Are any of you hosting viewing parties and looking for ideas of what to serve? Think vegetarian! The NCAA tournament and vegetarianism don't exactly go hand-in-hand (how many college boys do you know who would choose a veggie tray over wings?), but I've found two meatless crowd-pleasers that are sure to satisfy even the most voracious carnivore - Rockin' Moroccan White Bean Dip and Spinach Artichoke Dip.
|Rockin' Moroccan White Bean Dip|
A note on this recipe - I had no clue what I was doing while I was making it, but dips and hummus recipes like this are hard to screw up. I didn't think it was thick enough with just the white beans, so I added a can of chickpeas in there. In my humble opinion, there's no need to use salt because Lord knows there's enough in canned beans anyway.
Rockin' Moroccan White Bean Dip
(Spice Mix recipe from Kayln's Kitchen)
Serves an army
3 14.5-oz cans drained white beans (I used canellini), with liquid reserved
1 14.5-oz can drained and rinsed chickpeas
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Moroccan spice mix, to taste
Moroccan spice mix:
4 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. chile powder
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1. Mix all ingredients together for the Moroccan spice mix in a small bowl.
2. In a food processor, combine the beans and chickpeas and pulse/puree to desired consistency.* If necessary, add reserved liquid 1/3 cup at a time to thin the dip.
3. Once your dip has been processed, add the Moroccan spice mix and stir to combine with a large spoon or spatula.**
4. Transfer to bowl and top with more spice mix, for garnish.
*Personally, I like my dips and hummuses half pureed so bites are slightly chunky. I like to be reminded that I really am eating food, and it's not air!
**I wish I could tell you how much spice I put in the dip, but I honestly don't remember. I think I put in maybe three tablespoons, but I like it really spicy. (There's a reason I call it my Rockin' Moroccan White Bean Dip!) I'd start with one tablespoon at a time and just keep tasting - y'all know that's how I like to cook!
Next up is my "famous" creamy spinach artichoke dip. I've only been making this dip for a few months, but I've made it three or four times and everyone always asks me what the secret is. Well, I'm about to let the cat out of the bag.......first, it's not my recipe. And, while you're already shocked, I need to throw in another detail. It's a light version.
|Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip, photo from Cooking Light|
I originally made this dip for the Super Bowl. I was skeptical of the recipe because it comes from Cooking Light. Spinach dip is so decadent, so how could it be delicious in a "light" version? I very rarely use low-fat and fat-free ingredients because I think it's actually healthier and tastier to eat a little bit less of the real thing. Often, low-fat and fat-free ingredients are loaded with extra junk and sugar. However, I think one area where it's okay to go for a reduced-fat version is dairy - products like yogurt, cream cheese and sour cream. (But never fat free, except for yogurt and obviously milk.)
My theory with the "healthier" dairy products led me to try this recipe out. And man, am I glad I did. I couldn't even tell the difference! This dip is really, really delicious. The boys at the Super Bowl party devoured it. It was gone as quickly as the pepperoni dip! I made the same dip again for a massive, multi-table bridge tournament a few weeks ago and people were eating it plain out of the dish after the chips were gone. If you have some left over, it's nice spread for sandwiches, too!
While low-fat ingredients are fine, do not go for fat-free ingredients because it definitely won't taste as good. Also, I read the reviews first and adapted the recipe accordingly by using a whole package of spinach and cutting out one block of cream cheese. My version is below.
Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip
Adapted from Cooking Light
Makes 5 1/2 cups
2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 14-oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 8-oz block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Combine 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, sour cream, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, and next five ingredients in a large bowl, and stir until well-blended. Spoon mixture into a 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella and 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.
3. Let cool for a few minutes and serve with tortilla chips - seriously, let it cool, or you'll burn your tongue off!
What are your favorite game day treats?