Cheddar Almond Crackers and Roasted Red Pepper Artichoke Dip

Tune of the Day: Belle and Sebastian – Step in to My Office Baby

In a frustrating attempt to deal with a yeast problem, I’ve been following the Dr. Rosedale program. It’s a very restricted way of eating, but will do me a lot of good. I plan to keep up with it until the Christmas season begins, so from now until then I will be exploring recipes that are low in sugars and carbohydrates and full of fat and flavour!

I’ve been missing snacks on this program; the only snacks offered are toasted nuts or vegetable sticks! Where is the comfort food? Where are the real munchies? I was sure I could come up with something; here are my results:



Cheddar Almond Crackers

These delightful crackers pack enough crunch to be a satisfying munchie whilst staying within the realm of low-carbohydrate snacks. The nutty flavour offered by the almond flour pairs delightfully well with a sharp cheddar cheese although the crackers would also work well with an aged gouda, or could be modified by adding various spices; a basil-flavoured cracker would make a beautiful base for bruschetta!

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup almond flour OR 2 1/2 cup sliced, blanched almonds
1/8 tsp finely grated sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese or aged gouda
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large egg

Process:

Preheat your oven to 350oF.

If you’re starting with almonds or almond slices, you’ll need to make almond flour! This is most easily done by pulsing the almonds in a blender until they resemble mostly fine crumbs. I left mine on the chunky side to give the crackers a rustic texture but for a more refined morsel you’ll want to make sure that these crumbs are as fine as possible!

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, cheddar cheese, sea salt and baking soda. Set aside. Whisk together thhe olive oil and egg and gently combine with the almond flour mixture. It should resemble a very dense dough that sticks together without being overly moist. Turn it out onto a large sheet of parchment paper.

Put another piece of parchment on top of the dough and roll it out into a thin rectangle. Be careful! If your crackers are too thick they’ll have to bake longer to get that crunchy cracker texture; if they’re too thin, they’ll fall apart in the oven.
Cut your dough into crackers; a pizza cutter works well if you’re in a rush but cookie cutters make fun shapes!

Turn the crackers onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt.

Bake for 10 – 15 minues, or until golden brown. Let cool, and enjoy with Red Pepper Artichoke Dip (below).


Roasted Red Pepper Artichoke Dip

In my opinion, there are few things better than a really good Artichoke dip. Thick and gooey cheese with mellow artichoke hearts baked together? Yum. Unfortunately, nothing in traditional artichoke dip except the artichoke heart is allowed on the Rosedale program. But I was not dissuaded! I had a can of artichoke hearts collecting dust in my basement and was determined to create some sort of ooey gooey dip for my Almond Cheddar Crackers (above). The result is a scrumptious dip that spotlights its biggest star: the artichoke. It stands well on its own, would be great as a dip for vegetables and is light enough in flavour to complement the Almond Cheddar crackers.

Ingredients:

1  red pepper
2 cloves garlic
olive oil
1 tbsp mayonnaise (made with olive oil, not veggie oil)
1 tbsp vegetable stock
1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese
1/4 cup light cream cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can or artichokes — drained, rinsed and chopped
1/4 cup shredded romano or parmesean cheese

Process:

Heat oven to 400oF. Roast the pepper and the garlic in a splash of olive oil. Remove the skins and place the garlic and pepper in your blender. The easiest way to do this is to pinch the garlic on it’s skinniest end and squeeze it right out of its skin! Cover the red pepper with tinfoil as soon as it is out of the oven and let sit for 10 minutes. The skin should start to separate from the meat of the pepper. Get your hands messy and peel it off!

Pile all of the ingredients except the artichoke hearts and romano cheese into your blender. Pulse until combined but still chunky. Let it hang out there while you chop your artichokes.

Combine these with the dip in a large bowl, and turn the entire mixture out into an oven safe dish. Top with the romano cheese and stick under the broiler until the top is brown and bubbly. Let cool slightly, and enjoy with Almond Cheddar crackers!

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3 Comments on “Cheddar Almond Crackers and Roasted Red Pepper Artichoke Dip”

  1. Ani Says:

    The recipes look wonderful, but to know you managed to meet your diet’s criteria – that is amazing! Thanx for sharing. I have never tried making crackers!

  2. Jenn Says:

    Kate,
    I hope you read this reply.

    First, thank you so much for your comment. It’s so comforting to hear that I’m not crazy and that some comfort might come from all the pain.

    To write down every stage of this process is the only thing I know how to do. It’s the only way to keep myself sane. Sometimes it’s the only way I can remind myself that it is, in fact, a process and something that I’m moving through and not just a giant black hole.

    I had a friend who lost her father to cancer three years ago tell me that she wishes now that she had written things down, that she doesn’t remember what happened in those first couple of years now. And as painful as this is, I want to remember it somehow. I’m functioning is such a daze that the blog posts and journal entries are the only things I have to hold on to.

    I hope you are finding some outlet for your pain. You need one in order to be strong for the next phase of your journey.

    I’ll be thinking of you, your mother and those who love you.
    Anytime you want to drop a comment, rant, blubber or babble, feel free. I don’t have much to offer but I’ll be there.

    Jenn

  3. wenchhandle Says:

    Great post! You hit on several things I’ve been working on, in my head. First the Yeast issue. I recently learned that Yeast can be a problem for many who don’t even know that it is the problem. I purchased a book called “Gillian McKeith’s Food Bible, The complete A-Z Guide to a Healthy Life.” Some of the remedies are foreign to me, but the symptoms are clear. She states that foggy eyes/vision can be a symptom of high levels of yeast in the body.

    Anyway, can’t wait to try your cracker recipe and your dip.
    Thanks for sharing.

    eatablebiomatter.wordpress.com
    Shannon


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