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I don't know what happened to all the pictures I took at Monday's Taste of the Majors-but I swear I posted 25 here on fab40 as both an album and tried to get them on the post itself.  No matter, hope you more tech savvy readers found them!

Today, we're back to talking about some vegan dishes.  Both these recipes would make a great addition to your Fourth of July celebrations this weekend too.  Now many of you have read many times about my love for hummus-here's a great Italian version made with white beans.  Another bonus, it's from a Weight Watcher book!

White Bean and Roasted Garlic Dip, courtesy of Cathy Thomas at the OC Register

Yield: 6 servings

•1 head of garlic (6 large cloves used in this recipe)
•1 teaspoon extra-virgin or 2 teaspoons water
•1 cup canned cannellini beans, rinsed, drained, divided use
•2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
•1 extra-virgin oil
•3 green onions, trimmed, minced (include half of dark green stalks)
•1/4 orange or red bell pepper (or one “sweet” pepper about 2 inches long), cored, seeded, finely chopped
•1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro or parsley
•1/8 teaspoon salt
•1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (see cook’s notes)  

•For serving: Broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, carrot sticks, small sweet pepper halves, pita chips or tortilla chips or toasted baguette slices  

Cook’s notes: Instead of cayenne, I like to add a squeeze of Shiracha, the squeeze-bottle hot sauce with a rooster on the front.


1. To roast garlic: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Using sharp knife cut off 1/3 at pointed end of unpeeled garlic head. Enclose in aluminum foil cut side up. Open slightly and drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil or 2 teaspoons water. Seal foil and place in preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until cloves are soft. When cool enough to handle, invert and squeeze 6 cloves from their papery sheaths into food processor. Leftover roasted garlic can be refrigerated airtight and used in dressing or tossed with hot pasta.  

2. To the roasted garlic in the food processor, add 2/3 cup beans, lime juice and oil. Process until smooth.

3. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in remaining beans, green onions, bell pepper, cilantro, salt and cayenne. Refrigerate covered at least one hour or up to 24 hours.

Source: Adapted from “Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook – Momentum Program Edition”  

Here's a great salad-those of you who want to make it more carnivore friendly can cut back on the olives and add some salami and feta cheese.

Yield: 6 servings

•8 ounces orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
•1 teaspoon salt
•1 teaspoon extra-virgin
•2 medium yellow crookneck squash, trimmed, diced
•2 medium zucchini squash, trimmed, diced
•1/2 large red onion, finely diced
•1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, diced
•1 cup grape tomatoes or cherry, halved lengthwise
•Minced zest of 1 lemon (colored portion of peel)
•2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
•3 extra-virgin
•2 teaspoons salt
•Freshly ground black pepper to taste
•1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
•4 cups washed baby spinach or mixed baby greens
•1 cup drained, pitted olives, such as kalamata or niçoise
•Optional garnish: microgreens  


1. Bring large pot of water to boil on high heat. Add 1 teaspoon salt and orzo. Cook until al dente. Drain and refresh with cold water. Drain and toss with 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil. Set aside.  

2. Place squash, red onion, bell pepper and tomatoes in large bowl. Gently toss. In small bowl or 4-cup measuring cup with handle, combine zest, juice, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt, pepper and parsley. Stir to thoroughly combine. Pour on vegetables and toss. Add orzo and toss. Taste and adjust seasoning.

3. Divide spinach among six small plates or place on platter. Top with vegetable-orzo mixture. Top with olives. If desired, scatter some microgreens (tiny immature greens) on salad.

Source: “Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce” by Cathy Thomas

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