July – Raw Beet Dip or ‘Making Do’

July – Raw Beet Dip or ‘Making Do’

I think we are all ‘making do’ right now. It might not be as bad as rationing during the last great wars, but it feels like we are under attack just the same. I feel fortunate to have a large garden and belong to a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm where I get a box of fresh produce each week. But, unlike my own garden, I don’t get to choose the contents of the box. Turnips…sorry I just can’t get behind them, even pickled. And, although I love beets and chard, enough is enough. Thankfully they don’t include zucchini, of which I have a plethora. But, I have become creative with other items of abundance in the box.

Kale and chard are easily quickly blanched and frozen in one cup portions for soups this winter. Once cooked a huge bunch of either becomes manageable. Kale also makes an amazing raw kale pesto (see a future post for the recipe). And, I have heard it is excellent in green smoothies. Just a rumor.

Beets are delicious roasted and marinated in a simple oil and vinegar dressing. A jar of them in the fridge will make a fantastic addition to a salad with blue cheese and toasted walnuts. They are also excellent pickled, I understand they are a classic on a hamburger in Australia.

And, they are also beautiful and flavorful in this raw beet dip. Okay, I get it, you have your doubts. But believe me this dip was received with raves at a recent outdoor appropriately socially distanced cocktail hour.

How are you making do?

Butchered and shaggy hair has become a symbol of the age of Covid (our salons are closed yet again) in the same way that many of us are sporting the Covid-10 on our waist and hips. My grey roots betray my age as well as how long it has been since I have seen my favorite professional stylist. I can count the months since a professional pedicure in the polish slowly moving down the length of my big toe’s nail. I choose to wear these signs proudly as a sign of adherence to the rules.

Gone are skinny jeans, instead I wear loose fitting boyfriend jeans and an oversized T-shirt. In addition I sport a boyfriend (or husband) haircut, both of us having had a turn with the scissors. He hasn’t done such a bad job actually although I am glad I can’t see the back except with some effort. Could raggedy and un-dyed hair be a new sign of nobility and and frugality? Will the age of Covid result in a whole new standard and definition of beauty? Will I no longer want or need my quarterly routine of three hours of cut and color at a cost of $250?

Will we all wear our manes with an ownership of our own natural beauty…curly or straight, unencumbered by an outgrown standard of comeliness defined by the commercial artistry of an industry?

Anyway, food for thought.

And meanwhile we have this lovely ruby red raw beet dip to keep us happy.

Raw Beet Dip

Raw Beet Dip

You don’t need to cook the beets for this dip. Nor, if you have young and tender ones, do you need to peel them. My own was on the large side, so I did peel it. I used walnuts, but almonds are fine. In the original recipe there was a smear of labneh or Greek yogurt on the base of the dish, I didn’t have either available and we didn’t miss them. Serve this with sliced pita or pita chips or cucumber spears or even potato chips. If you only have one lemon on hand, zest it before juicing, and set the zest aside for garnishing later.

To start, get out your food processor or blender.


  • 1/2 lb. of beets (2-3 small or 1-2 larger ones) ends trimmed and roughly chopped
    • I peeled my large beet but it probably wouldn’t be necessary with smaller ones
  • 1 1/4 cup of walnuts, toasted in a dry skillet on low heat or a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Watch carefully so they don’t burn. 1 cup can be whole, chop the additional 1/4 cup for garnish.
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice, plus the zest for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses, plus more to taste
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil plus more to garnish
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Optional – 1 cup of labneh or Greek yogurt for serving


  1. Put the beets, 1 cup of walnuts, 3 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice, pomegranate molasses, red pepper flakes, garlic, and salt into a food processor or blender.
  2. Puree on high until the beets and nuts are finely chopped. Scrape down the sides and blend again until the mixture is as smooth as possible.
  3. Add the olive oil in a steady stream and blend again. You want a mostly smooth puree.
  4. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. You may need more molasses, or lemon juice, or salt.
  5. If desired and available, spoon the labneh or Greek yogurt into a small bowl, smoothing it with the back of a spoon. Spread the beet dip over the top, smoothing again. Top with the 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts, the lemon zest, and a generous drizzle of olive oil

Serve with cucumber spears and chips for dipping.

Dip will keep for a week in the fridge, covered.

Raw Beet Dip

Raw Beet Dip

What are you doing to ‘make do’?

This recipe came to me via Alexandra Stafford who writes the blog Alexandra’s Kitchen, she in turn found it in the New York Times by Tejal Rao. We have both made some modifications and adaptations.

I wonder how the folks at Fiesta Friday are making do??? It’s a virtual blogging party hosted by Angie, this week it’s #338 on the Fiesta week list cohosted by Mollie @ Frugal Hausfrau

Please come by to sample all the yummy recipes, and get craft and decorating ideas. And please consider adding your own post to the party if you are a blogger. We would love to read what’s going on in your life and kitchen, how you are making do in this crazy time.

June – Two Amazing Nut Based Spreads

June – Two Amazing Nut Based Spreads

I hesitate to call these two spreads or dips hummus as there is not a single chickpea in sight. However, use them both like hummus. They are a wonderful spread for pita or crackers, equally good as a dip with raw or blanched vegetables on a crudite platter.


The first doesn’t have any beans. If you are avoiding carbs, this is the one for you. Add some water to Almond-Sesame Dip to thin it and use it as a sauce for a rice bowl or salad. It is a versatile sauce.

Almond Sesame Sauce

Cashew-White Bean Dip uses white beans instead of chickpeas (feel free to substitute if your pantry is out of white beans). Creamy and rich, it was my special treat to enjoy the few tablespoons left in the blender after it was spooned into a serving bowl. Definitely consider using this in a wrap or sandwich.

Cashew Hummus

Both of these are filled with healthy fat and protein from nuts. And they are quick to make, simply throw the ingredients in y0ur food processor or blender, process or blend away to a smooth sauce. Both are vegan, dairy and gluten free as well.

Almond-Sesame Dip

  • 5 tablespoons raw unsalted almond butter
  • 5 tablespoons sesame tahini paste
  • 5 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons of water, as needed
  1. Combine the almond butter, tahini, soy sauce, vinegar, olive oil and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Add the water to thin to your desired consistency.
  2. Serve with raw vegetables, use as a spread or sauce.

Cashew-White Bean Hummus

  • 1 can of cannellini beans or white beans
  • 1 cup of raw cashews (I used dry roasted and salted, it turned out beautifully)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, depending on how much you love garlic (I used 3)
  • 1/3 cup of cashew milk
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (amount from about 1/2 a lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 large teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, a few really good grinds
  1. In a blender container, combine all the ingredients listed above. Blend until very smooth and creamy.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and serve with pita or crudites. Or store in the fridge, covered, for up to a week.

I am taking this to share at Fiesta Friday #173. It is hosted by Angie and cohosted by Monika @ Everyday Healthy Recipes and Suzanne @ A Pug in the Kitchen. 

Click on the Fiesta Friday link to see all the wonderful dishes that are coming to share at the virtual party. And, please if you are a blogger, consider adding your link.

School is out or almost out, welcome to summer vacation!