It’s Superbowl Sunday this weekend, so I’m popping over to a friend’s house for a bit of skinny dipping and a bowl of chilli (her hubby make a wickedly hot meat-free one for me) for our annual tradition of sitting in front of a screen repeatedly asking “So what’s happening now?” I offered to take some dips to help with the festivities, which gave me a great excuse to spend time playing in the kitchen in preparation for a skinny dip or two. No, I’m not going to hack a hole in the frozen river and jump in wearing nothing but icicles – even though turning blue would probably suit me. I’m trying to create dips which don’t require me to fry anything in oil. It would be a shame to totally blow my forks-over-knives diet plan for the sake of a dip or two, especially after 20 days of being (mostly) good.
This is why I’m not actually skinny dipping: That’s blowing snow in my backyard, in case you’re wondering.
My friend is a big fan of the Atkin’s diet, which makes life interesting when the two of us eat together. I say “No meat! No butter! No cheese! Bring on the wholewheat carbs!” while she is happiest when served a plate of meat cooked in a buttery cheese sauce. One thing we do agree on though is the value of a good dip or two when watching a game we don’t understand. I’ve made a few for us to try: a creamy garlic cashew “cream cheese” dip, a gorgeously green tofu “sour cream”, and a totally magic mushroom tapenade, made from non-hallucinogenic mushrooms of course. I may also take some Indian dips (watch for the recipes in the next blog) if my dinner party guests don’t polish them off on Saturday.
Garlic Cashew “Cream Cheese” Dip
You need a powerful blender to make this. I tried making it in my pre-vitamix days and I was disappointed with the grainy texture.
- 1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked overnight in plenty of cold water in the fridge
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 5 tbsp water
- 3 green onions, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
- ¼ tsp salt, or to taste
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Makes about 1 cup.
Drain and rinse the cashews and put into a blender along with the nutritional yeast, cider vinegar, lemon juice and water. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender periodically. Fold in the green onions, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper then cover and chill for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. If liquid has separated out from the “cheese” either stir it back in or gently pour it away.
This is best made the day before and stored, covered, in the fridge to let the flavours develop.
- About 3 cups white mushrooms, cut into thick slices
- About 2 cups baby portabella mushrooms (see photo), cut into thick slices
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (or more, if you love garlic)
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ¼ tsp each salt & pepper, or more to taste
- 1 avocado, cut into small pieces
- ½ cup sliced black olives
- ½ cup pitted green olives
- 2 tbsp drained capers, rinsed, or more to taste
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Makes about 2 cups.
Put the mushrooms, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper into a large frying pan or wok and cook over a medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Add a drop of water if needed. Tip: if your avocado is on the hard side toss the pieces in with the mushrooms for the final 5 minutes of cooking to soften it. Transfer the mushroom mixture to a blender and add the olives, capers and parsley. Process until blended but still chunky, then taste and add more salt if needed. Serve cool or at room temperature. It will be happy in the fridge for 4 days or so.
Gorgeous Green Tofu Garlic “Sour Cream”
- 1 (540g / 20-ounce) package silken tofu
- 3 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
- ¼ tsp salt
Makes about 2 cups.
Combine the tofu and vinegar in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Add the garlic, parsley and salt. Pulse to blend then taste and add more salt if needed. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up a 1 week.
I hope you’ll consider doing a bit of skinny dipping with me! I’ll be back blogging on Monday, but in the meantime have a Happy Superbowl Sunday!
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