Meet My Monster (Sandwich and Dip, That Is 😉)

I love the savory, creamy goodness of a spinach and artichoke dip, and wanted to find a way to make it healthier so I am able to indulge more often 😃 This recipe’s creaminess comes from puréed beans/hummus, with some Parmesan cheese to bring that familiar salty, savory bite.

This is a really versatile dip! Serve with firm veggies like carrots and peppers sliced into planks and/or crackers of choice. Top baked chicken or fish — even bake the protein nestled into the dip for more savory goodness! Toss with cooked pasta or rice for a yummy side dish. Use as a base for pizza or calzone filling. Spread on your favorite bread when making your favorite sandwich. Or, as I show below, turn it into your new favorite sandwich!

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Meet My Monster (Sandwich and Dip, That Is 😉)
Copyright 2017 by Lauren Bradford
(aka The Food Puzzler)
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Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: approximately 1 hour (either recipe)
Serves: Monster Patties (5) or Appetizer Dip (10)

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INGREDIENTS:
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1# bag chopped frozen spinach (no need to thaw or squeeze out excess liquid!)
2 15-oz cans artichoke hearts, chopped fine
2 cups puréed white beans or hummus (plain, red pepper or garlic)
1 cup shaved or grated Parmesan cheese
1 medium red onion, diced small
2 tablespoons each garlic and onion powder
1 teaspoon each salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon oil of choice
4 tablespoons flax seeds, ground and reserved

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INGREDIENTS:
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1. Coat the bottom of a medium-sized baking dish with the tablespoon of oil and set aside.

2. In a very large bowl, thoroughly combine all but the ground flax seeds.

3. Transfer all but 2 cups of the mixture into the baking dish, cover with a piece of parchment and then foil. There are plenty of options here:

– If you want to make the dip immediately, heat your oven to 350 degrees and bake until hot, about 30-40 minutes, stirring halfway through.

– If you are making it one day ahead, place in the fridge. The next day, leave it on your counter for half an hour prior to heating your oven and baking at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring halfway through.

– If you freeze the dish for later use, place it in your fridge the day before baking to thaw it out a bit, and leave it on your counter for an hour prior to heating your oven and baking at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring at 30 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, place the reserved ground flax seeds and the remaining 2 cups of mixture together in a microwave-safe bowl. Combine, cover with parchment and warm through at the defrost setting for 5-10 minutes, and then let rest for 5 minutes so the flax can work its magic.

5. Divide into five equal portions and form into patties. (In the picture above, I made extras into bite-size balls as well as patties, fun for dipping!) Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Here, you can also bake immediately or freeze for later use (or bake, cool and freeze for quick sandwiches during the work week). If baking immediately, place in a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes. Then, flip over gently, place back in the oven, turn off the heat and let rest for 15 minutes.

Assemble your sandwiches with whatever toppings you like, these savory patties are very flexible! Here, I use roasted red peppers, tomato slices, fresh greens and a fried egg. I also eat them with extra cheese melted on top, with a side of greens.

Enjoy!

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