Meatless Monday … Mediterranean-Style Cashew Cucumber Dip

Here’s a simple recipe for a dip that’s going to impress your friends at your next party. It’s got a tangy and savory, and just tastes fresh and yummy.

Before you get in a huff about blowing your diet on a dip with cashews, I’m not saying you need to spoon-feed yourself the whole bowl of it (though you may want to). Smear this on some warm pita bread slices as an appetizer and enjoy it without the guilt.

Here are some nutritional bullet points for cashews:

It has good fat: “Not only do cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts, approximately 75% of their fat is unsaturated fatty acids, plus about 75% of this unsaturated fatty acid content is oleic acid, the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. Studies show that oleic acid promotes good cardiovascular health, even in individuals with diabetes. Studies of diabetic patients show that monounsaturated fat, when added to a low-fat diet, can help to reduce high triglyceride levels.” (read more here)

It’s also fairly nutrient dense: “It packs 5 grams of protein per ounce and high levels of the essential minerals iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper and manganese, which are utilized in holistic health solutions and healthy diets.” (read more here)

This recipe comes from “Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. I have yet to find a stinker of a recipe in this whole cookbook, by the way (also worth noting that the cooks’ notes in this book are hilarious).

Mediterranean-Style Cashew Cucumber Dip
Serves 6 to 8 (but you may want to double this, it’s that good)

1 pound seedless cucumber, peeled and grated (about 1 2/3 cup, loosely packed)
1 cup raw cashews (5 ounces
2 large cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Pinch of ground white pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (optional)
A few kalamata olives, for garnish

Squeeze handfuls of grated cucumber over a medium-size bowl to remove as much juice as possible. You can do this also by wrapping grated cucumber in a cheesecloth or heavy-duty paper towel. Set aside the juice and place the squeezed cucumber in a large bowl.

Combine the cashews, lemon juice, half the grated cucumber, garlic, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper in a food processor. Blend until creamy, scraping the sides of the processor bowl frequently. Add 1 to 3 tablespoons of reserved cucumber juice to the sauce.  The final consistency should resemble a not-too-thick hummus. Scrape into a medium-sized bowl and stir in the remaining grated cucumber and chopped dill.

Cover and chill until ready to use. If serving alone, garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and a few kalamata olives, if desired.

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About kareiner

I'm an active mom who loves to cook. I'm passionate about health and fitness. I'm no expert, nutritionist, personal trainer or miracle worker. I just like being active and I like good food.
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