Roasted Garlic Butter Bean Dip

roasted garlic

This easy and delicious dip makes a great alternative to hummus, and is equally as versatile. Spread it on your favourite crackers, toast, or use it as dip for veggies and chips.

Ingredients

  • 2 x 14oz can butter beans
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 4-5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 5-6 cloves of roasted garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 small handful of parsley
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Drain butter beans reserving the can liquid.
  2. Rinse & drain them well.
  3. In a food processor, whizz butter beans, olive oil, lemon juice, roasted garlic, paprika, and parsley with 2 tbsp of reserved butter beans liquid until smooth. Adjust salt and pepper to taste
  4. Transfer to a dipping bowl, drizzle with a few extra drops of olive oil and garnish with chopped parsley.

This recipe came about after a necessary pantry clean-out to get rid of out whatever was approaching its expiry date. I had a few cloves of roasted garlic from a previous dish and decided to whip up something. The end result was  a creamy, garlicky dip with a welcoming hint of lemony zing.

Notes:

  • Roasted garlic is one of my favourite ingredients. Roasting mellows the sharp bite of raw garlic, intensifies the natural sweetness and nuttiness. I usually roast a few heads of garlic whenever I am baking so I can conserve on energy.
  • To roast, slice a thin layer off the top of each head of garlic just enough to expose the cloves. Place the heads on a piece of foil and drizzle with olive oil. I usually sprinkle a bit of salt to help tenderize during the roasting process. Seal the foil and roast until cloves are lightly brown and tender, about 40 minutes.

One love,

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[photo: bitchingkitchen.com]

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Stephen’s Kale & Garbanzo Salad with Portabellini Mushrooms & Grape Tomatoes

Kale and Garbanzo salad (raw)

Looking for a delicious and super nutritious dish that’s easy to prepare and won’t leave you feeling hungry? My kale and garbanzo salad with portabellini mushrooms and grape tomatoes will surely please the palate and satisfy the stomach.

Kale and Garbanzo SaladIngredients

  • 1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 3 large portabellini mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 8-10 grape tomatoes
  • 4-5 cups kale (chopped fresh)
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, dices
  • ½ cup chopped basil leaves
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • Olive oil to saute
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method

  1. In a large skillet, sauté onion & garlic in olive oil over medium heat for five minutes or until onions soften.
  2. Add kale, mushrooms, and garbanzo beans along with paprika, salt and pepper, and sauté for an additional five minutes.
  3. Add grape tomatoes, white wine and lemon juice and deglaze the pan, allowing ingredients to simmer and liquid to be fully absorbed.
  4. Scatter chopped basil leaves, lemon zest, and adjust salt & pepper if necessary.
  5. Enjoy warm.

Kale and Garbanzo Salad (plated)

The creamy protein and fibre rich garbanzo beans work well with hearty, meat-like chunks of portabellini mushrooms to provide a satisfying bite. Add a few leaves of the world’s most nutrient-dense food on earth (read more about this here) with a few grape tomatoes for colour and taste and you’ve got a killer combo. The finishing touch of lemon juice and zest brightens the dish, increasing the intensity of flavours, and add a necessary tang to round out all the goodness colliding in this one salad. Your body and taste buds will thank you for it.

One love,

SC

Low-Fat Pak Choi Ricotta Frittata

Looking for a healthy but filling dish packed with essential vitamins and nutrients? Then this low-fat, protein-rich pak choi frittata with skim ricotta is a great option. And a tasty one too.

pak choy

Frittatas are comparable to quiches, but without the crust and with eggs as the main ingredient, usually mixed with a cheese of choice and all cooked or baked in a deep pan. Some common additions include dark green leafy vegetables, usually spinach (in this case I am using pak choi, but callaloo can also be used), mushrooms, bell peppers, etc. The possibilities are endless.

seasonings - pak choy frittata

I am lover of eggs, for both their taste and versatility as a key binding and leavening agent for a host of dishes.

You’ll need:

  • 2 cups chopped pak choi
  • 5 eggs
  • 1½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • ¾ cup diced green bell peppers
  • ½ cup finely chopped onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Scotch bonnet (habanero) pepper to taste, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil to sauté
unbaked frittata mixture

unbaked frittata mixture

Method:

  1. In a skillet, sauté tomato, bell pepper, onion, garlic, scotch bonnet, salt and pepper for 2 minutes to begin to release their flavours.
  2. Add chopped pak choi to skillet, sautéing for an additional 2 minutes (or until pak choi just begins to wilt.)
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. Whisk eggs, ricotta cheese together, adjusting salt as necessary.
  5. Combine sautéed pak choi with egg and cheese mixture and stir to combine.
  6. Spray a 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray and fill with mixture.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until browned on top and set. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, cut in wedges and serve.

finished product - low fat pak choi ricotta frittata

You can enjoy your frittata with a few slices of toast, or you can skip the extra carbs and dig straight into the protein goodness. A sprinkle of parmesan cheese gives it a salty kick with an extra nuttiness.

Low Fat Pak Choy Ricotta Frittata

This is a lighter take as I opted to use ricotta cheese which is naturally low in fat but protein-dense. If you’re looking for something creamier and richer, you can substitute the ricotta for your favourite cheddar or mozzarella cheese.

One love,

SC

Creamy Mashed Sweet Potato

The past weekend I took some time to catch up on some introspection, and what better way to do so than letting my creativity flow in the kitchen? (Well, there’s also the option of running to escape The Blerch – which I also did.) Mom had recently brought me some fresh produce and included in my care package were some good ole sweet potatoes.

sweet_potatoe

Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are a personal fave. Their versatility lends to an array of sweet and savory dishes, and makes it easily paired with a variety of herbs and spices. These starchy, naturally-sweet, tuberous roots can be made into a salad, side dish, main course, dessert and even a drink. Here in Jamaica, sweet potatoes are commonly enjoyed as a staple food crop, usually as a substitute for rice.

Creamy Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Elle & Vire’s premium cooking cream and butter were perfect for this recipe. You really can taste the richness of these quality ingredients. Of course you could have used evaporated milk or regular whole milk but it wouldn’t taste the same. This dish is a great accompaniment to almost any meal and remains a classic and delectable side dish.

One love,

SC

ShakeItUp – Elle & Vire Honeydew-Cucumber Smoothie

Elle and Vire Honeydew-Cucumber Smoothie

Elle & Vire’s plain sweet yogurt gives the drink a smooth texture without being too creamy, maintaining the natural crispness of the cucumbers and cleanness of the naturally sweet honeydew melon. Throw in a few fresh mint leaves and you have a refreshing, yummy smoothie perfect for the summer heat.

ElleandVire

I enjoyed this as part of my three-part breakfast (#fattie) but this can easily be transported to a cocktail drink by adding a splash or three of your favourite spirit.

One love,

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Mango-Cucumber Salad w HoneyKist® Habanero Gourmet Honey Vinaigrette

Mango-Cucumber Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 full-sized east-indian mangoes (or your favourite kind), peeled, pitted and cut into 1 in. cubes
  • 1 lb. cucumbers
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsps. HoneyKist®  Habenero-flavoured honey
  • 1 tbsp. smoked black sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp. sliced almonds

cubed mangoes

Method:

  1. Peel cucumber in alternating stripes lengthwise. Cut in half lengthwise and slice into ¼ pieces.
  2. In a salad bowl combine cucumbers and mango.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk honey and red wine vinegar to form a light vinaigrette. Drizzle over mango and cucumbers.
  4. Top with almond slices and sesame seeds.

cucumber and honey

This medley of bold Caribbean flavours and contrasting textures will surely leave your tastebuds in awe. Sun-ripened, naturally sweet east indian mangoes paired with refreshing, half moons of crisp cucumber slices drizzled with a light vinaigrette of tangy red wine vinegar and sweet and spicy habanero-infused honey really wakes up the tongue. For even more flavour and texture contrasts, this salad is finished to perfection with crunchy almond slices and smoked black sesame seeds. A-MAZE-BALLS!

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Eat healthy,

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mango-cucumber salad plated