Walnut Red Pepper Dip

IMG_06044

Is it me, or sometimes do you just make a recipe that you just know you can always get along with?  Like… you make it and eat it and just think that you can have this every day forever and not get sick of it?!

Maybe it’s me, but if you don’t know what this feels like, well you just haven’t tried this recipe yet.  I’ve already made it twice this month and I’m making it again this weekend.  It’s that good.

This Dip was something I wanted to try as a “healthy” option for a few things i made for our NYE party this year.  It was the first thing to go… it is SO SO yummy.  I’ll be making it again for the Puppy Bowl Superbowl and think you should too!

Here’s the recipe for all of my friends who have been bugging me all month 🙂

Walnut Red Pepper Dip

Ingredients:
2 cups Raw Walnuts (pieces or whatever is cheaper)
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
1 jar (12 oz.) Roasted Red Peppers, rinsed and drained
1 Garlic Clove, minced
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Lemon Juice

Directions:
1. Pulse walnuts, cumin, sugar, and salt in a food processor until walnuts are finely ground.
2. Add peppers, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice, process until smooth.
3. Serve with veggies, crackers, chips, or even slices of crusty bread.

Recipe slightly adapted from:  Cooking Light 

Crush those nuts! :)

Crush those nuts! 🙂

IMG_0602

IMG_0604

This dip has been delicious on just about everything I’ve put it on!  I have been buying the walnuts from Trader Joe’s, which the only options are for raw walnuts, but it would be just as good if you have roasted walnuts.  Also, since you’re pulverizing the nuts, don’t spend extra money on getting the whole ones either.

ENJOY!

Red Pepper Walnut Relish : BA Cleanse 2014

relish.jpg

It’s time to take a hop in the time machine and go back a few months to the beginning of 2014.  Remember when Dave and I did the Bon Appetit cleanse?  We started the year off with two weeks of this awesome cleanse which gave us guidelines AND recipes to follow for every meal plus snacks for every day of the cleanse.  It was awesome.  I actually sorta miss it!

I wanted to share this recipe from the cleanse with you because I love how versatile it is.  You can really use it in so many ways, as we did during our cleanse.  We used this relish on chicken (seen below), on scrambled eggs, roasted tofu, and even by itself as a snack.  It definitely felt good using a topping that was homemade and not store bought.  Yay!

Red Pepper Walnut Relish

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup Walnuts
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers (1lb)
  • 1 clove Garlic, grated
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Mint, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) Aleppo Pepper* or ½ teaspoon Hot Smoked Paprika 
  • ½ teaspoon (or more) fresh Lemon Juice
  • ½ teaspoon Pomegranate Molasses** or Balsamic Vinegar
  • Kosher Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until fragrant and slightly darker, 8–10 minutes. Let cool; coarsely chop.  DO NOT BURN!!  (I had to re-do this step THREE times lol)
  2. Heat broiler. Broil bell peppers on a rimmed baking sheet, turning occasionally, until softened and skins are blackened in spots, 20–25 minutes. Transfer bell peppers to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap (or a brown paper bag), and let steam 15 minutes. Peel peppers, seed, and chop.
  3. Toss bell peppers, garlic, mint, oil, Aleppo pepper, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, and walnuts in a small bowl; season with salt, black pepper, and more Aleppo pepper and lemon juice, if desired.
  4. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.

*Aleppo Pepper is a great spice to have handy.  See if you can find it at Whole Foods or another spice market

**Pomegranate Molasses can be found at most grocery stores, just ask someone where it is.  This is a great item to have for other mediterranean recipes.  It’s delicious.

This relish can be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator for a week.

Recipe from:  Bon Appetit 2014

photo

The relish was such a delicious topping on this chicken recipe from the cleanse.  It adds a super flavorful punch and a really nice crunchy texture too.  I love the flavor that is brought to the table by the pomegranate molasses.  You can absolutely taste it and I totally recommend going out and buying it even if it’s just for this.

If you’re wondering what that gorgeous lookin’ side of white beans is, you can read about it here.  These are just a few of the recipes from the cleanse… pretty awesome right?

You can find a few of my favorite cleanse recipes here…

Multigrain Hot Cereal w/ Pomegranate & Crunch

Multigrain Hot Cereal w/ Pomegranate & Crunch

Avocado Smoothie

Avocado Smoothie

Spiced Cashew Crunch

Spiced Cashew Crunch

Easy Whipped Feta

Lately I’ve been trying to “jazz up” our week night dinners.  I’ll either try a new interesting recipe… bake some beer bread… or in this case whip up some, well, whipped feta!

I was inspired to make this simple side from one of my all-time favorite bloggers, Jessica from How Sweet It Is (…to be loved by you!  Go ahead, sing the song… you know you were already doing it in your head) who had me drooling at her post about it a few weeks ago.

The recipe is so simple, there is hardly any room for adjustments… except instead of using real whipped cream cheese, I decided to try out my new obsession:  Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese.  It is a combination of Cream Cheese and Greek Yogurt, creating a new product higher in protein and lower in fat than typical cream cheese.  LOVE.  We tried it for the first time this weekend spread over some toast and it is just so good.  I’m a convert.

Highly recommended people!

Highly recommended people!

Well, see for yourself and try this one out… Greek Cream Cheese or not… it’s going to WOW you!

Whipped Feta

Recipe slightly adapted from:  How Sweet It Is

Ingredients:

8 oz Feta, crumbled

3-4 oz Whipped Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese (or reg. whipped!)

Optional: Olive Oil, Parsley, Red Pepper Flakes, Italian or Greek Seasoning, etc.

Directions:

1.  Toss the crumbled feta into a food processor and blend until the pieces are very small.  Add cream cheese.  Blend for another 3-5 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed.  

2.  Serve with a sliced baguette & the optional garnish I suggested, roasted tomatoes, garlic, or really anything!

The whipped feta is awesome.  I served this alongside an Italian meal I cooked for friends (Chicken Parm, WW Pasta, Green Beans) with some sliced baguette and topped with a tiny drizzle of EVOO, parsley, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning.

Soooo yummy.
Soooo yummy.
Close-Up!

Close-Up!

The whipped feta and roasted grape tomatoes were an A+ combination.

The whipped feta and roasted grape tomatoes were an A+ combination.

The only hiccup in this recipe for ME personally, is that my “food processor” is just an attachment to my juicer, which is on it’s way out I’m sorry to say :(.  Halfway through my blending, the motor stopped running so I had to be happy with the consistency I was left with after about 2 minutes (stopping and scraping maybe 5-6 times.).  It was still fabulous, but I’d love to make this again and do it even more whipped.

Some other “Cheesy” Recipes to spice up your weeknight menu:

Jalapeno Cheddar Beer Bread

Jalapeno Cheddar Beer Bread

Blue Cheese Spinach Orzo

Blue Cheese Spinach Orzo

Southwest Chicken Melts w/ Roasted Poblanos & Avocado

Southwest Chicken Melts w/ Roasted Poblanos & Avocado

 

 

Pumpkin Hummus

So, like… OMG.  Why did I not try this before?!  If you’re looking for a new hummus recipe or just something fun to bring into your Fall-Season appetizer repertoire… look no further.

You won’t believe how long it took me to find a can of Pumpkin at Wegmans this week.  I looked everywhere without success, and even the person checking me out didn’t know where it was.  Why aren’t cans and cans of pumpkin on display next to some cranberry sauce?  Thanksgiving didn’t even happen yet!!!!  At least at our Wegmans (Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, Giant, and others too…) they have moved on from Thanksgiving 2 weeks prior and are already focused on Christmas.  REALLY?!

If you’re like me and are still in a super Pumkin-ey mood… you’re welcome.  This recipe is bomb.   Also, if you like my first Hummus Recipe (also my most “pinned” recipe on Pinterest), you’re going to love this one too.

Pumpkin Hummus

Recipe Adapted from: Cooking Light 

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons Tahini

2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice

1 teaspoon Cumin

1 teaspoon Sunflower Seed Oil (or Olive Oil!)

1/2-3/4 teaspoon Sea Salt

1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (I used closer to 1/4 teaspoon)

1 15-oz can Pumpkin (NOT PUMPKIN PIE MIX!)

1 teaspoon Minced Garlic

2 Tablespoons Fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley, chopped

1 Tablespoon Raw Pumpkin Seeds (shelled)

Crackers, Chips, or Whole Wheat Pita for dipping (or just a spoon!!)

Directions:  

1.  Put the first eight ingredients into a food processor or blender (tahini through garlic).  Blend until smooth. 

2.  Add chopped parsley and blend until it’s just mixed in completely.

3.  Sprinkle with Pumpkin Seeds and extra Parsley.  

Note:  Hummus is always better a few hours after making it, so if you can, refrigerate before topping and enjoy in a little while! 

How cute are those measuring spoons?

That’s all! SO easy!

 

 

Dave, Donny, and I devoured the entire batch of this Pumpkin Hummus while we were cooking and preparing for Friendsgiving.  The hummus is just pumpkin-ey enough to notice but the spice from the cayenne brings it in a totally different direction than your typical pumpkin dish.

This recipe is also so easy.  Like, you just throw everything in the food processor and it’s done!  Why would you EVER need to buy hummus again?!  I don’t!!

Sriracha-Tomato Jam

OMG!!! OMGOMGOMGOMG!!  I LOVE this recipe!!!!  

I found this recipe not too long ago from one of my favorite bloggers, Gabi who writes a really great blog called Broke-Ass Gourmet.  I’ve had it saved for a while now and have been dying to make it.  I’m sooooo glad I did… it turned out awesome.  I have a feeling I’ll be making it again very soon once my certain someone comes home from Vancouver!

MMM!

Sriracha-Tomato Jam

A Recipe by:  BrokeAss Gourmet

Ingredients:

2lbs Ripe Jersey Tomatoes

½ Medium Onion, finely chopped

2/3 Cup Honey

1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

3 teaspoons or more Sriracha

½ teaspoon Salt

Fresh Black Pepper

Directions:

1.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Carefully drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for about 15-30 seconds.  Remove with a slotted spoon.  Put into a different bowl in the sink and rinse with cool water so it’s easier to handle.  Slip the skin of the tomato off (Gabi reassured us it would come right off and they definitely do!).  Core, seed, and chop.

2.  Dump the hot water out of the large pot and add the chopped tomatoes, onion, honey, balsamic vinegar, Sriracha, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer for an hour or until there isn’t much liquid left.  Stir a few times to check on it.

Hot Hot Hot!!!  When I tried this on a cracker once it was done and a little bit cool, it was so F****** spicy!  I immediately regretted “ruining” another recipe trying to be tough and make things extra-spicy.  I used 4.5 teaspoons of Sriracha instead of 3… oye vey!

I was so happy the next day to taste it again and see that the heat definitely backed off since I had first made it.  It is spicy, for sure… but not only is it “edible” now… but it is FANTASTIC.

I have only eaten this spread on crackers so far, but I plan on making us some kind of fancy grilled cheese when Dave gets home.  I loved this and it was SO easy.

Thank you Gabi!!!

Peeling the tomatoes was a little bit creepy to me but I DID IT!

Everything goes into the pot at the same time. Couldn’t get much easier than that!

Here’s what it looked like when it was done.

Do you like the old-school Jelly Jar I used? I need to double the recipe and pick up some Mason Jars…. hmmmm