Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Dip That CAN

I have told you about Allan the Picky Eater. For me it is always a challenge to make him eat more of the things I like and more of the things that are HEALTHY for the both of us. Honestly, no one is getting younger and more than just the desire to fit into a size 4, I personally want to live a longer and healthier life. I wish I can make more time for exercise, but for now, I can't. So we're trying to eat healthier.

Up top is a veggie plate that I prepared for movie time the other night. There were more asparagus, cauliflower and zucchini available, but for presentation, we made it prettier. Haha

You can imagine that as I was slicing the veggies Allan was clearly not happy.

"Ano na naman yan?" (what is that this time?)

"Veggie platter. For the DVD marathon."

"Ikaw lang naman kumakain nyan" (You're the only one who eats that)


The key: DIP. Now you can buy any ol' dip from your grocery. I sometimes do. I usually get caesar and ranch but they can get tiring sometimes, and making your own dip is just more satisfying. Tastes fresher, too. I'll give you three dip recipes that even picky eaters will approve of! I think a good rule of thumb is that dips, when served for picky eaters, have to be thick enough to black out the taste of the vegetable, hence the use of mayonnaise. As they begin to open up to the idea of eating vegetables, you can try using less flavor-masking dips.


3-4 fillets of anchovy
about a cup of mayonnaise

-I used low fat mayo...with the other ingredients packing so much flavor, you really won't notice that the mayo is a bit less rich than the usual. You can also use Greek style yogurt, plain yogurt or sour cream.
1-2 cloves garlic, grated or one pack garlic powder
-personally, I liike garlic powder (no salt added) because sometimes raw garlic can become a bit too pungent. Allan loves fresh though, so I just use less.
Dijon mustard
-Prepared mustard or yellow mustard will do well enough. But I just like Dijon because it gives it that extra oomph and makes it taste more resto-ey
lemon juice, eyeball it (meaning, tantya)
white pepper (black is fine, but I like to not discolor it and make the dip look gray)

Mash the anchovies and add into the mayo. Mix well. Add Dijon, mix well. Add garlic and some lemon juice. I like the consistency to be a bit on the watery side (aka like plain yogurt) and not like tomato paste, so I use a bit more lemon juice. But feel free to experiment. Add the pepper and you're good to go.

I found Dijonnaise in the supermarket, might work, too.

Steaksauce Dip

This one we tried at NYFD (New York Fries Department?). Allan loved it and when I tasted it I crossly told him (imagine buying that extra dip for an unreasonable amount of money!) "Bilib ka na dyan, eh fajita seasoning lang kaya yan. I put the same stuff on rice, minsan." To which he said: "Ah. Kaya pala familiar. Mas masarap sya sa patatas." Hmf.

So I guess the secret ingredient here is out!

Mayo (or whatever mayo substitute you want)
Fajita seasoning, recipe here.

Just mix 'em together for a few Mississippis and you're good to go. If you want, you can add spring onions or parsley.


I love this best on the sweeter vegetables like carrots. The flavor contrast is wonderful!

Mayo (or whatever substitute you want)
Lemon juice
Chili powder/flakes
1-2 cloves garlic or a pack of garlic powder
(no, I didn't copy-paste this from the first recipe. haha)

Mix all the ingredients together. You may need to add a bit of salt to bring it all together.

A little tip on the veggies: first, some vegetables are actually tastier raw (at least for me) like celery, zucchini (skin on, makes it taste nuttier) and cucumber (skin OFF, unless it's really thin). Broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus, while can be eaten raw, are better received when steamed for 3-5 minutes (broccoli and cauliflower). Asparagus takes under a minute for thin stems and 2-3 minutes for the real thick ones. Carrots take around 3-5 minutes, too, depending on the thickness of the cut.

You can retain much of the nutrients in the veggies when you microwave them. 2 minutes on high for broccoli and cauliflower, 1 minute for carrots, 30seconds to 1 minute for asparagus, depending on thickness. After cooking, in either method, plunge in cold water to keep them fresh and happy looking.

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