Friday, June 5, 2009

Bean dip - accidental

As some of you may know I have high cholesterol which I'm trying to control by changing my diet rather than using pills. Beans and legumes are really good at reducing cholesterol because they are high in fibre and low in fat, so I started adding more beans to my diet. I buy dried beans and cook them up every week. I leave them in the fridge and add a hand full to my salads. I tried this with white canellini beans...

They are unlike the other beans in that they cooked much faster and were really mushy. Not at all suitable for salads. But now what, I didn't want soup, it's really too hot now. So to the Internet I went and found a bunch of recipes for white bean dip. Excellent!

This now brings me to the second part of my story. Did I mention that I like to have a glass of wine now and again? Well I do, but I can't drink on an empty stomach so I usually have cheese, crackers, pate, salami or some other type of high fat, high cholesterol snack, that's what got me into trouble! But.. Ever tried a raw veggie and dip platter with wine? It's ok but...cheese and crackers are so much nicer.

Enter the white bean dip, it's excellent on crackers and with a nice glass of wine. It's not necessarily low in fat because it does take quite a bit of olive oil but it has 0 cholesterol and it's not something I eat every day, nor do I drink wine every day, really...

This a general how to recipe, I don't have exact amounts because..well I came upon it by accident and I had to improvise.

Soak white cannellini beans overnight in lots of cold water.

Then boil them gently until cooked, about 45 minutes but check for doness before that. Take a bean out of the pot and squish it with your thumb, if it's hard in the middle, keep cooking.

Process the beans in a food processor with chopped garlic, parsley. lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and chili flakes. I had about 4 cups of cooked beans and added (about) 1/2 cup of chopped parsley, 1/2 cup of lemon juice, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 4 cloves of garlic, 1 tspn of chili flakes, 1 tsp of salt and some pepper. You may need to add more oil or lemon to get the beans to a dip, I chose to add more lemon juice but it's up to you, just taste and amend as you go. Remember that the dip is much stronger after it sits for a few hours.

Then head out to your favorite shady spot, the cherry tree for me, and enjoy.

Off to the cabin..have a great weekend everyone.



scrappy quilter said...

Oooh that looks interesting. We are doing way more bean eating too and experimenting. Have a wonderful weekend.

SuburbanGardener said...

Margaret, It's always nice when there's a happy ending. Turn lemons into lemonade, right? Your garden, I must admit, made me feel a little envious. It is beautiful. Well organized. Growing very nicely. I look forward to future updates. :)