High Protein Artichoke and Asiago Dip + Gluten Free Crackers (Vegan)

December 14, 2014
You can find the first post in this series here

Eleven days until Christmas! I'm feeling very unprepared. The snow has also melted here this week so it's not looking a lot like Christmas. We're supposed to be guaranteed snow in December. Lots of snow. It was really foggy and gloomy today too, so I apologize if the pictures are looking a little dark.

Today is a double feature recipe, because it seemed weird to post them separately. Crackers and dip, right?! Not crackers alone, that's too sad. Dip alone serves no purpose. What are you going to do, eat it with your hands? I may have tested this dip with my finger while making it, but I promise it's better with the crackers.

The dip is a waaay healthier version of the artichoke and asiago dip you can buy in containers in the supermarket. Graham's mom almost always has it in her house and I always end up eating it and feeling awful after - the main ingredient is mayo, which is sort of disgusting. This version uses white beans as a base to amp up the protein and fibre, and it'll leave you feeling energized instead of headachy. It also makes a kick ass sandwich spread. I've provided both a vegetarian and a vegan option here, and both are great.

The crackers are gluten free, but only use one type of flour. No fiddly gums here. They're crunchy, a little spicy, and super easy to make. Yes, they taste like gluten free crackers. Buckwheat, even though we're using the raw kind, has a pretty distinct flavour that comes out in this recipe. It's not a bad taste, I'm just warning you if you're used to eating wheat thins or something along those lines.

Dip Ingredients:
1 head roasted garlic
1 1/2 cups white beans*
3 canned artichoke hearts, dried off
Optional: up to 3 cloves raw garlic, minced*
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pepper to taste
1/4 cup finely shredded asiago cheese*

To roast the garlic, cut the top bit off and discard. Wrap in tin foil and bake at 350F for about half an hour. I forgot about mine and it was in the oven for well over an hour, so don't worry about it too much. Roast until nice and squishy. Remove and let it cool for a few minutes, then squeeze the cloves out.

In a food processor, blend the roasted garlic, beans, artichoke hearts, raw garlic (if using), olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, mustard, salt, cayenne, and pepper. The nutritional yeast should be blended in too if you're using that instead of the asiago. Blend for several minutes or until completely smooth. Stir in the cheese and serve cold.

1. I cooked beans, but canned would work really well in this recipe. Either white navy or kidney beans would be fine.
2. The raw garlic is optional, so use it to your taste and at your own risk. You may be warding off vampires for the rest of the day if you use all three.
3. For a vegan option, use 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast.

1 cup light buckwheat flour
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking power
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pepper to taste
1/4 cup almond milk
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Heat the oven to 375F.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, garlic powder, cayenne, and pepper.

In a little bowl, mix the almond milk, olive oil, and lemon juice.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir thoroughly. It'll seem too dry at the start. If you've been stirring for about a minute and it's not coming together, add another splash of almond milk.

Form a ball with the dough and flatten into a disc shape. Flour either a square of parchment paper or a silicon baking mat and roll the dough out to about half a centimetre thick. Sprinkle salt on top and roll gently again to press it in. Poke several times with a fork, cut into desired shapes, then slide onto a baking sheet. Bake at 375F for 20-25 minutes, watching carefully, or until golden brown and crispy.

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