Thursday, May 14, 2009

Spinach Artichoke Heart Dip

Have I mentioned that I really don't like beans? And have I mentioned that I try to eat them a couple of times a week? This is partly due to the fact that they're a good protein source and also because they're good for you. I actually like beans in a few different recipes like hummus and refried beans. They're also okay if they're mixed in small amounts with other delicious things like tomatoes, corn and avocado. Or smothered in cheese! Though of course that's kind of defeating the purpose of eating them. Anyway - can anyone help me here? Got a good (and relatively healthy) bean recipe? I'm the least creative cook and am dying to find some ways I can actually enjoy eating beans.

This dip is actually a pretty good way to eat beans though. And it's even better when you crumble some feta on top and bake it. ;) I bet it would also make a good sandwich or wrap spread, and now I'm regretting not trying it. The garlic is quite strong if you eat the dip raw, so if you don't love garlic you might want to cut back on it a bit.

Edit: For some reason I forgot that there are some bean/legume recipes I really like - Indian dishes! Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen kindly provided me with a list of some of her favourite Indian dishes that I want to work my way through. So far I've tried her chana masala which was super tasty (and will be blogged about soon).

Some of you asked what kind of cracker I had the dip on. They're Mary's Gone Crackers (in Canada I think they're just called Mary's Crackers, box looks the same though).

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Artichoke Rotini Pasta
Pan Fried Onion Dip
Cheddar Ale Dip

Spinach Artichoke Heart Dip
Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites

I used 1 tbsp dried basil instead of 2 tbsp fresh.

Makes 3 cups

5 oz fresh spinach, rinsed and stemmed (Ashley note: I used 1/2 a package of frozen spinach.)
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1 1/2 cups cooked cannellini beans (15 oz can, drained and rinsed)
1 cup chopped green onions
1 tbsp dried basil
2 to 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice, to taste
5 to 6 artichoke hearts or bottoms, minced (15 oz can)
salt and ground black pepper to taste

If using fresh spinach: Using just the water clinging to the leaves after rinsing, steam the spinach until just wilted, 2 or 3 minutes. If using frozen spinach: Thaw and squeeze out the water.

In a food processor, puree the spinach, garlic, beans, scallions, basil and 3 tbsp of the lemon juice until very smooth. Fold in the minced artichoke heats and add more lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Serve chilled or at room temperature.


Dana said...

I love that dip! I've made it several times. Do you not like chickpeas either? I find those less bean-y than others. What about lentils? All the benefits, different texture.

Deborah said...

How interesting that it has beans in it! It sounds wonderful, and I love that green color!

Grace said...

i'll try not to judge you for your dislike of beans, perhaps my favorite of all foods. :)
no, to each her own, and this dip is a fantastic way to sneak in some of the protein pellets. nicely done.

HappyTummy said...

that dip looks fantastic!! and the chips--are those flaxseeds i see in them? yummy :)

i'm a bean lover. LOVE beans :) and i LOVE indian food too. how about something like black bean and corn salad, vegetarian chili, rajma, black beans and sweet potatoes or hummus?

dana is right--lentils would be good too. great source of protein and fiber!

Alisa - Frugal Foodie said...

Finally, a spinach and artichoke dip that doesn't call for sour cream, cream cheese, or their mock-subs! Thanks!

Pearl said...

i love the color!

Teanna said...

I love that even though you don't like them, you find great ways to eat beans! That dip looks AMAZING! So green and delicious - Cannellini beans are my FAVORITE!

montanasue said...

I have had pizza with black beans on it which was good. Also, try mixing them in with mashed squash or spinach and a little cheese (optional) as a filling for chili rellanos or enchiladas. Good luck!

Lisa said...

This sounds wonderful. And that image at the top has me drooling.

I'm delighted you are working your way through some of the recipes I suggested to you. Nothing finer than Indian cuisine I say!

jeffcapeshop said...

what is that you're dipping into it?

Erin said...

This looks delicious! I actually love beans :)

Anonymous said...

Great way to do this dip with much less fat. Very appreciated. :)

Sarena Shasteen said...

We love beans here! We eat them more often than just about anything. I love making burgers out of them! This recipe looks great. I will definitely give it a try!

Katie said...

Mashing the beans and making burgers is a good way to go. Or, if you like chili, you can just replace the meat with beans in any chili recipe. Unless it's the texture you don't like, I don't know that you will really be able to taste the beans. But I'm probably not the person to ask since half our emergency kit is various types of beans that I intend to eat straight from the can if necessary!

Janet said...

I am partial to black beans.. love this soup. Easy and super tasty:
(I only puree half of it though to keep it a bit chunky)

As well, here is a great recipe for lentils!

Spicy Red Lentils and Spinach

6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp red chili flakes
4 tbsp EVOO, divided
2 cups red lentils
1 cup OJ
3 cups water
280 g baby spinach
1/2 tsp salt

1. In a large sauce pot over medium-low heat, saute the garlic and chili flakes in 2 tbsp EVOO until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
2. Add the lentils and stir to coat with the oil.
3. Increase the heat to med-high and stir in the OJ and water. Simmer until the lentils are tender, about 15 minutes (more water may be necessary).
4. Stir in the spinach and continue to simmer until it's tender, ~2 minutes. Season with up to 1/2 of salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with remaining EVOO.

Serves 6.

Source: Nutrition Action Healthletter (Jan/Feb 2008)

Steph said...

That looks so yummy! I love dips with spinach or beans in them.

Johanna said...

love your dip recipe - I love beans and have to have a few tins of them in the pantry (because I never organise myself to soak them) - dal, chill non carne, lasagna, veg spag bol, red lentil loaf, bean and prune casserole, veg cassoulet, minestrone and bean burgers are some that spring to mind as well as them being great in dips. It might also be worth checking out Susan (The Well Seasoned Cook)'s My Legume Love Affair for great inspiration

Misty said...

That dip looks great. What type of cracker is that?

Its not a bean-centric dish, but I love Quinoa with Black Beans and Sweet Potato:

I make this at least once or twice a month.

CookiePie said...

Delicious and healthy -- fantastic!

eatme_delicious said...

Dana: Chickpeas are one of the beans that I'm okay with. Lentils can be okay too. I think I should try to find more lentil recipes!

Happy Tummy: Thanks so much for the recipe suggestions! I definitely like hummus.

montanasue: Mmm pizza with beans sounds good. Thanks for the other suggestions too. =)

Sarena: Oh yea I forgot about using them in burgers. Thanks!

Katie: Thanks for the burger suggestion! I'm not a big chili fan. :(

Janet: Thanks for the recipes! Interesting that there's a cup of OJ in the lentils!

Johanna: Mmm dal is good. I should try making lasagna with beans. Thanks for all the suggestions. I should go check out the bean recipes on your blog!

Misty: Oh that sounds good! Thanks.

Hannah said...

I've actually been searching for party-friendly/summery dips lately, and this sounds like it will fit the bill perfectly. Thanks for sharing!

Bunny said...

I love that picture, you really nailed this. It looks terrific!

Elyse said...

Mmm, I love that there are cannellini beans in this recipe. Looks so delicious! I can't wait to try out this version of one of my favorite dips. Great job! Sorry I've been away from blogging/commenting for so long. I just finished up with my exams and am finally getting around to my google reader :) Everything looks delicious!

Ricki said...

Sounds like a great dip! And the color is so vibrant, too.

Holler said...

Mmmm, that looks great and those crackers look fab! I have a bean suggestion for you. There is Kenyan potato side dish which is rather good.

Helene said...

I was surprised to read that you did not like beans. I have to make this recipe. Never seen it before. Looks so yummy.

Anonymous said...

That dip sounds delicious and so much healthier than the traditional kind.

Some bean meal ideas for you: meatless chili, bean burgers, the chickpea cutlets from Veganomicon, tacos, or soup (like minestrone). You could always add them to pasta dishes you like for some extra protein.

Mermaid Sweets said...

Yum, this looks great, glad you are trying to like beans, I think they are fantastic (going in!)

Bellini Valli said...

I am not a huge fan of beans either but I do them in dips, taco salad, etc.