Yield: approximately 6 cups (easily halves)

As featured in my “Veggie Table” column in today’s edition of the Virginian-Pilot, another Super Dip for the Super Bowl–or rather, “Supper Bowl,” is this Vegan Fat-Free Spinach-Three Bean Dip.

What’s my secret? Non-dairy alternatives to sour cream, mayonnaise and processed cheese. But these dips are so tasty, no one will know the difference unless, of course, they think they are even better than the originals.

In place of the traditional mayo and sour cream in the spinach dip, I could have substituted the prepared vegan versions (and I do include that option). But I wanted to go low-calorie and no-fat. So I substituted tofu for one and white beans for the other, pureeing them together into a smooth base for the dip. The other ingredients—dried vegetable soup and frozen thawed spinach—are the same. However, wanting still more no-fat protein and fiber, not to mention color and flavor, I added both pinto and black beans along with a little cumin. Perfection! The subtle nod to flavors of the Southwest make the spinach dip a nice compliment to my Vegan Queso con Carne Dip, yet without duplicating flavors.

With dip as virtuous as this, you can afford to dig in with a few Fritos (they’re vegan), but be sure to balance them out with some veggie scoopers like baby carrots.

Vegan Spinach-Three Bean Dip (fat-free if made with tofu in place of mayo and white beans in place of vegan sour cream!)

 

1-12 ounce package soft Silken tofu (or 1 1/2 cups of vegan mayonnaise)

1-15.5 ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 1/2 cups of vegan sour cream)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 envelopes (1 box) Lipton’s Recipe Secrets dry vegetable soup mix

2-9 or 10 ounce boxes frozen spinach, thawed, and moisture squeezed out

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 can white beans or dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Pinch coarse sea or kosher salt to taste

 

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process first five ingredients. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in remaining ingredients, combining well with a fork. Be sure to separate strands of spinach with your fingers as you add it. (Or, if using mayo and sour cream, just stir everything together.) Check for salt and add a pinch to bring out flavors if desired. Serve cold with your favorite dippers.  Note: you can use any type of bean you prefer, even all the same type.

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