Thai Black Bean Dip

50947039504422009_R699jHQK_cI apologize for our absence over the past month. After an eight day business trip to Vegas in mid November, the Thanksgiving holiday, and a 10 day Caribbean vacation, we are slowly getting back into the daily grind. We hope to post some healthy holiday recipes in the coming weeks.

This past week, our bariatric support group held its annual holiday party. We were asked to bring bariatric-friendly snacks and appetizers. Knowing that people from all stages of surgery would be present, I opted for a bean dip. I figured it would work for those not yet on solids, as well as, experienced patients.

I came across this recipe a few years back in the local newspaper. It was billed as a black bean hummus. Looking at the ingredients, you can see that there is a definite Thai twist to the recipe. Black beans, cilantro and peanut butter figure prominently in Thai cuisine.

This dip is pretty versatile. You can serve it with whole grain crackers or veggies at a party. Appetizer pinwheels are also nice when you incorporate a few chopped veggies and maybe some smoked turkey. It makes a great dressing on a flour tortilla wrap.

Thai Black Bean Dip

3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 can (15 oz.) black beans
1 tbsp. peanut oil or other vegetable oil
3 tbsp. low-sugar, smooth peanut butter
Juice of 1 lime
salt to taste

Peel the garlic and rinse the cilantro well, shaking the leaves to drain excess water. Pat dry with a paper towel. Remove any tough lower stems, but do not worry about the smaller, upper stems. Rinse and drain the black beans.

Drop the garlic cloves one at a time through the processor feed tube with the motor running. Chop finely. Drop in the cilantro and chop well. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the processor bowl as needed. Add the beans, peanut butter and oil. Squeeze in the lime juice.

Process until the beans are pureed and the dip is mixed well, about 1 minute. Stop once midway to scrape down the sides of the processor bowl. Taste the hummus and add additional lime juice as desired. Serve at once or refrigerate, covered, for up to 3 days.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Each tablespoon has about 34 calories (42 percent from fat), 2 grams fat (trace amount saturated), no cholesterol, 2 grams protein, 4 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram dietary fiber and 29 milligrams sodium.

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