Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda

Warm and Cheesy White Bean Pesto Dip
Have you ever had one of those weeks that is loaded with tasks, to-dos and tedious work? Bills to pay, appointments to make, mouths to feed, money to make, calories to count...whew I'm tired just thinking about it all.

The worst thing of all about those kind of weeks is that I feel pretty run-down by the end of it. It's counter-intuitive really; you're running errands, going to work and crossing stuff off the perpetual to-do list, but at what cost?

I recently had an "Aha!" moment when I smugly looked at my to-do list one night thinking I had done a great job. I realized that the 3 things that didn't get done were: 1) work out 2) personal devotion/quiet time 3) cook dinner. The three things on the list that I most enjoy and pertain to me or my family's personal health and joy. It hit me hard. There is a tremendous amount of guilt when you have to say "no" to something for the sake of yourself and your family. I'm not advocating being self-centered here. I truly believe that serving and giving back to the world requires sacrifice, but when did sacrificing myself become alright to do all the time? I'm still learning the perfect balance.

Now it's time to get off the soapbox and put on my apron. Recently I put down the to-do list, and set aside an afternoon to be in the kitchen and perfect this amazing recipe. I made 2 batches, tweaking and tasting along the way and came up with a real winner (especially now that football season is here and everyone loves snacking.) This is a *Girl From Scratch exclusive original recipe here folks. I hope you enjoy!

Warm and Cheesy White Bean Pesto Dip
Cast of Characters: Cannellini beans, fresh garlic, light sour cream, store-bought pesto (you can use homemade if you have it), mozzarella, parmesan, or any white Italian cheese. 

Drain and rinse beans. Put in pan with garlic and a splash of olive oil. Heat through.
Once heated place beans in food processor with 2 tablespoons of sour cream. This helps loosen up the beans when they get a little dense.
Add 2 tablespoons of pesto. Salt and pepper to taste.
Spread into a baking dish and sprinkle with cheese. I used shredded cheese and then topped that with grated cheese. 
Place in the oven on BROIL for 3-5 minutes. Watch carefully the broiler is fast!

Serve with veggies and chips.

Actual Recipe:
2 cans Cannellini Beans
2 TB Light Sour Cream
2 TB Pesto Sauce
2 Garlic cloves
1 cup shredded Mozzarella
1/2  cup grated parmesan

Drain and rinse beans. Put in pan with garlic and heat through. Puree with pesto and sour cream in food processor. Spread in baking dish and sprinkle with cheese. Broil for 3-5 minutes to melt and brown cheese.
This is me diving in with a chip, I may or may not have eaten the entire pan...
Nail Color: OPI : Uh-Oh Roll Down The Window

This recipe is quite tasty and a lot of fun to create. I'm really glad I took some time in the kitchen to revive my soul and give me energy for the rest of my busy week. I definitely haven't mastered the perfect balance of life, work, me and others but I'm learning. If you have figured it out will you pass it along? :-)


  1. sounds so tasty and we can get almost all of those ingredients here... not sure about basil, but maybe could sub parsley or dill, which we have in droves!!

  2. @Caress it IS delicious! I've made dill pesto before and I'm sure it would work. But when we were in Ukraine we found basil for a friend, so they must have it somewhere in your neck of the woods. Thanks for reading!

  3. this recipe sounds AMAZING GFS!!! can't wait to try it out!!!

  4. @Hae Sung- Let me know how it goes, and if you make any personal tweaks to it!

  5. Mmmmm...MMMMM! Can't wait to try yhis one. Also inspires me to go out and get some basil seeds!!

  6. Yes @Kathleen! This recipe is totally gluten-free and 100% delicious! Celics rule!

  7. I just made a variation of this recipe. I made pesto from scratch, then instead of scraping it all out, I left some in the blender, and threw in half a can of garbanzos and one can of Cannellini Beans, along with lemon juice, cumin, cayenne, and another handful of basil, with evoo and s&P. It's like a pesto hummus! I will eat it both warm and cold. Yum! Thanks for the inspiration.

  8. @Anna I love you thrifty, resourceful way to "clean" out your food processor by adding beans to scrape out the pesto! And this recipe sounds great, I love the additions of herbs, and the 2 types of beans. I'm trying this next time I need a bean dip!

  9. By the way, I left out tahini initially, but ended up putting some in later because what I had lacked the depth that I was going for.