Now that the holidays are here, it’s time to gear up for tons of food. My family parties all revolve around food – lots of heavy food. Moreover, at Thanksgiving and Christmas, my relatives whip out their most decadent artery-clogging dishes. By the end of the season, I am usually 5 lbs heavier and ready for some angioplasty. My New Year’s resolutions always revolve around undoing what the holiday meals have done to me.
When going to a holiday party, I usually fill up on wine, dips and appetizers before dinner even starts. Throw in some turkey, stuffing and dessert, and I’m ready to pop. I hate the feeling of being stuffed, bloated and tired by the end of a good meal. This year it’s going to be different! Most of you know from reading my past blogs that I love to cook and try new recipes. However, holiday recipes always throw me for a loop. Most festive cuisines do not scream light or low-cal. They are loaded with saturated fats and calorie-heavy ingredients – all the bad stuff that tastes soooo good.
I’ve been trying out new dips and appetizers and found a great chickpea spread (Hummus) on www.gliving.com. This takes about 15 minutes to prepare and can be made a day or two in advance. Personally, I think it tastes more flavorful than store bought options. Plus, chickpeas are loaded with protein and fiber – but you don’t need to share that info with your friends! Like all my recipes, please feel free to take creative liberties. My family loves onions and garlic so I add them liberally.
Chickpea, Mint & Parsley Spread
- ¼ cup of extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 4 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 15 oz can of chickpeas / garbanzo beans rinsed and drained
- 1/3 cup fresh mint chopped
- ¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley chopped
- 2 T plus 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp ground pepper
Heat 2 tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook about a minute. Add chickpeas and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heart and allow to cool for a few minutes.
In small batches, add chickpea mixture, mint, parsley, lemon juice, salt, pepper and remaining olive oil to the large NB cup. Puree until smooth, about 40 seconds. Add more olive oil if it’s too thick.
Break out some veggies and whole grain pitas and this is a fabulous appetizer to take to parties. You may want to bring two bowls because this stuff goes fast! People will not be able to get enough and no one will realize it’s a healthy twist on a traditional veggie dip. Eat guilt free and enjoy!