Sunday, April 26, 2009

Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip

Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip
(like the one at Costco but healthier)

14-16oz Artichoke hearts from a can or jar processed in a food processor
1 clove garlic
2-3c. fresh spinach processed in a food processor
1/2 c. cottage cheese
1/4 c. yogurt plain
(the real recipe omits the dairy and adds 1/2 c. mayonnaise and adds 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese to the dip)
Parmesan cheese grated for the top
salt and pepper to taste
mix everything but the cheese and put in an ovenproof dish. Top with cheese and bake 350 until spinach is tender. Serve hot or cold with chips, crackers or baguette slices.
I made the french bread but only had 1 pan. The flat slices are from the non-pan french bread and the round cute ones come from the pan. The pan makes the bottom look really cool, like real french bread.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Creamy Fettuccine

  • 8 ounces uncooked fettuccine
  • 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 can (12 ounces) fat-free evaporated milk
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Additional grated Parmesan cheese and minced fresh basil, optional


Cook fettuccine according to package directions; drain. Add oil; toss to coat. In a large saucepan, combine flour and milk until smooth. Stir in the onions, basil, salt, garlic powder, lemon peel and pepper. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in cheese until blended. Pour over fettuccine and toss to coat. Sprinkle with additional cheese and basil if desired. Yield: 6 servings.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fruit Dip

Subtitle: Yogurt Cheese Part II

OK, I'm a bit obsessed with this yogurt cheese. The flavor is milder than plain yogurt and the texture is so much more spreadable. It adapts easily to any flavor added to it. This time I made a fruit dip:

Yogurt cheese (I used maybe about 1/2 C)
Polaner all-fruit spread--one of my FAVORITE food products (two or three spoonfuls to taste)
Couple shakes cinnamon

I also put this on a bagel. YUM!

Sidenote: My kids are more excited to try new things if it's presented well, hence the pretty platter.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Garlic-Herb Roasted Rack of Lamb

This recipe didn't cook enough for my taste, so I broiled it for 3 minutes on each side.


2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (1 1/2-pound) French-cut rack of lamb (8 ribs)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 425°.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.
Sprinkle lamb evenly with salt and freshly ground pepper; rub lamb evenly with herb mixture. Place on a jelly-roll pan or broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 35 minutes or until a thermometer registers 145° (medium-rare). Cover with foil; let stand 10 minutes before serving. Slice rack into 8 pieces.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Yogurt Cheese

Today I discovered yogurt cheese. It's so easy to make, all you do is pour plain yogurt into a strainer covered with 3 leayers of cheesecloth and let it sit overnight or up to 2 days. One recipe I found said to put it in the fridge, but when I put mine in there, it froze (?!) and I ended up taking it out anyway to finish up. This picture is in the early stages, but after it's all strained, it has the exact same consistancy as cream cheese. In fact, the book I got the recipe from (Eating Clean by Tosca Reno) claimed it could be subsituted for any recipe using cream cheese. So with that, I had to make bagels too. (Basic recipe here. I added stuff of course, like whole wheat and onions. Yum.) The flavor of the yogurt cheese is much milder than cream cheese, but it worked beautifully. I think next time I'll add some roasted garlic, maybe some dill? This might be a good base for something to replace mayo as a sandwich spread, any good ideas for flavors?

Other uses for yogurt cheese:
  • Yogurt cheese whipped cream: Mix 1 1/2 C yogurt cheese with 1 t vanilla and 1 t cinnamon. Blend well and use as a topping in place of whipped cream.
  • Cake frosting: 2 C yogurt cheese, mix 1/2 C powdered sugar, 1/2 t vanilla. Mix well and frost cake. Store in refrigerator.
  • Chocolate Mousse: 1 C yogurt cheese plus 3 T melted dark chocolate that has been mixed with 1 t honey or agave nectar (or probably just sugar for me--totally trying this one!)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sauteed Cherry Tomato Couscous

I LOVE couscous, and I'm always on the lookout for more recipes. I found this one a couple of weeks ago, and finally got to try it tonight. It was a big hit! Frances knows that I enjoy anything with tomatoes and basil (a la Caprese salad). This has a similar taste.

3 c. low sodium vegetable stock (or chicken broth)
1 1/2 c. couscous
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 c. cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 c. fresh spinach leaves, torn (I actually used about twice this amount, and it was great)
1/4 c. chopped walnuts, toasted (optional - I didn't put these in today, but may another time)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green onion, chopped (I actually used 2)
1 T. chopped fresh basil (it should come as no surprise that I also used about twice this amount)
Course salt (I used Sea Salt) to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Place stock in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and remove immediately from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Add couscous, stir, and cover. Let stand 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. When hot, add tomatoes, spinach leaves, walnuts, garlic and green onion. Saute for 3 minutes or until tomatoes start to soften. Add basil and toss well. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Fluff couscous with a fork and transfer to serving bowl. Add tomato mixture and gently combine. Serve at room temperature.
The best part:
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8

Just an exciting side note: the picture was taken on one of my NEW plates on my NEW granite countertops.