Gluten Free Baked Bagel Chips

I am the mom of three teenagers…all boys…with big appetites!  I am forever amazed by their voracious appetites.  No sooner is lunch finished then someone is asking me if there is anything in the house to eat!  They never seem to stop.

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White Bean, Lemon, and Pesto Dip

I’ve never been a huge fan of hummus.  I admit; I have a completely irrational aversion to garbanzo beans.  I’m not sure why or how this came to be, but I am certain I will never grow out of it.  I’m a bit stubborn like that.

But what I DO like is a nice, creamy bean dip.  My bean of choice is the cannellini bean.  When drained, rinsed, and popped into a blender, a downright luxurious puree results.  This puree is like a blank canvas just waiting to be filled with your favorite flavors.  Seriously, the possibilities are endless.

For years we’ve been making a variation on a white bean dip recipe from Giada DeLaurentis.  My son, who has proclaimed himself to be the official maker of bean dip, follows the recipe loosely, always adding his own little touch.  He does such a great job as is evidenced by the fact that we all gobble it up.

This past Sunday  bean dip was on the menu for our Super Bowl gathering.   My son, bogged down with a heavy course load, did not have time to help me in the kitchen, so he relinquished his bean-dip-making-hat over to me….temporarily.  So, I took the liberty to switch the recipe up a bit.  Instead of adding fresh basil as we traditionally do, I opted to use pesto instead.  Truth be told, this was no moment of brilliance on my part.  I simply had no fresh basil in the house and there was no way I was about to run to the grocery store four hours before the game started.  So pesto seemed like the perfect stand in.  It was a subtle change but one that made a huge difference in the flavor department.

This dip can be used as a healthy alternative to mayo on any sandwich, a dipping “sauce” for homemade chicken fingers (as my kids love to do), or as pictured below, the perfect little lunch plate.  You want to talk about a totally guilt free lunch – this is it.

White Bean, Lemon & Pesto Dip
serves 4-6

1 – 15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed until the water runs clear
1/4 cup avocado oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons prepared jarred pesto
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Place the beans into a strainer.  Rinse with cold water until the water runs clear.  Set aside to drain.

Place the avocado oil, lemon juice, pesto, and salt into a blender.  Add in the beans.  Mix on high until completely smooth.

That’s it!  Super easy and oh, so delicious!

Bruschetta

My garden is growing well.   It’s not all pretty or terribly organized or free of weeds, but it is growing.  Lacinato kale, basil, and green beans have been reliable producers (and have been oh so delicious this year).  I have an out-of-control spaghetti squash plant that has affixed itself to my air conditioning unit.  There are the beginnings of several watermelon (which seem really late to me).  And, finally, my tomato plants.  Well, they are out of control.  The tomato bed looks like an untamed jungle.  There are plenty of green tomatoes waiting to ripen and once they do (likely all at the same time), I will be inundated with these delicious gems.

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Lemon, Basil, and Kale Hummus

We are huge football fans.

No Super Bowl Sunday is complete without a spread of game day food.  I do try to keep a balanced menu.  It’s not all about chips and pizza.

So while we enjoy some of our homemade favorites like wings, loaded potato skins, and sloppy joes, there will also be a generous helping of vegetables and healthy bean dips.

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