Last week I caught it. You know, the virus/cold/cough that takes over your office for a month, striking down your colleagues one by one until it makes its way to your desk. The congestion and exhaustion led to a weird few days of eating punctuated by a shrimp cup noodles (quite budget friendly if I do say so myself) and a complete disinterest in everything I packed for lunch.
Now that the skin is beginning to grow back under my nose and I’ve stopped burning through forests’ worth of tissue, my appetite has returned – though it seems to be stuck in illness mode at the moment. Meaning, rather than making lunches for the week, I’ve opted for a party dip. To be fair, I’ve transformed said dip into nothing more than a bowl of veggies, in which to dip – you guessed it – more veggies. The miraculous part is the dip still tastes like the kind you order from a T.G.I. Friday’s. It’s hot, melty, savory and has just the right amount of chunk.
I am VERY proud of this one and continue to be impressed with the versatility of zucchini! Make a big bowl of this and see if anyone notices it’s vegan, I dare ya.
1 10 oz package of frozen, chopped spinach (thawed)
1 14 oz can of quartered artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp of tahini
1 large zucchini
Salt, pepper, garlic or onion powder, oil, water
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Use a vegetable peeler to peel your zucchini, then chop off the stem. Slice the zucchini into small chunks and toss them into a blender or food processor. Blend until the zucchini is in small pieces or shreds.
In a saute pan, heat the zucchini bits over medium heat with a drop or two of oil. Let the zucchini cook until it starts to turn transparent and soften, about 8 minutes, and remove from heat.
Meanwhile, based on how chunky you’d like your dip, go ahead and manually chunk up your artichoke hearts (more manual chopping=chunkier dip). I chose to divide my artichoke hearts into two piles, chopping one by hand and blending the other so that it was finely chopped. Set the roughly chopped/hand-chopped pile aside.
If finely blending some or all of the artichoke, go ahead and combine the cooked zucchini with the portion of artichoke and blend. You can also choose to manually mix it together with a mixing spoon if you want your artichoke super chunky!
Next, go ahead and ensure that all of the water is drained from your spinach and either chop it or pulse it in the food processor. Combine this spinach with the artichoke zucchini mix in a large oven-safe dish and stir with a spoon.
In a separate cup, mix two tbsp of tahini paste with three tbsp of water. You should eventually reach a creamy dressing consistency, but add water little by little and whisk thoroughly as needed. Dump the tahini into the large bowl and stir everything together – zucchini, artichoke, and spinach. Also, if you set some chunky/roughly-chopped artichoke aside, mix it in now.
Add in some salt, pepper, garlic or onion powder and a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Stir thoroughly.
Bake in oven for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees, or until the edges seem crisped and the inside is cooked together. Serve with a few more shakes of salt and optional olive oil on top. I toasted some bagel slivers, but you can serve with a baguette, chips or carrots as well.