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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

deep south dip

Now that we're following guidelines from Eat to Live, I eat all the time. I have to. It seems that I burn a lot of calories throughout the day, so I've begun incorporating as many snacks as possible, since most of them are pretty low-cal.

One of my favorites is raw veggies dipped in hummus made with roasted sweet potato & black-eye peas. It's really delicious, low-fat, and (if you make the peas yourself), incredibly low-sodium.

Southern Hummus

1 1/2 cups cooked black-eye peas
1 sweet potato
3 Tbs tahini
2 garlic cloves
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 Tbs ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cayenne

So, let's talk peas. You can use canned black-eye peas, and you might be able to find some that are low in sodium. We've been using dried peas. It's pretty easy, but it takes a little longer. Follow the instructions on the bag for the overnight soak - the quick soak will do, but it's not as good - and then cook according to package directions, but (and this is important) use chicken stock instead of water. It'll give them much better flavor. Get low-sodium chicken stock, or make your own and keep it in little containers in the freezer.

To roast the sweet potato, poke a bunch of holes in the skin with a fork, and roast it in the oven at 425 for 45-55 minutes. Big ones may take more than an hour - the potato is done when a fork will easily slide all the way in. By the way, put a sheet of foil or an old baking sheet underneath the potato while you're roasting it. The sugars inside are going to leak out, and they'll stick to the bottom of the oven if you don't catch them.

During the last bit of roasting the sweet potato, put your two garlic cloves in the oven, too. You don't have to peel them, but you might want to wrap them in foil to hold in the moisture and kind of steam them as they roast. They should be brown and soft and slide out of their skins when they're done.

And now, it's easy.

If the potato is still hot, carefully pull the skin off of it. If you let it cool, you can recklessly remove the skin and throw it away.

In the food processor, combine everything. Pulse, pulse, pulse, until you get the texture you want. If it seems a little thick, add some water (a little at a time).

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