Recently, I have decided to eat less meat in my diet because of my gut health. As a result of Clean, Burn, Shape, I noticed how much less inflammation I experienced. I want to keep the momentum going, especially with my big trip to Mexico right around the corner. When I detox, I release all of the inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy, and processed sugars. It gives me an opportunity to be creative in the kitchen. I explore new ways to eat all the time as I heal my gut. I find my body releasing a lot of mental stress as well while I release the physical stress from certain foods. I take the time to slow down and recover, which is important for living a healthy lifestyle. I started cooking regularly and it has sparked a world of imagination.
One of my favorite dips is spinach artichoke dip. However, it is full of mayonnaise with soybean oil and processed Parmesan cheese. It is seemingly healthy with the spinach in there. Some recipes also use mozzarella cheese, sour cream, or cream cheese to create a stomach monstrosity. As Redefining All Diets, I found a healthier way to create my favorite dish from home using a cashew base for cheese, nutritional yeast for the flavor, and vegeneise to cut a portion of the unhealthy fat. I added an extra veggie kick by stuffing it into a mushroom. This also gives it more protein to make this a well-rounded dish. You won’t even miss the meat with how filling this is. Find my recipe below:
8-10 Portobello mushroom caps
1 lb cooked meat of choice (optional)
** 1 cup cashews
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
½ cup almond milk or vegetable broth
2-3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
½ cup veganaise (or you can use regular mayo here)
1 lemon, squeezed
1 Tablespoon arrowroot starch
½ cup vegan Parmesan cheese (find the recipe here)
1 cup dairy free mozzarella cheese ** see below for homemade recipe or can buy from stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods
4 cloves of garlic
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
** 1 8 oz bag of frozen spinach or buy a large bag of fresh spinach
Fresh Parsley, crushed red pepper, and balsamic glaze (for topping)
For the Dairy-Free Mozzarella Cheese
· ** 1 cup (~150g) raw cashews, soaked overnight
· 1 cup (~500ml) hot water or vegetable broth
· 7 Tbsps tapioca starch
· 4 Tbsps nutritional yeast
· 1 tsp sea salt
· 1 Tbsp lemon juice
** If you don’t have a high powered blender or a food processor, soak the cashews in 1 cup of water overnight, so they are ready to blend.
** If you decide to use frozen spinach, thaw according to directions on the package. Make sure it’s completely dry before adding to the rest of your vegetables.
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Clean and prep your mushroom caps by washing them lightly with a paper towel patted with water and scraping the inside with a spoon. Set aside.
2. Chop your veggies. On medium heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil to a pan. Place the onions into your pan and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the peppers and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add the artichokes and spinach. Sauté until the spinach is wilted and your veggies are nice and soft. Add the mozzarella cheese and your cooked meal. Stir until the cheese is melted.
3. Blend all of the ingredients for the cashew mozzarella until it looks like a light paste. Place the mixture in a small pot on medium heat. Stir consistently until it starts to form into a sticky ball texture. Set aside.
4. Place cashews, nutritional yeast, almond milk or veggie broth, veganaise, lemon, arrowroot starch, parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper into the blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
5. Add the sauce mixture and mozzarella cheese to your veggie mixture. Stir to mix through.
6. On one baking sheet, use the remaining olive oil to gently oil the mushrooms. Using your hands, make sure the entire mushroom is covered lightly with olive oil. Use more olive oil if you run out. Season with salt and pepper.
7. In a 9x9 casserole dish, place your spinach artichoke dip. Top with parsley and extra mozzarella cheese if desired.
7. Put the mushrooms on the top rack (or top oven) and place the casserole dish on the bottom oven (or bottom rack). Bake for 15-20 minutes. Take the mushrooms out of the oven, flip, and cook for another 15-20 minutes until most of the juices have been cooked out of the mushroom. They will shrink during cooking.
8. Remove the dip and mushrooms from the oven. With the mushrooms facing cap side up, scoop enough dip to fill each mushroom. Use any leftover filling for dipping with tortilla chips.
9. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the tops with the filling are browned.
10. Top with parsley, balsamic glaze, and crushed peppers. Enjoy!