Maureen made several sandwiches for us to sample using homemade spreads and salad dressings. I've had all these foods before, but what I really liked was Maureen's approach for making healthy versions at home and using them in creative ways.
|Pita pocket stuffed with Greek salad, feta cheese and homemade hummus|
|White bean dip, avocados, spinach and roasted red peppers on Sandwich Thin|
Maureen also had some good tips for the class:
- Try making your own hummus! It's cheaper to make at home, and you can control the oil content by using some of the liquid from the can of chic peas. You can also add any flavors you like.
- Don't be scared of dried beans. All you need to do is throw them in a crockpot overnight or simmer them on the stove while you're doing other things, and you'll have fresh beans to use for the week. I liked this tip because dry beans always intimidate me for some reason; some studies recommend minimizing your use of canned goods because toxins can leach into the food, so I'll definitely be trying this!
- Make your own salad dressing! Many bottled dressings have a lot of artificial ingredients, but homemade dressings are often cheaper and healthier - and so easy to make! She recommended using Dijon mustard as an emulsifying ingredient, which I often do; it makes dressings creamy and thick without the need for a lot of oil.
- Buy organic red peppers. Red peppers are on the Dirty Dozen list for being heavily sprayed with pesticides (mainly because they have to remain on the vine for so long to turn red), so try to buy them organic. I can't always find organic peppers, so I wash mine with a pesticide produce wash before eating them.
|Roasted red pepper and walnut pesto with organic spinach on whole wheat pita|
I don't want to share all the recipes we received out of respect Maureen and those who paid for the class, but here is a sample one. Her white bean dip is so flavorful and versatile, but simple to make at home. Try it!
If you're local and interested in checking out Maureen's class, more info can be found here.
Maureen's White Bean Dip
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. dried, crushed rosemary (crushing it releases its scent and essential oils)
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 15 oz. can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
Veggies and pita chips or bread crisps for dipping
Cook garlic in olive oil over medium heat until golden, about 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat, stir in rosemary and red pepper flakes.
Put beans and salt into food processor and process until smooth. Scrape mixture into serving bowl. Drizzle with reserved rosemary olive oil. Serve with veggies and crisps, or use as a sandwich spread.