Sun Dried Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Dip

At first, I started this post with some grumbling complaints. What a “meh” day…a cold rain outside…first day back at work after break…blah blah blah. In reality, I’m warm and dry with a roof over my head, nice and cozy in slippers, and just had a perfect wintry mix snack…

Snagged three different designs of these adorable mugs at Target...they may or may not be my only Christmas decoration.

Snagged three different designs of these adorable mugs at Target…they may or may not be my only Christmas decorations. (Hint: they are.)

…ya gotta know when to break out the peppermint tea and biscotti. Faculty meetings are good for something! Heh.

I balanced out the biscotti with a slam-dunk of a green smoothie this morning: 1/4 cup of oats added to this mix. I think these are actually called “green thickies,” but that grosses me out. Remember that I’m challenging myself (and you!) to start each day this week with a Grinch-green smoothie for a nice boost before Christmas feasting begins.

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I’ve noticed that these smoothies keep me full and happy all the way through lunch, which is a relative miracle. I’ve usually hit two snacks and some dark chocolate by the time noon rolls around. This morning’s smoothie powered me through an intense morning of discussions about the nature and value of assessments, and the function of exams in particular. Not exactly “light” fare.

For lunch (they set me free for a brief time around 11:45), I snacked on an apple, then made two scrambled eggs with a cup of broccoli, and warmed (not quiiiiite toasted) some bread that was leftover from a potluck get-together we attended last night.

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Little heavy-handed on the broccoli…when I start to sprout florets, I’ll let you know.

What’s that goop spread all over the bread, you ask? Only the most delicious party dip I’ve ever tasted (seriously…no hyperbole here):

Sun Dried Tomato, Cilantro & Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Yield: about 2 cups.

You’ll need:

-14 oz. roasted red peppers;

-3 oz. sun dried tomatoes (about 30), steeped in hot water for 5 minutes (reserve liquid);

-4 oz. cream cheese;

-2 cloves garlic;

-2 seeded jalapeños;

-2 tsp. ground cumin;

1/2 tsp ground coriander;

-2-3 tsp. lemon or lime juice (whatever you have around!);

-1/3 cup cilantro;

-1/3 cup scallions.

Add roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, 2 jalapeños, cumin, coriander, lemon/lime juice, cilantro, and scallions to food processor. As you process, add cream cheese in bits. Add in soaking liquid from tomatoes to achieve desired consistency. Season with salt, pepper, and especially more lemon/lime juice.

Kudos to my friend Kelsey for making this last night and allowing me to share it. I plan to mess around with the recipe a bit to find an alternative to the cream cheese (Greek yogurt, maybe?) but honestly, as long as you treat this stuff like any other spread– hummus, for example– and don’t go overboard, the cream cheese will balance itself out. Moderation, baby.

I had this dip last night with chopped red and yellow bell pepper, carrots, and celery, and it was the bomb. It was equally delicious on warm bread earlier today.

Let me know if you make this for one of your holiday gatherings!

Back to the actual grind tomorrow…how many days until Christmas break?!?

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