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
Select the ripest figs you can find to add gorgeous sweetness to this hearty salad, which is just as useful for a family dinner as a workday lunch. Carrots and chickpeas are dressed in a savoury tahini yogurt dressing with Middle Eastern-inspired flavours. A little goes a long way with this fibre- and protein-packed salad, which keeps well in the fridge. Fall favourite Did you know that some varieties of figs have two seasons? They enjoy a brief, early season at the beginning of June and a second season from August to October. Fall figs tend to be sweeter and grow on the new wood of trees.
The apple in these turkey meatballs might not be immediately visible, but it’s working behind the scenes to help bind them together and adds sweet flavour and juiciness. Chinese five-spice powder—a blend of star anise, ground fennel seeds, Sichuan peppercorns, cloves, and cinnamon—lends lively flavour, alongside ginger and garlic. Packed full of protein, these meaty bites are a good source of vitamin D and iron and make for a tasty party appetizer. Meatball magic Handle with care A light touch is the key to a well-formed, juicy meatball. Using a tablespoon measure or cookie scoop, spoon heaping tablespoons into individual meatballs and toss them back and forth between your hands a few times, very gently, to round them off. Avoid squeezing or compressing the meat. Make ahead You can form meatballs 4 hours in advance and refrigerate before cooking. Lay meatballs in a single layer on parchment in glass dish; cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Remove meatballs from refrigerator about 30 minutes before you begin to cook to allow them to come to room temperature. This will ensure they cook evenly. Blot any excess moisture before adding to the hot pan. Turning with this trick When browning meatballs, use a cookie scoop to nudge and turn the meatball. If it loses its round shape, use the scoop to gently re-form.
Fall root vegetables such as parsnips or celeriac make a delicious combination with the autumn season’s arguably biggest star—the apple. Choose a tart apple like Granny Smith or a sweet-tart apple like Pink Lady for this silky soup thickened up with a cashew cream to deliver not only a winning texture but a healthy dose of dietary fibre and some added protein. Tarragon is a supporting actor in this play, working nicely with the apples in a bright, tasty oil as garnish. Terrific with tarragon Bring this dish to the next level by making an elegant tarragon oil to drizzle over the soup. Place 1/3 cup (80 mL) tarragon leaves in fine sieve. Fill a bowl large enough to accommodate sieve with ice water and set aside. Plunge sieve into pot of boiling water, drenching tarragon for about 30 seconds. Remove sieve and plunge it into the ice water and leave for a minute or so. Drain and transfer tarragon to clean kitchen towel. Squeeze out all the water and place tarragon in food processor with 1/3 cup (80 mL) olive oil. Blend for about a minute and then strain oil through clean fine sieve into jar. Use at room temperature and refrigerate when not using.