Cheesy Coconut Bean Dip

Hey there friends.

Are you still recovering from a post-Valentine’s Day sugar overdose like I am? This is what I was surprised with on Tuesday:

B-e-a-utiful flowers, but more importantly, half a dozen cupcakes from Cupcake! AH! I was so excited. And a little overwhelmed with where to begin. So many choices! 
“They’re alllll yours,” Greg says as I hold the box in my hands, shaking my head saying, “I really shouldn’t eat all of these myself. I really shouldn’t……but I will if I have to!” 
And I am going to have to. Greg won’t even eat one. Not even half of one. 
So that’s what I have been working on for the past couple of days…eating cupcakes. And I still have two and some crumbs left. It’s like a magical never-ending cupcake box. (I can’t eat these cupcakes quite as quickly I can eat others. They have so much delicious, but rich, frosting that I fill-up more quickly than usual.)
If you had a sugar-filled Valentine’s like I did, you might just need something, well, not so sugary. 
After making the coconut cake last week, followed by the coconut cupcakes, I was left with an open can of coconut milk in the fridge (that’s a lot of ‘coconut’ in one sentence, huh?). 
When I saw Jessica’s recipe for Coconut and Citrus White Bean Spread, I was thrilled to have a reason to use the rest of that milk. 

I loved the dip with whole wheat Ritz crackers, but I found another use for it as well. The past couple of days for lunch I have spread about 1-2 tablespoons of the dip on a hamburger bun with turkey and/or avocado. 
Well, here I am again, about to go spread this dip on a sandwich for lunch today! I am all out of avocado, so maybe I’ll throw on some extra turkey.
Tonight Greg and I are going on our Valentine’s Day date. We never did get a reservation on Tuesday, so we agreed we were just fine with waiting for a special dinner until today (the only reservation they had available for the rest of the week!). I still don’t know where we’re going, but I have a good guess. I’ll let you know if I was right tomorrow.
Meanwhile, have some coconut bean dip. Or, just keep on eating those Valentine’s chocolates 🙂
Cheesy Coconut Bean Dip
(Adapted from How Sweet It Is)
Makes about 1 cup of dip
1-15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 cloves garlic, roasted
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1. In a food processor, combine beans and roasted garlic. Blend until smooth. Add orange juice and coconut milk. Pulse until well-combined. Add salt and pepper and pulse to combine. Pour into small bowl and set aside.
2. In a saucepan, melt shredded cheese over medium-low heat. Stir cheese continuously until completely melted, about 3-4 minutes. 
3. Pour melted cheese into bowl with bean mixture. Stir with spoon to combine. Serve immediately. 

Smashing Chickpeas

Hummus. Hummm hummm hummus. 
I’m a little intrigued by chickpeas…garbanzo beans. Whatever you want to call them. 

Who knew it was so easy to smash them up and they’d turn into a nice little healthy spread?

Well, ‘easy’ is a relative term. I guess it would be ‘easy’ if one had a food processor to grind up these chick-ity peas. But ONE does not have a food processor. How dare I call myself a foodie. Don’t worry, the appliance is on my Christmas wish list! And since it’s almost September, that means it’s almost fall. And after fall comes winter. And during the winter it’s Christmastime! So it’s perfectly acceptable to have started a Christmas wish list.
Moving right along…where was I? 
Oh yeah. Since I don’t have a food processor, I had to get creative. From past experience, a blender isn’t always a good alternative. So good ole trusty Mr. Hand-Mixer won out.
A few minutes and several flying chickpeas later, I was left with hummus. It turned out I was much better off just smashing the beans with the beaters turned off  rather than trying to blend them on high-speed. It was actually kind of fun 😛
Hummus is one of those foods I only recently started to like. I actually think I skipped the ‘like’ part of the relationship and jumped right into love. 
I don’t know what inclined Greg to buy that first container of Sabra hummus awhile back, but I’m so thankful he did. For something that never appealed to me, partly because I thought it was so bland, has become a permanent fixture in our fridge. To say Greg and I are hummus fanatics is an understatement. I absolutely love hummus spread on a turkey wrap, or as a dip for pita and veggies.  
While Greg and I have mostly stuck to the Supremely Spicy flavor (from Sabra), we have also tried garlic, basil and pesto hummus. But the Spicy has remained at the top of the list.
Until now….until this.
This hummus is still spicy. Hey, it better be if Greg is going to enjoy it. And the cheddar cheese makes it unlike any other hummus I’ve had. Also, because of my unconventional method of turning the beans into mush, it was left a bit chunkier than you normally find it. Turns out I like it better this way anyway. 

I can’t wait to make this again and try some new flavor combinations. 
What are your favorite flavors of hummus?
Jalapeno-Cheddar Hummus
(Adapted from Eat.Live.Run.)
Makes about 2 cups
1 15.5 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons warm water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1. Combine chickpeas, jalapeno, olive oil, water, salt and cumin in food processor and process until smooth (OR combine in medium bowl and smash with hand-mixer)
2. Add the cheddar cheese and blend again until ingredients are well-combined.