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!

Gluten Free Roasted Cauliflower Couscous Chicken Caprese Salad

Cauliflower is my favorite vegetable.  There’s simply no contest.  I am amazed at its versatility.  It is so much more than just a bunch of boiled white florets.  Cauliflower puree is nothing short of luxurious and is the perfect bed for a perfectly grilled steak.  Roasted cauliflower tossed in parmesan cheese and herbs is a snack-able treat.  Pureed cauliflower serves as a perfect and healthy base to any cream soup.  Pizza crust.  Breadsticks.  Cauliflower rice.  The possibilities are endless.

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