Lighter Spinach Artichoke Dip

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This proves that Spinach Artichoke Dip does not have to be a totally unhealthy indulgence. Well, it’s not quite diet food either, but besides being much lower in sodium than any restaurant version out there, this also has a lighter hand on piling on the fat calories and you get a good bit of veggies.

imagePlus you get waaaaaaaaaaayyy more Artichokes when you make it yourself ūüėČ

imageMake extra, it makes a terrific layering ingredient to so many things     (like Fish Wellington, and Spaghetti Squash Bake)

Ingredients

  • 1 pack frozen chopped spinach (10 oz), thawed
  • 1 pack frozen artichoke hearts (9 oz), thawed or canned (if using canned, drain and rinse)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup thick¬†fromage blanc (or sour cream)
  • 1 cup Italian cheese blend, shredded (mine had 5 cheeses in it) + some for topping …sometimes when I am really hungry, I use 2 cups ūüėČ

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Directions

  1. Squeeze the defrosted spinach until mostly drained. set aside.
  2. Chop the artichoke hearts into small pieces (chunks are fine, just remember you have to be able to ‘dip’ it up)
  3. In  a pan, heat a tablespoon oil, then add the minced garlic and stir, cooking carefully until golden, but not brown.
  4. Add the Spinach, Artichokes and the Fromage Blanc, stir then add the cottage cheese and heat until it gets stringy.
  5. Add the Italian cheese mix, and heat until melted, pour into a serving dish or oven proof form and sprinkle with some more cheese, cover and allow the cheese topping to melt. Serve with veggies or corn chips for dipping.
  6. Can be made in advance, cover and refrigerate, then reheat in the oven at 350 until hot and melted, or microwave until hot.

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Copyright © 2012 Simple Healthy Homemade. All rights reserved

Roasted Red Pepper and Pumpkin ‘Cream’ Sauce

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Glorious colors of fall! Here the leaves have finally turned color and as I am typing this I can see the red and yellow leaves glow in the sunlight, and the bronze and ‘still green’ leaves add depth to the shadows. The birds have returned to the bird feeder in droves, the nights finally have that crisp quality you only experience on an early morning in fall and I am enjoying the view to say the least.

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To celebrate fall, with its vibrant orange of pumpkins, golden corn field and that last rest of summer’s warmth int he afternoon, I roasted up a brightly colored, mighty tasty and versatile sauce/dip/spread. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped cooked pumpkin (or canned)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pinch salt

Directions

  1. Roast whole red pepper until blackened in spots all over by holding it over a gas flame or placing under the broiler, then place in paper bag to cool a bit (the steam will loosen the skin making it easier to peel, added bonus, you won’t burn your fingers as much).
  2. Peel red pepper (don’t have a guy do this, for some reason their hands are not made the same as ours and they cannot handle heat, as per my experience ūüėČ ) , this works best using a paper towel and literally rubbing the skin off. Cut in half and discard the seeds, then chop flesh.
  3. Place pepper in your food processor or blender. I use a really cute mini processor for sauces and dips. And blend until you have a chunky mess, add the olive oil, blend until fairly smooth.
  4. Add the pumpkin and salt and process some more. The result should not have any chunks left in it but be smooooooth.
  5. Gently reheat to use over pasta, like the Pumpkin Goat Cheese Ravioli for example or chill and use as a spread for sandwiches or serve cold as a dip for veggies.                              Yields about 1 1/2 cups.

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Copyright © 2011 Simple Healthy Homemade. All rights reserved.