Fresh local produce in Michigan will soon be available in abundance, so why not use some of the in-season fruits and veggies to make new twists on old favorites. Popular dips like hummus, pesto and guacamole can easily be transformed by substituting the main ingredients with something else. You’ll create a whole new dish with its own unique flavor.
Start with asparagus–it’s already in season in Michigan–and try a healthy re-make of traditional pesto with this Asparagus Pesto recipe from Chef Jenna at the well-known Amore Trattoria Italiana in Grand Rapids. Asparagus is a great source of iron and magnesium and is high in fiber, Vitamins A, C, E and K, giving your pesto a powerful nutritional boost.
Some of the best recipes are created on accident. Chef Todd English created Artichoke Guacamole when he had some overcooked artichoke bottoms. Not only does the new guac have a bright tangy taste, it also has far less fat and calories than the traditional version (even though the fat in avocados is heart-healthy!)
Traditional hummus is made with chickpeas. Last fall we gave hummus a make-over with our Green Bean Hummus, and we figured why stop there. This time we replaced the chickpeas with carrots, creating a hummus that’s high in Vitamins A and C and a good source of fiber.
3 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of salt and black pepper
3 garlic cloves
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons orange juice
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss carrots with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread in single layer on a baking sheet and roast until softened, about 30 minutes. Set aside. Once cool to the touch, add carrots, garlic, white beans, tahini, rosemary and paprika to the food processor and blend until smooth. Add one tablespoon of the lemon and orange juice and continue to blend. Taste and, if needed, add second tablespoons of the juices. Serve with fresh veggies or pita bread.
Nutritional Information (Makes 8 servings)
Per serving: 95 calories; 5 g total fat; 124 mg sodium; 11 g carbohydrates; 5 g fiber; 4 g protein
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