Sunday, February 5, 2012

Best of Super Bowl 2012: Saag Dip

I love it when I make a new recipe and I just know that it is going to become a favorite. That's what happened this morning as I was testing and preparing things for a Super Bowl party this evening at my next-door-neighbor's house. I picked out four recipes last week that I figured I could whip up in a few hours (I totally underestimated and I ended up being in the kitchen for most of the day). Three that I had never tried before, and one that was a complete winner from last year's Plant-strong Super Bowl Party.

I have mentioned many times here on HGK that I absolutely adore Indian food. So it really is no surprise that I think this dip rocks. "Saag" is one of two Indian words that I know of that means "spinach" ("palak" is the other). This spinach and avocado dip is bursting with Indian flavors, plus it has the advantage of being a very quick and simple recipe that involves no cooking. I can't wait to bring it to the party and see what everyone else thinks!
But it's not all good news. One of the dishes that I prepared, "fudgey" truffles made with black beans, dates, oatmeal, flax, chia seed, cacao, dried apricots and chocolate chips is almost too weird for me to be able to comfortably serve it to a non-Nutritarian crowd. It's staying home for the night. I'll be letting my kids eat these for breakfast.
Saag Dip
makes about 1 1/2 cups
from Vegetarian Times Magazine

4 cups fresh spinach (7 ounces)
1 large ripe avocado
1/2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 small clove garlic
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/8 tsp minced fresh ginger (I used a microplane and eyeballed it)
dash of chili powder
dash of Cayenne pepper
dash of cumin
salt to taste

Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the "s" blade. Process until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary.

Serving suggestions: crudite, pita chips, naan or Fat Free Vegan's Colcannon Puffs.

How is/was your Super Bowl? Is it going to be/was it Plant-strong? 

Have you ever made anything new and then decided not to serve it to other people?

I overheard an interesting conversation at the party last night. One of my neighbors was telling another neighbor (who happens to be a Urologist) that she is suffering terribly from kidney stones. She said it was the worst pain she had ever experienced in her entire life, far worse than giving birth. She said that the doctor who treated her said that she was eating too much sugar and too much salt (impressive) and prescribed her a medication. 

The urologist did not comment at all about the dietary recommendation and said something to the tune of "Just take your medication." I kept waiting for a discussion about the benefits of a healthy diet to ensue, but got nothing. In fact, the woman who has the kidney stones brought what might have been the single most unhealthy dish I have ever laid eyes on to the pot luck (something about a slab of cream cheese, chicken from a can, and blue cheese?). Of course I wanted to say something, but it would have come out all wrong. It pains me to see people suffering from food borne illness who do not know the power of nutritional excellence.

What would you have done?
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