Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Chicko Pinto Salad

It's getting warmer so finding hearty side for dinner that doesn't involve turning the oven on is always a good idea.  I woke up craving my Mom's "3 Bean Salad" to have with our veggie burgers.  I combined a few different recipes that I have done in the past and then added my own twist with the Feta.  Full disclosure:  After a few months of disappointing "jalapeno heat" I didn't taste test the one I brought home today.  It ended up being a little spicier than expected - but not too spicy that the salad couldn't be enjoyed.  I found some left-over Feta from something I made over the weekend and realized that adding it would balance out the heat.

1 can chick peas, rinsed and drained
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 ribs celery, chopped to size of beans
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped to size of beans
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped to size of beans
1/2 of a red onion, diced
juice of half a lime
4 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 jalapeno, diced
1/3 cup crumbled Feta cheese

  1. Mix everything in a bowl then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Let it sit in the fridge for, at least, 4 hours.
  3. Give the salad a good stir and add more salt and pepper or lime juice, if needed, before serving.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Quick Dip #1: White Bean & Garlic

We love dips!  Any kind of dip.  Red, green, white, taupe, purple - if you dip something in it: bring it on!  We especially love the ones that can be made in under 5 minutes.  Homemade hummus is great - and not hard at all to make - but I end up spending 15 minutes wrestling with a half-empty jar of Tahini plus I get oily fingerprints EVERYWHERE.  So I am always on the lookout for quick and flavorful dips - with minimal cleanup.  A snack so fast you can start and finish it during a commercial break during the game.

Many weeks either my wife or myself will cut up A LOT of veggies and put them in a large Tupperware container in the fridge.  Having "dippers" pre-prepared encourages us to make a quick dip and skip the chips and Cheez-Its.


1 15 oz can Cannellini Bean, drained and rinsed
3 cloves garlic, chopped or not chopped - it's going into a food processor regardless
juice of half a lemon (or more to taste)
1/8 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 or more teaspoons of whatever fresh herb you have on hand, finely chopped*
3 tablespoons water (or more)
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of white pepper

  1. For this I used 1 teaspoon each of fresh sage and fresh summer savory.  Chop your herbs now!
  2. Put all ingredients into a food processor and WHIP it up.
  3. If it is too thick for your taste add another tablespoon of water and WHIP it again.
  4. Serve with a platter of cut veggies or pita or tortillas.
You can also use this as a spread on a baguette and then top with freshly grilled veggies for a great summery open-faced style sandwich.

Try this using roasted garlic!

* I like using two different herbs.  One teaspoon of each.  It really doesn't matter what the combo.  Experiment.  You'd be surprised that there is no wrong combination.  Mint and dill never bonded so gracefully!

VARIATION #1: Rosemary-Roasted Garlic White Bean Dip

Use four or five cloves of roasted garlic, a tablespoon of fresh (minced) rosemary and a few tablespoons of grated parmesan.  This variation is NOT vegan.