I love Spinach Artichoke dip. To me, it is the height of decadence. Salty artichokes, creamy mozzarella cheese, crunchy water chestnuts and hey, if it has spinach in it, it must be healthy, right?

Being lactose intolerant, it was always one of those things that was worth a Lactaid. Now as I am trying to push myself away from dairy, I wanted to experiment with some of my favorite dairy dishes and see if I could ‘remake’ them with dairy free ingredients. This was my first attempt.

I adapted it from an oldie but goodie spinach artichoke dip recipe that has been my go-to dish for wedding and baby showers. I love it because you just throw all the ingredients together in a crockpot and then you are done. The recipe was jotted down from allrecipes.com and I have made a few tweaks since then. I apologize for not having a direct link to it. I have changed it several times since I wrote it down years ago.

Vegan Spinach and Artichoke Dip

1 package (2 cups) of Daiya mozzarella shreds (dairy free)*
1 1/2 packages of Vegan Cream Cheese*, either cut up or in spoonfuls
10 oz. fresh spinach
6 oz. swiss chard leaves (chopped)
1 can of sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 can of artichokes, drained and chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
few dashes of (vegan) Worcestershire sauce**

*To do a dairy version, simply swap out the dairy free items for regular dairy items.

**If you aren’t vegan and the dish doesn’t need to be vegan, you can use regular Worcestershire sauce.

  1. Put all ingredients except Worcestershire sauce in crockpot.
  2. Cook on High for two hours.
  3. Stir in Worcestershire sauce to taste.
  4. Serve with raw vegetables, bread and/or tortilla chips.

Recipe Review: The dairy free items give it a much richer and creamier taste than I had imagined. It’s also a great way to use swiss chard. I would bet that you could totally swap out the spinach for swiss chard if you wanted, and visa versa if you wanted just spinach.

But let’s not ignore the white elephant in the room: This is not a pretty dish.

I debated about posting it on the blog because it resembles wet concrete and frankly, the pictures don’t do it justice. But it’s so easy (and tasty!), I couldn’t not post it.

Don’t believe me?

I took it to a high school drama department potluck. As I was driving up to the school, I thought: Am I crazy? I am going to a potluck for high school students and I am not only bringing a vegan dish, but it also has spinach and artichokes in it. I know my nephews would cringe if I said those words in front of them. And, as I said above, it looked awful.

I was already in front of the school so there was no turning back so I hauled it in to the cafeteria. I found a spot next to some guacamole and set it up. I was hoping that the tortilla chips would entice people to try it, ¬†because not only did I bring a dip with spinach and artichokes, I brought a bag of veggies for dipping. Can you tell I don’t have kids yet?

I was one of the last to go through the lines and I was shocked that my dish was almost gone. I had some and after people went up for seconds, the dish was almost scraped clean. I was able to salvage a 1/4 cup for Manatee who tried it later that night and proclaimed it way better than my original version.

For those CSA peers: Did you notice I used swiss chard? Can you believe it? I finally found a use for it!

Now I have to decide if I am brave enough to serve it for Manatee’s co-workers in two weeks. Any ideas for making it look a little more appetizing?

 

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