Again with the Chicago Soy Dairy Teese Challenge!
This time I had some "mozzarella-style" Teese to experiment with. Now, it's been well-documented that the stuff melts beautifully on pizza, so no need to go there - besides, this is a "challenge"which means "try something half-way creative".
So. I finally tried "vegan-izing" my old comfort-food favorite - Hot Artichoke Spinach Dip. I realize it relies heavily on vegan dairy "substitutes" but I tend to add more spinach and artichokes, so hopefully the dip isn't as heavy and rich as your typical recipe. Mind you, I haven't tried the original, goopy, mayo-laden dip in over six years, but in my humble opinion, this vegan version knocks the original right out of the tail-gate party!
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
1/2 cup Vegan Sour Cream
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional if you don't like it - makes a less "runny" dip)
1 clove garlic (or MORE!!), peeled and minced/pressed
1/2 tsp. dried basil or 2 Tbsp. fresh, minced
salt and pepper to taste
couple shots Tabasco (optional and to taste)
1 14 oz. can OR 1 9 oz. frozen bag artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
OR 1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped (sometimes I use more)
2 cups frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained (wring in cheesecloth)
Lightly grease a small baking dish.
Blend cashews in food processor with just enough water to make a thick, smooth "cashew cream". Set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 1/4 cup vegan sour cream and 'Teese' until runny.
In a medium bowl, mix together "cashew cream", the rest of the sour cream, the sour cream-Teese mixture, garlic, basil, Tabasco, water chestnuts, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Gently stir in artichoke hearts and spinach.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top with a bit more 'Teese' if you want. Put in oven about 10 - 15 min, just until Teese bubbles and melts on top or dip is starting to brown.