Tag Archives: dips

Recipe: Roasted Cashew & Red Pepper Spread

Roasted Cashew & Red Pepper Spread | IPOM

So it is totally worth saying that I am having a cashew moment of late. And of course, here is another cashew recipe!

I’m not sure if it is all my vegan readers and blogging friends that are re-igniting my fondness for creating yummy goodies from this nut, but either way, I’m happy to be here, enjoying the fun that comes with working with this great transitional ingredient for those looking to wean (just a little or a lot) of dairy from their diets.

Yup, cashews. They are pretty rad.

As many of you already know, the cashew is a very natural stand in for recipes requiring the richness, texture, and taste of dairy. For anyone wanting to reduce or eliminate milk and milk products from their diet, this is such a wonderful ingredient to cozy up and get familiar with.

Roasted Cashew & Red Pepper Spread | IPOM

Cashews can just be used in so many ways (but you guys know that already, right?)! To make cream, cheese sauce, dinner, as a topping for a healthy salad, as salad dressing, and today in a luscious spread for everything from burgers to sandwiches to pizza.

Cashews are not cheap as far as nuts go (not too many nuts are anymore), but pound for pound they might not actually be all that far off the price of good organic dairy. So while moderation is always key for any rich food (plant-based or not), it is prudent to also keep that in mind when adopting cashews for use as a dairy substitute in the kitchen.

Less is usually more, and that is certainly the case for this rich and flavorful spread, but the beauty part here is this dip is largely made of peppers. Roasted to perfection first, of course!

Roasted Cashew & Red Pepper Spread | IPOM

The Less:

Less dairy and egg-based spreads means less cholesterol and reliance on animal fats for fuel. Fewer ingredients in your food means easier work of collecting and knowing them. Less pre-made and pre-packaged sauces and spreads means less waste, cost, and (potential) bad karma, so serving up appies and spreads comes cheap & healthy.

The More:

More red peppers in your food means more color and fresh vitamins. More cashews in place of dairy means more plant based alternatives. More reasons to eat plant-based means you’ll never miss your old favorites, even if you still think you might πŸ™‚

Roasted Cashew & Red Pepper Spread | IPOM

Roasted Cashew & Red Pepper Spread:

  • (1/3) cup cashews, roasted
  • (2) red peppers, roasted, peeled & seeded
  • (2) tsp fresh lemon juice
  • (1/4) cup fresh parsley
  • (1/3) cup olive oil
  • (1/2) tsp salt
  • (1) small clove garlic (optional)

Start by roasting the peppers. To prepare, wash & slice the peppers each in halves lengthwise and place (seed side down) on a flat cookie sheet (no need for oil). Turn the oven on to broil and broil the peppers until black and blistered (and smelling wonderful) – about 15 minutes or so. Once ready, carefully remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Next, turn the already hot oven to 350 degrees. Spread the cashews on a flat baking tray and place in the oven. Roast to a light brown color and until just fragrant and remove from the oven to cool, about 8-10 minutes.

Prepare the lemon juice, parsley, salt, oil & garlic (if using) and add to the blender along with the still-warm cashews.

To prepare the roasted and cooled peppers for blending, wait until they are cool enough to handle with your hands, then simply remove the skins, stems, and the seeds with your hands and add the pepper flesh to the blender. Blend all of the ingredients together until perfectly smooth. Transfer to a clean jar or container and allow to cool before serving. Kept in the fridge, this delicious spread will keep for well up to a week.

Roasted Cashew & Red Pepper Spread | IPOM

Use this beauty as a substitute for mayonnaise in sandwiches and in burgers, or as a dip for raw celery or Belgian endive leaves.

There are numerous uses for this dip, and I enjoyed it several times slathered over the latest version of chickpea flat bread I’ve been making – topped with chopped fresh tomatoes and thyme roasted red onions. Pretty darned awesome any day of the week if you ask me, and even the teenager was pretty impressed. Win!

Roasted Cashew & Red Pepper Spread | IPOM

As a quick update on my week, we cooked tons of vegan food last night with another enthusiastic group of kids, and afterwards enjoyed a much needed drink and celebration as we look to our plans for the New Year!Β  The NSF website is being built as we speak and I’ll be hoping to share a little project we’ve been working on this year rather soon.

For now, I’m doing a little dance as we get closer to Christmas, and am looking forward to a lighter load under the tree (that will be lit up tonight!) this year (don’t tell anyone but I’ve yet to buy a present).

  • Are any of you planning a less is more Christmas?
  • What is your favorite part of the Holiday season?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic as we get closer to the big day. Thanks for being you (all of you), and I’m looking forward to getting caught up on my blog reading this week, I am hoping each and every one of you is well πŸ™‚

Yours in Less,

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Filed under Food, Gluten Free, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Savory, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Recipe: White Kidney Bean Dip with Herbs & Artichokes

It is always so good to be home!

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.

~ Henry Miller

Hello bloggers!

I am rather excited to report that I made it through another few days of (fun) work travel and am home safe and sound!

It has been a busy little spring here (for me and my little trips) and I am quite content to put my feet up for the next little while and rest until the ‘big trip’ comes around in August.

I wish I could report that the weather was swell here at home, but the truth is it is just so-so (it’s sunny out as I write though!).

So while I pine for (just a little) sun, I’ll share with you this yummy dip that we’ve been enjoying, most recently on our Mother’s Day picnic (yes…a sunny warm meal outdoors!) *sigh*…

Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

~ Marthe Troly-Curtin

As you all may know, I enjoy finding many a use for green veggies like kale, and this dip offers another chance to use up this powerfully nutritious green.

Along with fresh herbs, the easy to use and ever tasty artichokes, and (always) good quality olive oil, lemon, garlic, and (just a little) of your love – this 100% vegan dip is an elegantly pleasant surprise!

So if you’ve got a bag of dried white kidneys, or a can or two hanging around the pantry, this is a fabulous way to enjoy their creamy texture and taste that serves as a base for many a lively addition.

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.

Β  ~ Dalai Lama XIV

The Less:

Less dairy-based dips means more plant-based clean eating. Less store bought or prepared foods means more fresh easy ingredients. Fewer ruts in your repertoire means things will always stay fresh, and what’s better than freshness in life?

The More:

More high fiber bean dishes means more tasty ways to fill up faster. More fresh greens to incorporate means more reasons to always stock them. More fresh dips on hand means less tempting for calories elsewhere, so you can enjoy more of the good stuff, more often.

White Kidney Bean Dip with Herbs & Artichokes:

  • (3) cups cooked white kidney beans (navy beans will do in a pinch)
  • (1/2) cup cashews, soaked in water for 4 hours (you can also use them straight up)
  • (1) can artichokes (398 ml, about 5 each)
  • (1) cup chopped green curly kale
  • (1/2) cup fresh lemon juice
  • (1/2) cup good quality olive oil
  • (2-3) cloves of fresh garlic, peeled & roughly chopped
  • (3) heaping teaspoons capers
  • (1) tbsp fresh rosemary leaves removes from the stem & chopped (about 2-3 stems)
  • (2) tbsp fresh thyme leaves, removed from the stem
  • (1) tsp salt (more to taste)

Combine all ingredients on a blender or food processor, and pulse blend until creamy and well combined. You can’t over blend this one so let is really go!

Once ready, transfer to a container or serving bowl and chill. This tangy dip will keep for a while in the fridge, at least a week, and goes well with all breads, crackers, and fresh crisp vegetables (it’s super delicious with crisp romaine leaves).

This recipe makes a generous portion, so if you aren’t feeding a large group, or don’t want to eat it all week, consider halving the recipe.

If you do make the whole thing – plan to eat this for a few days! The nice thing is there are so many ways…..and it is pretty yummy πŸ™‚

If you have trouble peeling garlic, here is a good little tip (I am sure many of you do this already):

Start with good garlic. But organic if you can and local garlic is even better. Separate the cloves you need from the bulb.

Using a sharp knife, place the side of the knife on top of the garlic clove you are about to peel. Using all of your weight, push down on the knife and the garlic and crush the clove with the side of the heavy knife blade.

The peel will slip right off! Voila!

Of course I served this a few times in the last while for guests, and on this gloriously sunny picnic.

It’s also superb on warm toast with tomato.

The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.

~ Mark Twain

However you choose to enjoy it, I suspect this will be a hit!

Even the hubby liked it and kept going back for more. I didn’t tell him it was full of kale or capers..because there really was no need πŸ™‚

Where there is love there is life.

~ Mahatma Gandhi

I hope you enjoy this one as much as we did!

  • What is your favorite summer dip?
  • Do you ever use white kidney beans?

Next up, I’ll share with you all (as promised!) the progress we’ve made on our plans for NSF…we are working on a menu for a special event coming up and getting ready to roll out our new look!

Carla and Chris started something special with their 40 day fast, and I am grateful for their efforts and contribution – I hope you will be as pleased to meet them as I am to know them.

Have a fabulous week my friends – I am wondering if anyone got inspired to purge their closet from the last post? I loved all of your comments…and am so glad to hear I am not the only one out there who is benefiting from letting go!

We would love to hear from you, and hope you are all having a swell week, wherever you are, and no matter the weather πŸ™‚

Yours in Less,


Filed under Cashews, Cooking, Food, Gluten Free, Nut Recipes, Photography, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Savory, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Recipe: Super Ace Artichoke & Sunflower Spread

Anyone for a little dip with friends?

The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook.

~ William Jame

Hello super fabulous IPOM readers and friends!

Today’s post is dedicated to new friends and old, those who support us through all the tough times in life.

Those who believe in us, and see something in us that makes them want to hang with us (or just eat our delicious food, I am totally fine with either or both).

Friendships are special, as folks are busy and time is tight. Friends kind of make this girl’s world go ’round and I love any chance to win someone over.

What better way to do that than with super homemade food?

A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds

~ Francis Bacon

This recipe was recently inspired by the creamy texture of canned artichoke hearts. Blended together with a few winners like the protein-loaded sunflower seed and made rich & sophisticated by the addition of roasted pepper, this spread is dressed to impress – it can be made totally vegan as the cheese is optional – and is full of delicious and healthy ingredients!

The Less:

Less store-bought dips means less wasteful containers and high cost for not a whole lot. Less additives for preserving means leaner nutrition and straight up satisfaction. Less high fat, high sodium dips mean you can eat without guilt, especially if you pair this with fresh veggies or bread instead of chips.

The More:

More seeds in place of nuts means those with nut allergies are in the clear with this one – same for those who don’t tolerate beans! More fresh veggies hidden in your snacks means added vitamins without really trying. More protein packed goodness means you win with real fuel, so you can get out there and do what you do best.

Super Ace Artichoke & Sunflower Spread:

  • (1) cup raw sunflower seeds
  • (2/3) cup olive oil
  • (1) clove garlic
  • (1) tsp salt
  • (1) tbsp fresh thyme
  • (1/2) bunch chives (about 2 tbsp)
  • (1) red pepper, roasted, charred and peeled
  • (4) tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • (1) 398 ml can un-marinated artichoke hearts (5 each)
  • (1/4) cup good parmesan cheese (totally optional!)

Begin by roasting the red pepper – this is so easy and fun! Turn the oven on to broil and prepare the pepper by washing it and slicing it in half (no need to do anything else!). Without any oil, add the pepper halves, seed side down, to a flat cookie sheet and pop into the hot oven, on the second rack from the top.

The pepper will start to char in the skin after 10 minutes or so – keep roasting under the broiler for 25 minutes or so until the skin is black and has popped off the flesh. Your pepper should begin to smell wonderful too at the finish of this process – enjoy!

Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cool, remove the skins, the top, and the seeds with your hands. They will just fall off easily as the pepper will be well cooked and ready to use!

Next, toast (or roast) about a 1/3 of the sunflower seeds either in the warm oven for a few minutes or in a dry skillet on the stove top. Add the remaining raw seeds to your blender along with the lemon juice, chives, thyme leaves, garlic, and the roasted pepper flesh.

Drain the artichokes and save the liquid from the can. Add artichokes to the blender along with the oil, salt, and optional cheese.

Once the seeds are toasted perfectly, add them (still warm) to the mixture.

Blend all on a pulse blend and stop here and there to agitate the mixture with a spatula or wooden spoon. Do not do what I do and put it in while it runs! Ooooops!

Blend until thick and well incorporated, using additional artichoke water if you need to facilitate better blending. Transfer to your favorite container (this recipe makes a generous amount) and refrigerate.

This will keep at least 5 days in the fridge and makes a generous portion!

Happiness resides not in the possessions and not in gold; the feeling of happiness dwells in the soul.

~ Democritus

Enjoy this yummy spread as a base for your next sandwich, as a dip for your next celery snack attack, or to start an evening or gathering with friends and family off on the right foot!

We enjoyed this week with a bit of broiled toast – just drizzle a few pieces of old toast with olive oil and pop under the broiler until brown. Another great way to jazz up stale bread!

However you choose to enjoy it, do it well, do it with friends or loved ones, and enjoy!

I am grateful for friends and family everyday.

So I like to feed them well. A good bite of food and a nice drink can really set the tone for great conversations and connections that don’t just come along any old day.

A priceless look at the inner workings of a 7 year old (not mine)....what are you good at?

On a slightly different note, I was touched by strolling the hallways of my daughter’s elementary school this week…here is a little snippet of the artwork that caught my eye (and jabbed at my heart).

It’s not everyday that we celebrate the little things like thinking, is it?

I’ll be sharing more of this in my next post.

  • What’s your secret to a great friendship?
  • Got a favorite dip to share?

I’ll be toting this delicious spread to parties of all kinds this year – it disappeared in all of about 15 seconds at my office this week, at 9 am! There were more than a few garlicky phone calls and convos floating around after that…

I hope you all have a Super Ace day – let us know how your week is going, will you?

“I get by with a little help from my friends.”

~ John Lennon

I love to hear from friends, and whether you eat what I put in front of you (in person), or make one of these recipes in a country on an entirely different day and time zone, it’s all the same to me:

Super Ace and Super Awesome.

And that’s no lie πŸ™‚

Yours in Less,


Filed under Cooking, Food, Gluten Free, Photography, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Savory, Snacks, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian