As Michael Buble proclaimed through my headphones on my walk to work yesterday, “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!” And yes, partly because the lights are up around my local Farmers Market and the carols are in full swing in any retail establishment – but mostly because my morning news was taken over by images of crazed, deal-hungry shoppers literally trampling people in their pursuit of a holiday deal. Yes, friends, I am talking about Black Friday.
Much like the Black Death of centuries past, Black Friday has swept across the United States, Canada and now even Europe, infecting people with a deal-hunting hysteria that has even lead to people scoring a stint in the pokey instead of a killer deal (I’m not kidding – apparently knocking someone over – even if it’s in the pursuit of an HD TV at 50% off – is still considered assault).
Look, I love a deal as much as the next person (as my husband says I could find a deal on water in the desert) – but I am not willing to put my life at stake to save a buck! But Christmas is a time to flex those frugality muscles in any way possible in order to avoid the January credit card bill panic attack – especially if you’re hosting or attending lots of holiday parties. And there are plenty of ways to stay on budget – even during the social season! And one of them is by whipping up delicious homemade apps that make you look (and feel) like the domestic goddess that you are while not breaking the bank in the process. And since another thing you are also trying to save during this busy season is time, I have come up with an easy, flavourful, clean recipe that is perfect for any social gathering you may be hosting (or contributing to): Festive Mediterranean White Bean Dip!
On top of being delicious and budget friendly (and the right festive colour), it’s also packed with tons of great nutrients and vitamins and isn’t packed with tons of fat and calories like some other holiday offenders (I’m looking at you, spinach dip). The white kidney bean base gives it a thick, creamy texture while also providing a good dose of fiber (keeping you fuller so you don’t overdo it at the snacks table), iron (energy for partying!), and immune boosting vitamin C and A (to help you recover from said partying). On top of that, the roasted red peppers are a great source of vitamin B6 and magnesium, which in combination has been shown to decrease anxiety (like the anxiety of hosting?), AND recent research has shown that sweet red peppers can activate thermogenesis and increase metabolic rate (translation: helps burn fat).
So in short – by making this dip you save money, time AND yourself from weight-gain. Merry Christmas!
The Natural Blonde
P.s. Not feeling overly social? This dip is also excellent when enjoyed on the couch in track pants with some red wine and classic clay-mation Christmas specials. Just sayin’.
P.p.s Full disclosure: I did take advantage of the Black Friday deals by buying an awesome new camera (finally!), but like a pro I did it from the safety of my couch on amazon.ca.
Festive Mediterranean White Bean Dip
- 1 can (19 oz/540 mL) white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2-3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1-3 cloves garlic, smashed (depends on how much garlic you like)
- 3 Tbsp. fresh basil, roughly chopped
- ¾ cup artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped (the kind you get in a jar or the antipasto bar)
- ⅓ cup sliced roasted red peppers, roughly chopped/sliced
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp paprika
Combine all ingredients in your food processor and hit “on” button. Scoop into fancy bowl and garnish with chopped basil for added flare. Done!
Can make up to 24 hours in advance. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.