Making this dip really makes me realize how far I’ve come in this transformation to living a cleaner, greener life, as every ingredient in this dish is made from scratch! The only thing that would make it even more awesome would be if I grew the kale…and I just planted some, so in a couple of months that should happen!
Not long ago, I was making traditional spinach dip the usual way: with frozen spinach, store-bought sour cream and mayo, and a pack of French onion soup mix. But let me tell you—the dried soup packages are crap! When I started reading ingredients instead of calories, I was shocked when I read the ingredients on the French onion soup mix box that was sitting in my pantry. I saved the package, not to eat, but to refer to later on because I knew some day I’d write this post.The full list of ingredients include (brackets added by me):
dehydrated onions (fair enough), corn starch (okay, a thickener, but GMO’d), sugar (pretty typical), yeast extract colour (odd), hydrogenated soybean oil (wtf), monosodium glutamante (aka MSG, not cool, dude), corn syrup solids (more sugar), disodium guanylate (some kind of salt?), disodium inosinate (some more salt??), sulphites (bad news)….and that is all….
SERIOUSLY Lipton? This isn’t real food; this is poison. And to think, that in my “old life,” I would have looked at the nutrient break-down and thought, “oh, 0 grams of fat, 80 calories per serving, sounds like a great lunch!” Boy, how times have changed. Now that the soup package has fulfilled its duty, it sits in the garbage where it belongs (box in the recycling, of course.)
Now don’t get me wrong, traditional spinach dip is flippin’ amazing, and to this day, if I attend a potluck and there’s no spinach dip, I want to turn around and leave immediately. Okay, maybe not that dramatic, but I’m disappointed for sure.
My new, improved, and at the very least, equally delicious “spinach” dip is made with fresh, organic kale, homemade mayo, homemade yogurt cream cheese, and homemade seasonings. It’s not only a much healthier dip; it’s incredibly rewarding for me to make. It may sound super silly that I’m having this “moment” over spinach dip—but if you’re in the process of detox-ing your life, you’ll get a moment like this too and understand. Maybe for you it will be hanging your clothes on the line, that have just been washed with homemade laundry soap, and realizing that your actions have left little to no environmental impact. For me, it’s spinach dip, and knowing that I can make ingredients that are healthier, don’t require plastic packaging, and save me money.
How to Make Kale and Artichoke Dip
To make this kale and artichoke dip, you’ll need a bunch or fresh, organic kale, a jar of artichokes, homemade mayo and homemade cream cheese, homemade garlic and onion powder, some quality salt and a bit of hot sauce (I used homemade, fermented hot sauce, which is not up on the blog…yet.) Of course, you can use store-bought versions of mayo, cream cheese and seasoning if that’s what you have on hand or perhaps prefer.
Artichokes are one of the few vegetables, aside from maybe tomatoes, that are better canned, and you’ll have to buy (unless you can them yourself…which just gave me an idea.) I use kale instead of spinach because the nutrient content is higher, and in the end you can’t really tell the difference. I prefer to use dinosaur kale, but any will do, as long as it dices up to about 6 cups.
Thinly dice the kale, stems and all, and sauté in about 2 tbsp of butter or coconut oil and a pinch of salt, on a low temperature, for about 15 minutes until it’s soft. Have a little cup of water beside the stove and add a splash here and there as the pan dries out—it’s unlike spinach this way. DO NOT OVER COOK or burn the kale, as it will leave a distinct, bitter taste, which will ruin the dip.
Once cooked, and the stems are tender, transfer to a small mixing bowl and add ¾ cup diced artichokes, ½ cup of mayo, ½ cup cream cheese, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder (I have an onion & garlic powder blend so I just add 2 tsp of that), ¼ tsp salt, and a couple splashes (about 1 tsp) of hot sauce. Mix to combine.
Transfer to a nice bowl for serving, and serve with crackers, veggies or traditional sourdough bread. This is also a great mushroom-cap filling, topping with a little parmesan cheese.
- 6 cups Kale, diced
- ¾ cup Artichokes, diced
- 2 tbsp Butter or Coconut Oil
- ½ cup Mayo (preferably homemade)
- ½ cup Cream Cheese or Greek Yogurt (preferably homemade yogurt cream cheese)
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Hot Sauce
- Saute kale in butter, on low, for about 15 minutes until soft, adding spashes of water to the pan as it dries out.Careful not to burn!
- In a small mixing bowl combine the kale and remaining ingredients.
- Serve with crackers, veggies or traditional sourdough.