Horta = Vegetable. Hortamatic = Traditional recipe gone veganized goodness.


November 24, 2010

Creamy Spinach Basket Dip

They were all out of round bread baskets.

Intros and Inspirations

At one point probably already mentioned on this blog I thought it would be a grand idea to make all foods with edible containers. Off the top of my head, this already includes burritos, taco salads, spring rolls, pot pies, pizza, and….spinach dip in bread baskets. I also recall an edible bamboo basket at Seattle’s vegan restaurant Bamboo Garden. Zero waste and 100% filling? It’s very utilitarian.

Utility aside, I love to eat a damned good spinach dip. I’m especially keen on the fact that, as a friend exclaimed, “You can’t even taste the spinach!”

History of Dish

My rule to spend two seconds searching for food item history did not yield results for the origin of spinach dip, so I am going to opine the following:

Spinach is yucky. If you hide it in cream and fat and salt, you will not notice this trait as you eat it and you will absorb a lot of iron.


One bowl o’ spinach dip enough for bread basket.


Mix together in bowl:

  • 8 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 5 stocks celery, chopped/minced
  • 1 leek, minced
  • ½ cup Bac’Uns
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetarian “chicken” broth powder

Blend in mixer/blender:

  • 1 tub Tofutti sour cream
  • 1 cup Vegenaise
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Liquid Smoke

Add the blended mix to the other mix, and stir together.

Cut out a hole from the top of either a round or regular loaf of bread as pictured. Chop up the cut outs for dipping.

Place spinach dip into the bread hole and you’re finished. Serve with Ritz-style crackers (we buy the generic Whole Foods brand).


This one is a potlucker, meaning it might take the place of my seitan at future parties, for awhile. Delicious, smoky, smooth, creamy, lovely iron.

Layered Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake

And then, all dressed up

Intros and Inspirations

When I was an eater of cheese, I most certainly did not agree with it being included in the cake family.* So I do not have a long, loving history with this dish. However, back in Seattle as a new vegan I had the most beautiful piece of dessert awesomeness in the form of vegan Kahlua Cheesecake one day.

From then on, I was ready to embrace the flavor marriage. Though the recipe below is rather opposite something Paula ‘heart failure’ Dean would prescribe for your sweet teeth, and adapted from the Fat Free Vegan blog, it in fact is not fat free. Instead, we have a rich, sweet, tangy, and spicy cake wonderment that is sure to make people fall in love with you (all over again).

I decided to serve this at our 3rd annual Vegan Thanksgiving Record Party.

Cake adapted/reprinted from the Fat Free Vegan Blog.

*Ditto for the chocolate-fruit combo.

History of Dish

As if I needed more encouragement to make this dish every week to celebrate things I make up, it turns out cheesecake is thought to originate in ancient Greece. Better yet, Pythagoras, a vegetarian, was rumored to have baked the first vegan version of this dish.** Unfortunately, it failed since the local Agora was out of Tofutti Cream Cheese.

Democracy and cheesecake follows.

** This was completely fabricated during sugar high experienced by blog poster.

Yield and Preheat

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.


Gluten-Free Crust

This one is just from my head. I made it up since one of my guests is gluten free. It just occurred to me she might be soy-free as well. OOPS!

  • One box of Lucy’s Cinnamon Thins (5.5 oz): Crush it in your blender/food processor, pour into bowl.
  • 1 cup of oatmeal: Crush in your blender/food processor, pour into bowl.
  • 1/8 cup Earth Balance butter, melted, pour into bowl

Mix all three above in the bowl.

Spread into your pie pan.

Like this, except spread your filling up the side of the pan.

1st layer

Blend the following until silky smooth:

8 ounces (one tub) Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese

6 ounces (1/2 tub) Tofutti Sour Supreme

6 ounces (1/2 of package) firm silken tofu (or extra-firm)
1/2 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Remove 1 ½ cups of the mixture and pour into your awaiting pie crust.

Double the fun.

2nd layer

Into the awaiting blender, add the following, then blend until smooth:

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons rum (optional)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Carefully pour on top of the first layer, spreading around by turning/rotating the pie pan.



Bake until the center is almost set, about 60 minutes (or until you become impatient, about 10 minutes). Insert a toothpick into the center -- it should be firm. If not, give it more time.

This pie must cool. Chill for 3 hours at least in your fridge.


Thank you, Fat Free Vegan for creating this wonderful recipe. I'm not a fan of pumpkin, and this tastes a bit pumpkin pie-y to me. But I had to convince Rob to save the rest for our guests.

We at Fat Love Cafe added a little bit o' Soyatoo on top.

Vegan Thanksgiving Record Party

Stay tuned for recipes from our party...

For now, check out MFA's 30 second vid for Thanksgiving: