Avocado Stuffed with Beetroot Dip
The pace of our lives can be terribly fast, and it often feels like we're moving in whirlwind with no time to slow down and relax. Running from job to job to errands to meetings to social engagements - this life of speed has come to be a common experience today. I have been experiencing this tornado of activity lately in my life, and while I certainly enjoy being busy, I also miss being home at mealtimes to indulge in the pleasure of culinary creation. Often my lunch has been a salad or bowl of fruit gobbled down at my desk, my dinner has been sneaky bites of veggies in the back kitchen towards the end of dinner shift, and my snacks have been juices, granola bars and teas. These simple foods have nourished my physically, but I find that I'm lacking in the spiritual nourishment that I derive from a little kitchen inspiration.
Today I finally had half a day to myself, so I decided to whip up something creative for lunch. I wanted to make something raw and healthy, but a little bit outside of my recent comfort zone of an amazing big salad with everything on it. Rather than just make something to eat, I wanted to consider flavors and textures, experiment with colors, and use some power tools!
I opted to create an original dip - a forgiving palette on which to experiment with different elements. Jayson has been buying some lovely vegan dips lately, and I've been thinking to myself how easy it would be to come up with raw versions. So today's challenge was to create a raw beetroot dip with all the depth of flavor of a cooked dip, but way more nutrients. Chopped beetroot, tomato, red onion, garlic, parsley, sunflower seeds, lemon juice, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard and a pinch of himalayan salt all went into the food processor. Then I played with seasonings a bit until the taste was just right. The surprising ingredient in here is actually carob powder, which adds both sweetness and depth to balance the acidic flavors.
Beetroot Dip Prep
I was going to eat this with crudites, but then I saw two ripe organic avocadoes purchased at CERES market yesterday that were just calling my name. So I filled half of one with the dip and ate it over a bed of greens from the garden with a few plump, juicy Mt. Zero olives. I think there are endless ways you could use this dip - as a sandwich spread, thinned out with a bit of water and poured over salad as a dressing, tossed with zucchini pasta, over steamed sweet potatoes and quinoa, or just as is with some raw crackers and veggies.
Beetroot dip with crudites and garden greens
Taking the time to nourish myself with inspiring flavors, and to enjoy the process of creating loving food for myself, is so important to keep me on track on so many levels. I know that no matter how busy I am, culinary creation is a priority.
1 cup raw beetroot, roughly chopped
1/4 cup red onion, roughly chopped
1 packed TBSP fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1 tomato, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 tsp brown mustard
1/2 tsp himalayan salt
1 tsp cumin powder
2 heaped tsp carob powder
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients in food processor and whir whir whir until you achieve a smooth, creamy consistency. Adjust flavors to taste - add cayenne if you like a spicier dip, or a bit of agave/honey if you like a sweeter dip. I like to add lots of black pepper for a little surprise zing.