Thirty Minute Thursdays: Healthy Chickpea & Rosemary Dip

This week, I’ve been more or less glued to the kitchen. Hannukkah started on Tuesday, L’s brother’s birthday was yesterday, my sister’s birthday is tomorrow, and then, of course, there’s Christmas Eve and Christmas day. The food part of my brain has been kicked into holiday high gear, and I am appeasing it by focusing this week’s updates on quick and easy ideas for entertaining food. As it turns out, I even have a Thirty Minute Thursday post for you that would be perfect for a holiday gathering!

Dips are popular appetizers, probably because they tend to be no-fuss crowd pleasers. However, some of the best (I’m talking to you, Spinach & Artichoke!) are worse for you than the dessert course. That’s not to say that if you love those dips and one of the holiday parties you’re at is serving them you should avoid them like the plague (in fact, check out this post for a slimmed down version of an artichoke dip), but balancing them with a lighter option is definitely a strategy for keeping things in check.

This chickpea and rosemary dip can do just that. It’s just as easy and fast to make as any other dip, but it’s something you can feel good about eating. It’s flavorful but not enormously filling on its own, which I think is actually a good quality in an appetizer – a dip especially. If you use crunchy vegetables as dippers (I chose broccoli), the fiber from those will help you feel a little bit more satiated. You could also serve it with whole wheat pita. Once the holidays are over, turn it into a meal by spreading it on a whole grain wrap and topping it with some spinach, tomatoes, and pepper strips.

The only warning about this dip is that it was a little bit tough to puree. To be fair, I was using my mini food chopper, not a full-sized food processor, and I found myself needing to be patient. It still came together quickly, though, and I really did love it in the end.

Chickpea and Rosemary Dip, adapted from Rachael Ray’s Classic Thirty Minute Meals
Yield: 4-6 servings

The Ingredients
2 (heaping) cups chickpeas1
¼ cup chopped roasted red peppers
2 tablespoons chopped artichoke hearts
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 sprigs rosemary
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons (nonfat) plain greek yogurt

The Method
Combine the chickpeas, roasted red peppers, garlic, rosemary, pepper, and lemon juice in a food processor until mostly incorporated. Add in the greek yogurt and pulse again until completely combine. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover, and refrigerate until serving.

1I made mine from dried beans, but the original recipe calls for 2 cans, drained. I’m all about dried beans for the most part (just cook up a huge batch and freeze them until you need them) since they have no sodium and are dirt cheap (yes, even compared to the cans), but if you use cans just rinse them thoroughly to rid them to excess salt.

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