Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Normally a couple’s day, my husband and I have opted to make Valentine’s Day a family event. Beginning a day or two before the official holiday, each member of our family begins to make each other homemade valentines. They do not need to be elaborate or fancy (but they certainly can be). They simply need to remind the recipient that they are loved. We’ve had some crazy, psychedelic cards for sure. There are artistic cards, and someone inevitably makes sports themed cards. Once each of us has completed our cards, we exchange with one another.
Last week my friend, Lisa, over at Good Grief Cook, posted an interesting article. She addressed the issue of whether or not internet recipes are well tested before publication. After a friend of hers had tried a blogger’s recipe for lemon cake that was riddled with issues, her “failure” turned into a mission for my friend. She worked to create the perfect lemon cake, one that was tested through and through. You can check out her results.
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
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!
When eggs were part of my cookie recipes, my kids were always quite cautious about indulging in raw cookie dough. I’m not sure where this timidity came from…certainly not from me. I have always felt it my duty, call it a “service to my family”, to test out the dough. Worry about raw eggs? Not me. I figured if Rocky could down raw eggs, then surely I could swipe some cookie dough and survive unscathed.
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.