INSPIRE SHARE CREATE HEALTHY LOCAL TOGETHER

Category: Spreads & Dips

hummus plate

Have you ever tried to replicate the hummus you get in a really authentic Middle Eastern restaurant? It is always so creamy and smooth. I could never figure out their trick. My aunt and uncle just got back from Israel, where they ate hummus with a spoon as a meal, and they too didn’t know how Israelis got their hummus so darn creamy and delicious.

Hummus became a central topic of conversation this weekend when I visited my aunt and uncle. This might have bored many dinner guests half to death, but I was all ears. Could the mystery be solved?

radish pesto

Photo credit: Craig Dugas

I just returned from my first trip to Winnipeg for the Dietitians of Canada National Conference.

The conference was amazing. I spent three days networking with lots of incredible and inspiring dietitians, listening to great sessions on a variety of topics (there were so many awesome speakers), and eating great food.

To top it off, Winnipeg was beautiful! Going to conferences is such a great opportunity to explore a new city. (I can’ wait for next years in Newfoundland!) I tried to get out for short runs in the mornings to explore a bit.

Since my last blog post I have attended the National Dietitians of Canada conference, finished my dietetic internship in Prince George, BC, moved to Vancouver, BC and I’m about to start my first “real life” job as a Clinical Dietitian with Fraser Health! It’s been a whirl wind!

I’m excited to be slightly more settled now and back to my blogging. I even have the perfect summer recipe for my first blog post as my new self, fresh strawberry salsa! My twin sister (who I now live a few blocks from) ordered strawberry salsa when we were out the other night. I had never heard of such a thing. It was delicious!

Cilantro Pesto

COMMENT

It’s hypothesized that there is a genetic component to cilantro tasting either soapy or herby. Therefore you are probably either a cilantro (AKA coriander/Chinese parsley) lover or hater.

Which is it?

If you answered hater, please disregard this post. If you are a lover like me, read on!

I love using cilantro to add a fresh kick to many recipes. It’s a great addition to salads, guacamole (or practically any Mexican dish), dips, chutneys, salsas or pesto!

I hate buying bunches of cilantro for recipes because you usually only use a small amount and then I never know what to do with the rest. This recipe is the perfect solution! The stems of the cilantro plant can be used too, they are very flavorful and tender, no need to throw them out!

This 1 step recipe can be whipped up in minutes! You can freeze leftovers in an ice cube tray (pop them out after they are frozen and put them into a freezer bag) for quick weeknight meals.This recipe is actually better the second day as the flavors blend nicely so it’s great to make ahead of time too.

Easy as pie pesto!

What to do with cilantro pesto:

– toss with pasta, top with parmesan cheese and a sliced chicken breast (or even grilled tofu!)

– toss with a mixture of roasted sweet potatoes, roasted bell peppers and black beans for a great side dish

– spread on steak, fish, chicken

– mix in with scrambled eggs

-spread on sandwiches, hamburgers or wraps

-topping for bruschetta

– add to a grilled cheese sandwich with a slice of tomato

– drizzle over soups and chili

– toss with cherry tomatoes, bocconcini, red onion and arugula for a great salad

– layer with cream cheese for an easy and unique dip

I think the better question is what can’t you do with cilantro pesto??

Enjoy! :)

cilantro pesto

Cilantro Pesto

Recipe adapted from Rachael Rays Cilantro Pesto Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 inches fresh ginger root, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup macadamia nuts, lightly roasted walnuts or lightly roasted pine nuts ( I even used almonds once in a pinch!)
  • 1 lime (or lemon), juiced
  • 1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves and upper stems
  • 1/3 cup virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • optional: parmesan cheese, pepper (to taste)

Blend all ingredients in a food processor, adding extra water or olive oil if needed until the desired consistency. I like it with a bit more olive oil for pasta, but a bit thicker if using it as a spread.

Do you have a favorite vegetable? It’s hard to decide (because there are SO many to love) but I love beet.! They are so tasty, they can be used and prepared in so many different ways (including their delicious greens) and they make everything pink! (Clearly a key point.)

upbeet dip

A few fun beet facts:

  • In many cultures the belief persists that if a man and a woman eat from the same red beet then they will fall in love.
  • Beets can be made into a wine that tastes similar to port.
  • In Australia, a true Oz-style burger must have a slice or two of beets. Even McDonalds and Burger King have had to include it in their menus.

One of my favorite ways to use beets is in a beany dip. They make it pink, which kids (and adults) love. I have even had people that hate beans and beets say they like this dip. So give these recipes a try!

upbeet dip

Beet Black Bean Dip

1 can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
2 large cooked Red Beets, peeled and diced
2 large cloves Garlic, minced (…or 3 cloves if you love garlic like me!)
1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Cumin Powder 
Couple shakes of cayenne pepper, or crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp Black Pepper, freshly ground 
1/4 cup Parsley, chopped
Sea Salt to taste
 

Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the side of the processor during the process.  Add a small amount of water or olive oil if the dip is too dry.  Season with salt, to taste. Garnish with more fresh parsley.   Serve room temperature, or chilled.

Beet Hummus

Source: Marianne

 1 can (19 oz or 540 mL) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2/3 cup cooked beets
1-2 large clove garlic, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp tahini (can be replaced with PB if needed)
juice of 1 lemon
1/3 – 1/2 cup fresh dill
sea salt & pepper to taste
1/4 – 1/3 cup water
 

Combine all ingredients except water in a food processor, and blend until combined. Add water until desired consistency is reached (you may not need any). Allow to sit for several hours in the fridge before serving to let flavors meld.



Upbeet

- Formerly known as Apron Strings and Healthy Things -

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