veggie bacon, cooked and chopped in small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • sprinkle of pepper

I know faux meat and cheese vegan products can be pretty polarizing. I’ve tested just about everything out there in this recipe, and these are my favorites. Sometimes I leave the bacon out, especially if I can’t find a brand I like.

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Preheat oven to 400. Wash potatoes well, and poke several deep holes in them with a fork. Bake at 400 for 1 hour.

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Remove potatoes and allow to cool or use an oven mitt to handle. Lower oven temp to 350. Slice the potatoes in half and scoop the insides out into a casserole dish or mixing bowl. If you’re making potato skins or restuffing the potatoes preserve the skins.

IMG_4484Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or fork. Mix in all ingredients well. If you’re serving right away evenly spread the mixture in a casserole dish and put back in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes. Optionally, you can add extra cheese and bacon to the top before baking.

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If you’re going the twice baked potato/potato skin route restuff the potato skins with the mixture and add extra chopped bacon and green onions to the top. Pop back in the oven for about 10 minutes. Serve with a side of vegan sour cream or ranch.

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Grown-Up Granola Bars

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Hi there! Today I’m sharing an easy recipe for what I like to call, Grown-Up Granola Bars. This nutrient-packed snack is so easy, with just a few ingredients and no baking required. They make a great mid-day snack that feels like a guilty pleasure without all the added sugar and calories. I know kids and adults will equally enjoy them. The agave and vegan chocolate chips sweeten them up but don’t be fooled! They are also full of a lot of protein and fiber. Let’s get started!

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NO BAKE GROWN-UP GRANOLA BARS (VEGAN)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sunflower seed butter (can also use creamy almond butter)
  • 1/2 cup agave (can also use honey if you are not vegan)
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1/2 cup vegan mini chocolate chips, like these
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, like the one found here
  • parchment paper
  • 9×13 baking pan

Directions:

  1. Measure out the agave(1/2 cup) and sunflower seed butter (1 cup).

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2. Mix the agave and sunflower seed in a small pot over low heat until combined and smooth. Remove from heat.

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3. Meanwhile, prepare a 9×13 pan with parchment paper. Spray the corners of the pan with nonstick spray so the parchment paper sticks to the pan.

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5. Mix the mini chocolate chips and the oats together in a large bowl.

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6. Pour the agave-sunflower seed butter mixture in with the oats and mix until evenly combined.

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6. Pour mixture into prepared pan and press down with the back of a spoon to spread evenly.

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7. Sprinkle shredded coconut over mixture.

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8. Refrigerate for 1-3 hours. Lift the parchment paper out of the pan and lay flat. Cut the mixture into bars with a knife. Enjoy!

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Popcorn Party

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Hi everyone! Can you believe it is already October? One of the best things about fall, especially Halloween, is curling up on the sofa with a scary movie and a big bowl of popcorn. Today we’re sharing a few popcorn recipes to make those movie nights a little more fun (hint hint, no microwaves involved!). We’re hosting a popcorn party with almond caramel corn, spicy chili lime and truffle parmesan popcorn. Popcorn is so easy to make and is also relatively low in calories. The best part is, all of these recipes are very simple and there is no baking required. So get the scary movie ready and let’s get this party started!

First, we will share the recipe for homemade popcorn, which will be used for all of our popcorn topping recipes. Then we will share the recipes for our featured flavors. Enjoy!

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First things first, the popcorn. We are absolutely NOT microwaving our popcorn! Come on, you are better than that. Microwaveable popcorn is full of chemicals and hidden calories. Homemade popcorn, made over the stove, is healthier and cheaper than microwave popcorn. It tastes better, too! If you haven’t tried it before, it is easier than you may think.

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I have fond memories of being at my grandmother’s house as a young girl, her house full of kids as Jess and I ran around with our cousins. I admire her for so many reasons, but especially because she was always encouraging her grandchildren to help in the kitchen and share in her love of cooking. Many of the first dishes I ever made were made in her kitchen using recipes passed down over generations. Popping popcorn over the stove with my cousins was a great activity that kept us all entertained and better yet- fed!

Choose a popcorn brand that you like and make sure to buy raw popcorn kernels. I have used many different kinds and find that they are mostly the same. Trader Joe’s sells a huge bag that lasts forever and it is only $2- can’t beat that! For our popcorn party, I used a brand (White Cat Corn) that I found at Sur La Table, because I always need an excuse to go in that store and because I am a sucker for anything in a mason jar. Any regular raw popcorn kernel will work, though.

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HOMEMADE POPCORN

Ingredients: 

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil (can use coconut oil instead)
  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 large pot with a lid

This makes about 6-8 cups of popped popcorn, enough for two people.

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot on medium high heat.
  2. Put 2-3 kernels in the oil and cover the pot with the lid.
  3. When the kernels pop, add the rest of the 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels in an even layer. Cover the pot with the lid.
  4. The popcorn will begin popping soon! Once it starts, gently shake the pot back and forth several times over the burner. This will help ensure even popping and no burnt popcorn. Also, crack the lid slightly so steam can escape.
  5. Once the popping slows to several seconds between pops, remove the pot from the heat.
  6. Remove the lid and dump the popcorn into a large bowl (Tip- the sooner you do this the less soggy your popcorn will be).

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Click the link below for detailed topping recipes and step by step instructions to make

almond caramel corn, spicy chili lime, and truffle parmesan popcorn!

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