There is a specific grief that afflicts your Bad Mama Genny…namely, that which occurs when a foodie learns that he or she may no longer be compatible with a favorite nommable. When I started to suspect that the lactose molecule (it is a molecule, no? someone enlighten me) was not as Gen-appropriate as formerly thought, I…well, I went through some shit.
Then came sadness (“This is the end of my life as a foodie. I’ll never cook again. Why bother going out to eat? Well, there goes my social life. I might as well end it all right now. Anybody have a citrus zester I can fall on?”).
Anger was a part of everyday life (“How could cream do this to me? ME?! Bad Mama Genny loved it, cared for it, played with it all the time, put it in a bonnet and took it for walks around the neighborhood…sure, the other mothers stared, but cream was always the most beautiful baby to me—they didn’t understand our love!”).
But soon (okay, maybe not so soon, but for the sake of flow, let’s say soon), SOON, I reached the magical land of acceptance. Acceptance is not something that comes to those who wait. It is something that comes to those who bitch and moan and then refuse to live a life without spinach artichoke dip.
But allow me to depart for a moment from this me, me, me thing, and mention that I did not bring on this enlightened thinking all on my own. Rice milk, almond milk, nutritional yeast (or “nooch”), and tomes of online recipes were my friends as I slowly started to put my life back together.
Lactose-Free Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip
8 oz. package Non-Dairy Cream Cheese (i.e. Tofutti or Soya-Kaas–I find mine at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods)
1 11 oz. (approximately) jar marinated artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
10 oz. pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed as dry as you can get it
1/2 cup mayonnaise (REAL mayonnaise–nothing low-fat, as they’re just so processed and frequently have lactose added for stability)
1/4 cup parmesan or vegan parmesan (most cheeses, especially aged ones, have little to no lactose remaining, but use soy if you’re having fear feelings)
2 large garlic cloves
2 teaspoons dried basil (or 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil)
1/2 tsp. salt
approx. 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella OR soy mozzarella
Preheat oven to 375, and lightly oil a baking dish. Combine all the ingredients except for the mozzarella in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until combined and creamy. Spoon it into the prepared baking dish and top it with the shredded “mozzarella.” Bake it until it’s bubbling and the cheese on top is golden–maybe 20, 25 minutes. Serve with diced tomatoes and tortilla chips, pita chips, sliced veggies, crackers, or wedges of toasted rustic bread. (Note—it’s also possible to skip baking this dip and just mix all the ingredients in a crockpot set on high until the dip is hot, and then lowered to the warm/lowest setting. Voila—now it’s ready to party, just like your BMG! Invite me, bitches.)