Black Bean Dip with Tahini

This is a fabulous creamy black bean dip for a party! 

[Disclosure: Sesame King sent me samples of the tahini paste. But I was not paid for this recipe, I just used the product. Opinions are always mine. #sample.]

Start with a can of black beans or with fresh cooked black beans. First add some flavor to the black beans by heating them in a pan with some spices. Chop tomato, garlic cloves, and onions and add to the black beans. Season with salt and black pepper. Add fresh herbs such as cilantro or parsley.  Read more

Gazpacho a shot of antioxidants

This is a healthy and refreshing recipe from Spain. It is fabulous as an appetizer for a party. It is my favorite dish when there is an abundance of tomatoes from the garden at the end of summer. This is my second gazpacho recipe that I have on my site. My first recipe  yields a lot more liquid while this one is thicker and has crunchier tasty bites. Feel free to adapt this gazpacho recipe to your taste.  
gazpacho
Read more

Spicy Greek Yogurt Dip for Vegetables

Chobani Greek Yogurt
Greek Yogurt Dip with Chipotle

This dip is made with Greek yogurt! The taste and calories are lighter using Greek yogurt than using a mayonnaise or cream based dip. Plus, you will get a quick protein boost because Greek yogurt has more protein than regular yogurt. What better way to enjoy a dip without feeling the guilt. The flavor of the chipotle sauce gives you the right kick to start your party anytime. It is an easy recipe of three ingredients. All you need is cut up vegetables to serve.

In a blender add a cup of Chobani non-fat plain Greek Yogurt with half can of chipotle chile sauce and ½ cup of any salsa. Blend and serve with fresh veggies.

Recipe adapted from: http://www.chobani.com/culture/recipes/chipotle-dip/.

Nutrition info for 6 servings: 35 calories, 0g total fat, saturated fat 0g, trans fat 0g, 0 mg of cholesterol, 330 mg sodium, 4 grams of carbohydrates, 0 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugars, 4 g protein.

Traditional granola bars

I love making granola to add in yogurt and this is about the same recipe. I have made it with wheat germ or golden raisins. It can make 10 bars.

2 ½ cups of oats
½ cup shredded coconut flakes, unsweetened
¼ c brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ cup nuts in pieces (almonds, walnuts or pistachios)
¼ cup dried fruit (cranberries or raisins)
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup semi sweet chocolate chips of any flavor
¼ cup oil (vegetable)
¼ cup maple syrup or honey
½ tsp salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8×8 inch baking dish. If you have parchment paper, cut to fit the pan with overhangs to make it easier to lift and spread butter evenly. Combine oats, coconut flakes, brown sugar, cinnamon, nuts, dried fruit, sunflower seeds, and chocolate chips in a large bowl. In another bowl whisk the oil, honey or maple syrup, salt, and vanilla extract. Add the oil mixture into the oats bowl and mix well. Place in the baking dish, and press the mixture into the pan with a hard spatula and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely for a few hours and then cut into bars.

You can cut them smaller for snack bite size pieces. If you cut into 10 bars it contains: 290 calories, 15 g total fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg dietary cholesterol, 36 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 19 g sugar, 5 g protein, 120mg sodium.

Easy Hummus

A can of garbanzo beans can make a delicious dip for your snack or for a tasty appetizer. Serve with fresh cut up vegetables or simply with tortilla or pita chips. Place everything in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Usually tahini paste is used but I don’t have it so peanut butter can give it the same consistency. It will be ready to serve or store in the fridge until the party start. Salud!

1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp peanut butter
1/8 Cayenne pepper or to taste
Ground sea salt to taste

This recipe makes about 1.5 cups. Nutrition information for 2 tablespoons: 80 calories, 6 grams total fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 280mg sodium, 6grams carbohydrates, 1gram dietary fiber, 1gram sugar, 2grams protein.

Popcorn

One cup of air popped popcorn has 31 calories! Now that is a light but filling snack. If you don’t have a hot air popper machine, just cook it in a pot with some oil (to cover the pan) and a touch of salt. When the oil is hot add the corn (about 1/2 cup) and cover with the lid. When you hear the “pops” start, begin shaking the pot. I usually lower the heat, so that I don’t burn the popcorn. Then, slowly open the lid. Instead of salt, you can add paprika, chili powder, or garlic powder.

Source: USDA nutrition database.

Dip for veggies

Looking for a delicious dip for your chopped vegetables? Try Tzatsiki, a Greek inspired dip that can be made many different ways. Start with plain Greek yogurt. Add salt, white pepper, garlic powder, a little lemon juice and some dill. Seeded and chopped cucumber, bits of toasted onion, crushed garlic and cayenne pepper (which I added to the dip pictured above) can all be added to customize this versatile dip.

The Savory Spice Shop, a Colorado company, makes a blend which is a mixture of spices and herbs that I love because it has a flavor that is similar to ranch dressing. This dip can also be made with sour cream, but with Greek yogurt it is lighter on the palate. Enjoy!