Friday, April 20, 2012
CHEESY LOW-FAT BLACK BEAN DIP OR SPREAD
I'm in the habit of making low-fat spreads to eat with raw veggies or rye crisp for snacks. DH is a snacker-- he feels the need to munch every couple of hours or so. He likes fruit, and soy yogurt, so those are snack staples, of course, but sometimes a savory, protein-rich snack is more satisfying. So that's what I concentrate on keeping in the refrigerator at all times (though leftover homemade soups and grainy/beany salads are good, too). My Cheddary Spread is a favorite. But, yesterday I was out of silken tofu (calamity!), so I looked around for what I had-- can of black beans, jar of salsa, could quickly make some Melty Chedda, since it doesn't require tofu. Here's the result, and it passed DH's taste-test with flying colors.
BRYANNA'S CHEESY LOW-FAT BLACK BEAN SPREAD OR DIP
Yield: about 3 cups
This could be used as a filling for tacos or quesadillas, too.
2 cups (19 oz. can) black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small onion, minced
1 tsp dark sesame oil
3/4 cup chunky tomato salsa
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup Melty Chedda Cheeze (recipe below)—refrigerate the rest for other uses
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or Italian parsley
In a medium shallow bowl, mash the black beans and garlic with the back of a fork.
In a heavy skillet (nonstick, cast iron or anodized aluminum) heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until it softens. Add the black beans, salsa, chili powder, and cumin; combine well. Turn off the heat and add the Cheeze and lemon juice.
Stir well and scoop into a bowl. Serve warm or cold with crackers, baked tortilla chips, or crunch raw vegetables (zucchini slices, celery, and bell peppers would be good).
Nutrition (per1/4 cup): 60.3 calories; 14% calories from fat; 1.0g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 111.2mg sodium; 140.5mg potassium; 10.0g carbohydrates; 3.1g fiber; 0.8g sugar; 6.9g net carbs; 3.4g protein; 0.7 points.
BRYANNA’S MELTY CHEDDA CHEEZE
Yield: 1 1/4 cups
This makes great grilled cheeze sandwiches and quesadillas , and can be used to make cheeze sauce (just add non-dairy milk to taste). The nutritional yeast adds protein and lots of B-complex vitamins, as well as flavor. This is adapted from a recipe in my book "20 Minutes to Dinner"-- but this time I used nutritious oat flour instead of a combination of flour and cornstarch.
1 cup water
1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
3 3/4 tablespoons oat flour (you can grind rolled oats in a clean dry blender or electric coffee/spice grinder)
1 tablespoon tahini
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic granules
2 tablespoons water
Place the water, yeast, oat flour, tahini, miso, lemon juice, salt, and garlic granules in blender and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a small saucepan or medium microwave-proof bowl or beaker.
Stir over medium heat until it starts to thicken, then let bubble 30 seconds and whisk vigorously, OR MICROWAVE on full power 2 minutes, whisk, then microwave at 50% power for 1 1/2 minutes, and whisk again. Whisk in the water until smooth.
Drizzle immediately on food and broil or bake until a skin forms on top; or refrigerate in a small rigid covered container (round, square, rectangular, or wedge-shaped in a storage container meant for a piece of pie) for up to a week. It will get quite firm upon chilling, but will still be spreadable. You can spread the firm cheeze on bread or quesadillas for grilling, or heat it to spread more thinly on casseroles, etc.