Spinach Artichoke Dip + Party Menu Planning

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This is going to be a wonderful weekend for eating. :)

Thursday night and Friday I got busy making the menu plans and doing some prep ahead of time for our gatherings this weekend. One of my best tricks for stress-free party hosting is making things ahead of time as much as possible. [My post ‘Tick Tock, Racing Against The Clock’ includes a bunch of tips and shows how I planned ahead for my 1st vegan Thanksgiving.]

I started planning for today’s get together with my sister Kerrie and family.

My goal: 2 appetizers, main + 2 sides, wine, and dessert.

Appetizers

1. Spinach Artichoke Dip (see below for recipe) + blue corn chips & crackers

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2. Union Square Café Bar Nuts

(easily adapted to be vegan using soy-free Earth Balance instead of butter)

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My Twice Baked Bar Nuts are good too and adapted from the recipe above.

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3. Stuffed Portabella Pizza

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Not sure if I will have time to make these or not, but I’m sure going to try.

My sis is also bringing an appetizer and a salad for dinner. :)

Main Course:

Ultimate Vegan Lentil Walnut Loaf:

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I’m soooooo looking forward to this lentil loaf…I’ve been craving it since I made it Jan 1st! I actually prepped the entire loaf last night and then stuck it in the fridge (covered) unbaked. All I have to do this afternoon is throw it in the oven about 1 hour before we eat.

High Protein Garlic Mashed Potatoes:

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Roasted veggies:

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I think I might roast carrots in some sort of glaze, but I haven’t decided on that yet.

Dessert:

Chilled Double Chocolate Torte:

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This dessert is awesome because you can make it ahead of time and store it in the freezer! I whipped it up Friday and covered it and put it in the freezer. Now I don’t have to worry about dessert today. All I have to do is let it dethaw for about 10 minutes on the counter.

Now about that Spinach Artichoke Dip. The beauty of this dip is that it is vegan, soy-free, and can be easily made gluten-free if you use GF bread crumbs! It is really a dip almost anyone can enjoy…if you like artichokes that is. ;)

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The navy beans in this recipe are the ‘secret ingredient’. They give the dip a real creaminess (and protein!) that it wouldn’t have otherwise.

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Sautee the onion and garlic for about 7-10 minutes.

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Meanwhile, make the bread crumbs and set aside. Now, process the bean mixture ingredients.

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After the onion and garlic has cooked, add in the spinach and artichoke hearts (You probably want to chop the artichoke smaller than I did as I found the pieces a bit large!)

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mix and heat for another few minutes.

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Now add in the bean mixture and stir well.

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Season to taste.

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Stir in 3/4 of the bread crumbs.

Pour into a small oven-safe dish…I used a 4 cup Pyrex dish.

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Sprinkle on the remaining crumbs (and cheese if preferred).

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Cover and bake for 20 minutes at 400F and then remove the cover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.

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This dip is creamy, comforting, and it certainly tastes more indulgent than it really is. One of my friends picked me up some of the raved-about Daiya vegan cheese (she said I was crazy for not having tried it yet), so when I re-heat the dip in the oven I may sprinkle some cheese on top. It should be delicious!

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Another tip: Use very ‘sturdy’ nacho chips or crackers because the dip is very thick and weak/thin crackers won’t come out alive. ;) I’m using some organic blue corn chips (very thick!) and Mary’s Crackers (basically unbreakable…I’m not even sure how I chew them).

Time to rush, rush, rush. Have a great day!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

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Meg April 5, 2017

Angela, could you freeze this dip?

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Angela Liddon April 20, 2017

Hi Meg, I’m sorry I haven’t tried freezing this before so I’m really not sure. If you try it out, I would suggest trying to freeze a very small portion and thawing it. Then if that “test” freeze is successful you might be able to freeze the entire batch! I hope this helps :)

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