Friday, July 30, 2010

What's Cookin': Bean Dip, Baby!

I can't believe how long it's been since I've done one of these!  It's not that we haven't been creating culinary delights, but we've just been eating them far too fast.  I barely have time to whip out the trusty camera before some tiny person comes along and swipes my grub.  Bad form!

I did have a chance to take a few shots of this fantastic lunch that I threw together last week - it was really easy to make, given that I had just gone to the farmer's market and had lots of fresh produce on hand (well, what was left of the produce after Nissa got done with it).  The trick, I learned very quickly, was to keep everyone else OUT of the kitchen until I've had my way with it (which sounds a lot dirtier than me taking a bunch of pictures of lettuce.  Unless you have a lettuce fetish.  In which case this post will make you feel good in ways I don't want to really think about right now).

Basically I took a bunch of fresh romaine lettuce (locally grown, natch) and rinsed it, patted it dry and spread it all out.  Then I took some raw beets (also locally grown!  Hooray for good food karma!), chopped off the greens, scrubbed them a bit, cut them up into biggish chunks and then tossed them into the food processor to get them grated.  I also rinsed a can of chick peas and had them at the ready, along with some chopped scallions (not too much).

Before putting all of this together on the lettuce leaves, I spread my Totally Amazing, Goes-With-Everything Bean Dip on each leaf.  We always have tubs of this stuff in our fridge- it's healthy, filling and tasty and it's the perfect companion to so many things - chopped veggies, nacho chips, and as a spread on sandwiches, wraps and lettuce.  It's really THAT good.

Did someone say Recipe?  Well certainly, dahlings!

Totally Amazing, Goes-With-Everything Bean Dip
(adapted from the Black Bean Hummus Recipe in Eat For Health by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.)

This makes a LOT of dip.  If you don't eat it almost every day like we do, you may want to reduce the portions to suit your own needs.  Here's the way we rock our dip, though...

3 15-ounce cans of beans (You can do any combination, really.  We usually do two cans of black beans and one can of garbanzo beans.)
6 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon seasonings to taste (We do different things here too.  Sometimes chili powder, paprika, ground black pepper, or a tablespoon of Mrs. Dash - any flavor that suits you.  Really anything goes!)
6 Tablespoons tahini (Arrowhead Mills is the brand that we get in the organic section of our grocery store.)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 clove garlic

1 or 2 teaspoons Bragg's Liquid Aminos or low sodium Soy Sauce (this is optional because it makes your dip saltier...which you may or may not need/want.  We sometimes like it, and sometimes we leave it out.  The dip tastes great either way)

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender.  This is a really thick puree, so you may need to add a tiny bit of water (the original recipe calls for 2 Tablespoons) to get things going.  Our Vitamix slows down a bit but can still handle the mix without water. 

Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed, and add additional seasonings and water to taste.

That's it!  It's really that easy.  Now go make some, and tell me if it doesn't knock your socks off!

Happy Friday, all.  See you on the flip side...
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