I haven't always worried about these types of things before because I always had my "stand by" recipes that were either super easy or super cheap. I didn't always care that I take responsibility for taking a dish that would be a little lighter than the norm.
As I've started to change my nutritional habits to be a bit more healthy, this has become a bigger priority for me when it comes to deciding what types of dishes I want to take to events.
Nearly everyone likes chips and salsa, right! How about a chip dip that is versatile enough to be added to salads, tacos, to eat as a side dish, and so much more!
A stand by healthier recipe I like to use (especially when we've be spontaneously invited to an event) is my interpretation of Better Homes and Gardens' "Cowboy Caviar" recipe. It takes less than 15 minutes to prepare and continues to taste better with age. You can prepare it and take on the fly or prepare it and let it "age" for a bit before you head out to your event.
My staples for this recipe: Black Beans (low sodium, and you could really use any kind of canned bean you prefer), salt, pepper, cider vinegar (oops, my picture shows white vinegar), cooking oil (I used corn because I grow corn), bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, garlic (I buy mine in the jar so it lasts longer), green onions, and don't forget your dip vessel (chips, crackers, pita breads, etc)
|These days I keep a produce on hand regularly, however, if you don't have all these exact ingredients, one can always sub frozen corn, tomatoes, etc to replace the items you don't have.|
ELAINE'S COWBOY CAVIAR:
1 15 ounce can Black Beans (low sodium is better option), drained and rinsed
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (about 2)
1/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper (I used yellow)
2 cloves garlic, minced (this is about 1 teaspoon from my jarred garlic)
2 Tablespoons cooking oil (corn oil - it's composed mostly of polyunsaturated fatty acids and are low in saturated fat)
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
1 to 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped (leave some seeds if you prefer a bit of heat and remember to wash your hands with your cooking oil, then soap to remove the jalapeno oils from your hands before you rub your eyes)
1/4 teaspoons cracked black peppers
Dash of salt
1/8 cup finely chopped Cilantro
Dash Red Pepper Flakes (remember that these get hotter as they rehydrate)
1. In a bowl, combine the beans, green onions, bell pepper, garlic, oil, vinegar, jalapeno pepper, black pepper, and salt (and any other optionals). Cover and chill overnight (providing you have time for that).
|Any color bell pepper will do the trick and don't forget those seeds in that jalapeno pepper!!|
2. Serve in your favorite pot luck dish. Pair with your favorite crackers, chips, or pita slices.
|Love pretty bright dishes (or even a nice all white) to serve these kinds of dips!|
3. For leftovers use for salads, use as a side dish, or eat with chips/crackers for a snack.
|Salad in a jar is a great go to. It keeps for several days after it's been made and there might even be enough juice/dressing from the bean dip use as your dressing, add some taco meat and lettuce/veggies and you have a meal on the go!|
4. Don't forget that this will hold up in the fridge for about 4 days before you should probably toss it!
5. And lastly, you've always gotta root for your favorite team. I root for Purdue whenever they are playing. It's a family tradition, but mostly because I dedicated 4 years of MY life to the School of Agriculture! Boiler Up!! Always!