Creamy, tangy yogurt and fresh lemon juice make this bean dip delightfully different.

This recipe is featured in Justa’s weekly feature, Fantastic Foods Friday.

If you have never cooked your own beans, it is incredibly simple, and no more difficult than boiling a pot of noodles. Worried about the uncomfortable side effects? Someone once told me that to get rid of the gas, you just have to poke a tiny hole in each bean to let the gas out (lol!) But seriously, visit this website for some great info on beans and how to make them virtually gas-free.

I had a lot of cooked beans left over from making my black bean & turkey burgers last week. Extra cooked beans are great sprinkled on salads or tossed into a soup for lunch, and taste better than the conventional canned and salted versions. What to do with the extras…fiber for my morning smoothies? No way! Bean dip? Heck yeah!

The beans I had left over were a mixture of black and pinto. I like them both, and they looked pretty displayed in my clear oxo pop containers (which are excellent for storing flours & grains, btw.) But when you cook them, the pinto beans pick up a reddish tint from the black beans. Since the beans would end up in chili, turkey burgers, or mashed into a bean dip mix, I didn’t mind this at all.

The base of this recipe starts with a yogurt-tahini mixture, similar to the sauce for falafel, but much thicker. Use Greek-style yogurt, but if it’s not handy, drain regular yogurt in a paper towel-lined strainer for a few hours before using to get the same consistency. It’s great as a dip, as a spread for crackers or bread…I even topped my black bean burgers with the bean dip, and it was even more delicious!

Surprise your guests with a new twist on bean dip!

Black Bean and Yogurt Dip

1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups cooked, unsalted black beans (or pinto, or adzuki, or a combination)
1/3 cup tahini (to make your own: add 1 cup raw sunflower seeds to food processor, grind until texture is sandy. Drizzle in about 1/4 cup olive oil, process until it forms a smooth paste.)
1/2 cup Greek-style plain nonfat yogurt
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Olive oil
lemon zest
raw sunflower seeds


Soak minced garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil, set aside. Mash beans and tahini in large bowl with potato masher or pastry cutter until most of the beans are smashed to your liking. Add yogurt, lemon juice, kosher salt, and minced garlic with olive oil. Mix well. If too thick, add a teaspoon of water or lemon juice (if you like it lemony.) If too thin, add more tahini. Put mixture in a serving bowl. With a clean finger or chopstick, make a swirly pattern in the dip. Carefully drizzle olive oil into the pattern. Sprinkle with raw sunflower seeds and lemon zest. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Serve these delectable lemon-scented morsels with some chamomile tea.

I love how the internet can provide us with so many delicious ways to eat healthy. Search for a key ingredient, cuisine, or phrase like, “gramma’s blackberry jam” and you’re bound to find the one that’s just right for you. You may even come across a food blog that has some great ideas on healthy eats that are just too irresistible to pass up (hint, hint!)

Actually, that’s how I felt when I read The Veggie Nook’s latest creation this morning. I thought this would be a great recipe to try out, especially since I love lemons! I was so glad I had these ingredients on hand and started hauling out my food processor just minutes after reading her blog. I made a few changes, such as substituting some of the hemp seeds with raw sunflower seeds, adding coconut flour, used 2 figs and reduced the agave syrup, and I also added the juice of 1/2 lemon to satisfy my “sour tooth.” They’re a delicious and incredibly healthy snack, and you can find the recipe right here. Thank you, Gabby, for sharing this wonderful, spring-welcoming recipe!

The main ingredients: shiro (white) miso, sesame oil, and lemon.

Miso is a fermented soybean paste that can be used to add rich flavor to soups, as a flavor-enhancer for burger mixes, smeared on fish and broiled to a carmelized crust, or as a savory dressing or marinade.

Here is a recipe for a tangy dressing I like to use on salads or as a marinade for chicken. Do you like deviled eggs? Try mashing hard-boiled yolks with a bit of miso-lemon dressing and you’ll be surprised at the results!

Miso-Lemon Dressing, serves 4

2 tablespoons shiro (white) miso paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
juice of 1/2 lemon, plus zest (zest the lemon before you cut it in half, it’s easier!)
2 teaspoons yellow mustard OR stone ground mustard
1/4 cup water (more, if needed)
1 teaspoon golden flax seeds (optional, but good for nutrition content)

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl, adding enough water  to thin to desired consistency. Makes approximately 4 oz dressing.

For salads: put mixed greens in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon dressing. Toss well, a little goes a long way!
As a marinade: smear miso-lemon dressing on meat, seal in ziploc bag and refrigerate for 6-8 hours or overnight.
Miso Deviled Eggs: mash 2 teaspoons with 4 egg yolks, adding more dressing to taste. Fill hard-cooked egg whites with mixture, sprinkle with sesame seeds or flax seeds and chopped green onion.

Tossing a mixing bowl full of greens (about 4 cups) with just a tablespoon of miso-lemon dressing is more than enough to flavor your favorite salad. Ingredients here: mixed greens, chopped apple, chopped dates, raw beets, sliced grapes, hard-boiled egg, strawberries, soaked almonds, and goat cheese.