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chevre and raw veggies

Olive Tapenade

Simple, elegant, and healthy.

olive tapenade

Makes 1 cup | Prep time 10 minutes  | Cook time 0 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 tbs. capers
  • 1 tbs. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. In a food processor, with the machine running, drop 1 clove garlic through the feed tube to chop. Gradually add 1 cup pitted kalamata olives, 1 tablespoon capers, and 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves.
  2. Turn off the machine and scrape down the sides, then turn the machine back on and drizzle in 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil.
  3. Transfer to a small bowl. Serve with crackers or these homemade seed-y crackers.

By Robin Asbell: This recipe originally appeared in “How to Create Your Own Charcuterie Board”. 

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Roasted Garlic Cashew “Chèvre” With Crudités

This dairy-free “chèvre” is sure to please all your vegan cheese lovers.

chevre and raw veggies

Makes about 1 cup | Prep time 10 minutes  | Cook time 30 minutes, 24 hours soaking time

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 8 peeled garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon unpasteurized, active apple-cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

  1. Soak 1 cup raw cashews overnight in the refrigerator. Place 8 peeled garlic cloves on a square of aluminum foil and drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, then crimp the foil to make a small, sealed package. Roast at 400 degrees F for about 30 minutes. Let cool, mash, and refrigerate.
  2. Drain and rinse the cashews, then place them in a food processor or blender and purée, adding up to 1/2 cup water a little at a time as needed to make a smooth paste. Blend in 1 teaspoon unpasteurized, active apple-cider vinegar, then transfer to a large canning jar. Cover the jar with a kitchen towel and secure it with a rubber band. Let the purée stand at room temperature for two days until slightly bubbly.
  3. Stir in the mashed garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Serve in a small bowl with veggies for dipping, like carrot or jicama sticks, sliced peppers, or green beans.

By: Robin Asbell. This recipe originally appeared in “How to Create Your Own Charcuterie Board”. 

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UnBEETable Hummus

For a richer flavor and brighter color, try roasting the cubed beet with a small amount of olive oil before adding it to the hummus.

a bowl of UnBEETable Hummus with vegetables

Makes 12 servings | Prep time 10 minutes | Cook time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 large beet, cubed
  • 2 cans garbanzo beans
  • 5 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbs. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Directions

  1. Steam the beet until tender.
  2. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans.
  3. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until a smooth and even consistency forms.
  4. Serve with veggies like carrot or jicama sticks, sliced peppers or cucumbers.

Source: The Life Time Foundation Team

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Caramelized-Onion Dip

Instead of sour cream, this dip uses equal parts goat cheese and full-fat Greek yogurt.

caramelized onion dip

Makes four servings | Prep time 5 minutes | Cook time 2 hours, 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • 3 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 4 oz. chèvre
  • 1/2 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste

Directions

  1. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the onions and stir. Once the onions start to sizzle, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring every 10 minutes, for one hour. Then reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, stirring every 10 minutes, for one more hour. If the onions begin to brown too quickly, reduce the heat or add a few drops of water to the pan. After two hours, they should be golden brown and reduced to about a 1/2 cup.
  2. Place the chèvre in a food processor and process to soften.
  3. Add the onions, yogurt, thyme, lemon juice, and salt, then process again, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until ingredients are combined. If you like a thinner dip, add more yogurt, 1 tablespoon at a time, and process to mix.
  4. Scrape dip into a medium bowl and serve with sliced bell peppers, carrots, celery, radishes, broccoli, or other crunchy vegetables.

By: Robin Asbell. This recipe originally appeared in “5 Game-Day Snacks”. 

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Yucatan Avocado Salsa

This salsa makes a great tortilla chip dip all on its own, or you can use it to dress any grilled or roasted meat, poultry or seafood. Serve with tortillas and plenty of sangria.

a bowl of avocado salsa

Yield 2 generous cups | Prep time 5 minutes | Cook time 0 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 small onion minced very fine
  • 2 Serrano chiles, minced very fine
  • 1/2 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed and quartered
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 3 tbs. fresh chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 tbs. fresh lime juice

Directions

  1. Combine the chiles, onion, salt, garlic, tomatillos and cilantro in a food processor and pulse to puree. Do not over puree. Reserve.
  2. Halve the avocado, remove and discard pit and scoop out the flesh. Discard the skin.
  3. Using a fork, mash the avocado into the pureed sauce with the lime juice.
  4. Season and serve quickly with tortilla or homemade socca chips.

By: Chef Andrew Zimmern. This recipe originally appeared in “Avocado” in the July/August 2006 issue of Experience Life.

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Mushroom Pâté

A nifty vegetarian pâté. If you have vegan guests, simply swap out the cream for unsweetened hempseed milk or coconut milk.

mushroom pate

Makes | about 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced yellow onion
  • 2 tbs. minced shallots
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (cremini, portabella, oyster, or shiitake)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbs. sherry or apple cider
  • 4 tbs. heavy cream

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, and sauté the onion and shallots until light brown. Turn heat to low, add the salt and pepper, and stir occasionally until the onion and shallots are caramelized.
  2. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they have softened and there is not a lot of moisture left in the skillet.
  3. Remove 1/4 cup of the sautéed mushroom mixture and reserve as a garnish.
  4. Add the walnuts, thyme, vinegar, sherry, and cream to the pan with the remaining mushrooms, and cook over low heat for about five minutes.
  5. Cool slightly, then blend in a food processor until smooth.
  6. Press the mushroom pâté into a dish for serving, and top with the reserved sautéed mushrooms.
  7. Chill before serving. Pair with cucumbers

By: Betsy Nelson. This recipe originally appeared in “Celebrate! A Holiday Party Menu”. 

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Spinach Yogurt Dip

This dip is a great alternative to the traditional mayo-heavy versions.

Spinach Yogurt dip with seedy crackers

Makes 12 servings | Prep time 5 minutes  | Cook time 0 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 8 ounces plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 green onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. tamari
  • Freshly ground black pepper or cayenne pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Press the excess moisture out of the drained spinach and mix with remaining ingredients until smooth.
  2. Serve with fresh veggies or almond seed crackers.

By: Betsy Nelson. This recipe originally appeared in “The Hearty Vegetarian”. 

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Lentil Hummus

Use leftover lentils instead of chickpeas to make the creamy Middle Eastern dip.

Lentil Hummus

Makes six servings | Prep time 10 minutes | Cook time 10-20 minutes (based on type of lentils used)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbs. water
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tbs. chopped parsley

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients except the parsley in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth, about a minute. Add a pinch more salt or spritz of lemon to taste.
  2. Transfer to a small bowl and garnish with the parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. (Note: Using red lentils will result in a pale-colored hummus, as shown.)
  3. Serve with an assortment of sliced veggies.

Tip: If you can’t find a Meyer lemon, juice from regular lemons will do. Or mix 2 tablespoons each lemon and orange juice.

By: Rebecca Katz. This recipe originally appeared in “How to Cook Lentils”. 

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Apple Pie Fruit Dip

Don’t forget the fruit! Best served with sliced apples.

a bowl of apple pie fruit dip served with apple slices

Yield 8 servings | Prep time 5 minutes | Cook time 0 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 Medjool dates, pits removed
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 cups plain yogurt

Directions

  1. Blend the dates until a paste forms. Add hot water and continue to blend until smooth.
  2. Fold the date syrup and remaining ingredients into the yogurt until well mixed.
  3. Serve with sliced apples

Source: The Life Time Foundation Team

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