This year is probably no exception. I was cleaning up today, and I came across my "March break" list from 2012. They're kind of like resolutions, but more like things I've been wanting to do, but haven't got around to doing. Writing them down always finalizes things for me, so I figure if I write it down, it's more likely that I'll get it done.
Let's see what was on my March break list from last year: bake a real fruit pie (yes: the "real" was underlined, although I'm not sure what I meant at the time), complete 3-4 more parts of my LSQ course (that's la langues des signes quebecoise), write down the books I have read, write more, read more, listen to the radio more, eat more raw vegetables.
That last one sticks out for me. Eat more raw vegetables. While I love stirring chopped spinach, kale and swiss chard into my soups, using tonnes of cauliflower in my veggie curries, and roasting sweet red peppers and zucchini, I confess that raw veggies were not a huge part of my life. I'm proud to say that I ate more than my weight in raw cucumbers this years, bought at least one head of lettuce a week during the summer, and continue to add grated carrots and chopped celery to my every day lunch. Eating more raw veggies wasn't that hard! Score!
However, it is harder to get psyched about raw vegetables in the winter when everyone is blogging about comforting soups, stews and pot pies. But, I've found a dip that so tangy and yummy and addictive, that I promise you won't be able to put down the carrot sticks. It's a very simple dip, made creamy with white beans, and deliciously tangy with the addition of marinated artichokes and a good dose of lemon. Oh yeah -- and it's also PERFECT to bring to your New Year's eve party, and if you've already eaten your year's share of carrot sticks, try these delicious homemade crackers. I jazzed mine up by adding Swiss cheese and dried cranberries.
Have an amazing start to 2013! Any suggestions on what I should put on my 2013 March break list?
Veggilicious White Bean Dip
adapted from Sweet Roots
1/2 cup of dried white kidney beans (soaked in cold water overnight); alternatively you can just use one 15 oz can, drained and rinsed
1/2 bunch of spinach
1 3oz jar of marinated artichokes, drained
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of herbes de Provence
a good grinding of black pepper
salt to taste (you may not need any if you're using canned beans)
juice of half a lemon
1. Boil the soaked beans in water for 25-30 minutes, or until they are super tender. Drain and rinse. Set aside.
2. In a small pot, heat the olive oil and cook the garlic for about 1 minute, or until it starts getting soft and fragrant. Add the spinach and stir well.
3. Add the beans, artichokes, sesame seeds and seasonings. Give it a good stir. Cook until the spinach is fully wilted.
4. Remove the pot from the heat. Using a hand blender, carefully blend up your mixture until it's nice and creamy. Alternatively, you could use mini chopper. Stir in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
5. Serve warm, cold or at room temperature. It's delicious all ways!