Allergy Free Tailgating Spinach Dip

By Heather Legg

Whether you’re cheering on your favorite college team or you are between little league football games, you need to eat! Tailgating food is one of those foods that a lot of thought goes in, you need the right choice to set the mood! For some with food allergies, it’s harder, so here is a spinach dip you may want to try over the weekend to get your spirit going! Go Team!!

Allergy-Free Appetizer Recipe: Spinach and Artichoke Tailgate Dip
This recipe is free of milk, egg, peanut, sesame, nuts, wheat, gluten. Curtesy of www.kidswithfoodallergies.org:

Ingredients 
5  slices  bacon
2  medium  onions (2 cups)
3/8  tsp  salt (divided)
ground black pepper
8  oz  Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese (softened)
8  oz  Tofutti Sour Supreme
1  dash (approx. 1/16 tsp)  cayenne pepper
2  15 oz cans  artichoke hearts (packed in water)
2  Tbsp  extra-virgin olive oil
9  oz  fresh baby spinach
1  medium/large  tomato (1 cup)

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Set a large fry pan over medium heat. Add bacon and cook for 5-7 minutes until mostly crispy but not burnt.

While the bacon cooks, thinly slice the onions.

Cover a plate with a paper towel and transfer the bacon to the plate to drain when done.

NOTE: be careful to leave as much of the bacon grease in the pan as possible, as you will use this to cook the onions.

Return the pan to the stove and add the sliced onions. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Season the onions salt and pepper  and decrease the heat to medium-low. Cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the most of the onions are caramelized.

While the onions cook, add the softened cream cheese, sour cream and cayenne pepper to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.

Drain the artichoke hearts and cut them in half the long way. Next, julienne each half and add it to the cream cheese mixture.

Finely chop the cooked bacon and add to the cream cheese mixture.

When onions are finished cooking, add to the cream cheese mixture.

Place the pan back on the stove, turn the heat up to medium and add the olive oil to the pan. Once the oil is hot, add the spinach and season with salt and pepper. Sauté the spinach until it is completely wilted (about 4 minutes). Add to the cream cheese mixture and stir well to combine all of the ingredients.

Transfer mixture to an 8″ square or 8 or 9″ round baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are bubbling and the top is golden brown.

While the dip cooks, dice the tomato into 1/2″ dice and set aside.

Allow dish to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Top with chopped tomatoes and serve warm with tortilla chips or chopped veggies.

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