The Meal Planner

Ahhhhhhh.  That's me sighing in relief that the busyness of Christmas is over and I have two full weeks off from teaching.  After all that rich food, I thought a nice healthy (addicting) appetizer as an idea for New Year's was in order.  Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the cream cheese laden spinach dips and the full fat sour cream chip dip (heck I'm still eating coconut tarts from my freezer with a big dollop of Cool Whip leftover from Christmas), but there's something about eating healthy food that doesn't taste healthy that I just love.  This white bean dip is very similar to hummus, but the flavors are so fresh and exciting from the lemon and rosemary.  The combination of the spicy pita chips with the dip is fantastic.  

serves 12 as an appetizer

White Bean Dip with Rosemary and Roasted Garlic
2 15.5oz. cans of white beans, drained and rinsed
1-2 heads of whole roasted garlic (recipe follows)
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
the grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor, combine all ingredients except salt and pepper; process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with fresh vegetables or pita chips.

Roasted Garlic
1 head garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cut the top third of the garlic head off so that the tops of the cloves are exposed and place on a piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with oil and cover completely with foil.  Bake for 45 minutes to an hour until soft and golden brown. Cool. Squeeze the roasted garlic from each of the cloves and mash into a paste. Store any additional roasted garlic in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Spiced Pita Chips
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
6 pita breads, cut into 8 wedges each.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the olive oil and spices in a large bowl. Add the pita wedges and toss to coat. Spread the wedges in a single layer on two baking sheets and bake, tossing once, until the pitas are brown and crisp, about 10-15 minutes (mine seem to cook quicker). Cool.  Serve with white bean dip.

These will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for about 3 days.

Click here for printable version of White Bean Dip with Rosemary and Roasted Garlic with Spiced Pita Chips

I've made this recipe soooo many times over the last couple years and love it so much.  When my brother in law and his wife had their twins, I went and stayed with them to help them out and cook for them.  They love hummus, so I made tons of different variations, but this recipe was one of the favorites, especially with the spicy chips.  The dip tastes fantastic smoothed on wraps or inside pita bread with chicken and lettuce and other veggies.   I made a Rosemary Marmalade Ham last night for a family dinner and still have some fresh rosemary in my fridge.  Writing this post has given me a serious craving for this dip, so I think I'll have to add it to my grocery list!

One note about the pita chips: start checking them after about 8 minutes.  In my oven 15 minutes is WAY too long, yet it was fine when I was cooking at my brother-in-law's house.  You want them lightly golden and crispy.

Meal Ideas:

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5 Responses
  1. MB Tucker Says:

    I just stumbled upon your blog and I'm so excited to start trying some of your delicious sounding recipes! My one resolution for this year was to start 'menu planning'. I'm a mom of 4 boys---5 and under. The older 2 have become incredibly picky (mostly because I never take the time to cook a decent meal). It's usually 'breakfast' for dinner or something pulled out of the freezer at the last minute. Your blog is very inspiring and I can't wait to get started----thank you for the motivation

  2. Sharita Says:

    I really enjoy your blog! It was actually one of my favorite blogs (end of the year posts that I do). You can see the post here if you'd like: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! XOXO- Sharita

  3. KidEats Says:

    I love your blog and have been waiting for a new post! This white bean dip looks delicious - worth the wait!

  4. MB Tucker - I'm glad to help you be inspired! Good luck with everything :)

    Sharita - Awwww, thank you so much!

    KidEats - Thanks Lauren! This dip is SOOO good :)

  5. Anonymous Says:

    nice idea. thanks for sharing...