appetizer · daiya cheese · dip · nutritional yeast · tofu

Onside Dip-Off: Grilled Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

Week 13 Browns v. Raiders

Going in for the kill

A winning streak? Unheard of!  That’s right, the Browns have won 2 in a row for the first time since September of last year.  What a better way to celebrate than posting a recipe from one of my favorite vegan chefs, Cupcake Wars champion and stunning beauty Chloe Coscarelli.

There are plenty of tailgate dips that are “vegetarian” but are often loaded with cheese, sour cream, mayo, cream cheese, yogurt and just about every dairy product under the sun.  If it looks creamy at a tailgate, then it probably isn’t vegan.  But who’s to say a great creamy dip can’t be plant based?  Chef Chloe is not one to mess around veganizing things, so her spinach artichoke dip was a must for the tailgate.

In the standard spinach artichoke dip, the cheesey creaminess presides over the flavor of the vegetables.  The creamy texture here comes from the soft tofu and nutritional yeast, but the garlic, artichokes and spinach stand out. I added a little Daiya cheese on top and bam! It was a winner with everyone at the tailgate.  If I didn’t say anything, no one would’ve known it was plant-based and nearly fat free.  Enjoy!


A bit of olive oil
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
A few hefty shakes of crushed red pepper
5 ounces baby spinach (usually 1 bag)
1 14-ounce package soft tofu, drained
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons lemon juice (or juice of a half lemon)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
14 ounces of canned artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 cup shredded Daiya cheddar cheese, to top (optional)
Pita chips for serving


Don’t lick the bowl!
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Lightly grease a foil baking dish (you can use a pyrex or anything else if not taking to the tailgate)
  3. Heat the bit oil over medium-high heat and saute onion until soft. Add garlic and red pepper and let cook a few more minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add spinach.  Cook until wilted.
  4. In a food processor (I used a Cuisinart, but any blender will do), blend tofu, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, basil, salt, and pepper until smooth. Add artichokes and spinach mixture, and pulse about 15 times. Transfer to the foil baking dish.  Top with cheese (optional)
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Cover with foil and keep in the fridge until the tailgate.
  6. Throw the foil pan on the grill for about 15 minutes.  When it starts to bubble you are ready to go!  Dip with pita chips.
Gotta pre-bake in the oven
Cover this bad boy with foil and keep in the fridge/cooler until the grill is hot
The dip fits right in at a tailgate

appetizer · field roast · grilling · vegan

Field Roast Sausage Stuffed Boomers


Thank goodness the Brownies had a bye week, we all needed a week to recharge.

Stuffed boomers

Anyone who knows me knows of my love for the Field Roast.  Established 15 years ago in Seattle, they trace their roots back to 7th century China and a recipe used by Buddhist Monks.  It hands down beats all other vegan sausages and they also have a number of other fantastic products.

This recipe is adapted from The Barbecue Bible, an award winning book by Steven Raichlen.  Even though the book’s over 500 recipes mostly contain meat, there are several vegetable and vegetarian sections and adaptable recipes   The grilling technique chapters alone are worth a read.

This recipe is rather simple, but it will wow people.  Appetizers are an underrated part of the tailgate experience especially if you can use the grill to make something special.  This will turn heads and get your tailgate off to a great start. Enjoy!


  • 1 pound (or more) baby bellas or other large button mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce or tamari (the original calls for oil, so just make sure your grill grate is oiled)
  • 1 Field Roast Chipotle Sausage
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 bunch chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Remove the stems from the boomers. I cut a little wider around the center with a paring knife to fit a little more sausage in each cap.
Cut the sausage in pieces that snuggly fit inside each cap.  This will vary depending on the size of the boomers.  
Cover the caps with garlic and parsley.  Then pour the soy sauce on the plate.  You want the boomers to the covered and have a pool on the bottom to keep them moist.  Squeeze the lemon on top and get ready to grill.

Arrange the boomers on the grill and cook for about 15-20 minutes.  Remove and serve.


The final product
appetizer · avocado · beans · nutritional yeast · salsa · taco · vegan

7-Layer Taco Dip

Week 1: Browns v. Eagles

In honor of the delayed suspension of Scott Fujita, our tailgate crew set out to have a “Fujita” Bar.  Naturally, Hispanic cuisine lends itself to the vegan palate.  In addition to crock pot red beans and rice and grilled veggies, I wanted something to share with everyone.

This recipe comes from “Quick and Easy: Vegan Comfort Food” by Alicia Simpson.  I added a 7th layer of nacho cheeze sauce to her six-layer dip .  Its easy to assemble and feeds a crowd.  Grab a large pyrex or one of those disposable foil tins and start layering!

Layer one: 2 cans refried beans.  I used Bearitos Spicy Refried Beans.

Layer two: a cup of vegan sour cream mixed with taco seasoning.  You can use store bought taco seasoning but its often unnecessarily loaded with salt.  It’s simple to make your own and store it in an airtight container.  The ratio is up to you, but in order from most amount to least:

  • Salt free chili powder (Penzey’s has the best salt free chili powder hands down)
  • Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Cayenne pepper (chipotle, ancho or other ground pepper works too.  More from Penzey’s)
  • Salt/pepper to taste
Layer three: 3 thinly sliced or mashed avocados
Layer four: chunky salsa.  You can use store bought, but this is where it is also fun to make your own.  Here is my recipe for fresh spicy salsa.  Assemble and let sit for a few hours to soak up all the flavor.
  • 2 cans fire roasted tomatoes with green chilis (Muir Glen brand)
  • 2 jalapeños (with seeds!)
  • Small red onion finely chopped
  • Small orange or yellow pepper finely chopped
  • Half bunch of cilantro chopped
  • Juice and zest of a lime
Layer five: nacho cheeze sauce.  This recipe also comes from “Vegan Comfort Food.”  I made a batch of fresh almond milk and went to town on this tasty sauce. Whisk all the ingredient in a saucepan on medium heat until the lumps are gone.
  • 11/2 cups vegan milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (What the heck is nutitional yeast? By Susan Voison of the amazing “Fat Free Vegan Kitchen”)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup canola or olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. tahini
  • Pinches of garlic and onion powder, paprika, chili powder, cayenne and salt
Layer six: shredded lettuce
Layer seven: diced green onions
A sloppy, delicious mess.  Like any good tailgate dip!
This was a huge hit!  Everyone at the tailgate enjoyed it and didn’t make one complaint about it being dairy and meat free.  Make sure to serve with strong chips because it takes a good effort to get to the bottom of this dip.