Saturday, January 22, 2011

And so it begins...

Sigh, here goes!  Dipping my toe into the blogosphere is actually making me nervous!  I've never been at a loss for words - any member of my immediate family, friends, co-workers or those seated near me in a restaurant can attest to this.  But something about WRITING my thoughts down and pushing "publish post" is giving me pause on this blustery winter night.  Then again, my fearless sidekick Gigi (nee Chi Chi at the shelter I adopted her from) is happily running around the kitchen chasing the pieces of baby carrot I'm tossing to her, and the oven is cranking away on a parcel of baked cod, and it's helping talk me off the ledge of delete.

I'm an avid home cook and shameless Food Network devotee, and have spent the better part of the past few years reading as much as I can about where our food comes from.  As a result my view on food has changed dramatically and, says me, for the better.  Having been heavy for most of my life until the age of 25, I'm approaching the 10 year anniversary of losing 80 pounds.  I've become a vegetarian.  Well, a sustainable, wild caught, fish-eating vegetarian, and have also eschewed as many store-bought products for their homemade cousins as I can.  I'm hoping this blog will help me share how I've managed to change my entire lifestyle without ever feeling like I'm doing without.

I'm not delusional; I know I may be the only one to read this, so I will keep this first post brief.  And maybe a recipe would help!  How about Bean Dip?  Make that Healthy Bean Dip.  Ummm, too boring.  And it sounds taste-free, something this dip definitely is not.  Picture the funnier, cuter version of the store bought stuff.

Bean Dip of Epic Proportions

3 cups pinto beans (either cooked from dried beans, or 2 cans drained and rinsed)
2 fat cloves of garlic, smooshed
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp peanut butter (organic please)
1/4 cup tahini (ditto)
2 tsp harissa paste (I like Les Comptoirs Reunis located by the salad dressings at Whole Foods)
1 1/2 tbsp HOT water
1 tsp kosher salt

Dump everything into the food processor, and whiz for a couple of minutes, adding more hot water a tsp at a time until the dip reaches a consistency you like.  It tastes great right away, but like soup benefits from an overnight trip to the fridge.  It's great with tortilla chips, crackers, veggies, or spread on a tortilla and rolled up with spinach and shredded carrots.

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