Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cheeze Dip made from White Beans

I wanted to start this post with a recipe because I enjoyed this so much. This idea came from a recipe that arrived in my email from AICR a few days ago. My version is different but kept the overall vibe of the recipe. I was very surprised how well this worked. Something tells me this will be a regular recipe at my house. Here is what I did:

Cheeze Dip made from White Beans
Makes 6 servings


2 cups white beans, cooked and well drained
2 tablespoons raw sesame seeds (use tahini if aren’t using a high speed blender to make certain the seeds get completely pulverized)
6 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, or to taste
1 clove garlic, peeled
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon turmeric
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoons water (to process)
black pepper to taste


Combine the ingredients in your blender and process until smooth. The mixture will be thick so that you can use it to fill a tortilla for a quesadilla or mixed with roasted veggies and stuffed in a pepper. I think this will have a lot of uses.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories-  153.19
Calories From Fat (21%) - 32.19

Total Fat - 2.97g
Saturated Fat - 0.45g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium-  47.05mg
Potassium - 314.07mg
Total Carbohydrates-  17.34g
Fiber - 6.88g
Sugar - 0.04g
Protein - 6.47g


This turned out much better than I expected it to. I did not expect beans to make such a nice cheese substitute. This is a concept I will be playing around with more in the future. White beans are nice mild canvas to flavor.

Monday Means Lots of Life Administration at Our Place

As I mentioned earlier I was on the road first thing Monday morning with a run to the library. Other than taking a little while to start reading “Engine 2 Diet” I was moving since early morning. However it has been good because I was able to accomplish a few things that have been on my to-do list last week. It always makes me feel better to cross things off my list. I wonder what that says about me. Hmmmm. ;-)

Dehydrated Leeks:

Since I had a little time I prepped a big batch of balsamic glazed leeks to have on hand for topping salad and soup. After reading an article about how effective raw leeks are at stopping cancer growth I first tried making the crispy leeks. They work well to top cooked food just before serving. I try to keep these on hand in my pantry.

Vegetarian Restaurants in the DC area:

For those of you that are local I wanted to share this dining out guide from the Washington Post for Vegetarians. There are a few restaurants I will be checking out from this list when I am near DC.

Snack Yesterday Afternoon:

Late yesterday I got a little hungry so I grabbed a few baked falafel from the freezer and popped those into the microwave. I had them with a little bit of salsa. If it weren’t for falafel and salsa I swear I wouldn’t know what to eat sometimes.


At about 7pm Dan called and said don’t wait for me for dinner. He has meetings out of the office all day today (Tuesday), Wednesday and Thursday which means he doesn’t have much time to actually get work done. This meant he worked late last night and grabbed Chinese (steamed veggies and cashews) with sauce on the side for dinner. Thankfully the Chinese place near his office is open fairly late so he can always find something to eat in a pinch.

Since I was on my own for dinner I really didn’t feel much like cooking. If I had not had 2 collard wraps already I would have grabbed one of those for dinner but the novelty had worn off my dinner time. The only food that was appealing to me was frozen grapes. I tossed a cup of those into a bowl and had 6 walnut halves to go with them. The nuts always seem to make the fruit more satisfying to me.


Holy moly it was downright cold this morning! I didn’t check the weather channel but it felt like it was in the 50s. When Dan left for work I thought I would hit the pavement and get my cardio in. Three houses from my front door I turned around to grab my fleece. It was not warm enough this morning for running pants and a long T shirt. I was happy to get finished so that I could get home and warm up a bit. Brrrr, it was cold. This was the first morning I was actually cold not just cool.

Breakfast this morning was a smoothie like yesterday containing: 1 frozen banana, 3 kale leaves and stems, ½ avocado, 1 ½ cups green tea, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger, and ½ inch fresh ginger. It was a good smoothie and very creamy.

I made something similar for Dan this morning before he left. His had twice as much kale and banana and I added ¼ cup of oatmeal to his as well. He said it was good, not like banana soft serve good, but good nonetheless. ;-)

To warm myself up I made a couple of mugs of hot water with lemon slices. I love hot water with lemon slices on cold mornings because it is warming but still refreshing.

Exercise Ball Review:

I have had the chance to play around with the 8 pound exercise ball that I bought a couple of weeks ago. It has been very useful in terms of abdominal work. I was a little concerned that sharp cat toes may be the end of this, like an exercise ball that my youngest popped before I could use it once. However either this is tougher rubber or it hasn’t interested the cats.

Benefits over using a dumbbell or a plate: 1) more quiet and less destructive when dropped, 2) more comfortable to use for weighted bridges 3) more comfortable to hold on my chest for weighted crunches 4) can also be used as a medicine ball in partner exercises which wouldn’t work with a dumbbell or plate. Overall I like the ball and find it to be a nice addition to my equipment. Not to mention I couldn’t beat the price at Marshall’s. For $12.99 I knew I had to bring it home when I saw it.


Today for lunch I made myself an enormous salad because I was really hungry, or at least I thought I was. My salad included 1 pound of spicy greens (mizuna, tatsoi and arugula) 4 Roma tomatoes, ¼ cucumber thinly sliced, ½ carrot thinly sliced, 1 cup cold cooked cannellini beans, ½ cup of salsa and 1 tablespoon of raw pumpkin seeds. I thought I could eat all this but I was no longer hungry after I finished ¾ of the salad. I saved the remaining ¼ of the salad to eat as my afternoon snack.

Book Review: Engine 2 Diet

I picked up this book from the library for obvious reasons. It is written by a healthy vegan athlete so I expected it to be right up my alley, and it was. The book is segmented as follows:

The E2 Diet

1. Engine 2
2. My Story
3. The Engine 2 Diet
4. Crazy Myths About Food
5. The Medical Proof Behind the Engine 2 Diet
6. The E2 Exercise Program

Making it Work

7. The E2 Attitude
8. E2 Vital Signs
9. Label Reading
10. Making it Work for Life

Recipes and Meal Plans

11. GettingE2 Shape
12. E2 Easy Weekly Planner
13. E2 Recipes

I enjoyed this book more than I expected. I liked that there was a lot of decision about the interconnectedness of health and nutrition. The author does a nice job explaining why a whole food plant based diet without oil is the best choice in terms of overall health.

The exercise section of the book provides body weight only strength training that would be very handy for those just getting back into exercise.

The recipe section is much more extensive than most “diet” books. I was a little surprised to see TVP listed given the soy protein isolate issue. There are also baked goods included with use flour and sugar so you know I won’t be making any of those. However these are my only substantial complaints about the recipes. For the most part the recipes are whole food plant based with little or no oil and sugar.

Overall I think this is great book for someone that wants to either clean up their vegan diet, or wants to jump start their health in a dramatic way.

Signing out:

That is going to be it for me today. I will be back tomorrow with another update. I hope everyone is enjoying their Tuesday.


  1. Thanks for the great info., Ali. That cheeze dip and salad looks great. I need to eat more spicy greens, which I like a lot. I'll also keep an eye out for that book at the library...may have to order it though. Have a great evening,

  2. Aimee,

    Thank you! I was happy with the bean dip. The concept was much more effective than I expected.

    I love spicy greens but Dan is not a huge fan so I eat them when he isn't home. ;-)

    The book was also good; better than I expected actually. I hope your library has it.

    hope you have a great evening too,

  3. "It always makes me feel better to cross things off my list. I wonder what that says about me. Hmmmm. ;-)" I don't know what that says about you, but it says the same thing about me, as I am the same way, lol. I have lists upon lists of things to get done, and nothing feels better than crossing something off of them :-)

    I am glad to hear you liked the white bean cheeze. It is good, isn't it?! I love how you can make it so thick and creamy in the vita-mix.


  4. Ahhh, loving this recipe! Thanks for sharing. I have been wanting to get a weighted ball. For the most part I can get away with using a weight, but sometimes for ab exercises, a ball is more ideal (like between knees for reverse crunches). If I could, I'd share some of the heat here with you ;-)

  5. I need to get some falafel in the freezer. I made your recipe once before and loved it - I get a little tinge of jealousy whenever I see them pop up in your meals. I'm gonna have to make myself a big batch so I can do the same thing.

    I really like white bean dip, so I'll be interested in trying your cheeze version and excited to see what you do with it.

  6. Mmm, baked falafels. Awesomeness! Interesting sounding book too!

  7. Hi Ali! I've been wanting to read this post all day since you tweeted it...I finally had time to sit down for blogging (reading and writing) time. The cheeze dip looks and sounds phenomenal. It's on my to do list!


  8. I love, love, love the look of your salad! While I am not into nooch, I am slightly interested in trying your cheese spread. I have read about the engine 2 diet, in a magazine. I will check it out! Talk to you later! B

  9. Courtney,

    Birds of a feather.....and all that, LOL. I have a friend working on her PhD in Psychology now I will ask her what our list crossing off means. Do we really want to know? ;-)

    The white bean cheezy dip was great. Thanks for the nudge to get right on this, LOL. It was so much better than I anticipated. I can just imagine it holding together a quesadilla.


  10. Heather,

    I think you and Jason will enjoy the cheezy bean dip. It took the flavors much better than I thought it would.

    Brilliant idea of using the weight between the knees for reverse crunches. I use my ankle weights but this would be quicker. Thanks for sharing that idea.

    We are supposed to get a little heat tomorrow and may reach 89 which will be great if it happens.

    talk to you later,

  11. Jessica,

    I really would be lost without my freezer stash of falafel. I ate the last three yesterday so it is time for me to make a double batch for the freezer. It is so good to hear that you enjoy the falafel too, that makes me smile. :-)

    I can imagine the cheezy bean dip would make a fabulous quesadilla. My first use will most likely be in a collard wrap (because it is me after all). ;-)

    hope you are having a good evening,

  12. Carissa,

    There was a section in the book regarding diabetes. I thought of you when I read it. You may want to check your library to read that part for your hubby.


  13. LJ,

    This dip is SO healthy yet tasty. I am really happy with it for those reasons. Can't wait to hear what you think of it. :-)


  14. Brandi,

    The salad was good and very, very filling. I was shocked that I couldn't finish it, LOL.

    I think the cheezy dip would be good with less nooch since you don't love that. It is very thick and the flavor is not all noochy since I added dijon and smoked paprika. You could start with a tablespoon or two of nooch and increase the other seasonings.

    The Engine 2 book is quite good. Rip is definitely his father's son, and in the best possible way. I think you would enjoy it you should see if you library has it.

    talk to you later,

  15. Do you know if the dip keeps well? Would it be ok in the fridge or freezer for long?

  16. Katie,

    I keep bean dip in the frig often for 5 - 7 days and it has always been fine. Since I freeze cooked beans regularly the dip should freeze well, but I have not tried that. It may weep/separate a little when defrosted. If that happens I would pour off the excess water.


  17. Ooh, I love the cheezy dip using white beans idea!

  18. Melisser,

    I loved the idea when I saw it too and knew I had to play around with it. I hope you like the taste and texture as much as I do. :-)


  19. I immediately ran to my kitchen and whipped up the bean dip. AWESOME.

    Then, I added a little garlic and onion powder, lemon juice and sun dried tomato powder and blended again. Again, awesome.

    Thanks for the recipe. Making a bigger batch today.

  20. Methinks,

    I am so glad you enjoyed it. I loved playing around with the original recipe I saw. Your additions sound great.

    I need to make another batch of this too just as soon as I make more white beans. This is going to be a regular item in my kitchen.


  21. I've been spending some time going back through your archives and making some of your older meals. My goal this week was to try making nut cheeses (almond feta is next up) but I had a bunch of navy beans to use up and found this recipe. It's fantastic (although it makes me wish I had a high-powered blender or a food processor). Thanks Ali for putting these awsome ideas out here. It's recipes like this that make being a vegan easy, fun, delicious and healthy.

  22. Shannon,

    I am so happy to hear you enjoyed this. It was a revelation to me that I could turn beans into "cheeze". I love that it is low in fat yet high in fiber. What is not to love? LOL

    I love the almond feta but it is rich so I only use a little at a time now. It did help me get over my cheese addiction. BTW I do typically make the almond feta in my food processor. The trick to getting that smooth is a nice long soak. You can start soaking a couple of days before you want to make the cheeze and leave the nuts and water in the frig.

    enjoy the rest of your evening,


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