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Archive for the ‘Dips’ Category

Mr. Bean

photo by pwisenberg

Allow me to introduce you to Mr. Bean, he makes for a delicious dip. I made this last night as the perfect accompaniment to cold beers and a rousing game of Napoleon (think euchre, but with more rules). It is ridiculously easy to make, my only complaint being that there wasn’t enough of it…

Spicy black bean dip
Serves 4

1 can black beans, drained (rinse 1/4 of the beans and set aside for later)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp jarred jalapenos
1 tsp juice from the jalapeno jar
1/2 clove garlic
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped

In a food processor, add 3/4 of the beans, oil, 1 tbsp of the jalapenos, jalapeno juice, garlic, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Pulse until well-blended, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and top with the remaining beans, jalapenos and fresh tomatoes. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

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photo by pwisenberg

Yes, that is a grilled cheese! Or should I say a grilled “cheeeese”? Since adopting a vegan diet, I’ve steered pretty clear of imitation cheese. But every now and then I crave the savoury and satisfying taste of ooey-gooey cheddar. I used a soy-based vegan cheese for this sandwich and was pleasantly surprised when it melted beautifully. To spice up this traditional sammie, I made a vibrant southwestern pesto complete with cilantro, jalapenos and even some chia seeds for crunch! And let’s be honest here, even the fanciest of grilled cheeses can benefit from a little ketchup.

Spicy vegan grilled cheese sandwich
Serves 2

4 slices good bread
Earth Balance butter for spreading
8 slices dairy-free cheddar cheese

Southwestern pesto

1 cup fresh cilantro
3 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
1 small avocado, sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup chia seeds
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

To make the pesto, pulse all of the ingredients in the food processor while slowly adding the olive oil. Butter the outside of each slice of bread, while spreading the inside of one slice with the pesto. Add the cheese and grill the sandwich in a small pan over low heat. Keep the pan covered to speed up the melting process. For best results, keep a close eye on the sandwich and cook each side for at least 5-6 minutes. Serve with ketchup and gobble it up!

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photos by me

I woke up today all excited to make homemade hummus but, to my disappointment, we were all out chickpeas. What’s a girl to do, you ask? Use lentils of course! I included all of the standard hummus ingredients but spiced it up by roasting a whole head of garlic first and substituting the chickpeas for some adorable little lentils- it turned out to be very tasty! It’s great as a dip for fresh veggies or crackers but also works well in wraps. I decided to quickly roast some asparagus, peppers and mushrooms and wrap them all up with the lentil spread along with some fresh tomatoes and arugula. Healthy and yummy- a perfect anytime meal for any day of the week!

Homemade lentil and roasted garlic dip/spread
Makes about 2 cups

1 can lentils, drained not rinsed
1/4 cup tahini
1 whole head garlic, roasted
juice of one small lemon (about 1/2 cup)
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Slice the top off the head of garlic so the cloves are exposed. Drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap in tinfoil and bake for about 45 minutes until soft and golden brown. Once the garlic has cooled, squeeze the roasted cloves out of the skin and add, along with the rest of the ingredients, to a food processor. Combine on low until smooth, about 3 minutes. Enjoy with just about anything!

Roasted vegetable wrap with garlicky lentil spread
Makes 2 wraps

2 large whole grain tortillas
1/2 bunch asparagus, trimmed
1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced lengthwise
1 cup button mushrooms, halved
olive oil for coating
salt and pepper to taste
lemon wedge
1/2 cup tightly packed arugula
1/2 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
4 tbsp garlicky lentil spread

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss asparagus, peppers and mushrooms with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, squeeze with fresh lemon juice and set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, spread 1/2 the lentil mixture in the middle of each tortilla, leaving a one inch border. Add 1/2 the roasted vegetables, 1/2 the tomatoes and 1/2 the arugula to each. Wrap them tightly, tucking in the ends as you roll. Slice in half and serve warm or cool. Delish.

Have a sunny Tuesday everyone!

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Spread the love

photo by me

I rarely eat sandwiches and I never eat white bread, but yesterday I did both and loved every minute of it. After the Mexican dinner party I hosted this weekend, I found myself with a bunch of ripe avocados on hand. Since I must have consumed my weight in guac this weekend, I decided to do something a little different with them. I combined the avocados with white kidney beans, green onion, garlic, lemon and fresh cilantro. It came out surprisingly light and airy (I’m even tempted to call it a mousse) and works equally well as a spread or dip. Seriously delicious, especially when smushed between toasted bread and topped with baby spinach and plum tomatoes. Could there be a more perfect lunch?

Creamy white bean and avocado spread
Yields about 4 cups

1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2-3 very ripe avocados
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
2 green onions
juice of one lemon
zest of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Whiz up all the ingredients in a food processor and voila! A fresh, healthy and irresistible concoction that works as a spread, dip, pasta sauce, salad dressing or, let’s face it, can be eaten straight off the spoon.

Happy eating everyone!

 

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