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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Lemon Artichoke Caper Spread (vegan)

One of our favorite meals at my house has always been chicken with lemon butter caper sauce.  I usually throw artichokes and mushrooms into the sauce, too.  These days I'm making more vegan meals than ever, so I wanted to make that sauce into an all purpose spread. 
Lots of my meals are things like homemade veggie-quinoa burgers, gluten free wraps stuffed with grilled veggies, and roasted platters of beans, tofu, or tempeh, and vegetables.  It's tempting to just throw a bunch of cheese or olive oil over these types of things, but I wanted something a bit healthier that still tasted delicious. This spread jazzes everything up.  Plus it adds artichokes to your meal, which are one of the healthiest vegetables you can buy!

  • 1 14 oz. can artichoke hearts
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • juice of 1 large or 2 small lemons
  • 1 Tbsp vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter (use a coconut based vegan butter to keep vegan)
  • 1 tsp dried Italian herb seasoning blend
  • 1/2 cup white Northern beans
  • 1/4 tsp honey
1.  Mince the garlic and set aside
*Tip:  Always chop garlic 10 minutes before adding it to heat or something acidic, such as lemon juice or tomatoes.  Allowing it to rest for 10 minutes after chopping allows the maximum amount of the enzyme allicin to be created, keeping it's nutritional powers from being destroyed while it's cooked.  It's great to get into the habit of chopping garlic before any other prep work while cooking. 

2.  After 10 minutes, heat the 1/2 Tbsp of vegan butter in a small saucepan.  Over medium-high heat, cook the garlic for 1-2 minutes, or until it starts to brown. 

3.   To the food processor add all of the ingredients.  Pulse several times to combine ingredients and break down the beans and artichokes.  You want everything chopped but not pureed, so the spread remains chunky. 

4.  Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week. 

This spread is very versatile.  It would be delicious on fish or chicken if you're not vegan, or with crackers and vegetables in place of hummus.  Try wilting some baby spinach and mixing this spread in the saucepan until warmed, and using as a pasta sauce.  Also delicious on baked potatoes!

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