Tag Archives: artichoke

The Other Lazy Vegans: Artichoke Burgers

I got these guys on impulse because they’ve got my dog whistle on them: gluten-free, vegan, organic. I can’t ignore those words. Five Star Foodies artichoke burgers are made primarily from rice, cashews and artichoke and have a great flavor all by themselves.

They keep indefinitely (barring the recommendation on the label) in the freezer and for weeks in the refrigerator. They cook quickly and easily and go well with fries or a tofu scramble. They cost me about $1.75 per burger and 4 come in a bag for a total of $7. Each burger contains 16 grams of fat, more sugar than fiber and 330 milligrams of sodium so those of you who are watching your weight or your salt might want to steer free of these babies in favor of something home-made. All in all it was one of the better gluten-free veggie burgers I’ve ever had. The texture was nice: they melted in my mouth without falling apart during cooking. Still, these haven’t converted me; I’ll probably stick to home-made burgers and trying new ones.

We served them up with a tofu scramble as though they were a breakfast sausage. This is probably not what these burgers were intended for but it allowed us to really taste the burger and not the bun and condiments. If you get to try them, let us know what you think!

This is Brent and Christie, signing off!

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Spinach Artichoke Dip 2

I made a spinach artichoke dip a while ago that’s based on soy which is my favorite source of creaminess. In this particular recipe I’m using white beans for the people that I love who cannot eat soy. The nutritional profile is similar: iron, fiber, no cholesterol, low fat, rich in protein, vitamins and minerals and the flavor is just as awesome. We started with the following:

1 tin of white beans, drained OR 1 cup of white beans, soaked and [pressure] cooked

1 tin or jar of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1 10 ounce package of frozen spinach

1 small onion, diced

6 cloves of garlic, minced (more if you love garlic as much as I do)

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp garlic powder

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

2 tbsp vegan parmesan (optional)

1 cube of veggie bouillon (we used Rapunzel)

1 tsp of flaked red pepper

1 dash of cayenne

1/2 tsp of paprika

juice from 1/4 of a lemon

2 tbsp vegan mayonnaise

1/4 cup of Daiya (optional)

Okay, so that seems like a lot of ingredients. It was really simple to make. Preheat your oven to 350F/175C… this won’t take long.

I put all of the ingredients into a bowl while my expert moosher went to work mooshing everything into oblivion. If you’re interested in something that’s creamier, I’d recommend putting the white beans into your blender or food processer first and blending until smooth but I like a little texture and Brent’s muscles are a sight to see mooshing  those beans. We had to microwave it a few times to thaw the spinach.

Once it was all mixed I put everything into a loaf shaped baking tin and put it into my oven for 25 minutes. It came out smelling divine and tasting even better. I burned my mouth being so enthused about getting some of our creation into our mouths.

The Daiya and parmesan do make this richer but it wasn’t missing anything when we made it with one or the other or neither. It was still creamy, rich, delightful spinach artichoke dip, perfect for parties or snacking.

This is Brent and Christie, signing off.

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Spinach Artichoke Dip

Stereotypes about vegans often include the idea that they’re anemic. I’ve donated blood for years and I panicked after I went vegan, worrying that I wouldn’t be able to donate anymore. I’m a little more pedantic about my eating habits than most people so it’s probably not surprising that my iron levels were in the high end of the healthy range when I donated Thursday evening. There are a lot of reasons you might want to give blood. I’m including 2 links to scientific papers whose results suggest that regular blood donations can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, especially if you’re a dude.

My personal reasons for donating blood is that one out of every 4 people will need a transfusion in their life. Imagine 4 people you care about. Now imagine your life without one of them. Wow, that’s depressing. Anyways, there are benefits to donating blood other than patting yourself on the back for saving lives: I got a free movie ticket and a snack, I know my blood pressure and my blood iron levels are healthy and in a week I’ll know my cholesterol level. You’ll also learn your blood type which is a good thing to know if you’re ever seriously hurt.

Spinach is another one of my favorite vegan goodies. Spinach can help you prepare for and recover from donating blood. One cup has enough vitamin K to give 2 people their recommended daily intake of vitamin K. WTF is vitamin K? It’s a crucial nutrient for blood clotting. This is important for after you’re done donating blood to help you stop bleeding and reduce your risk of bruising.
So why is spinach better than beef if you’re thinking about donating blood? Beef has less than 2/3 the iron and almost 10 times the calories compared to spinach, ounce for ounce. Spinach also has 600 times the vitamin K of an equal weight of lean beef. (according to http://www.nutritiondata.com)
Did I mention I’m making spinach artichoke dip? Yeah. I’ve gotta recuperate the nutrients I donated (excuse to indulge). Assemble these ingredients.
1/2 onion, diced
1 generous bunch spinach, chopped (frozen is fine, one 12 ounce package should do it, just make sure it’s thawed and well drained)
1 tin marinated artichoke hearts
1 tsp olive oil
1 12 oz. package silken tofu (I used Mori-Nu)
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
3 garlic cloves
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp flake red pepper
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F. Sautee onion, spinach and artichoke hearts in olive oil until onion is soft.
Blend together tofu, nutritional yeast, garlic, vinegar and spices in blender until smooth.
Combine all ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a glass baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes, after that, observe until lightly browned on top.
Garnish with some shredded basil. Serve warm with crackers, raw broccoli florets or carrots.
As I’ve written it, this recipe contains about 350-500 calories (depending on how much olive oil you sautee with and what sort of tofu you use). That’s about the number of calories in a blood donation. Coincidence? I think not.
This is Christie, signing off to go see that free movie.
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