The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook.
~ William Jame
Hello super fabulous IPOM readers and friends!
Today’s post is dedicated to new friends and old, those who support us through all the tough times in life.
Those who believe in us, and see something in us that makes them want to hang with us (or just eat our delicious food, I am totally fine with either or both).
Friendships are special, as folks are busy and time is tight. Friends kind of make this girl’s world go ’round and I love any chance to win someone over.
What better way to do that than with super homemade food?
A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds
~ Francis Bacon
This recipe was recently inspired by the creamy texture of canned artichoke hearts. Blended together with a few winners like the protein-loaded sunflower seed and made rich & sophisticated by the addition of roasted pepper, this spread is dressed to impress – it can be made totally vegan as the cheese is optional – and is full of delicious and healthy ingredients!
Less store-bought dips means less wasteful containers and high cost for not a whole lot. Less additives for preserving means leaner nutrition and straight up satisfaction. Less high fat, high sodium dips mean you can eat without guilt, especially if you pair this with fresh veggies or bread instead of chips.
More seeds in place of nuts means those with nut allergies are in the clear with this one – same for those who don’t tolerate beans! More fresh veggies hidden in your snacks means added vitamins without really trying. More protein packed goodness means you win with real fuel, so you can get out there and do what you do best.
Super Ace Artichoke & Sunflower Spread:
- (1) cup raw sunflower seeds
- (2/3) cup olive oil
- (1) clove garlic
- (1) tsp salt
- (1) tbsp fresh thyme
- (1/2) bunch chives (about 2 tbsp)
- (1) red pepper, roasted, charred and peeled
- (4) tbsp fresh lemon juice
- (1) 398 ml can un-marinated artichoke hearts (5 each)
- (1/4) cup good parmesan cheese (totally optional!)
Begin by roasting the red pepper – this is so easy and fun! Turn the oven on to broil and prepare the pepper by washing it and slicing it in half (no need to do anything else!). Without any oil, add the pepper halves, seed side down, to a flat cookie sheet and pop into the hot oven, on the second rack from the top.
The pepper will start to char in the skin after 10 minutes or so – keep roasting under the broiler for 25 minutes or so until the skin is black and has popped off the flesh. Your pepper should begin to smell wonderful too at the finish of this process – enjoy!
Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cool, remove the skins, the top, and the seeds with your hands. They will just fall off easily as the pepper will be well cooked and ready to use!
Next, toast (or roast) about a 1/3 of the sunflower seeds either in the warm oven for a few minutes or in a dry skillet on the stove top. Add the remaining raw seeds to your blender along with the lemon juice, chives, thyme leaves, garlic, and the roasted pepper flesh.
Drain the artichokes and save the liquid from the can. Add artichokes to the blender along with the oil, salt, and optional cheese.
Once the seeds are toasted perfectly, add them (still warm) to the mixture.
Blend all on a pulse blend and stop here and there to agitate the mixture with a spatula or wooden spoon. Do not do what I do and put it in while it runs! Ooooops!
Blend until thick and well incorporated, using additional artichoke water if you need to facilitate better blending. Transfer to your favorite container (this recipe makes a generous amount) and refrigerate.
This will keep at least 5 days in the fridge and makes a generous portion!
Happiness resides not in the possessions and not in gold; the feeling of happiness dwells in the soul.
Enjoy this yummy spread as a base for your next sandwich, as a dip for your next celery snack attack, or to start an evening or gathering with friends and family off on the right foot!
We enjoyed this week with a bit of broiled toast – just drizzle a few pieces of old toast with olive oil and pop under the broiler until brown. Another great way to jazz up stale bread!
However you choose to enjoy it, do it well, do it with friends or loved ones, and enjoy!
I am grateful for friends and family everyday.
So I like to feed them well. A good bite of food and a nice drink can really set the tone for great conversations and connections that don’t just come along any old day.
On a slightly different note, I was touched by strolling the hallways of my daughter’s elementary school this week…here is a little snippet of the artwork that caught my eye (and jabbed at my heart).
It’s not everyday that we celebrate the little things like thinking, is it?
I’ll be sharing more of this in my next post.
- What’s your secret to a great friendship?
- Got a favorite dip to share?
I’ll be toting this delicious spread to parties of all kinds this year – it disappeared in all of about 15 seconds at my office this week, at 9 am! There were more than a few garlicky phone calls and convos floating around after that…
I hope you all have a Super Ace day – let us know how your week is going, will you?
“I get by with a little help from my friends.”
~ John Lennon
I love to hear from friends, and whether you eat what I put in front of you (in person), or make one of these recipes in a country on an entirely different day and time zone, it’s all the same to me:
Super Ace and Super Awesome.
And that’s no lie
Yours in Less,