Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Vegetable Dip - Roasted - Mixed with Hommus and Goat Cheese

My Vegetable Dip

Inspired by an appetizer served in a local restaurant, I created my own version of roasting vegetables and combining them with plain hommus and French goat cheese. Wow, this took a dip to a much higher, complex level.

Definitely not boring and very healthy served with cut fresh vegetables and a hearty chip or toasted whole grain bread slices. Impress yourself with a nutritious snack or appetizer.

Optional: Save even more time in preparing this dip by purchasing roasted red peppers or eggplant from your supermarket or specialty food store.

What you will need for this recipe:

Cutting board
Kitchen knife
1 Red pepper, fresh and sliced with seeds removed.
1 Eggplant, cut in half.
1 Garlic clove, whole and not peeled.
1 Tbs. Kosher salt
2-3 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 Baking sheet, lined with parchment paper.
Oven mitts
1/2 Cup Chavrie Goat Cheese (or goat cheese of your choice)
2 Cups Cedar's All Natural Hommus, original flavor (or hommus of your choice.)
Food processor or immersion blender
Large spoon
Parsley, fresh, chopped

Ingredients for my Vegetable Dip


Put oven rack in middle area of the oven.
Preheat oven at 410 degrees F.
On the cutting board and with a kitchen knife, slice red peppers.
and cut the eggplant in half lengthwise.
Put the vegetables with the garlic on the lined baking sheet.
Drip the olive oil all over the fresh cut vegetables before roasting in the oven.

Before roasting

Roasted vegetables

Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven until a little brown color is appearing and vegetables are soft. This will take about 20 minutes.
Let the roasted vegetables cool and then cut the red pepper into small pieces on the cutting board with the kitchen knife.
Add 1/4 Cup roasted red peppers to the food processor.
Spoon out the inside of the roasted eggplant and throw away the skin of the eggplant.
Add 1/4 Cup roasted eggplant to the food processor also.
Peel the whole roasted garlic. Put the roasted garlic flesh into the food processor with the other roasted vegetables.
Add the hommus and goat cheese to the mixture in the food processor.
With the cover on the food processor, blend the mixture at slow speed until a desired texture is reached.
The goat cheese should be blended into the vegetables and hommus with few large lumps of cheese. Leave lumpy if desired.
With the food processor off, take the lid off and take a spoonful of the vegetable dip to taste.
Add a little more salt if you want a saltier flavor.
Put the top back on the food processor, and blend slowly for another minute to mix thoroughly if you added more salt.
With food processor off, take the lid off and spoon out the vegetable dip into a serving bowl.
Sprinkle chopped parsley on top of the vegetable dip for a garnish to add some color on top.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pita Chips - Baked

Pita Chips - Preparation before baking.
Pita Chips - Baked - Photo below this recipe.

What you will need:
Round pita bread, small size
Cutting board
Bread knife
Large baking sheet
Parchment paper
Pastry brush (optional)
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Tarragon, 2-3 tablespoons,dried

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut each whole pita bread into halves, then each half into halves.
Continue cutting until the desired size.
Open each section and separate.
Place the sections on a lined baking sheet with parchment paper.
Either brush or drip olive oil on each pita bread section.
Sprinkle Kosher salt all over the pita bread sections.
Sprinkle tarragon over all the pita bread sections.
Put tray of prepared pita bread sections into the oven until they brown.
(about 5 min. depending on your oven.)

Goat Cheese Chip Sandwiches

Goat Cheese Chip Sandwiches

How simple is this crunchy, creamy snack or appetizer? Aren't they cute?
After a weekend of entertaining, I found myself left with a bag of my favorite chips/crackers and goat cheese. It took less than one minute to place some goat cheese directly onto the chip and top it with another chip. Dipping the chip into the goat cheese would result in breaking the chip therefore leaving a messy, crumble in the goat cheese.

If you want a totally satisfying snack for yourself, your kids or for a tray of appetizers to serve guests, this is the no bake, no cook, no fuss solution for your tastebuds.
Option Mix goat cheese with cream cheese for a little different flavor.

My chip/cracker of choice is from the collection of Food Should Taste Good, called Multigrain. This is a gluten-free chip that has many healthy grains creating a hearty, satisfying flavor.

My favorite goat cheese is Chavrie, also gluten-free.

Food Should Taste Good Chips - Multigrain
Chavrie Goat Cheese
Option: mix goat cheese with cream cheese

Spread some goat cheese onto one chip.
Put another chip on top of the goat cheese.
Press gently to make a chip sandwich.