A Recipe FInally…..Healthy Spinach Dip

Yay, two posts this week! It made me so happy to get responses to my post on Sunday.  It is nice to know that my posts are being read and enjoyed.  I like writing and am pleased to be getting back into the routine.  I am just about settled in my house.  I got a new furnace and a/c installed yesterday and today.  The city inspector needs to come still and then I'll be all set.  Fortunately our weather all week is lows of 60 and highs of 70 so no heating or cooling is needed.  And happily my windows open with screens (something I didn't have in Houston) so I am loving the fresh air in the house.  Best sleeping ever!   Once Tom is here this weekend to get mirrors, pictures, towel bars and curtains hung, I should be all set.  

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Once that happens I need to move things along for work and a life.  Making friends, finding a yoga studio, volunteering, a job…..so many fun things to find and explore.  I am taking it as an adventure and an opportunity, rather than a stress-me-out, what now kind of thing.  If I am being honest, I don't even want to work until November. Tom is here this week, my friend Barbara is coming for a visit next week, and then the next week I plan to go to the beach for a little family vacation.  (I have a pet sitter meet-and-greet tomorrow…..fingers crossed the cats like her!)  And most of all, my oldest dearest friend is newly diagnosed with an agressive brain tumor.  I am on call to go help out as soon as she wants visitors and her husband needs a hand.  They live about 6 hours from here and I will jump in the car as soon as they give the word.  It is such a hard time for her and all of us who love her.  She is not herself with trouble speaking and now getting around.  She isn't ready yet for anyone to be there with her.  Her radiation started yesteday so I am hopeful she will improve over the next weeks.  Cancer just really sucks. So work will come in due course.  I am thinking that the work will come right when I am ready to get started! :) 

Warm spinach dip

Warm spinach dip

So now that it is Fall, it is football season. I have never been much of a football fan, but I somehow feel connected to my friends in Houston when I watch the Texans.  So I watch them when I can, and now that I live in the ACC, I can watch my Virginia Cavaliers.  Sadly VA has never had a great football team, but it is nice to support my alma mater anyway. So with football watching, comes snack eating.  Most of them are just terrible for you.  I am not sure why watching football means you need to eat greasy, salty, unhealthy food like nachos, chicken wings, french onion dip....

I made this warm spinach dip today and it is a great new version perfect for while you watch a game.  Most spinach dip is made with tons of cheese and sour cream which cancels out the benefits of the spinach.  This version is a lighter  but still really tasty.  Don't expect it to be the same. It won't be because it has no packaged soup, no fatty, gloppy cheese.  In this one, onions are sauteed and then fresh spinach is quickly wilted with them.  Blitz it together in the food processor with some canned beans and some vegan mayo, salt and pepper and you have a lovely dip.  Yes, vegan mayo.  Okay so you can use Hellman's or Duke's but Veganaise is made with grapeseed oil which is a better oil than the canola or soybean that other mayo is made with.  You can find it in any grocery store in the refrigerated section.  If you really have to, you can mix in about 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese and put it in the oven at 350 to get it melted.  I didn't but imagine it would work.  I ate it warm right after I made it with vegetables and chips made from squash.  (recipe coming!)  It would be good on crackers or of course tortilla chips.  I also ate some cold from the fridge and it was excellent. I think it would also be really good in a sandwich or spread on toast for breakfast.  I hope you'll try it. 

Since no post is complete without some pet pictures, here is a sweet photo of Red and Domino comfortably sleeping in their old favorite chair that is in my bedroom.  And a picture of Beau during his first adventure to the ocean. Tom took him to Galveston last weekend and he was one happy pup.  Water to play in, a stick to fetch, birds to chase.  He was a natural! 

So have a good week.  Hug your pets, and plan on some spinach dip this weekend! 

Warm Spinach Dip

by Catherine Craig

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Keywords: saute appetizer condiment sandwich sauce snack gluten-free vegan vegetarian

Ingredients (about 2 cups)

  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, small diced
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 cups, packed fresh baby spinach (about one large plastic box)
  • salt/pepper
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed mayonaise (Veganaise)
  • 1 cup canned white beans, drained and rinsed

Instructions

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add the diced onion and a spinkle of salt. Cook stirring often until translucent and starting to brown around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and toss with the onions until just wilted.

Transfer spinach/onion mixture to a food processor. Add the mayonnaise and white beans, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Pulse until just mixed. Don't over blend. Taste for seasoning and adjust with additional salt and pepper. If desired you can add a shake of cayenne or a squirt of Siracha. Serve with vegetables, chips, or crakers. You can also spread on sandwiches.

If you must, you can mix in about 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese and briefly bake in a 350 oven until the cheese melts. I recommend eating without the cheese. It is delicious and nice to skip the dairy.

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