The sun is finally shining and the daffodils have begun to bloom, it is officially Springtime! In Spring we see the return of delicious fruits and vegetables that have been missing from our Winter diets.  The farmers markets are beginning to carry items like strawberries, asparagus, cherries, and fresh greens. We love all these fruits and veggies, however, we must say our favorite Spring veggie making a triumphant return is the artichoke.  Artichokes are delicious steamed, added into dishes, and of course in dips! With parties moving outdoors and Spring holidays such as Easter on the horizon, our recipe today: Creamy Artichoke Dip will meet all your needs! This recipe celebrates Spring and it makes the perfect appetizer or snack!

 

Vegan Creamy Artichoke Dip

Prep Time: 15 Minutes  Bake Time: 15-20 Minutes

8 oz Jar of Organic Marinated Artichoke Hearts
1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
1 Glove Organic Garlic
1/2 Tsp Paprika
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/4 Tsp Black Pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Chop the garlic finely and set aside.  Drain the artichoke hearts and mash them in a large mixing bowl. Set aside a small amount of the nutritional yeast and paprika (enough for garnish).  Add in the cream cheese, Vegenaise, nutritional yeast, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper.  Mix all ingredients until smooth and creamy and pour into a round casserole dish. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle the top with the left over nutritional yeast and paprika. Serve immediately  with chips, pita chips or bread, sourdough bread, or crackers.

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Easter Sunday is fast approaching and when one thinks of traditional Easter food, eggs of course come to mind! But of course for vegans this is not an option. To read more about why vegans refrain from eating eggs, check out our previous blog titled The Truth About Eggs. Most vegans are used to traditional foods served for holidays including Deviled Eggs. We have put together a tasty alternative to traditional Deviled Eggs with our Eggless Deviled Bites. These are a terrific appetizer and wonderful to bring along to family events. Who knows you might encourage friends or family to eat vegan. Enjoy this tasty traditional recipe and Happy Easter from all of us at Autonomie.

Vegan Eggless Deviled Tofu Bites

Prep Time: 30 Minutes Makes: 16-20 Bites

1 lb Organic Firm Tofu
1/2 lb Organic Silken Tofu
2 Cups Warm Water
1/3 Cup Organic Vegenaise
2 Tbl Organic Yellow Mustard
2 Tbl Organic Relish (dill works best)
1 Tbl Onion, finely minced
1 Glove of Garlic, finely minced
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Tumeric
Paprika, for garnish
Organic Cherry Tomatoes, for garnish (optional)

Drain and rinse the firm tofu and slice in half vertically. You can then cut into 1 inch squares or if you are feeling creative, cut into oval shapes with a pairing knife. The ovals will give it more of an authentic “egg” look but the squares will do just fine. In a large bowl combine warm water and only 1 teaspoon salt. Place your tofu cubes or ovals into the water and allow them to marinate while you prepare the filling. Finely mince the onion and garlic and set aside. In a large bowl combine the silken tofu, vegenaise, mustard, relish, onion, garlic, remaining salt, pepper, and tumeric. Mix this thoroughly until smooth. Drain the tofu ovals or squares and arrange on a plate or serving platter. Use a paper towel or cloth to soak up any excess water on the ovals/squares. With a spoon or scoop, place a dollop of the filling mixture from the bowl on top of each bite. Sprinkle the bites with paprika and place a cherry tomato in the center, if you choose. Any left over filling can be used as a cracker dip or sandwich filling. You can serve immediately or keep in the fridge to harden.

This Sunday marks the most watched television event of the year: Superbowl Sunday! So as the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers face off in the warm Tampa sun, most Americans will gather around their televisions sets and indulge in snacks and beer. So is there a way to keep your Superbowl party green and vegan? Of course there is! We have put together a quick list of how to green and veganize your Superbowl Party! So sit back and enjoy your Sunday, root for your team, and keep your conscious satisfied. 

Biodegradable and Recyclable Party-ware

Most of the time when we through parties the last thing we want to deal with is washing dishes. So many people usually end up buying throw away plastic and paper silverware, plates, and napkins. Instead of going for the plastic, try out biodegradable plates, silverware, and napkins. There are many companies that make these items such as World Centric and  Nature Friendly. The eco friendly party supplies can also be found at most Whole Foods locations. Not only will this help green your Superbowl Bash, it will make cleaning up all that much easier. If you do use biodegradable supplies, be sure you compost the items rather than sending them out with the regular trash!

Vegan and Organic Snacks

Superbowl parties are usually filled with snacks like wings, pizza, and chips! But there is a way to enjoy your Sunday with healthy, organic, and vegan. Great healthy snacks to serve are organic salsa and chips, organic hummus and carrots, and organic veggies and fruit! But you can also use vegan appetizer substitute such as Health is Wealth Vegan Buffalo Wings, Health is Wealth Vegan Nuggets, Health is Wealth Vegan Egg Rolls, and Nate’s Meatless Meatballs. You can even serve several Toffuti Pizzas, Amy’s Cheese-less Pizza, or make your own! Finally you can serve some great dips and party foods. There are tons of great vegan recipes out there. Here are a few of our own: Vegan 7 Layer Bean Dip, Vegan Spinach Dip, and Vegan Potato Salad.

Green Refreshments

Watching football inevitably brings beer! There is one great company, New Belgium, which happens to be a favorite beer of AP’s! This is a worker owned co-op that makes great beers through wind power and are delivered in soy powered trucks. We suggest you try the Fat Tire or Trippel. If your guests would rather drink wine, consider serving vegan or organic wines. And finally if your loved ones choose not to drink, be sure to serve alternatives for them such as organic soda, like Blue Sky or sparkling cider

Clean Up!

After the new champion has been crowned and all the party goers have gone, the worst part of a get together starts: the dreaded clean up! Just a quick reminder to compost all left over food products and used biodegradable dishes and flatware. Also, be sure to recycle all beer bottles, soda cans, and wine bottles. You can use recycled trash bags and cleaning products. Check out Seventh Generation or Method for several of these products. Be sure your clean up is just as green as your party!

This week’s vegan recipe is another great party dish or backyard cookout item: Spinach Dip. This item is not often offered to vegans and you will surprise any guest vegan or non vegan with its authentic American taste!

Vegan Spinach Dip

Prep Time: 15-20 Minutes Cool Time: 2 Hours

1 Container of Sour Cream Substitute (we suggest Tofutti Sour Supreme or Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet)

1 Cup of Mayonnaise Substitute (we suggest Follow Your Heart Vegenaise)

1 Can of drained Water Chestnuts

1 Package of Thawed Frozen Spinach or 1 Bag of Fresh Spinach Chopped and Steamed

3 Green Onions Finely Chopped

A Clove of Garlic Finely Chopped

1/2 a Cube of Vegan Bullion Flavoring

Salt and Pepper to Taste

A Couple Finely Chopped Carrots (optional)

1 Large Sourdough Round

In a large bowl mix all wet ingredients and the bullion flavoring. Next add all the vegetables and spices and mix! Let the mixture cool for up to 2 hours before serving. Scoop out the sourdough round into a bread bowl. Take the extra bread and cut into cubes. When ready to serve, scoop the dip into the bowl and serve!

If you don’t want to use the bread, we suggest serving crackers or other veggies to dip! Another great idea is to cut large chunks of beets, cucumbers, and peppers and place small amounts of dip on each veggie! This makes a great appetizer for any meal or party!

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