Friday, December 24, 2010

Tofu-Creamed Spinach

Hello, hello, Herbivores!

We attended a Christmas party last night and brought several vegetarian-friendly dishes which I would like to share.

The first has become a staple of mine for every get-together I attend or host, Tofu Creamed Spinach. This is another recipe I stumbled onto while browsing the website AllRecipes, and it has continuously been a hit with both meat-eaters and my fellow vegetarians.

And just a warning, this is probably one of the best-tasting and most crowd-pleasing dishes I have ever made. I'd stack up my spin dip against any restaurant's!!

I usually use fresh spinach from the produce section; I remove the stems and shred the leaves. It's very time-consuming to do this, but I think the fresh spinach has a superior taste to frozen spinach. Thawed frozen spinach is a worthy substitute when you are pressed for time, and it is much less aggravating than ripping apart two pounds of spinach leaves. Sometimes, I have added in sliced mozzarella cheese, which is extremely delicious and contributes to the "creaminess" of the dish. Most significantly, I have always used chopped artichokes--from bottles of marinated hearts--to the recipe. I alternate the sizes of the choppings, because sometimes a half-inch chunk is actually a very scrumptious surprise when using dip.

I season the recipe differently based on what will accompany it. Lots of salt is always a good idea when it is served with tortilla chips or crackers. Last night, though, I knew it would be used as a vegetable dip for carrots, celery, broccoli, and cauliflower, so I skipped the uber-saltiness and instead added Italian seasoning, oregano, and basil, and I upped the amount of garlic and pepper. This morning, we devoured the leftover dip with slices of garlic bread and spaghetti sauce--it was absolutely delicious.

I often make this work for my dayshift customers at the bar, because it's a great accompaniment for beer or the kinds of fried bar food they like. Meat-eaters frequently ask me for the recipe, and, even after they realize they are eating tofu, they do not mind! This is a very easy dish to make, and it's great for any occasion, from an upscale party to watching football at home with your buds. Herbivores and their meat-eating companions will all dig into this creamed spinach--it's too tasty not to!

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