Thursday, February 26, 2015

{Repost}--- 80--- Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip

This was good the first time around. But I thought that I could do better. And eliminate some dairy and processed stuff. So I did. And now it's better with amazing artichoke flavor. It is still a FANTASTIC tailgating/football watching snack.

This spinach artichoke dip is so tasty. Here's a tip: don't tell anyone that it's healthy. They will eat it anyways and love it.

Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip
Serves 6-8

6 cups raw baby spinach leaves, stemmed
1 clove garlic, pressed and finely minced
1 small white onion, chopped finely
2 cans quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large nonstick skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and chopped onion and saute until tender, ~ 2 minutes. Chop one can of artichoke hearts into 1/2" pieces.  Add pieces to skillet and heat for one minute. Add spinach leaves, turning constantly until leaves have softened. Remove from heat.

In a small food processor, blend remaining can of artichoke hearts until smooth. Add salt and pepper and mix to combine. Spoon puree into a medium bowl. Add sauteed spinach and artichoke heart mixture and fold to combine. Add 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and stir.

Place mixture into a 2-3 cup oven-safe crock. Top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and bake for 20 minutes. Place oven on high broil, and broil until cheese is lightly browned.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes prior to serving. Serve with Wasa crackers, flatbread, or pita chips.

Nutrition Info per 1/2 cup serving: 95 calories, 3 g fat, 6 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 2.5 g fiber

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

{Repost} 80--- Beet Salsa

My schedule has been crazy busy (and crazy fun) lately. Lots of travel and friends, which is fantastic! But it has left me little time for recipe creation.  So, this week I will be re-posting a few of my most popular recipes!

Did you know that 10-15% of the population experiences beeturia, aka: red urine after consumption of beets?  Are you one of them?  If so, not to worry.  It's a harmless condition.  My friend is married to an internist who gets phone calls about it quite often....

Beets contain two special antioxidants, betanin and vulgaxanthin, which may have detoxifying effects. 

Beet Salsa
Serves 4-6

3 medium beets, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
2 1/2 Tbsp lime juice
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Submerge beets to blanch for 4-5 minutes.  Remove and strain into a large colander and rinse immediately with cold water.  Allow to drain for 5-10 minutes.

Place beets into a large bowl and add jalapeno, red onion, and cilantro.  In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, honey and salt.  Add liquid mixture to beet mixture and fold to combine.  

Refrigerate for 30 minutes prior to serving.

Nutrition Info per 1/4 cup: 40 calories, 0 g fat, 1 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 1.5 g fiber

Thursday, February 19, 2015

80--- Indian Butter Chickpea Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce wraps have really been a thing for me lately. Give me a butter lettuce leaf and I will show you dinner.

Indian food is slowly becoming a staple in our house as well.  Recipe modification into a healthier option is easy with those intense flavors.  If you like butter chicken, this vegetarian version is worth your time!

Indian Butter Chickpea Lettuce Wraps
Serves 4-5

1 Tbsp butter
1/2 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
3 1/2 cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
7 oz plain nonfat Greek yogurt
6 oz tomato paste
1 Tbsp garam marsala
1 tsp yellow curry powder
1 Tbsp red curry paste
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 cup half & half 
1/2 cup whole milk
1 head butter lettuce 

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter.  Add in onion, stir to coat, and cook for 3-4 minutes. 

While onion cooks, whisk together yogurt, tomato paste, garam marsala, curry powder, curry paste, ginger, salt, paprika, half and half, and milk in a bowl until well mixed.

Add chickpeas and edamame to the skillet, then stir in yogurt mixture.  Reduce heat to medium low, stir and cook for ~10 minutes, or until heated through and slightly thickened in consistency.

Serve immediately wrapped in butter lettuce leaves.

Nutrition Info per 1 cup mixture: 384 calories, 9 g fat, 19 g protein, 56 g carbohydrates, 11 g fiber

Thursday, February 12, 2015

80--- Cheesy Cauliflower and Potato Chowder

Cauliflower is certainly having an all-star moment. I recently read an article that named it one of the "top 10 foods of 2015".  It's quite versatile- it doesn't have much of it's own flavor and easily takes on the flavor of the items that it's cooked with.... much like our friend the potato.  However, it contains fewer calories and carbohydrates than a spud, making it a great addition to a previously starch-heavy soup!

Cheesy Cauliflower and Potato Chowder
Serves 10

1/2 lb lean bacon. chopped
6 green onions, sliced (reserve greens for garnish)
4 carrots, chopped
6 cups cauliflower heads, chopped into 1" pieces
4 red potatoes, chopped into 1" pieces
8 cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 cups milk of your choice
3 Tbsp cornstarch 
1/4 cups cold water
6 oz Monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried parsley 

Heat a large soup pot to medium-high heat.  Add chopped bacon and saute until crisp.  Remove from the pot, leaving the drippings.  Add carrots, onion, and cauliflower.  Saute for 2-3 minutes before adding broth, potatoes, and milk.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 40 minutes.

In a liquid measuring cup, combine cornstarch and water and whisk until well mixed.  Add mixture to the soup, stirring to evenly distribute.  Continue to cook for 5 minutes as soup thickens.   Stir in shredded cheese, pepper, and parsley.  Cook for additional 5 minutes as cheese melts.  Add cooked bacon to the soup and stir to combine.

Serve immediately, garnished with chives if desired.

Nutrition Info per 1 1/2 cups: 237 calories, 9 g fat, 13 g protein, 29 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber

Monday, February 9, 2015

20--- Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroon Dessert Dip

Are you looking for a quick treat to throw together for your special Valentine(s)?  If they love coconut macaroons, they will love this dip.

Yes, coconut may be a healthier treat than, say, ice cream.  However, it still contains saturated fats and research is still on the fence about it's affect on our health.  Therefore- this one's a 20!

Serve with fresh fruit, sugar cookies, graham crackers, or just about any other edible thing.

Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroon Dessert Dip
Serves 5

4 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut flakes
3 oz lite coconut milk (canned)
3 oz mini chocolate chips

In a food processor, combine cream cheese, coconut flakes, and coconut milk.  Mix until combined.  Transfer a bowl and mix in chocolate chips.  Serve immediately!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

80(ish)--- Caramelized Mushroom and Ricotta Frittata

It's that dreary time of year when most of the country is craving some sunshine.  Or are we craving vitamin D?

Did you know that there are sources OTHER than the sun, milk and supplements that can provide you with this precious nutrient?  Mushrooms are a great plant-based option for getting in that D!

Caramelized Mushroom and Ricotta Frittata
Serves 4

1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil (or other oil or butter of your choice)
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 lb fresh mushrooms of your choice, cleaned well and sliced
1/2 cup white wine
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 dashes ground black pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried basil
1 Tbsp all purpose flour
8 eggs
4 egg whites
1/4 cup milk
6 oz part skim ricotta cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Heat olive oil in a cast iron or other oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat.  Add fennel seeds and onion and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Add mushrooms and saute until coated in oil.  Reduce heat to medium and cook without stirring for 5 minutes (may need to reduce the heat to prevent burning if your stove runs hotter than mine).  Pour in white wine and sugar, stir, and cook again for 5 minutes.  Stir again, then cook for additional 5 minutes.  By this time your mushrooms should be cooked through and golden brown.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, thyme, basil, and flour.  Stir well and allow the flour to thicken the "broth" from your mushrooms.  Spread mushrooms evenly in the bottom of the skillet.

In a small bowl, combine eggs, egg whites, and milk.  Whisk until frothy, then pour mixture into the skillet.  Place dollops of ricotta cheese throughout the pan.  Transfer skillet to the preheated oven.  Cook for 12-18 minutes, or until eggs are set.

Remove skillet from oven and use a knife to loosen the frittata edges from the skillet.  Slice into four equal pieces and enjoy!

Nutrition Info per 1/4 frittata: 336 calories, 17 g fat, 25 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber