snack

Spinach Dip

spinach dip

Baseball season has been a rollercoaster for us this year. We are HUGE Oakland A’s fans, and have been on the edge of our seats as we watched them push their way into the playoffs! When we are not tailgating and attending games, we love getting together to eat, drink and watch the action. What could be better??

There are tons of notorious snacks that you expect to find at these types of events. Buffalo wings, chips and salsa, and our personal favorite, spinach dip. For as long as we can remember, spinach dip has been a signature appetizer at every family function, sports event and barbeque that we have attended. It is comforting and creamy, fresh and crunchy. Plus, we love anything that gives us an excuse to eat tons of sourdough bread! The spinach dip we know and love is loaded with dairy sour cream and mayo, not to mention the seasoning packet riddled with chemicals, preservatives and everyones favorite cancer maker, MSG!

We were sure that we would never get to experience the same delicious dip that we would congregate around. It was impossible for us to find a seasoning packet without all the nasty additives. BUT, with the Oakland A’s doing so great this season, we knew we had to be ready to celebrate our team in the playoffs, and maybe even the World Series! Heck, football season is around the corner, and even though it is not our favorite, we love ANY reason to break out the snacks, drink a cold beer and yell at the tv with our friends!

 

Spinach Dip {recipe}

Serves a crowd!

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1.5 tsp onion powder
  • 1 TB Grated onion (1/4 small onion)
  • 1 small carrot (grated)
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 TB dried minced onion
  • 1 bag (6-8oz) fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 cups vegan sour cream (instructions below)
    •     1 3/4 c raw cashews (not salted)
    •     1 c unsweetened, plain soy milk
    •     1/4 c lemon juice
    •     1/4 c refined, coconut oil, melted
    •     2 tsp apple cider vinegar
    •     2 pinches of salt

 

METHOD

1. Make sour cream by blending all sour cream ingredients together in a high-speed blender (We use the Vitamix) Then place into a container and place in fridge. (This can be done up to 2 days ahead of time)

2. Combine all the other ingredients including the sour cream together.

3. Refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to mix and the dip to thicken.

4. Serve with a fresh sourdough and crunchy vegetables.

 

NOTE: To make your own sour cream it is essential to use a High-Speed blender such as a Vitamix. If you do not have one the end result will not be as smooth and silky, and may come out gritty. Try soaking your cashews for 6-8 hours to help a standard blender break them down.

 

TIP: Use the sour cream recipe as the perfect base for onion dip. We like to mix in the natural onion soup packet from Trader Joe’s. It’s the perfect way to scarf a ton of veggies.

 

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Marinated Cucumbers

marinated cucumbers

Summer is a wonderful thing. Sunshine, barbeques and an abundance of fresh fruits and veggies! Our grandmother is known for her garden, which is practically our own personal farmer’s market. We never leave with anything less than a giant bag of fresh produce that inspire our summer table. We recently aquired some of her beautiful, crunchy cucumbers. We thought we would put them to good use with a dish we have grown up eating at our aunt’s house (we have such a wonderfully foodie family). This side dish is light, but full of flavor. It is sweet and tangy, and incredibly refreshing. We recommend letting them marinate for a few hours, or overnight, before serving so that they can really absorb all that vinegary magic!

 

Marinated Cucumbers {recipe}

Servings 4 | Serving size 1 cup

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cucumbers, sliced (4 cups)
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar (brown sugar works as well)
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp onion powder

 

METHOD

  1. In a large bowl, combine vinegar, sugar, garlic & onion powder.
  2. Place onions and cucumbers in bowl and toss with marinade, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Let them marinate a few hours before serving.


NOTE: Tastes best if left overnight.

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Crispy Almond Joy Fudge

Let’s face it. We both have a major sweet tooth (which we definitely got from our mother). We aren’t always proud of it, but the fact of the matter is that we LOVE CANDY!! Going vegan did not change that..it simply changed what we allowed ourselves to indulge in. This tasty treat is reminiscent of one of our favorites: Almond Joy!

This is a lightened up fudge with the addition of brown crispy rice, which makes for a refreshing change. It almost is like an almond joy rice crispy treat!

The key to holding these babies together is to keep them cold. Store them in the refrigerator or better yet, the freezer, right before eating. The trick is the coconut oil, which holds them together as it remains solid when cold. The minute they hit your fingers they begin to melt, leaving you with coconut chocolate covered fingers.

 

Crispy Almond Joy Fudge {recipe}

Servings 16 | Serving size 1 piece

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 c unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/4 c agave nectar
  • 1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 c crispy brown rice
  • 1TB unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 16 whole unsalted almonds

 

METHOD

  1. In a large bowl combine coconut oil, agave, and cocoa powder, mix until smooth.
  2. Then fold in crispy rice and stir until completely coated with chocolate mixture.
  3. Place into an 8" x 8" pan that has been lined with plastic wrap. Cover with more plastic wrap and pack down into dish.
  4. Sprinkle shredded coconut on top and place almonds on top evenly, pressing them in. This will be cut into 16 squares and one almond in the center of each.
  5. Place tray in freezer for 30 minutes, then remove and cut into 16 squares. Keep in fridge until ready to eat.

 

NOTE: Please do not substitute the unrefined coconut oil.  it is needed to hold the candies together.  It will also help impart the coconut flavor that is essential to an Almond Joy.

 

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Grilled Edamame with Garlic & Sea Salt

grilled_edamame

Edamame (soy beans) are a delicious and healthy snack, that can be served warm or cold.  They are often seasoned with nothing more than a sprinkle of salt, or nothing at at all. While we agree that they are wonderful just like that, we decided that they deserve a little more attention. No longer will these unassuming beans be a mere afterthought when putting together a tasty asian inspired meal plan; they will be the star of the show!

This simple snack is served warm, and is perfect for satisfying that salty craving that we all get from time to time, not to mention they could not be easier to prepare! Make sure you get all the  delicious seasonings from the outside before eating the tasty bean on the inside.

 

Grilled Edamame with Garlic & Sea Salt {recipe}

Servings 4 | Serving size 1 cup (with shells on)

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 16 oz frozen uncooked edamame
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

 

METHOD

  1. Cook frozen edamame according to package directions.
  2. While the cook, in a large bowl mix together garlic powder, salt, soy sauce, olive oil and fresh garlic.
  3. Add cooked edamame to bowl and stir to coat. Once coated heat a grill pan or cast iron skillet on high, and add edamame and cook until skins begin to char on both sides. Remove from heat and transfer to serving dish.

 

NOTE: I would not recommend doing this on an actual grill, you will most likely lose all your edamame.

 

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