Posts tagged vegetarian appetizer

Simple Mango Chutney Dip

My summer was very busy, sprinkled with a little bit of fun and unfortunately a little bit of stress. I was hoping things would slow down so I could find time to blog. No such luck on the slowing down thing. What I was really waiting and hoping for was a little inspiration which came in time for Labor day. Funny, I realize my last article was written for Memorial day. I don’t plan these things,  but I guess I did however unintentionally take the summer off from blogging. I’m back and hoping your summer was a great one!

It was time for my son’s 3rd birthday party mid August which kind of  feels like the end of summer for us. I had a blast planning his Thomas the train birthday bash and I was very inspired by this super EASY appetizer dip I made. I can’t take total credit as my girlfriend Carrie gave me the original recipe a few years ago and I’m not sure where she got it. I never thought I would enjoy this one again, but I Veganized it my friends!!! I’m happy to report it was a total hit, the first dip devoured, and if you make it, be prepared for everyone to ask you what’s in it. I almost didn’t want to tell anyone, especially those omnivores who just don’t get it yet, but I did anyway, for the shock value of course! This dip is really delicious and the flavors were just meant to be combined together!

Side note: I am not a huge fan of processed foods, especially soy products which are not organic. However, making a dip for a party doesn’t happen everyday and moderation is key. This dip sure beats the alternative… cruelty to animals, planet and your arteries!

Simple Mango Chutney Dip

What you’ll need

1  8 0z tub of Tofutti brand  Better than Cream Cheese

1 jar  of  Trader Joe’s brand Mango Ginger Chutney (or similar brand)

1 Cup or more of  Vegan Bacon Bits (I love the one Whole Foods sells in bulk)

The green section of a few Green onions (or Chives if you choose)

Wheat Thin Crackers. These are the original recipe cracker of choice but now I like Trader Joe’s version which has simpler ingredients and similar flavor.

How to prepare it

I used a 9″ round glass pie dish. First, spread the “cream cheese” on the bottom of the dish. Next, spread all the delicious Mango Ginger Chutney on top of the cream cheese to cover it (it has a spicy kick but don’t worry, the cream cheese tones it down when eaten all together, it’s perfectly balanced flavor!). Then sprinkle on the bacon bits which add a ton of flavor and a bit of needed crunch (I left no Mango Chutney uncovered). Last, cut the green section of a few green onions in about 1/4 inch pieces or smaller and sprinkle them on top for flavor and color and as much as desired (I sprinkled a much lesser amount than the Bacon bits). It’s that simple! Your dip is prepared…

 

Enjoy!

The Karmatarian~

 

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Secret Cilantro Guacamole

So I’m thinking you need my secret guacamole recipe! Being the holiday weekend, you might be looking for a great dairy free appetizer. Most appetizers revolve around cheese… This is always my staple vegan, vegetarian and raw  (besides the chips) appetizer which is fun and festive! Friends ask me for this recipe all the time!.It reminds me of fresh table side guacamole at a very high end Mexican restaurant. I don’t prefer garlic or jalapeno’s in my guac but suit yourself. Add it after you try it my way!

Secret Cilantro Guacamole

Ingredients

2 large ripe avocados (preferably)  or 3 small

1/4 cup red onion

1/2 cup tomato

1/2 bunch of cilantro for 1 Tablespoon of specially prepared cilantro *see below

1 slice of lemon

1 slice of lime

1/2 tsp sea salt

Organic corn chips (I prefer blue corn)


The Secret is the Cilantro

Ok there’s nothing really secret about adding cilantro to guacamole folks. It’s how you add it! I have been trying to perfect my guacamole recipe for years and I finally have it down to a  science (for my taste… and it seems for everyone’s I serve it to) It started with these basic ingredients but included chopped cilantro. But when you dip your chip, you may or may not get a taste of chopped cilantro and in my opinion, the cilantro makes it! I got lazy one day and instead of chopping cilantro, I found these frozen cubes of cilantro from Trader Joe’s, thawed one or two  and added it! It was so amazing because the cilantro flavor was blended throughout the dip which means every bite tastes the same, delicious! However, I wanted to figure out how to make it organic, raw and as fresh as possible without those additives Trader Joe’s put in those frozen cubies… Here is what I came up with using my blender, which tastes even better (I have not tried the food processor).

Specially Prepared Cilantro

About 1 cup cilantro (the green leafy parts. You can cut and toss the stems) … give or take

About 1/2 cup water … give or take.

Put both ingredients in the blender and blend or pulse (you don’t need to do much)  it will be soupy, but should remain thick enough to be caught in a metal mesh strainer.  Strain and scoop a Tablespoon of the cilantro mixture to be added to the guac. If there is left over, don’t toss it just yet. You may desire to add more. I have not tried to freeze my own cubes of this mixture but it’s on my list. Let me know if you try it!


Putting it all together

Cut your avocados in half lengthwise around the seed and then remove. Squeeze out your avocados into a bowl.

Move on to chopping the red onion and tomato. I’m a sucker for infomercials! I love using the Vidalia Chop Wizard for this because the ingredients will be the same shape and size. Add this to the avocados in the bowl.

Cut the end off the lemon and lime. Cut one slice (about 1/4 inch) of each and remove the seeds. Squeeze the juice of each slice into the avocado mixture. One slice of each has worked for me, but thin slices! You can always add more.

Add 1 Tablespoon of the specially prepared cilantro mixture. Add 1/2 tsp of Sea salt and mash. Start with a potato masher and then switch to a spoon as to leave it a chunky texture. Taste with your chip. Depending on how salted or unsalted your chips may be, you may need to adjust the salt. Adjust if necessary, the lemon, lime and cilantro according to taste and then try not to eat the whole bowl!

I would love to hear your thoughts and reviews!


Enjoy!

The Karmatarian~

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