Virtual Spring: Katie’s Creamy Aspara-Dip

March 19, 2008


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As always, thanks for reading.  I look forward to seeing you at the shiny new Diet, Dessert and Dogs!

“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.”]



Well, it snowed AGAIN yesterday (is this grating on your nerves as much as it’s grating on mine?* I mean, it is now March 19th.  Like, what’s up with that? Snow is just. . . so. . . wrong at this time of year.  In either hemisphere). 

I am yearning for spring like the Tin Man yearns for a heart, like the artist formerly known as “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince” (now known just as “Prince”) yearns for purple, like Hillary yearns for the nomination–but it’s all for naught.  It’s still miserable outside.  I’m still miserable inside. Oh, woe, oh boo hoo, oh woe is me (shouldn’t that actually be “woe is I”? Ach, whatever.)

Well, if I can’t have a dip in a pool, I’ve decided to just have a dip.

Dips evoke warm weather in my mind. I love me a good hummus, smoothed languidly over falafels on outdoor patios, or lolling atop baby carrots as the HH and I enjoy a relaxed preprandial interlude, watching The Girls fight wrestle frolic on the lawn during summer evenings. Traditional spinach and onion dips, bean dips, veggie dips, even sweet fruit-and-nut dips–they’re all served at outdoor Bar-B-Qs, weekend picnics, or summer wedding buffets.

(“We love dips too, Mum.  Especially skinny-dips. How long till we can play in that wading pool again, Mum?”)

As soon as I began to search for dips on other food blogs, I was rewarded with a treasure trove of recipes. A few that intrigued me included Kalyn’s Slow Roasted Tomato Hummus ; Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen’s Shiny Happy Hummus; Farmgirl Fare’s Hot Artichoke-Chard Dip (how can you go wrong with chard?); Green Gourmet Giraffe’s Spiced Carrot Dip; and  The Good Eatah’s Super-Simple Magic Bullet Bean Dip (partly because I’ve been fascinated by that Magic Bullet ever since I first saw that cheesy infomercial starring Mimi and Mick, at home with their annoying, hung-over friends).

Still, the dip that beguiled me the most was the Creamy Aspara-Dip from Chocolate Covered Vegan.  Brilliantly green and smooth; glossy, even–how could I resist that emerald harbinger of springtime after all these months of desolate winter wasteland?

“The Ugliest Food You’ll Ever Love,” trumpeted the blog entry, and “If you aren’t a vegan, this dip will most assuredly NOT convince you to become one.” I remained undeterred, and not just a little entranced by the radiant, grassy hue. Katie promised to share the recipe with those who asked, so I asked away. 

I should pause at this juncture to explain something.  I feel extremely fortunate to have begun cooking and baking quite early on, and equally fortunate to have developed a concomitant ability to virtually “taste” a recipe just by reading the ingredients.  This sense comes in handy when I want to decide whether or not to try something I’ve never eaten before (pears and balsamic vinegar?  Yes.  Smoked tofu?  Yes.  Kale and seaweed salad?  Okay. Goji berries and mint?  Not so much.)

The HH, on the other hand, was not blessed with this particular brand of sensory imagination.  On Sunday mornings (okay, more like afternoons), we’ll sit across from each other at the brunch table, leisurely perusing the National Post, Globe and Mail  and Toronto Star as we sip on our respective hot beverages (his: hazelnut-flavored coffee with 10% real cream; mine: Krakus coffee substitute with chocolate flavored almond milk–like a mochaccino!). We’ll occasionally pause to read something of interest to the other across the plates and mugs.  

Mostly, the HH reads me stories from the Business section, about how an economic disaster (the likes of which we’ve not seen since 1929) looms, say, or where to find the latest ultra-exclusive audio gadgets (did you know you can buy stereo speakers that cost over $100,000, for instance?).  I read to him from stories in the Arts and Life section, about how workplace bullying is more harmful to employees than sexual harrassment, say, or how women who rate their relationships as happiest are the ones whose spouses share at least 50% of the household chores.

Every once in a while, though, I’ll forget that he lacks an ability for conceptual cooking and may emit a remark such as, “Oooh, listen to this: watermelon and basil salad.  Doesn’t that sound fantastic?” To which he’ll counter with a response such as, “Bwwwffffzztttt!” (that’s a spontaneous spraying of hazelnut-flavored coffee and 10% real cream over the Business section of the newspaper). Of course, he simply can’t imagine it.

Well, as soon as I read the list of ingredients in Katie’s dip, I knew I’d enjoy it, despite her dip-deprecating comments.  And it was, indeed, lip-smackingly, lick-the-spoon delicious: creamy, with a citrusy tang and sweet, green undertones.  Though he couldn’t imagine it beforehand, the HH was happy to consume a hearty portion.  And it provided us both with a little dip into virtual springtime.

Because this recipe contains not one, but two veggies, it’s the perfect dish to submit to Cate’s weekly ARF/5-A-Day event, over at Sweetnicks.  She posts the roundup every Tuesday evening, so feel free to check it out then!

Katie’s Creamy Aspara-Dip



This dip is quick, easy, and, as Katie wrote, “this stuff tastes terrific.” While it’s great on crackers or crudités, I bet it would make an excellent pesto-like dressing for a summer pasta salad as well.  If summer ever arrives, that is.



16 Responses to “Virtual Spring: Katie’s Creamy Aspara-Dip”

  1. Vegan_Noodle Says:

    Okay, this made me laugh several times pretty hard! You are too funny. SOrry you’re still experiencing winter!! We actually got mild cool front today, which is nice cuz we didn’t have much of a winter. I think the high today is still 70. Hang it there. It’ll make it your way.

    Glad you got Katie’s asparagus dip recipe! That sounds delicious. And springy. There’s all kinds of asparagus in the grocery stores here.. love this time of year!

  2. Romina Says:

    I can’t believe how much snow you guys are getting! While over here in the West we haven’t seen snow in ages… it actually feels like Spring for once when spring rolls by. (The world is just upside down..)

    I’m so happy to see asparagus! One of my favorite foods. =) I’m going to try this because I can never get enough.

  3. Monika K Says:

    I’m with Vegan Noodle – this was a fun post to read (I love parenthetical side comments). Plus, the dip sounds really great!

    P.S. Not to make you jealous or anything but it’s clear, sunny and warm here (and by warm I mean 28 degrees F). Happy spring to me (fingers crossed)!

  4. I’m still amazed at how you were able to make the aspara-dip look yummy, instead of looking like a bunch of green goop! And your post is so well-written! (I should’ve known that it would be, considering how eloquent of a writer you are.)

    I had to laugh at the Goji berries and mint part!

    Never fear, summer IS coming (it’s just taking its gosh-darned time!).

  5. holler Says:

    I enjoyed your post! I do think this dip would be good on pasta salad, but I also think it would be gorgeous mixed with baby potatoes! I am going to try the carrot dip you mentioned too!

  6. Karen Says:

    Hi Ricki!
    Isn’t it amazing how wonderful cumin and lime taste together? It’s my new favorite dynamic duo!

    The dip looks fabulous. I’m coming to your next party!


  7. Johanna Says:

    This looks like a wonderful dip to banish winter blues – but it is so many months til we have asparagus I can’t even think about making it right now! Maybe when spring rolls around! Glad you liked the look of my spicy carrot bean dip – although not my favourite –

    sometimes I wonder if I do have the ability to taste a recipe but reading as I am often surprised but I guess I have some foodie intelligence as I am always sizing up recipes in the way you check out clothes in a store (sometimes when you try them on they fit and there are a few that look ridiculous!)

  8. Lucy Says:

    You are so much fun, Ricki!

    Ugly? I don’t think that looks ugly at all. God, I want to dive right on in.

    Happy Easter, darls – hope you get a lovely break with the HH and the girls.

  9. Courtney Says:

    Oh yuuummmm…I am obsessed with dips! That sound so good–thanks for sharing! And I just got some asparagus today at the store–I think it was meant to be!

    And I feel you pain with the snow–we had a storm yesterday and we are supposed to get another big snow fall on Friday (4-6 inches)!! What?! Tomorrow is the first day of spring for heavens sake! Hopefully spring will come soon…

    Courtney (in MN)

  10. Somehow I think with my 102F in the shade last Monday that the Southern Hemisphere is not in a heap of snow danger at the moment.

    Hope yours melts soon though.

    Kind Regards

  11. Ricki Says:

    Vegan Noodle,
    Oooh, I am so jealous of your weather. But thanks for the pep talk. . . will hold on (as I watch more snowflakes dancing outside my window. . . ) 😦

    I feel the same way–love asparagus!

    At first, I read your comment as 28C–now THAT would be warm! Glad you’re having a bit of a thaw.

    Glad you liked it! And thanks for the encouragement. (Oh, and it NEVER looked like goop–or I wouldn’t have tried it!)

    I love the idea of potatoes with this. I think I’m going to have to try it over the Easter weekend!

    It is a fabulous combo. And please do come to that party–it will be a great excuse to throw one 😉

    I like your analogy of clothes shopping! I guess I should have asked which dip you liked best before posting. So, which dip DO you like best?

    The feeling is mutual. Hope your holiday is marvelous, too! (lots of plans for long walks in the woods over here) 🙂

    Thanks for commiserating. Hope those 4-6 inches never arrive. . .we will have to cheer on spring together, too!

    Thanks so much for your comment, and for visiting the blog! I guess being too hot can be just as annoying as too cold (esp. for your cute doggies).

  12. Johanna Says:

    thanks Ricki but I don’t mind which one you pick – different people, different experiences and different days bring out differet favourites – the carrot dip is not my favourite because it wasn’t the recipe I thought it was (hence my uncertainty about my foodie intelligence) but I think my favourite dip today might be the smoky sweet potato and bean dip for creamy comfort food. Ask me another day and I might tell you another one! And I am making the pea pesto this afternoon which I have been dying to repeat

  13. Meg Wolff Says:

    Yum! This dip looks like a winner!

  14. Amanda Says:

    Oh my goodness this looks gooooooood. Oh, tell me when you want me to stop doing these nutritional breakdowns–I just figure that people visiting a blog with “diet” in the title might wanna see it? I know you’re not a calorie crazie and more just into the health, but yeah–again just let me know!

    Ok, so since its a dip let’s say a serving is 1/3 of a cup?

    Calories: 37 Fat:1g Sodium:56mg(2.3%) Carbs:5g Protein:2g

    Yeah. That’s right. Say you want a full cup of the stuff? That’s just 110. Go wild!!! *knows what she’s stuffing into her pita tomorrow.*

  15. Amanda Says:

    Oh PS. I think Goji berries and Mint would taste good given the right opportunity. ^__^”’

  16. […] Dessert and Dogs is back this week with a perfect Think Spring dip – Asparagus.  I’ve made a good one from Paula Deen before, but this one looks quite a bit […]

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