23 June 2010

make your own veggie cream cheese

Finishing a big home project (or, heck, any kind of big project) is really an amazing feeling, and this past weekend, I was so inspired by both the accomplishment and the prettiness of the outcome that I decided to take on all of the things I've been neglecting and get back to my postmodern hostess roots... reading the last six months of Real Simple, fertilizing all of the house plants, filing all of my design inspiration clippings in my big binder, cleaning up after all of the renovation dust, sprucing up my desk area with a fab new print that Jenn sent me. (I also went to the baby shower for my friend Elizabeth, whose nursery you can see here on Sharon Montrose's blog. Sharon, who co-hosted the shower, is an AMAZING photographer, and I highly recommend checking out both her blog and her Etsy store.)

Besides just playing catch-up, I also decided to spend a little time in the kitchen, whipping up some guacamole with our homegrown tomatoes and cilantro (a post for another time... everyone has such strong opinions about how to do guacamole properly!), and throwing together some homemade veggie cream cheese.


If you have a food processor, it's crazy easy. Here's how you do it.

Compile your software: red and green bell pepper, carrot, scallions and cucumber (a pickling or hothouse cucumber is preferable for its lower water content... we don't want watery cream cheese), and a big tub of cream cheese (I like the 1/3 less fat variety) scooped into a mixing bowl


Grab your handy veggie peeler and go to town on the carrots and cucumber, and then de-seed the peppers and trim the tops and bottoms off the scallions... in total, this should take about 1.5 minutes


Run all the veggies through the food processor using the grater blade... a good tip is to pack the veggies into the tube pretty tightly and vertically for the softer ones, so that they exert more pressure against the blade and get a cleaner grate... another good tip is to save the carrots -- the firmest of the veggies -- for last so that the can help push any loitering veggies through the blade if need be... time elapsed ~45 seconds


If there are too many carrots in the bowl at the end (as there were for mine), take some of the carrots out and save them for a salad or carrot cake (or just to mold in the fridge after being forgotten). Then soften the cream cheese by microwaving it for 20-30 seconds at 30 percent power... time elapsed ~45 seconds


Stir in the veggies, leaving any residual veggie liquid out... time elapsed ~1 minute


Add a little salt and pepper, and there you have it... easy, delicious, and healthier veggie cream cheese (higher veggie to cheese ratio equals more vitamins and less fat, right?)... total time ~5 minutes, maybe 6 if you're also watching House Hunters to see how they decorated the house they bought

2 comments:

  1. i love veggie cream cheese. do you remember the reduced fat spinach cream cheese at Sue Ann's Bagels? Heaven on a bagel. i am going to try your recipe and throw in a little fresh spinach too.

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  2. I love the spinach idea, though I wonder if fresh spinach would make the cream cheese really watery? Maybe just a quick microwave and then squeeze the water out? Let me know how it turns out! (I also think next time I will *cook* the scallions... major onion-y aftertaste from this stuff!)

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