Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Creamy Spinach Dip

I was looking for a make-ahead appetizer for the holidays and thought that a spinach dip would be festive! I researched many different recipes but ultimately adapted this recipe from a raw vegan website. She uses a veggie dehydrating/warming technique that I was excited to try. If you have dehydrating machine that would be an easier step I can imagine.

Because I needed such small quantities of the veggies I went to a salad bar at a grocery store and picked out the exact (heaping tbsp) quantities I wanted for the recipe. Since I was moving I had no desire for any leftovers.

When I went to “dehydrate” the veggies, I didn't have an oven thermometer. Now, why would that stop me?! I set my oven to “warm” and then left the oven door open. It wasn’t all the way open, but where the oven door joint first stops. Does that make sense? It was probably 5-8 inches open. I have no idea what temp my oven was actually heated to. After an hour the veggies were slightly wilted and starting to get a little dry. The website says that you can keep the veggies for another 2 weeks after this step.

The raw/vegan recipe calls for a vegan sour cream but when I was looking at other recipes many combine cream cheese and sour cream. I had one package of cream cheese remaining from bulk quantity I had purchased for the Oreo Cheesecake and the Mint Oreo Truffles. I also substituted plain Greek yogurt for the sour cream.

This was a great flavorful recipe. To make it lighter you can use fat free or light cream cheese.

Veggie prep took about 10 minutes (dicing & spinach) and then the hour to heat the veggies. It takes about 5 minutes to combine in the food processor and you are ready to go! Many of the spinach dip recipes say you can make this up to 3 days in advance and that it will improve since the ingredients will have time to hang out.
Picture of Dip Without Flash
Picture of Dip With Flash

Spinach Dip
1 bag of baby spinach
2 tbsp red pepper, small dice
2 tbsp carrot, small dice
2 tbsp roasted tomato, small dice
8 oz cream cheese
1 individual serving plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
salt & pepper, to taste

Heat the spinach in a frying pan on low until just starting to wilt.
Combine the rest of the vegetables but don’t cook in the frying pan.
Spread out on a cookie sheet lined with a silpat mat or parchment paper. Dehydrate in oven for about 1 hour at 118F.
Combine cream cheese, yogurt, and spices in food processor until smooth. This will take a few pulses. Add veggies and pulse a couple more times until combined.
Serve chilled with crackers or veggie sticks!

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