Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Whole Foods for the Holidays: Real Food Appetizers

October 25th, 2010 · 15 Comments · Recipes

Welcome to my humble abode! Please take no notice of the dust on the shelves, the hand-me-down furniture and the fact that you can barely walk around the kitchen table without bumping something…it’s all about the food, you know!

sweet potato garlic dip

Even that may not always look so fantastic, but I put a lot of effort into both taste and nutrition. I take deep joy in watching guests appreciate my food as they eat, and a sort of secret glee that I’m serving something that’s probably healthier than anything they’ve had in a long time.

I see hosting visitors or bringing a dish to pass as a challenge: how can I make something people will truly enjoy, that has either a hidden or overt powerful nutritive boost, and that is frugal enough that I don’t mind sharing, even if by chance no one appreciates the effort?

A dip is the perfect grab and go dish for a big gathering, in my opinion. People love to be able to cruise the appetizer table, grab a cracker or veggie, dunk, and be on their merry way. whole-foods-for-the-holidays

This one fits into this week’s theme of Fighting Germs Naturally perfectly with its fresh garlic. More on garlic tomorrow!

With a gorgeous autumn orange offset by the deep green of fresh parsley, this simple, nourishing spread has everything going for it: seasonality, aesthetics, quick prep, and even an immunity boost for the folks rubbing shoulders while they sample your real food appetizer. I serve it with homemade sourdough crackers, but it’s even better with my other homemade cracker recipe that tastes just like Wheat Thins.

Sweet Potato Garlic Spread  (Scroll down for Print version)

Ingredients:

3 small or 2 large sweet potatoes (~4 cups)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp oregano
1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste

sweet potato garlic dip prep

Why yes…there are four garlic cloves in this photo. It was zangy, with emphasis on the ZANG!

Method:

Bake sweet potatoes until soft. I like to simply scrub the skins, place the whole potatoes on a cookie sheet or baking dish, and bake along with another meal I’m making sometimes a day or two before I need to make the appetizer recipe. If baking alone, 400F for 45-60 minutes should do the trick, depending on the size of your sweet potatoes. Cool completely, then peel and place into a medium bowl.

Mash somehow or another: a hand blender is my favorite, but you could use a food processor, a potato masher or even a sturdy fork.

Optional step: sauté the garlic in the olive oil over low heat until aromatic. I usually choose to skip this step and just go with fresh for the immunity-boosting properties of raw garlic.

Add garlic, oil, and all the other ingredients to the mashed sweet potatoes and mix until uniform. You can adjust the garlic to taste: more for adults who love it and less for children. Keep in mind that the intensity of the garlic will increase quite a bit, even if the spread only has to wait in the refrigerator one night. I like to add a bit extra lemon juice, because that zing gives the whole dish something special to talk about.

Tip: Plan to make homemade chicken stock the same week you need to take this dip somewhere so that you can buy one bunch of fresh parsley without waste.

Sweet Potato Garlic Spread
Print
Recipe type: Appetizer
Author: Katie Kimball
Ingredients
  • 3 small or 2 large sweet potatoes (~4 cups)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Bake sweet potatoes until soft. I like to simply scrub the skins, place the whole potatoes on a cookie sheet or baking dish, and bake along with another meal I’m making sometimes a day or two before I need to make the appetizer recipe.
  2. If baking alone, 400F for 45-60 minutes should do the trick, depending on the size of your sweet potatoes. Cool completely, then peel and place into a medium bowl.
  3. Mash somehow or another: a hand blender is my favorite, but you could use a food processor, a potato masher or even a sturdy fork.
  4. Optional step: sauté the garlic in the olive oil over low heat until aromatic. I usually choose to skip this step and just go with fresh for the immunity-boosting properties of raw garlic.
  5. Add garlic, oil, and all the other ingredients to the mashed sweet potatoes and mix until uniform.
  6. You can adjust the garlic to taste: more for adults who love it and less for children. Keep in mind that the intensity of the garlic will increase quite a bit, even if the spread only has to wait in the refrigerator one night. I like to add a bit extra lemon juice, because that zing gives the whole dish something special to talk about.
Notes

Tip: Plan to make homemade chicken stock the same week you need to take this dip somewhere so that you can buy one bunch of fresh parsley without waste.

 

You can serve the sweet potato spread with crackers of any kind (I’d recommend Wheat Thins if you’re going with purchased crackers; the sweetness is actually just perfect to compliment the garlic). Other tasty options include tortilla chips, toasted pita chips, mini bagels, or even fresh vegetables. It’s especially attractive on cauliflower florets. sweet potato garlic dip

My son requested that I made the homemade crackers and this dip for the teachers at his school when they had to stay late for parent-teacher conferences. I just love that it seems par for the course for him to expect his mom to make homemade crackers to share, and that he thought others would love them (they did!).

Sneak Preview!

I’m pretty excited to be the star of the November thank-you video for those who make a payment of any amount for their participation in the GNOWFGLINS eCourses. I’m sharing this garlic sweet potato spread and another appetizer, a tangy avocado dip:

tangy avocado dip with props tangy avocado dip with carrots

One of its ingredients is yogurt cheese (or goat cheese if you’re not feeling frugal), so there’s also a bonus video demonstrating how I make yogurt cheese and whey.

I admit that the avocado dip went over much better with the teachers, but I (ahem) kind of forgot that the garlic would intensify so much in the sweet potato dip. Perhaps they were afraid they’d knock out the parents with their garlic breath!

Both the Fundamentals and Sourdough eCourses have ongoing enrollment, and the Pay What You Can paradigm has the added benefit of allowing you to choose those classes that interest you the most and skipping others you don’t have time for without feeling like you’ve wasted a registration fee.  If you’re curious to see two teachers make homemade sourdough crackers so you can serve them with this lovely sweet potato spread, click HERE and check out lesson 12 in the sourdough eCourse.

The gift for this month is definitely a frugal gem: Wardeh demonstrates how to make homemade soap in the crockpot. Make a payment now to receive it, then again anytime in November to get my holiday appetizer videos.

Also at KS this week:

Three giveaways:

  1. In the Kitchen: Real Food Basics by Kate Tietje, ends 10/26.
  2. 20 WINNERS for Green Pasture Fermented Cod Liver Oil, ends 10/29.
  3. Herbal Nurturing eBook by Michele Augur, ends 10/31.
  4. Some crazy grassfed vs. grainfed and what the heck should we feed animals dialogue in the comments of this post. Are you in favor of big farms feeding more or smaller farms with down-to-earth practices?
Whole Foods for the Holidays Carnival Linky: ENTER HERE

whole-foods-for-the-holidays I’m so pleased to play hostess for this week’s real food progressive dinner. Please see the full list of participants and upcoming themes HERE. You can also still link up a soup post in last week’s carnival (Mine = black bean soup). All the linkys will remain open until the end of the meal, when we will choose some of our favorites and highlight your recipes in a wrap-up post.

Feel free to link up new or old recipes, as long as they are within the scope of “real food” – you can pronounce all the ingredients and make it within your own home. Better yet if the ingredients are all healthy or traditionally prepared, but we understand the value of baby steps!

Etiquette for linking:

1. This linky allows you to link to your homepage AND the permalink for your carnival post.  Be sure to leave a permalink, along with a little description.

2. Please link back to this post. If you choose an old recipe, it would be lovely if you mentioned the progressive dinner in a current post to share the fun with your readers. You can copy this line into a blog editor if you’d like:

Find other real food appetizer recipes at Whole Foods for the Holidays: A Real Food Progressive Dinner, hosted by Kitchen Stewardship this week.

3. If you refresh the page to see new entries, click “cancel” when a box asks you to resend information, or else your entry will come through twice.

Example

Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship My carnival post You can write a brief (250 chars) synopsis here to tempt readers to visit your post!


Sarah @heartland Renaissance Buffalo Chicken Dip A real-food version of a creamy, party dip. Perfect for tailgating!

Sarah @heartland Renaissance Smoked Salmon Spread with Pecans Elegant for a dinner party, or great for getting more iron in your toddler (or you!) at lunch, this is a favorite in our home!

Sarah @heartland Renaissance Smoked Salmon Spread with Pecans Elegant for a dinner party, or great for getting more iron in your toddler (or you!) at lunch, this is a favorite in our home!

Kelly the Kitchen Kop HEALTHY APPETIZER RECIPES I couldn't pick which one to use, so here are all my appetizer recipes!

Milehimama @ Mama Says Dips for Dummies Six easy no-recipe dips for veg, fruit and crackers, plus two no-fail cheeseballs so easy your kids can make them!

Shannon @ Cooking God's Way Sour Cream & Onion Dip Who wants to eat the chemical-preservative laden store-bought dip, when you can make this homemade sour cream & onion dip at home…considering how easy it is.

Katie @ Riddlelove Olive Fig Tapenade with Cheese This will change your life. The end.

Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS 3 Delicious and Healthy Appetizers 3 sure-to-please appetizers: the best tortilla chips you'll ever make and 2 dips (herb or black bean).

An Hour in the Kitchen Apricot and Goat Cheese Canapes I love these. They are, tasty, easy and pretty, the three things that I look for in hors d’ouvres.

Dr. Laura @ WhoIsLaura.com Spelt Buttermilk Biscuits These yummy biscuits go with just about anything!

Dr. Laura @ WhoIsLaura.com Spectacular Sauteed Green Beans This is our family's favorite way to eat green beans!

Lisa Jalapeno Poppers A real crowd pleaser!

Titus 2 Homemaker Sausage-Cheese Balls Easy to make, easy to transport, and easy to eat (not messy)!

SnoWhite @ Finding Joy in My Kitchen Broccomole Dip Yummy cracker/veggie dip made from broccoli! A healthier alternative to guacamole.

Tara @ Keep it Real Lacto Fermented Hummus A healthy, delicious dip or spread for homemade pita chips and cut up veggies.

Anne @ Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy Meatballs and Dips Zucchini meatballs with Yogurt Dip, plus a couple extra ideas to make a complete appetizer \"meal\" out of finger foods.

DeputyHeadmistress at The Common Room Pumpkin seed deep salmon quesedillas and pumpkin seed salsa

Aimee @ Simple Bites -Whole-Wheat Buttermilk Dinner Rolls Now you can serve your dinner roll baked in a little canning jar!

Meg's Favorite Recipes Awesome hummus! An easy, yummy, and nutritious hummus to serve with veggies or crackers

Meg's Favorite Recipes Asian Meatballs Meatballs with an Asian kick and nutritious, too!

Kara @ Taste is Trump. Baked Zucchini with ranch or marinara

Kara @ Taste is Trump. Spinach, Fig and Prosciutto Pizza a delectable combination

Kara @ Taste is Trump. Black Bean Salad with great southwest flavor

Kara @ Taste is Trump. Multi-grain Crust and Pear-Walnut Pizza

Kara @ Taste is Trump. Hand-Rolled Meatballs Oh so tender and oh so flavorful!

Melissa @ Restoring Simplicity Slow Roasted Carrots and Sweet Potatoes

Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama Stuffed Mushrooms Lightly sauteed mushrooms stuffed with bread crumbs, clams, and cheese. Delicious!

Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet Nourishing Appetizers Some very nutrient dense appetizer recipes as well as vegetarian options

Wendy @ The Local Cook Black Bean Dip Very versatile little dip!

Katie@ Mexican Wildflower Guacamole A great start to any Mexican Meal!

Tammie @ Simple, Healthy, Tasty Lettuce Wraps If you like P.F. Chang's...you're gonna love these.

Emily @ Live Renewed Easy Black Bean Hummus An easy and yummy take on hummus, including black beans, raw garlic and homemade yogurt.

Fi @ WhereFishSing.com Gyoza Super tasty Japanese steamed/fried dumplings that happen to be vegan & much easier to make than you may expect

CasualCrafter @ Our Learning Curve Sushi Simple to make, great to use leftovers, great for adding variety!

Miss Nirvana @ Creating Nirvana Spicy Pumpkin Dip An easy appetizer to make using pumpkin and hot peppers

Heather@Mommypotamus Copycat Whole Foods Salmon Dip An elegant and simple rendition of Whole Foods' famous smoked salmon dip.

Jenny@Losing Creek Farm Fresh Apple and Fruit Dip Quick and easy to make ahead of time...just reheat and serve warm or room temperature.


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Keep up with KS for recipes, research, real life tips and more!  Sign up for a free email subscription or grab my reader feed. You can also follow me on Twitter, get KS for Kindle, or see my Facebook Fan Page.

If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.

Kitchen Stewardship is dedicated to balancing God’s gifts of time, health, earth and money.  If you feel called to such a mission, read more at Mission, Method, and Mary and Martha Moments.

Disclosure: I am a teacher for the GNOWFGLINS eCourses and also share in the payments from my own readers. Thank you always for making a payment, but know that we truly mean “pay what you can” according to your means.

I’m also popping into some other recipe carnivals today: Tempt my Tummy Tuesday and Tasty Tuesday, and definitely the Ultimate Recipe Swap on “food you can pack to share” and “Appetizers” at Life as MOM.


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Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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