For the past 2 days, I have been baking batch after of gluten-free pumpkin muffins, trying to come up with the PERFECT muffin. I thought it would be easy peasy. But sometimes the baking gods are with you and sometimes they’re not. I have my fingers crossed that the batch that are beautifully rising in the oven as I type, will turn out to be those perfect muffins. A big dome on top that’s lightly cracked, a soft and tender interior. To say that I am a perfectionist is an understatement.
If you didn’t know this about me before, I’ll fill you in. I’m super-obsessive about testing my recipes. I test them over and over again, until they’re perfect (and meet my long criteria list). I often take this another step further, and tinker with them even more, so that I can share variations of the recipes. Some might call me crazy, but there’s nothing more frustrating than going to try someone’s recipe, and having it fail. Not to mention the time involved and the cost of ingredients too. So it’s what I do. I keep going until a recipe works, and is utterly scrumptious. Case in point last night. I thought my son was going to have a heart attack, when he looked into the garbage can, and saw dozens of muffins that hadn’t passed the test. After a month away at college, it was almost too much for him to bear. It was like a muffin graveyard. I should have taken a picture of it.
So, what does pumpkin muffins and obsessive recipe testing have to do with garlic mustard dill dip you ask? Well I’ll tell you. With all of the hours each day that I spend recipe testing and developing, whether it’s muffins or casseroles or gravy, when mealtime comes around, I want something easy, chock-full of veggies, and with a punch of flavor (not too much to ask right?). Plus, I don’t want to have to stop what I’m doing and cook something else. So, I want to share one of my favorites lately. I steam up a big pot of fresh vegetables (sometimes green beans, cabbage, brocoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, or whatever is fresh and you feel like eating). When the vegetables are cool, I refrigerate them in a large glass container. Then I whip up a batch of one of my favorite dips (Garlic Mustard Dill Dip), and I have something fresh and healthy to eat whenever the mood strikes. The sauce is also fab with steamed artichokes, asparagus or fresh, raw veggies. The original recipe is adapted from a recipe by Sarah Kramer (I think it’s a Dilled Cream Cheese recipe out of her first book). So I adapted it, and with her sweet permission, filmed it for Everyday Dish (see the video there too). I’ve since adapted it further, omitting the salt and adding 1/4 cup Dijon mustard. This dip is so good, and is super-healthy too (and has lots of protein).
I’d love to hear what your go-to quick and healthy recipes are. It’s always good to have a few healthy tricks up your sleeve. I’ve got a few more that I’ll share soon too.
Zesty Garlic Mustard Dill Dip (gluten-free + vegan)
This sauce is fabulous served with fresh or steamed vegetables, or used as a sauce on just about anything. If you can, let the dip chill for a few hours before serving to let the flavors meld. If you don’t like the taste of mustard, omit it, and increase the salt to 1 teaspoon and the water to 2 tablespoons.
Makes about 2 cups
1 box MoriNu firm or extra firm tofu (I usually use firm or extra firm. the Lite version works well too)
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons raw unsalted cashews
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, optional, or to taste
1 tablespoon dried dill
Combine the tofu, Dijon mustard, cashews, garlic, water, granulated onion, and salt together in a blender of food processor. Blend until the mixture is ultra smooth. Add the dill and blend again briefly to mix well. If you add the dill at the beginning, your dip will be very green colored.
Scoop the dip in a bowl or sealable container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Tip: If you don’t have a strong blender, you can soak the cashews in water for several hours, to soften and make them blend easier. Just make sure to drain them before using.