The least I can do is try...

I Give Thanks for the Creative Peeps

In Nutrition Bliss on March 29, 2011 at 3:20 am

As you can see, thus far, I just exploit the creativity of others for my own personal gain. What would I do without the kitchen chemists of the world! Lately, the weekends have become my cooking time. After a week of salads, it is nice to be able to prepare food with a little more character that I feel pretty good about.  Particularly foods that are usually less than ideal nutritionally if I were to eat the traditional versions.

First, for some background. My cousin Rufi and I were in Austin a while ago, and being the eater that I am, I begged her to try some of the local joints with me. We were stuck in a conference until after 11, so we opted for the 24 hr Magnolia Cafe which came highly recommended. The place was great, and I really enjoyed their house specialty appetizer called Mag Mud– a warm, creamy, spicy bowl of queso dip with a pile of fresh tortilla chips. It was pure, unadulterated, comfort food happiness for me– definitely try it if you are in Austin!

Last weekend, I was craving something similarly yummy, oooey and gooey to dunk some chips in– however, I decided to search for a healthier recipe– this brought me to the Delectably Free blog. Beth creates vegan recipes that are free of sugar and gluten– they are also natural– so no crazy chemicals– nice! Last weekend I went straight to her recipe for spinach dip– following her suggestion I used half red curly kale and half spinach.
My result was exactly what I wanted– warm, ooey, gooey, dippable, and containing enough veggies to make me feel like I was being kind of good. With some baked blue-corn tortilla chips, and a huge tossed salad– I had a fun weekend dinner that I would definitely do again! Try the recipe for yourself here

I like to eat vegan as much as possible– this is the norm for me at home. If veganism is not your thing, I am sure the regular, low-fat counterparts could be substituted for a different version of this dip.

So, in short– I heart this recipe. It is probably not like uber-Nirvana, raw foodie, yoga commune approved, but believe me– you could do a LOT worse.

For those of you new to the vegan world, an introduction to some of the ingredients and a picture of the yummy results are below (excuse the poor Blackberry phone pictures):

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is a condiment rich in B-vitamins commonly used in vegan recipes. It has a nutty taste that many people equate to parmesan cheese and is commonly used as a substitute in vegan-world. 

Daiya Vegan Cheese

As anyone who has tried a vegan diet can attest to, vegan cheese is this huge controversial topic. People swear allegiance to different brands and some hate it altogether. Daiya made its mark as one of the first pre-shredded brands on the market that actually melts vs just drying out when heated. I have used it to make pizzas and nachos and it is actually pretty good– in my opinion!

Vegenaise

Vegan or not, I definitely encourage anyone to try Vegenaise. It tastes like the real thing, and they even make a version that uses antioxidant loaded grapeseed oil.

Curly Red Kale

One of my favorite types of the leafy green. Unlike some of  its cousins like dinosaur and lacinato, curly red kale is tender and almost sweet tasting. If you like spinach, and are scared of kale, try curly red– you will not be disappointed.

Spinach

Eh– you know what spinach is 🙂

The yummy results (well the picture is poor- taken with my Blackberry in a ravenous rush)– but try it!

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