The photo above is of my dinner last night. You see, last night was the final day of a 5-day challenge I created for myself. For five days I gave up beans, grains, and most starchy vegetables and concentrated on eating more fruits and non-starchy vegetables. Why? Partly because I’d been relying on beans and grains a bit too much lately and I needed a culinary challenge. But mostly because I’ve been eating a bit too much of everything lately, and I needed to take a few days and “detox,” for lack of a better word–to get the heavy foods out of my system and re-set my taste-buds to lighter fare.
Did it work? I’d say yes. I certainly felt challenged in the kitchen, perhaps too much so. (Last night’s dinner was a result of that; more on that in a minute.) And after a few days of mainly fruits and veggies, I feel lighter and more energetic, and the cravings I’d had for refined carbs and desserts have pretty much disappeared. I feel confident that I can add back the beans and grains in moderate amounts without going crazy and grabbing the nearest vegan doughnut!
But by the end of the week, I was flagging creatively. Last night I just didn’t have the desire to go to the kitchen and try to whip plain vegetables into something I could make myself believe was a main dish. In fact, I didn’t feel like turning on the stove at all. So I didn’t. I decided to make myself an easy dip of artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers, chop some raw veggies, and make that my dinner while the husband and daughter cracked open a box of Boca burgers for themselves. The dip turned out to be something that I’m going to be making regularly from now on–it was flavorful and filling and (WARNING) extremely spicy with two cloves of garlic. In the future I’ll tone down the garlic but keep the rest of this tasty recipe.
Artichoke Hearts and Roasted Red Pepper Dip
- 1 14-ounce can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
- 1/4 cup roasted red peppers (from a jar)
- 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped (these get very strong, so I advise moderation)
- 1 tbsp. tahini
- 1/8 tbsp. white pepper
- salt to taste
- Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Serve as a dip for fresh vegetables (baby carrots, peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.) or pita bread.
Preparation time: 5 minute(s) | Cooking time: 0 minutes
Number of servings (yield): 4
Nutrition (per serving): 76 calories, 16 calories from fat, 2g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 97.4mg sodium, 384mg potassium, 13.1g carbohydrates, 5.9g fiber, <1g sugar, 4.3g protein, 2.5 points.
PS–I didn’t actually eat all of the food you see in the first photo! My husband was happy to polish off what I couldn’t finish, and E. helped with the Kalamata olives.