Posts tagged ‘Dips’

Artichoke Heart and Sun-Dried Tomato Spread

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Heading out on one last picnic before the weather turns cold? Or maybe you need something to munch on at work or school? Wherever you enjoy it, this easy spread makes a nice, healthy treat that works equally well as a sandwich spread or a dip.

The texture of the spread is similar to hummus, thanks to the white beans that provide its base, but the flavour is something else. The artichokes lend a creaminess that balance the rich flavour of the sundried tomatoes, while the garlic steps in with its own unique kick.

I especially liked this as a dip for veggies and pitas, and in veggie sandwiches (with cucumber, tomato, and spinach). I hope that you will enjoy it, too!

Artichoke Heart and Sun-Dried Tomato Spread
Makes 1½ cups

1 cup white beans (such as cannellini beans or navy beans)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons olive oil
½ cup artichoke hearts
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend until creamy. (I like my Cuisinart immersion blender for things like this. It is a bit of an investment, but I got it as a gift a few years ago and I use it almost every day for blending dips, spreads, smoothies, and soups).
  2. Serve with veggies or crackers, or as a spread in sandwiches.

Adapted from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

September 5, 2009 at 4:21 pm Leave a comment

Basil-Balsamic Baba Ganoush

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I brought home a bag of baby eggplants the other day to make the eggplant and goat cheese pizza that I posted last week, but it soon became clear that I had too many eggplants for just one culinary project. Falling back on an old standby, I decided to whip up a batch of baba ganoush, a Mediterranean dip similar to hummus that I like to use as a dip for veggies and crackers. It also makes a great addition to sandwiches and wraps.

I roasted my eggplants and then opened my cupboards, and found that I was missing two out of the five ingredients for this extremely simple recipe. Time to improvise! I substituted balsamic vinegar for lemon juice, basil for parsley, and pine nuts… well, those I just threw in for fun. In the end, I had a dip very much like baba ganoush but different enough from the original recipe that I thought I should share it with you. I hope you enjoy it!

Basil-Balsamic Baba Ganoush
Makes about 2 cups

1 lb. eggplant (about 1 medium eggplant or 3 baby eggplants)
3 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
¼ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon pine nuts (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and place face down on a cookie sheet. Roast for 20 – 30 minutes, or until the skin is blistered and the flesh is soft and browned. Let cool.
  2. When the eggplant is cool, scoop the flesh out of the skin and into a blender or food processor.
  3. Add other ingredients to blender (or food processor) and pulse until smooth.

Adapted from 1000 Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Gelles

August 8, 2009 at 1:53 pm Leave a comment

Fresh Summer Salsa

Salsa

Yum! As I’ve said before, making fresh salsa is one of my favorite things about summer. Ripe tomatoes, cilantro, some spice, and the coolness of cucumber all come together in a fresh, flavorful condiment that can be used in so many things that it’s almost mind boggling. For some ideas, go here.

Salsa is a fun thing to make, I think, because it is so delicious, so versatile, and rather impressive-sounding (“yes, I make my own salsa…”) but it is extremely easy as long as you have the right vegetables on hand, and a food processor. A food processor is a must here to get the veggies chopped finely enough and consistently enough without your salsa-making adventure lasting until next September. A good food processor can usually be obtained for $30 – 40 (in the United States) and it’s a good investment for salsas, falafel, latkes, and many other dishes.

This salsa is a variation on the recipe that I posted last summer. I didn’t have as many tomatoes around the house this time, so I substituted other vegetables in their stead. I also blended the salsa a little bit less, creating a texture more like pico de gallo than bottled salsa. This particular incarnation was also somewhat reminiscent of a Latin-inspired bruschetta, and went very well on thin slices of garlic-infused baguette. I suspect that an unflavored baguette would treat it just as nicely.

Another Summer Salsa
Makes about 4 cups

1 cup red onion, cut into quarters (1 large onion)
1 bunch cilantro, stems removed (about 1½ cups)
1 bell pepper, veins and seeds removed and cut into quarters
2-4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 scotch bonnet chile (or other chile), chopped with veins and seeds removed
1½ cups cucumber, cut into large chunks (about ½ a cucumber)
3 cups cherry tomatoes
½ teaspoon salt, preferably kosher or coarse salt
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons lime juice

  1. Place onion, bell pepper, garlic, and jalapenos into food processor and pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped (about 10 seconds).
  2. Add cucumber, tomatoes, cilantro, salt, cumin and lime juice and pulse until finely chopped and well combined (about 10 more seconds).  It’s important to do this in two steps so that the harder veggies (onions, peppers) can be finely chopped without turning the softer veggies (tomatoes, cucumber) into mush.
  3. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve with tortilla chips, on baguette slices, in tacos or burritos, on salads, in eggs or tofu scrambles and in any other dish you can imagine. It will keep in the fridge for about a week (theoretically; that is, if you don’t eat it all up first).

July 11, 2009 at 5:45 pm Leave a comment

Curry Tofu Sandwiches with Cilantro Bean Spread

img_64961A friend emailed me awhile ago asking for recipes that she could take to work. I’ve been on the lookout for such recipes myself and the result has generally been hearty salads (like this or this or this) and sandwiches. To make your searching easier, I’ve added “Lunchbox” as a tag on this site. This category includes hearty, one-dish meals that are easily transportable, (usually) don’t need to be reheated, and make enough to last at least most of the week.

For me, the perfect sandwich is one that tastes great, won’t get soggy, and packs a lot of make ahead ingredients that I can slap together in a hurry before heading out the door. This sandwich meets all criteria. Placing the tomatoes between the tofu and cheese will prevent them from making your bread soggy (and thickly spread beans and chutney help, too, even if you omit the cheese). Plus, the bean spread and tofu can be made ahead of time so that you have quick lunches all week.

This recipe pulls together a few recipes from elsewhere, including a bean spread modified from an old edition of Vegetarian Times. I also used the Curried Tofu recipe from Veganomicon but you can use any premade baked tofu if you prefer (Pete’s “Thai Tango” would be especially good), or just chase 16 slices of extra firm tofu around a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil, a couple cloves of garlic and a few tablespoons of curry powder. I’d love to hear about your variations.

Curry Tofu Sandwiches with Cilantro Bean Spread
Makes 8 Sandwiches

1 recipe cilantro bean spread, below (3 Tbsp. per sandwich)
2 – 8oz. packages baked tofu, cut into 16 slices (2 slices per sandwich)
4 Roma tomatoes, sliced (½ tomato per sandwich)
1 cup mango chutney (2 Tbsp. per sandwich)
8 slices sharp cheddar cheese, optional
16 slices good quality, whole grain bread

  1. Spread one slice of bread with bean spread and one slice with chutney.
  2. Layer cheese (if using), tomatoes, and tofu on the beany side and then close the bread with the chutney side. (The bean spread offers the best sogginess protection if you are omitting the cheese).
  3. Enjoy!

img_64891Cilantro Bean Dip
Makes 1¾ cups

1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 scallions (green onions), white, light green and dark green parts, chopped (about ½ cup)
½ cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup white cannellini beans or other white beans
1½ Tbsp. lime juice
½ tsp. cumin

  1. In a small pan, heat 1 tsp. of olive oil and saute garlic and jalapeno until garlic is translucent. Add scallions and saute until bright green and browning on the edges, being careful not to burn them.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

P.S. This recipe produces a thick consistency best suited to a spread. If you want a dip instead, add 1 cup of plain yogurt (soy if you prefer) and eat it with crackers, chips and/or veggies.

December 15, 2008 at 5:35 pm Leave a comment

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

I know that every practically every vegetarian already has their own hummus recipe, and that some people are even tired of hummus (gasp!), but if you don’t fall into one of those two categories, be sure to try this recipe which (in my humble opinion) is bursting with flavour from the red pepper and a few extra spices while still tasting like hummus – good old vegetarian comfort food.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Makes About 2½ cups

2 cups chickpeas (or one 15oz. can, drained)
1 roasted red pepper (about ⅓ of a typical jar, or roast one yourself)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
½ cup tahini
¼ cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (optional)
¼ tsp. paprika (optional)

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients.
  2. Process until smooth, adding more olive oil if necessary and adjust seasonings to taste.
  3. Garnish with parsley and paprika, if desired.

September 15, 2008 at 10:36 pm 1 comment

Guacamole!

GuacamoleIf there is fresh salsa in the house, then homemade guacamole can’t be too far behind. This is another one of my mom’s favourite foods that I learned to love through her. Now she’s a big fan of my recipe and that makes me happy. The biggest trick to making guacamole is preventing it from going brown before you are done eating it. There are two things that I have found work well in this respect. First, combining the avocado and lime juice in a food processor (or mashing up the avocado very finely and mixing in the lime juice well before adding any other ingredients). Second, reserving the pit from the avocado and placing it in the centre of any uneaten guacamole. I don’t know why it works, but it does.

Guacamole
Makes about 2 cups

2 avocados
½ tsp. lime juice or lemon juice
¾ cup white onion, chopped
¾ cup tomato, chopped
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper

  1. In a food processor (or in a bowl with a fork), mash avocado very finely and blend with lime juice.
  2. Add onion, tomato and pepper and mix together.

July 23, 2008 at 8:30 am 3 comments

Salsa!

Fresh Salsa

One of my favourite things about summer is making fresh salsa and enjoying it all week in a variety of ways, so I decided to devote this week on “Mind Your Peas and Cukes” to fresh salsa and things to do with it. Of course, any of the forthcoming recipes can be made with bottled salsa, but only if it’s winter or you don’t have a food processor. Otherwise there is no excuse for not making fresh salsa right now.

Salsa
Makes about 5 cups

4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 – 4 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
1 cup cucumber, chopped
½ cup onion, chopped
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. salt
6 tomatoes, quartered (about 5 cups)
1 bunch cilantro, stems removed (about 1 cup)

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the garlic, chiles, cucumber, onion, cumin and salt. Pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Add tomatoes and cilantro and pulse until tomatoes are finely chopped. Taste and adjust salt as necessary.
  3. Serve immediately or let sit a few hours in the fridge to let the flavours combine.

Variation: For black bean salsa, add 1 cup black beans and ½ cup corn to the finished salsa.

July 21, 2008 at 8:30 am 3 comments


Feeds

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*All entries tagged "vegan" and "gluten free" meet those dietary requirements to the best of my knowledge as long as the vegan or gluten free instructions are followed (where applicable). It is always wise to double-check ingredients (especially when dealing with packaged foods) and to confirm ingredients and preparation methods at restaurants.