Tuesday, April 22, 2008

High Protein White Bean Feta Dip with Notes of Tarragon and Lemon

4 oz reduced-fat feta cheese
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese, strained
1 14 oz can white beans, rinsed
2 Tbsp sesame seeds toasted**
1 large sweet onion, roasted with salt and pepper, until well-browned and mostly dry

4 large garlic cloves, roasted
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 tarragon springs, leaves only, cut into small pieces

1. To roast the onion, slice the onion thinly and place on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top as desired and place in the oven. Roast at 350F until dark golden brown, fairly dry, and slightly crispy on the outside—this will take 25-30 minutes! It is worth the wait!*

2. Chop off the nubby end of the garlic cloves and place on the cookie sheet with the onions. Leave the skins on.

3. To strain cottage cheese, place over cheese cloth in a strainer in the sink and allow the liquid to drip out as you are preparing other ingredients.

4. Rinse a can of white beans. If your stomach is sensitive to beans, you may want to boil them for 5 minutes or so; drain completely.

5. Toast sesame seeds on the stove top or in the oven on 350F until light golden brown. Babysit the seeds—they will burn!

6. Squeeze the excess liquid out of the cottage cheese. This does not have to be an extreme effort; it just shouldn’t be drippy

7. Combine the feta, cottage cheese, white beans, sesame seeds, onion, garlic, and lemon juice in a food processor on high until mostly smooth.

8. Transfer the mixture to a container and cut just the leaves from the tarragon springs over the dip (please don’t cut the leaves individually—grab a whole bunch of the leaves and cut finely).

9. Stir the tarragon in and allow the mixture to set in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

10. Don’t want cracker calories? Me neither! Serve this tasty little number with sliced cucumbers, raw zucchini, or jicama.

If this recipe sounds like entirely too much work, you can: 1) Replace the onions with ¼ cup dried onion bits; 2) Replace roasted garlic with 1 tsp of jarred, chopped garlic 3) Replace the sesame seeds with 1 tsp dark sesame oil; 4) not drain the cottage cheese and add 1 Tbsp corn starch to the mixture. Please do not use bottled lemon juice. It’s just a bad scene. The modified version will not be as knock your socks off awesome, but it still going to be good!

Serves 8; serving is ½ cup or 1/8 of contents. So be sure, transfer the mixture some the food processor directly into a large measuring cup.

Nutritional Bits: 118 calories, 8.3g pro, 11.25g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 3.9g fat, 2g sat fat,

* If the onions are not sufficiently dry, you will end up with a soupy product. If your dip is soup add 1 Tbsp of corn starch, 2 Tbsp of flour, or 2 Tbsp oats

** To cut the fat in half and save 20 calories, omit the sesame seeds from the recipe

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