Tuesday 8 May 2007

Seeking carrot dip in a sea of recipes

I wasn’t that hungry tonight because I had drinks and nibbles at work before I came home - perfect opportunity for a ‘chips, dips and dorks’ reference :-). But I needed something quick and healthy after last night’s patchy evenings dinner on the run of a flourless chocolate muffin, a cheesymite bread scroll, and carrot and hummus dip. (I cannot recommend this as a balanced meal but I would highly recommend the film, The Lives of Others - watch for the fleeting but fascinating cake scene!)

When I was thinking about dips on the weekend I had remembered an excellent carrot and bean dip I made for a party earlier this year. It was not only smooth and tasty, but also colourful. But one of the problems of so many recipes is that I couldn’t quite remember where I got the recipe.

I have an old diary where I have written out many recipes over the years. It feels like a record of my cooking journey. In the first pages it has a few meat recipes from my pre-vegetarian years, then it goes into basic vegetarian recipes, decadent recipes and then healthier recipes. When I look in there I am reminded of friends who have shared recipes and meals with me. I thought it was in there but wasn’t sure it was the carrot and bean dip I found in my notebook.

Recently I counted that I had 75 cookbooks, and tonight I didn’t have the energy to dip (ha ha) into these books. One of my pipe dreams is to have the time to input all my recipes from my recipe books from my cookbooks and others that I find in magazines, the net and with friends into a database and then the day I want a carrot dip recipe I could put in key words. What joy that would be! But I have calculated if there are an average of 100 recipes per book it would meant 75,000 recipes. So for the moment my wondrous database remains a distant dream.

So both the recipe archive and recipe memory failed me tonight. I tried the carrot and bean recipe in my notebook but I suspect it is not the one – it is a lot more spicy and less fresh than I remember. Ah well, at least it still had lovely colour. I treated it as a puree more than a dip tonight and served it with some veggie patties from the freezer and some sprouts. And I think the leftovers will go well on tortillas with salad. But I will continue searching for the recipe in my memory.

I confess I haven’t always noted the source of my recipes – this is one recipe where I have been neglectful but here it is with reduced oil.

Spicy Carrot and Bean Dip
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 6 large carrots, cooked (I steamed mine about 15 mins)
- 400g tin of white beans (cannellini, which I think might also be white kidney beans), rinsed and drained
- ½ tsp salt (or to taste)

Fry onion and garlic in oil til golden brown. Add curry powder and cumin for another minute. Then blend onion mixture with remaining ingredients in food processor til smooth (if your food processor is small like mine, you will need to do it in batches - but you will get layers of lovely colour before you mix it like in my photo). Serve hot as puree or cold as dip.

On the Stereo:
Son of Evil Reindeer: the Reindeer Selection

10/5/2007 - PS I did use this for last night's dinner and it was delicious - I put the carrot and bean dip with cheese between two tortillas and grilled it in the style of what I have always thought was quesadillas but according to wiki is a sincronizada. Had it with broccoli, baby spinach and tomatoes. But next time there wont be so much curry in the dip (which by the way is still residing in my freezer and fridge in various containers - it just goes on and on).


  1. That database sounds like a bloody good idea!

  2. thanks Lucy - I think it is really something I would need to get someone else to do, so if you ever have heaps of time on your hands :-) just joking of course - we can only dream!

  3. Wow! 75 cookbooks! That's quite a few! The database does sound like a great idea, but also sounds like a ton of work!!

  4. Gulp, yes Scottish Vegan, quite a lot - and I'm sure I will keep buying - but prudent purchasing is necessary due to my lack of space - and I must use them too, rather than just surfing the great database we all call the net :-)

  5. That recipe diary is and will be a gem in future!
    Yes, it is such a problem to not know where a recipe is now hidden.

  6. thanks Half Cups - I do love my notebook and get a little sad that I use it less these days because I write recipes on the blog instead but I am sure it will be filled sometime


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