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‘vegetarian’ Category

  1. Amped Up Artichoke Dip (#19)

    January 2, 2012 by admin

     

    For years, my aunt and uncle brought artichoke dip to our family get-togethers. It was my first taste of what I considered “gourmet cooking”. I loved it. I’d eat it nonstop, even forgoing turkey or whatever. The recipe is simple: chopped and drained artichoke hearts, 1 cup mayonnaise, 1 cup parmesan and a dash of tabasco sauce. Combine and bake.

    It’s still my favorite dip. It’s actually my Gateway Dip, if you will. I still make the simple version, but I’ve experimented with different ratios and ingredients. I love the following recipe from “Delicious Dips” by Diane Morgan. The addition of shallots and lemon give it a little kick and just that amped up flavor that is really awesome.

    This is the kind of dip where people take a bite, nod, and say “Mmmm”. This dip is one of my all-time faves. It gets 5 out of 5 pretzels, plus a bonus celery stick for introducing me to the Foodie world. (With thanks to Aunt Connie and Uncle Dave.)

     

    INGREDIENTS

     

    1 large shallot, halved

    2 cans (13.75 ounces each) artichoke hearts packed in water, well drained

    ½ cup mayonnaise

    ½ cup sour cream

    3 tablespoons lemon juice

    1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

    salt & pepper

    1/3 cup unseasoned dry breadcrumbs

    ½ teaspoon dried oregano

    2 teaspoons olive oil

     

    1. In food processor with the metal blade, pulse the shallot until coarsely chopped. Add in the artichoke hearts and pulse again until coarsely chopped. (By pulsing the shallot first, you’ll make the pieces a bit smaller, which I prefer.)

     

    2. In medium bowl, combine the mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. Add the chopped shallots and artichoke hearts and mix until well combined. Transfer to a buttered 1 ½ quart shallow baking dish.

     

    3. In small bowl combine the breadcrumbs, oregano, and olive oil. Sprinkle over the dip.

     

    4. Bake in 400 degree oven until the bread crumbs are toasty brown and the dip is bubbling at the edges. About 20-25 minutes, longer if you like it a little more bubbly.

     

    NOTE: You can make this ahead of time. Make through step two and refrigerate. Just before baking, combine with step three.

     

    PROCESS (In Pictures!)

    Pulse those shallots and arty hearts. Get violent. It's okay.

     

    Combine smooth and creamy ingredients placidly in separate bowl.

     

    Mix it all together. Par-tay! Par-tay! (Not really. Just mix it.)

     

    Sprinkle with topping and bake until it looks like this.

     

    The Verdict

     

    Eat it. Just eat it. And dunk with bagel chips, bruschetta, Club crackers, etc. Sometimes I just eat it as a side dish. I’m ashamed of that, but it’s true. And sorry for not taking a picture of what it looks like on a cracker. I was too busy eating.

     


  2. White Bean Dip (#18)

    December 28, 2011 by admin

     

    I had some requests for specific recipes. One was from a healthy eater who’d like a non-dairy, vegetarian dip. This one goes a step further: it’s VEGAN. At least I think it’s vegan. It’s pretty vegan. This is a smooth dip with a little bite. You can adjust the garlic and lemon to your taste. I made the mistake of being really heavy on the garlic and olive oil the first time I made it, so I suggest start with less. You can always add more.

     

    THE RECIPE

     

    2 cloves garlic

    1 can (15 oz) white beans, such as Northern or Cannelini, drained and rinsed

    2 ½ tablespoons of olive oil

    1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

    ½ teaspoon oregano or Italian seasoning

    salt to taste

     

    1. In a food processor, blend garlic until chopped.

     

    2. Add white beans, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano or Italian seasoning and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.

     

    3. Serve.

    Basically, just put ingredients in food processor and blend until your heart's happy.

     

    THE VERDICT

     

    This is a really simple dip, with the added benefit of not having a ton of ingredients. And they’re ingredients that are easy to get year round. It’s a nice change from hummus, for sure. I’ve also added rosemary to this and that creates a really nice hint of winter. That sounds poetic. It’s just good. I give this a 3 Pretzel rating. It’s a good little dip. It’s actually better if you let it rest overnight. It’s a subtle dip. It doesn’t scream at you, and you probably won’t eat it obsessively, but it will make you feel good while eating it. Low fat, high fiber, all that good jazz. And it keeps great.

     

    The Dunkables

     

    Crudites

    Bagel Chips

    Root Chips

    Or try making a sandwich with rye bread or pumpernickel, smear with lots of dip, add sprouts, tomato, cucumber and shredded carrots. So good!


  3. Goat Cheese Holiday Spread (#16)

    December 6, 2011 by admin

    I asked for some suggestions on what kind of dips to post, and one reader recommended a recipe with goat cheese. I’m a huge goat cheese fan, so I immediately did some research. This one looked great because it could also work beautifully for Christmas, or if you’re having Italians over for dinner. You know, white, green, red. Whatever.

    THE RECIPE

    Ingredients

    1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
    4 ounces goat cheese
    1 garlic clove, minced
    ½ teaspoon dried oregano
    ¼ cup prepared basil pesto
    ½ cup sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

    Garnish: paprika, or sundried tomatoes and fresh basil made to look like a wreath

    PREPARATION

    1. Put peeled garlic clove in food processor. Pulse until chopped. Add in cream cheese, goat cheese and oregano and blend until smooth.

    2. Line a small bowl with plastic wrap. Spoon 1/3 of cheese mixture into bowl in even layer.

    3. Spoon pesto in even layer over cheese layer. Top with 1/3 cheese mixture. Spoon sundried tomatoes (I chopped them in the food processor) over cheese mixture. Finish with remaining 1/3 of cheese mixture. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or until firm.

    4. Invert onto serving plate, remove plastic wrap. Garnish if desired.

     

    THE PROCESS

    This was, all in all, a pretty easy dip/spread to make. You do need a food processor or blender. I pulsed the garlic first, then added the cream cheese, goat cheese, and oregano and blended until smooth. Then I cleaned out the processor, and chopped the sun dried tomatoes. After that it was just layering the three spreads. The first layer was the hardest as it was a little messy, but after that it was easy.

     

    Pulse cheeses and oregano and garlic until smooth.

     

    Mmm. Smooth. The cream cheese balances out the goat cheese.

    Plastic wrap, cheese layer, then pesto layer

    Cheese layer again then sun dried tomato layer.

    Final cheese layer...then wrap and refrigerate.

    Once firm, flip it over onto a plate and remove plastic wrap. Viola!

     

    THE VERDICT

    I had some dips over (AKA my friends) and they dove into this spread. It was immediately declared a 5 out of 5 pretzels! It’s creamy, sweet, salty, garlic-y, and just plain delicious. It was hard to stop eating it. And, yeah, it’s more of a spread than a dip, but get over it. It’s creamy. Dip your finger in it, but only if your guests aren’t looking.

     

    THE DUNKABLES

     

    Crackers, any kind but my favorite are Club

    Bruschetta

    Bagel Chips

     

    ALSO

     

    Probably really good on toasted bagels or homemade pizza.

     

     

     

     

     


  4. Baked Feta with Marinara (#15)

    November 12, 2011 by admin

     THE RECIPE

    from Cooking Light

     

     

    1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

    2 garlic cloves, minced

    1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, drained

    1 (4 ounce) package crumbled feta cheese (or soft goat cheese)

     

    Preheat oven to 350. Combine first four ingredients in a bowl. Sprinkle feta evenly into a 6-inch gratin dish or small shallow baking dish coated with cooking spray. top with tomato mixture. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, or until you see the cheese is starting to bubble.

     

     THE PROCESS

    Crumble feta in a dish you've sprayed with cooking spray.

     

    Mix remaining ingredients in separate bowl.

     

    Pour tomato mixture on top of feta and bake until bubbly.

     

    This is a really easy dip. The only thing you have to chop, really, is the garlic. Make sure you squeeze out the juice in the canned tomatoes, though, because otherwise it gets soupy. I’ve made this with feta and goat cheese (not together. separately.) I have to say I almost prefer the goat cheese because it’s smoother, but the feta is good too.

     

    THE VERDICT

     

     

    Both cheese and tomatoes have that weird ‘umami’ quality, so when you eat this it’s very comforting. It’s homey. Warm. Gooey. Terrific with a glass of wine. In fact, you’ll probably feel pretty sophisticated eating this. It’s also great for winter because it uses pantry ingredients. And it’s a good dip for Christmas because, well, it’s red and white. Throw some parsley on there and Ho Ho Ho. Kealoha wanted to give it 3 pretzels, but I’m giving it 4 pretzels. Over the years, it’s become one of my quick go-to dips when I need to whip up something.

     

     

    THE DUNKABLES 

    This is best with sliced, toasted baguettes. I slice a loaf of french bread, lay the pieces out in a pan and cook for 5-10 minutes (flipping once). Check it frequently because you want the toast golden and not black. Black toast is waaaay not good.


  5. Blue Cheese Walnut Spread (#14)

    October 25, 2011 by admin

     

    For this week’s recipe, I’m going a little outside my boundaries and posting a spread instead of a dip. Still, you can DIP your knife in and spread it on a cracker, so it almost works.

    THE RECIPE

     

     

     

    Blue Cheese and Walnut Spread from Everyday Food Magazine 

    4 ounces bar cream cheese, room temperature

    ½ cup walnuts, chopped

    salt and pepper

    4 ounces (1 cup) cold crumbled blue cheese

    In a medium bowl, stir cream cheese with a wooden spoon until softened. Mix in walnuts. Season with salt and pepper. Gently fold in blue cheese, breaking up as little as possible.

     

    THE PROCESS

    This is super easy, and a good ‘last minute’ appetizer, since you can just grab the ingredients at the grocery store, mix and serve.

    Cream the cream cheese. (Why does that sound gross?)

     

    Add the walnuts and salt and pepper.

     

     

    Fold in the blue cheese and serve.

    THE VERDICT

    3 pretzels! But don’t dunk in pretzels because they’ll break. This is a spread, not a dip.

    This dip/spread  is good. It’s not great, but when I served it, everyone liked it. Of course, you need to like blue (bleu) cheese. Kealoha wanted more blue cheesiness, which is easy to accommodate. High ranks on ease of this spread. Basically three ingredients and you’re good to go.

    We had steak for lunch with this. I wonder what the spread would taste like spooned onto a grilled hamburger or juicy steak? Mmmm.

     

    THE DUNKABLES

    Crackers (wheat tasted really good)

    Slices of pear (great combo)

     

     

     

     

     

     


  6. Dip #11 — Curry Mango Dip

    September 13, 2011 by admin

     

    After looking over the last 10 dips, I realized three of them have black beans in them. Maybe I’m sort of obsessed with black beans or something. (I have a great recipe for a black bean cake. Cake as in burger not yummy-with-frosting.) But it’s time to move on.

    Here’s a great dip I served at my Dip Party. Explanation to follow. (To make it look a little prettier, I swirled some extra chutney on top. That’s optional.)

     

    The Recipe

     

     

    4 ounces cream cheese, softened

    8 ounces sour cream

    1 teaspoon curry powder

    ½ cup mango chutney

     

    The Process

     

     

    In medium bowl, combine cream cheese and sour cream. (Or use mixer with paddle attachment.) Add curry and chutney. Stir well to combine and chill.

    When making this, I actually screwed up and put all the ingredients in together. I had to overmix it a little, so the chunks of mango in the chutney got a little liquified. Ah well. It still tasted great. I would recommend creaming the cheese and sour cream first though.

     

    The Verdict

     

    In Japanese cooking there’s some approach (that I can’t remember) which seeks to create harmony in food. It attempts to balance both flavors and color. For instance, you want every plate of your food to have the colors white, red, black, brown and green. So let’s say you have a tuna sandwich. Wheat bread, white filling, green lettuce, red tomato and black olives on the side. You also want to create harmony with flavors. Something truly satisfying is at once sweet, sour, salty, bitter.

    In short, this dip does this. There’s heat from the curry and mango dip, but it’s also cool from the cream cheese and sour cream. The mango chutney adds sweetness, and if you use a bagel chip for dipping, you also get a tang of saltiness.

    I love this dip. I give it 5 out of 5 pretzels, as did many at the dip party. Kealoha wasn’t crazy about it, but he’s not a fan of things with spice. He gave it a 3.

     

    The Dunkables

     

    Bagel chips (Our favorite. Plain bagel chips with sea salt.)

    Pita chips

    Veggies

    Naan

    Pretzels

    You could try regular chips but the dip is a little thick and might break them.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


  7. Dip #10–Roasted Salsa

    September 9, 2011 by admin

    I should’ve posted this earlier, but it still works now. Great for the end of summer vegetables. This recipe comes from “Everyday Food”.

     

     The Recipe

     

    2 large tomatoes (1 1/2 pounds)

    1 medium white onion, halved

    3 jalepenos

    3 garlic cloves

    3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

    1/4 cup chopped cilantro

     

    The Process

     

    1. Heat broiler with rack in top position. Place tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, and unpeeled garlic cloves, in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.

    2. Broil until vegetables are blistered and slightly softened, rotating sheet and flipping vegetables frequently, 6 to 8 minutes. Garlic can be removed if it’s browning too quickly.

     

     

     

    3. D1scard garlic skins. In a food processor, pulse garlic and vegetables until coarsely pureed. Add lime juice, season with coarse salt and pepper, and pulse to combine.

     

     

    4. Transfer salsa to a bowl and stir in the chopped cilantro. Refrigerate up to 3 days, or freeze up to 3 months.
    Kealoha and I are pansies when it comes to spicy salsa. I chop the onions first so that they’ll be really small, then add in the rest. I also think you should hold off on using all the jalepeno. I added all and then had to cook another batch because it was way too spicy. You can take out the seeds first, or just go down to one jalepeno and add more if you need it.

     

    The Verdict

     

     

    I served this at my Dip Party. While it wasn’t a stunner in the sense that everyone ooh’ed and ahh’ed over it (like they did over the Buffalo Wing Chicken Dip), they kept coming back to it.

    The salsa has this wonderful smokey flavor that sets it apart from any other salsa you’ve had. It’s really what sets it apart. It will need some cooling time, because hot salsa is more like a soup.

    It’s a great salsa. Full stop. Still, I give it 3 out of 5 pretzels because a salsa is still a salsa, even if it’s a smoky salsa.

    The lowdown: fun, quick, pretty easy to do. Makes a ton. And the food processor does most of the chopping for you.

     

    The Dunkables

     

    Tortilla chips

    Fried plantains

    Use as a topping on black bean cakes or tamales

     

     

    *Anyone reading this blog? If you are and enjoy it, please let me know! If you’ve tried any of the dips I’ve posted, let me know that too. And…if you have a dip you’d like to see posted, send it to me at tanya@tanyaeby.com. I’d love to give your dip a pretzel rating.


  8. Dip #9 — Black Bean Salsa/Salad

    September 4, 2011 by admin

     

    The Recipe & Process

     

    This recipe is so easy, I’m combining the two steps. Here are the ingredients:

     

     

    2 cans Black beans

    1 ½ cups frozen corn

    1 ½ cups diced tomato

    1 bunch sliced scallions

    1 each of green, red, yellow peppers, diced

     

    Mix above together in medium bowl.

     

    In separate bowl: mix sauce.

     

    Sauce:

    1/3 cup veg. oil

    1/3 cup red wine vinegar

    1 tsp Worcestershire

    2-3 tsp tabasco

    2 tsp cumin

    Salt and pepper to taste

     

    Pour the sauce over the salad. Salad tastes better the longer it sits. It’s good right away, but even better the next day. 

     

     

    The Verdict

     

    I got this from someone when I lived in Miami. A coworker of my boyfriend’s, if I remember right. That was…oh…17 years ago? Ouch.

    Anyway. It’s a terrific, subtle dip. We give this dip a 4 out of 5 pretzels. It won’t wow you with it’s flavor. It’s not that kind of dip. This one is quiet, yet seductive. You’ll keep going to this dip long after those fancier dips have had their way with you.

    In Miami, we served it with plantain chips. Soooo good. The salad is refreshing and crisp, and really good for you. I like to let it set out for an hour or so and let the flavors meld before serving it. It makes a lot so it’s great for a party. It’s not spicy because there are no jalepenos in it. Who cares? Not every salsa needs to be spicy. This is also terrific as a side salad, without any dunkables at all.

     

    The Dunkables

     

    Tortilla chips

    Plantain chips

    Corn chips

    A spoon.

     

     


  9. Dip #6 – Black Bean Spread with Lime and Cilantro

    August 11, 2011 by admin

    Kealoha and I were invited to his parents’ house for dinner. I was narrating all day and didn’t have a lot of time to make a dip or go shopping. This dip used all the ingredients we happened to have in our house, except I made a quick stop at the store for cilantro. It’s a healthy dip, but don’t let that scare you.

     

    The Recipe

    From “Cooking Light” Magazine

     

    3 garlic cloves, peeled

    ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

    2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

    1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

    ½ teaspoon salt

    1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

    1 (15-ounce) can black beans, undrained

    diced tomato and avocado (optional)

    The Process

     

    1. With food processor on, drop garlic through food chute; process until minced. Add chopped cilantro and next 5 ingredients, and process until smooth.

    That’s it. Basically, put it in a blender and mix until smooth. It’s really easy. Instead of chopping the garlic myself, I put it in the processor first and let the machine do the work.

     

    The Verdict

     

    When it was finished, it looked a little weird. Simple. Next time around, I might reserve a little of the liquid from one can to make sure it doesn’t get too soupy. To add texture, consider adding in chopped tomatoes and avocado.

    I was a little leary about Kealoha’s parents liking it…but they LOVED it. We couldn’t stop eating it! It’s a great spread, with or without putting in anything extra.

    It’s got that kind of fresh taste with the zip of lime, hint of cilantro. The little bit of salt really brings out the flavor. And then there’s the garlic and smooth black beans. Mmmmm. Honestly. I love this dip. Easy. Fast. Low-call and high fiber. Delicious!

    This gets 5 out of 5 pretzels. Really. It’s super easy, and you can make it any time of the year. And you can’t stop yourself from eating it. If there’s any left, it keeps well for days.

    The Dunkables

     

    Nacho Chips

    Corn Chips

    Fried Plantains

    Crudites


  10. Dip #5–7 Layer Bean Dip

    August 5, 2011 by admin

    This is that dip you have at parties and everyone eats all of it, but you just never think of making it. And I’m so glad I finally know how. It’s freakishly easy. It’s also versatile. If you don’t like a layer, simply replace it with something you do like…like guacamole or jalapeno peppers or whatever.

    The quality of the dip will probably change with the quality of ingredients you use.

     

    7 Layer Bean Dip

    (With thanks to Dana and her aunt for sharing the recipe)

     

    THE RECIPE

    1 15oz can refried beans, heated

    1 c. sour cream

    1 .78 oz pkg. taco seasoning mix

    1 c. diced tomatoes

    1 4.25 oz jar diced green chilies, drained

    1 2.25 oz can sliced ripe olives, drained

    3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

    2/4 c. shredded monterey jack cheese

    1 jar salsa

    tortilla chips

    THE PROCESS

    Spread warm beans on 10 inch serving platter. Combine sour cream and seasoning mix; spread over beans. Layer remaining ingredients over sour cream mixture. Serve with salsa and chips. 6-8 servings

    Now, I didn’t heat the beans, because I wanted to make this ahead of time. It’s great cold. I think this is a good dip to bring to a party because you can assemble it there.

    We found that the taco seasoning and sour cream was too salty. If I make it again, I’ll only use 1/2 the seasoning pack.

    We replaced the jalepeno peppers with avocado.

    Here’s the step by step process in pictures. (I know. It’s so easy you don’t need pictures, but I have a good camera, so I feel like I have to use it.)

     

     

     

     

     

    THE VERDICT

    We give this 4 out of 5 pretzels. Or maybe we should say tortilla chips. It’s a great dip and I know it will be devoured at the next party. Next time, I’ll definitely use the taco seasoning to taste, but beyond that…it’s great. Now I can finally make this dip. It’s a little spicy, creamy, and a little bit sinful. AND you can eat a TON of it without making yourself sick, a definite dip-bonus. I should know.

    THE DUNKABLES

    Tortilla chips

    Fritos

    Veggies (maybe)

    Or even tortilla shells. I bet this would be great in a burrito.

     

     

    Got any comments or have any great recipes you’re willing to share? Please either comment here, or email me at tanya@tanyaeby.com.