Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mad Dash (mock salmon pate or red pepper dip)

The weekend before last Chop and I had some weekend visitors, our friends Tess and Justin. I had to work while they were here, but was able to spend some time with them on Sunday before we all had to leave the island. Justin and Tess were on their way home and Chop and I were on our way to his stepfather's 50th birthday party. We woke up early and had a big family breakfast (one of Chopper's favorite things to do), we had mushroom and swiss omelette with smoothies, toast, arugula salad, and lime-aid that Chop had bought special for our breakfast occasion. After breakfast we all took a leisurely walk around town and got home with about 45 minutes to get ready and catch the boat.

When we have to get ready for the boat is usually when my most creative juices get flowing, it's amazing really. The ideas I have, the gifts I want to bring to the mainland, the food I see in the fridge that could possibly go bad in the time I am away, all of this leads to creative and quick thinking. I have been known to bake off a quick batch of cookies, or a loaf of bread with minutes to spare for cleaning the kitchen and putting on my lip gloss before we land on deck. This of course drives Chopper insane! He cleans around me with his backpack on, ready to walk out the door, as I dash for the last minute tupperware and my cell phone and wallet that are always needed for the trip. I can't help myself and I know I can do it.

So this time it was a red pepper walnut dip that I knew I wanted to make for Dan's party. As I showered I thought of the ingredients and where they are all located in the kitchen, I planned what I was going to wear and what I would pack to bring with me. I thought about how I would be started and near finished before Chopper realized what I was actually doing. I had 30 minutes before the boat would leave, I was in the shower, I had to get dressed, pack and make the dip...I could do it. Done and done, easy peasy.

Our friends stood by the door with their bags and giggled as I threw the ingredients into the blender. I assured Chop that it would take me 5 minutes as he shuffled around me (with his backpack on) and put things away as I finished with them. We walked, not ran, onto the boat that day. Chop was a little frustrated and I had the buffer of our friends to laugh it off with. "I would just be marveling at how amazing my girlfriend is, in a matter of 20 minutes I showered, dressed, packed, and made a dish for a party." Not too taunting right? He eventually smiled and explained why it is he gets so frustrated, which I know, and completely understand. We have had this conversation many times before, and I always see his point, I just cannot help myself.

SO if you are ever in a crunch and you have the ingredients on hand, than this is a great nutritious dip or spread. "Raw foodies" call it mock "salmon" pate, because it has the pink color and the celery adds that familiar flavor of a tuna sandwich. I used my blender instead of the food processor, so instead of it having a more dense texture like a pate or salmon salad, it was really smooth, more like a dip.

1 Red Bell Pepper
2 cups Walnuts
1/2-1 tsp Sea Salt
2 stalks Celery
1 large Scallion

Put in food processor and blend ingredients until creamy or a nice mixture of creamy and chunky if that's how you like it.

This is a smoother, creamier version. Good to serve with crackers or vegetables as a dip, or as spread on a sandwich. Leaving it a little chunkier makes it good on a salad or in a wrap with lots of veggies.