Saturday, August 25, 2012

0 Recipe #322: Creamy Red Hot Pepper Dip

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This recipe will be featured in the fitness and nutritional lifestyle book, 7 Weeks to 10 Pounds of Muscle. All of the recipes I've created for this book are centered around healthy, high-protein selections to help build lean, solid muscle. Regular readers of this blog will probably notice that I've shifted my recipe creation style a bit for the time being to better suit the book's demographic. In other words, we're talking about quick and easy "dude food." :) You know, stuff like shepherd's pie, turkey chili, burgers, lasagna, chicken fajitas, etc. The types of things that the average guy tends to gravitate towards. Yeah, I know that usually doesn't include tofu, but the dip recipe is hot and spicy (instant "guy points") and just tastes like regular dip (Ding, ding, ding!), so that cancels everything else out. :) Plus, it's got the communal "perfect-for-guy-gatherings" thing written all over it, i.e., watching the game on TV. And what guy in their right mind can resist chips and dip while yelling at the TV set with the rest of their buddies?! :) Or at least this is the conclusion I've arrived at after a lifetime of observing men in their natural habitat. Hahaha.

Whatever type of event you're planning, this dip is perfect for parties and casual get-togethers! Or, just eat it as snack. Not only is this recipe high in protein (1 c. firm tofu = 22 - 26 g. protein!), but the capsaicin in the red chili pepper flakes has a plethora of health benefits: it fights inflammation, provides natural pain relief, boosts immunity, speeds up metabolism, and aids in respiratory, cardiovascular and digestive health. And, on top of all that, it takes practically zero time to prepare. It's instant hot and spicy deliciousness on a platter, served with your favorite accompaniments. What more reason do you need to dig in?! :)

Creamy Red Hot Pepper Dip

1/2 c. roasted red bell pepper strips, drained (from a jar)
3/4 c. firm tofu
3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. dried parsley leaves
1/4 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1/4 tsp. dried basil leaves
1/4 tsp. dried marjoram leaves
1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp. red chili pepper flakes (for mild heat), or to taste

Directions: Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until smooth. Transfer to a small serving dish, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld and dip to thicken just a bit. Serve with vegetable sticks, tortilla chips, &/or crackers.

Yield: 1 c.

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