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Not all calcium needs to come from dairy. The stars of this recipe are two of the top high calcium veggies, kale and spinach. And following a vegan diet doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a warm, “cheesey” dip appetizer. It’s also a snap to just change it out to dairy if you prefer. Serve with cut up veggies or pita chips. Leftover (if there is any!) is delicious cold or can be rewarmed the next day.

Ingredients:

  • Avocado oil
  • 2 shallots, fine chopped (can substitute onions & garlic)
  • 1 cup coarse chopped baby kale (stems removed)
  • 2 cups coarse chopped spinach (stems removed)
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • ¼ cup plant based milk of your choice (check the calcium content as it varies by product)
  • 4 oz. vegan cream cheese (I like hemp)
  • 1-2 t. hot sauce (Crystal, Franks, or your choice)
  • 1 T. Worchester sauce
  • ¼ cup vegan mozzarella cheese shredded
  • Red chili pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large skillet, sauté shallots in a little oil 2 minutes over medium heat. Add red pepper sauté another 2 minutes. Add greens in batches, allowing them to wilt down. In a small saucepan combine milk and cream cheese over medium heat, stirring with a fork until blended and smooth. Add sauces, stir to combine. Add half of mozzarella cheese and stir until melted. Stir cheese sauce into sauteed veggies and stir to combine. Spray a small casserole dish with non-stick oil. Spoon into casserole dish, sprinkle on remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes until bubbly. Sprinkle on pepper flakes (if desired) and serve with crackers and fresh veggies.

Don’t want to make this vegan version? No problem, just change out the cheeses and milk for comparable dairy.