I'm a book junkie, really I have more books than I could read in a year, have been known to read more than two or three books at a time and in addition to being a die hard lover of actually, physical books am also completely in love with my Nook Color. So when my sister said she wished she could find a book club I jumped on the bandwagon with her. Instead of finding one (because it seemed like most in our area were reading crappy romance novels and such) we just started our own. Now what started as an excuse to read more books is an excuse to spend more time with good friends and snack on tasty treats. I know, you're shocked that between my love of books and cooking such an event would turn into an excuse to snack :)
This was all well and good for the first few meetings, i.e. pre-paleo challenge time. Cheese, vino and crackers, sliced fruit and veggies abounded during that time. This past week was my turn to host and suddenly I was feeling panicked, what do you serve a mix of paleo/non-paleo folks? Well since we're in strict challenge mode I couldn't tempt myself (or my sis) with cheese or wine (sad) and serving a plate of just straight up veggies and deli sliced turkey was too boring for my inner-chef. So off I went, searching for crowd pleasing, challenge friendly appetizers and snacks. The results, actually pretty good. I ended up with two paleo friendly dips (below), sliced fruit and veggies, some olives, plain plantain chips, homemade pickled veggies, nuts, smoked, peppered pork tenderloin and nitrate-free sliced turkey. All in all not too bad, might even make a reprise for some of these things come Super Bowl Sunday!
First on deck we had a zucchini hummus, many versions of that exist on the web but the one I used was:
3 small or 2 medium zucchini
1/2 cup Tahini
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
1. Peel zucchini very well so that no green is visible anymore. Chop roughly and drop into food processor.
2. Put tahini, garlic and zucchini together in food processor and pulse until smooth.
3. Add olive oil, lemon juice, salt, cumin and pulse again until well incorporated.
The second recipe was a fruit dip made with coconut butter (yummy), coconut milk, peaches and lime. I'll be messing with this recipe further as I think the texture could be less grainy (a product of my homemade coconut butter I suspect).
1 cup Coconut Butter (feel free to buy this but it's pricey, or you can make it easily, instructions here)
1 can Whole Fat Coconut Milk (I believe the cans are appx 14-16 oz)
2 Whole peaches, pitted
1 Lime, peeled and seeded
1. Drop coconut butter, peaches and lime in the food processor. Pulse until well blended.
2. Slowly add coconut milk, I did this in batches so that it became well incorporated.
Coconut is my newest obsession, I warn you now because it'll likely begin appearing here regularly. Sorry all I have is a pic of the whole spread on Wednesday night, not the individual dips.
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