This finger-licking dip is full of flavour and full of good-for-you ingredients such as beans, bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Make it on the day you need to serve it though: the red onion can dye the dip when left in the fridge overnight. Serve it with a variety of veggie dippers (think carrots, steamed green beans, radishes, grape tomatoes, snow peas, lightly steamed cauliflower, and fresh broccoli).
1/3 cup (80 mL) unsalted cashews
1 cup (250 mL) cooked white navy beans
Juice of 1 lemon
l/2 tsp (2 mL) Montreal steak seasoning (see below)
l/2 Tbsp (7 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
l red onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper (any colour), finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
l Tbsp (15 mL) lemon thyme or other fresh herb, finely chopped
In coffee grinder, grind cashews into fine powdery paste. Mix ground cashews with beans, lemon juice, and seasoning; blend until smooth using hand-held blender. Set aside.
Heat oil in skillet over medium heat and saute onion, bell pepper, and garlic until tender. Stir into bean mixture along with fresh herbs. Transfer to serving bowl and serve with your favourite dipping veggies. Serves 12 (makes about 2 cups or 500 mL).
Each serving contains:
74 calories; 3 g protein; 4 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 8 g carbohydrates; 2 g fibre; 50 mg sodium
Did you know?
You can buy Montreal steak seasoning in the spice aisle of your local grocery store or you can make it yourself. Use it in pretty much any dish for a little extra boost of flavour.
To make your own seasoning, mix together:
2 Tbsp (30 mL) paprika
2 Tbsp (30 mL) black pepper
2 Tbsp (30 mL) kosher salt
1 Tbsp (15 mL) garlic powder
1 Tbsp (15 mL) onion powder
1 Tbsp (15 mL) coriander
1 Tbsp (15 mL) dill
1 Tbsp (15 mL) red pepper flakes
Store leftover Montreal steak seasoning in a glass jar with airtight lid.
Source: "Healthy Finger Foods For the Holidays", alive #338, December 2010
Serving saucy lentils in squash halves is a sure-fire way to elevate your plant-based menu. And, yes, the whole bowl is edible, skin and all. If desired, you can add dollops of Greek yogurt or sour cream. Spice of life Garam masala, a blend of spices traditionally used in Indian cooking, usually includes cardamom, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, fennel, cumin, and coriander. It’s great on roasted meats and vegetables.
“Germans do potatoes in general very well,” says Canadian expat Chris Gilles, who now lives in Munich and has celebrated many an Oktoberfest there. “Knödel seem kind of rubbery. You don’t really think it’s potato when you first see it, but it’s tasty.” But he might be surprised to find that this alive -inspired version of Bavarian potato dumplings is made with a combination of potato and cauliflower, because as anyone who’s eaten cauliflower gnocchi knows, the low-carb vegetable is a great way to lighten up starch-heavy foods (and Biergarten menus). Happy Knödelfest! The original version of these snacks are so popular that it even gets its own food fest: Knödelfest, which happens in September in Austria, about a 1 1/2-hour drive from Munich. If alive threw a Knödelfest, these dumplings would definitely be on the menu, served simply as snacks with sliced radishes and fresh parsley or dill, or topped with butter, beer gravy, or mushroom sauce. The dumpling test You can test one dumpling by shaping it and then boiling it before shaping the rest. If the water is lower than a boil and it still falls apart, add more starch to the batter before shaping another ball and testing again.
This dark beer-marinated chicken uses the convection setting on your oven to create a crispy skinned bird. Convection cooking circulates air around the meat, crisping it like rotisserie without needing a spit or a lot of oil, similar to an air fryer (which you can also use!). If you don’t have a convection setting on your oven, you can simply bake the chicken for longer at the same temperatures as below, until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 F (74 C). You can use any dark beer, but our pick is, obviously, something German. Oktoberfest barbecue You can also grill the whole chicken on a barbecue—which makes for an impressive presentation and a gorgeously crispy bird—but it’s best to spatchcock it first (take out the backbone) so it cooks more evenly and quickly. Make it fast! If you don’t want to make an entire chicken—or if you want your dinner to cook faster—use this marinade (without stuffing the chicken cavity) on chicken breasts, thighs, or iron-rich chicken livers instead.
At Oktoberfest celebrations in Munich, there are always people walking around selling large pretzels, says Canadian expat Chris Gilles, who moved to the city in 2018. The large pieces of golden, twisted pretzel dough come topped with coarse salt for a savoury crunch with every bite. “They don’t come with any dipping sauce,” Gilles says, “but you could dip it in sauce if you had ordered something else”—say, the honey mustard or stone-ground mustard you might have with your bratwurst or sauerkraut balls. But don’t feel bad if you prefer to break from German tradition and dip them in caramel or tahini instead! There’s no need to flour a surface when rolling out your dough; the psyllium keeps it from sticking.