Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms

I’m often amazed at how many variations there are on classic recipes.  Take for example Stuffed Mushrooms. When I first started making these I used leftover bratwurst from a summer BBQ and I have been doing so ever since. I have even used the stuffing base in other recipes, such as my Stuffed Acorn Squash.

Stuffed Mushrooms

In addition to bratwurst meat, the stuffing includes breadcrumbs, onions, cheese, and fresh parsley.  The combination is a wonderful, savory starter.

Stuffed Mushrooms

 The instructions below start from an uncooked bratwurst, just in case you want to make these anytime.  If you do have some cookout leftovers, the timesaving instructions are noted as well.

Stuffed Mushrooms

 

Stuffed Mushrooms

1 lb button mushrooms
1/3 lb uncooked bratwurst (~1 bratwurst)
1/2 Cup yellow onion, diced
1 Tablespoon freshly minced garlic
¼ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons fresh, minced flat leaf parsley
¾ cup pecorino-Romano cheese

 

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Wash mushrooms, then remove stems.  Mince the stems and set aside.  Place the mushroom caps (top down) in a large, greased casserole or 9×13 pan.

Add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil to large sauté pan, and place over medium high heat. Remove the bratwurst meat from the casing and add to the saute pan. Saute the bratwurst meat, breaking it apart with a spoon, until it is cooked throughout. Remove the cooked meat, place in a large bowl, and set aside. Add the minced mushroom stems and onions to the man and cook, stirring frequently, until softened – about 5-8 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes longer.

Remove from the heat, and add the mushroom stems and onions to the bratwurst meat, along with the breadcrumbs, parsley, and ¼ cup of pecorino Romano cheese; Stir to combine.  Evenly divide the stuffing between the mushroom caps, then sprinkle the tips with the remaining cheese.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until cheese begins to melt and brown slightly. Remove from oven and serve.

Note: If you have a leftover, cookout bratwurst, place brat in food processor and process for about 20 seconds, until well minced to eliminate the meat-cooking step.

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Lemon and Blueberry Oatmeal

A few weeks ago I shared my Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Cups which used lemon curd.  Since I had some lemon curd leftover I was wondering what other ways I could enjoy it.  What came to mind was a variation of my Date and Goat Cheese Oatmeal.

lemonBlueberryOatmeal

 I swapped out the dates for a bit of lemon curd and dried blueberries, and added ground cloves. The resultant Lemon and Blueberry Oatmeal was every bit as delicious as the original recipe.  In fact, it might even be an excuse to keep lemon curd always on hand. 

lemonBlueberryOatmeal

Lemon and Blueberry Oatmeal

½ cup dry old fashioned oats
1 cup water
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Dash salt
1 ounce goat cheese
1 tablespoon lemon curd
2 tablespoons dried blueberries

Combine oats, water, cloves, and salt in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 2 ½ minutes (alternatively, you can make the oatmeal on the stovetop by boiling the water, stirring in the oats and cooking for 5 minutes).  Remove from the microwave and stir in the goat cheese until the cheese begins to melt, then stir in the lemon curd and blueberries and serve.  Makes 1 serving.

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breakfast burritos

Make Ahead Breakfast Burritos

A few weeks back a friend asked me if you can freeze cooked eggs.  Even though cooking eggs usually doesn’t take too long, there are those mornings when you are running a bit late but you don’t want to scrimp on breakfast. I told her I’d do some experimenting (and a bit of research), which led to these breakfast burritos.  

breakfast burritos

From everything I read online it seemed that cooking and freezing eggs was easy, with a few simple tips.  First, undercook the eggs a bit as they will cook more on reheating.  Second, let any make ahead burrito contents cool before rolling to ensure the tortilla stays together. Finally, choose mix-ins that freeze well (tomatoes, for example, would not have a great texture on reheating).

For my experimentation I first tried just scrambled eggs (two) with cheese.  To reheat it took only about 1-1.5 minutes to warm them up from completely frozen, and they tasted great.  I was now ready to venture into Make Ahead Breakfast Burritos. 

I typically eat a lighter breakfast, but there are definitely days I enjoy the treat of eggs or a breakfast burrito.  For these burritos I added cheddar cheese and precooked pork sausage, which is a combo I have always enjoyed in breakfast casseroles. The meat and eggs cooked up fast and the burrito rolling was easy once I watch a tutorial to make sure I was doing it correctly.  Then came the fun part – freezing and reheating for breakfast to determine the correct thaw time.  These burritos can be reheated from frozen and only take 2 minutes.  I found this time ensured that the entire burrito was thawed throughout, but did require a minute or so to cool a bit before eating.  Now that I know having a quick and healthy breakfast on hand is so easy, I think I will always keep a stock in my freezer.  I love food challenges posed by friends!

breakfast burritos

 

Make ahead Breakfast Burritos

12 large eggs
1 pound breakfast sausage, cooked,drained, and cooled
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
8 burrito (large) tortillas (~10 inch in diameter or larger)

 

beat and pour eggs into a large pan that has been coated with a bit of nonstick spray. Scramble the eggs for 4-5 minutes or until barely set; stir in cheese.  Let cool, then stir in breakfast sausage.   Evenly divide the egg mixture between the burrito tortillas, placing slightly over to one side. Roll one side over the filling until the filling is covered, then fold in the left and right side and then continue to roll to the end. Wrap in a sheet of foil and continue with remaining burritos.  Place the burritos in a gallon sized freezer bag and freeze until ready to eat. To reheat, remove the foil and then microwave each burrito for 2 minutes on high, flipping once.  Let cool slightly before eating. (Note: 1.5 minutes left the burritos still a bit cold in the center).

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pistachio chai tiramisu

Pistachio Chai Tiramisu

‘Tis the season for baking, so why not combine it with a cooking contest? This week’s recipe was inspired by the Simply Sesame Blogger Recipe Challenge hosted by Simply Sesame. Simply Sesame sent me their three different flavors of Simply Sesame spread: Pistachio-Cardamom, Vanilla-Almond, and plain. I instantly gravitated toward the subtly exotic pistachio-cardamom (though I enjoy all of the creamy flavors) to make my Pistachio Chai Tiramisu. The other great thing about these spreads is that they are gluten free and peanut free.

pistachio chai tiramisu

Tiramisu is an Italian dessert which typically consists of ladyfinger cookies soaked in a coffee-rum mixture and layered with a mascarpone cream layer then dusted with chocolate.  For this recipe I decided to play on the cardamom flavor of the Simply Sesame spread and soaked the ladyfingers in a chai-brandy mixture. Next, I folded the pistachio-cardamom simply sesame spread into the mascarpone (along with a bit of powdered sugar) to create my creamy layer.  Finally, the top of the tiramisu was decorated with a bit of caramel syrup and crushed pistachios.  The result was a beautifully presented tiramisu unlike any you have tasted.

pistachio chai tiramisu

It received a thumbs up from my hubby who is a tiramisu aficionado. I hope you enjoy it just as much!

pistachio chai tiramisuLooking for even more sesame spread recipe ideas? Follow Simply Sesame on TwitterInstagram, or Facebook.


Pistachio Chai Tiramisu

½ cup boiling water
1 chai tea bag
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
½ cup powdered sugar
½ cup Simply Sesame Pistachio-Cardamom spread
4 tablespoons brandy, divided
16 lady finger cookies
2 tablespoons caramel syrup
2 tablespoons shelled, crushed pistachios
 
Place the chai tea bag in the boiling water and let steep for 3-5 minutes; set aside.  While the tea is steeping, prepare the cream filling.  Add the mascarpone cheese to a standing mixer bowl along with the powdered sugar.  On low speed, stir until combined.  Add the Simply Sesame Pistachio-cardamom spread to the mixing bowl and mix on low speed until combined. Finally, stir in 2 tablespoons of the brandy until well mixed and set aside.

Remove the tea bag from the water and place the tea in a shallow bowl along with the remaining 2 tablespoons of brandy and stir to combine.  Dunk the ladyfingers in the chai tea mixture one at a time, 2-3 seconds per side and place in the bottom of an 8 x 8 dish or trifle dish (you should only need half of the cookies to cover the bottom of the dish).  Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers, then add another layer of the soaked ladyfingers on top. Spread the remaining mascarpone mixture over the top to coat the cookies (you should have two layers of cookies and two mascarpone layers). Refrigerate until ready to serve, at least 2 hours.  Just before serving, drizzle the top of the tiramisu with the caramel syrup and then evenly cover the top with the crushed pistachios.  Cut and serve the pistachio chai tiramisu.

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Individual Egg Souffle Stack

Individual Egg Soufflé Stacks

Changing work schedules and the start of the school year has resulted in a desire (and need) to simplify prep of weekday meals and snacks.  Consequently, when I was reminded about muffin tin eggs I thought I should give a variation of the recipe a try. Since I had just found hash brown patties the same size as my mini loaf pan I knew that I just had to make an individual stacked egg soufflé.

 

Individual Egg Souffle Stack

Using the muffin tin method of cooking the eggs lends itself to individualization of the mix-in ingredients.  If you don’t happen to be a fan of tomatoes or onions – no problem! Swap in your favorite veggies.  The recipe I used as my guide suggested 12-15 minutes for muffin tin cooking, but I found I needed 20-25 minutes to set the eggs in the larger min loaf pans.

Individual Egg Souffle Stack

The layering of the hash brown patties, honey ham, and egg soufflé was a great balance of rich flavors in a manageable personalized portion.  The presentation and built-to-suit egg soufflés were also a hit with my guests!


Individual Egg Soufflé Stacks

8 large eggs
4 tablespoons butter, melted
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup diced baby tomatoes
¼ cup diced green onion
8 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese blend
4ounces thinly sliced honey ham lunch meat
4 hash brown patties

 

Preheat oven to 350 °F.  Spray a small cookie sheet and a mini loaf pan (8 mini loaves) with nonstick spray.  In a large bowl, stir together the eggs, butter, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Evenly divide the tomatoes and green onions between four of the mini loaf pans. Then, evenly pour the egg mixture over the tomatoes and green onions, and then top each with 2 tablespoons of cheese.  Place one ounce of honey ham in each of the remaining loaf pans, and place the hash brown patties on the cookie sheet. Place the loaf pan and the cookie sheet in the oven.  After 10 minutes, flip the hash brown patties and return to the oven.  Continue baking both until the eggs are set, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and then plate by topping each hash brown patty with one ounce of ham and one mini egg loaf.  Serve warm.

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Fried Stuffed Olives

Fried Mozzarella Stuffed Olives

I don’t know how I have never heard of fried olives until now.  On a recent work trip I noticed them on a menu and I was instantly intrigued.  I just HAD to make these at home. A multitude of recipes abound on the internet, but for my first batch I decided to stick with a classic mozzarella filling for the fried olives.

Fried Olives

I also wanted to keep it simple – I used a mozzarella cheese stick cut into nibs that would easily slide into the center of the pitted olives.  A dredge in flour and then a dunk in egg and seasoned bread crumbs is all the coating that is needed.  The olives are fried for only a minute, but that is long enough to give them a crunchy exterior.

Fried Olives

It should come as no surprise that they were a hit with my hubby, so you can be sure these fried olives will be made for our next family gathering!

Fried Olives

Fried Olives


Fried Mozzarella Stuffed Olives

Canola oil for frying
One, 0.75 ounce mozzarella cheese stick
24 pitted Castelvetrano olives, drained (about 4 dry ounces)
1/8 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg, beaten
¼ cup seasoned bread crumbs
Marinara sauce for serving

Place oil in a deep fryer according to manufacturer’s instructions, or add oil to a large pot to a depth of 2 inches. Heat oil to 350°F.

While oil is heating, cut the cheese stick in quarters lengthwise and then cut each piece into 6 equal sized segments to make 24 mozzarella nuggets. Place one piece of mozzarella in each olive cavity.  Dredge the olives in the flour then coat with the egg and finally coat with the bread crumbs. Fry the olives for 45-60 seconds and then remove from oil and drain on a paper towel lined plate.  Cool for a few minutes then serve with marinara sauce.

Note: I tried these with gluten free flour and bread crumbs, and it doesn’t impact taste or quality

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Chicken Tinga Sloppy Joes

Chicken Tinga Sloppy Joes

The Del Real recipe challenge deadline was extended a few days, so I took advantage of the extra time and created another entry.  I decided to try a unique version of a kid favorite classic – the sloppy joe.  Instead of the usual ground beef and tomato-based sauce, I used Del Real’s Chipotle Chicken Tinga.  To create a sweet & spicy sandwich I stirred in a bit of avocado and mango and added a slice of pepper jack cheese to each sandwich.  The mix-ins also helped to tame the spiciness of the chipotle for the younger crowd.

Chicken Tinga Sloppy Joes

I have really enjoyed trying the different flavors of ready-to-eat products Del Real offers.  While I didn’t have time to finish creating a third recipe with their shredded beef, I was impressed with the flavor as it tasted as if I had ordered it in a restaurant.

The contest has netted quite a few tasty looking recipes – you can view and vote for your favorite on the Del Real Contest website!

Chicken Tinga Sloppy Joes


Chicken Tinga Sloppy Joes

16 ounce package Del Real Chipotle Chicken Tinga
½ cup diced yellow mango
1 Hass avocado, peeled and diced
4 good quality hamburger buns, split
Four, 0.75 ounce pepper jack cheese slices

Heat Del Real Chipotle Chicken Tinga in microwave according to package directions.  Add to a large bowl and shred large pieces of chicken.  Add the mango and avocado to the chicken and stir to combine.  Evenly place the chicken mixture on the bottom slices (cut side up) of all four buns.  Add one slice of pepper jack cheese on top of each mound of chicken, then top each sandwich with the top half of the bun (cut side down) and serve.

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Carnitas Pupusadilla

Carnitas Pupusadillas (a.k.a. Triple Decker Carnitas Grilled Cheese)

Since my family regularly eats Mexican inspired cuisine, I threw my hat in the Del Real recipe challenge just hours before they closed applications.  The challenge asked contestants to create either a kid-friendly or an outdoor themed recipe with their products that could be prepared in under 30 minutes.  Oh, and since I applied at the last minute, I had less than 2 weeks to create my recipe. Time to get cooking!

One of the Del Real products I chose to use was their cheese & bell pepper pupusas.  The pupusas (thick, corn tortilla stuffed with cheese) were my inspiration for a triple decker grilled cheese/quesadilla that would please children and adults.  The resulting Carnitas Pupusadilla has three cheesy layers, with the middle layer a scrumptious mix of Del Real carnitas, corn, tomatoes, and cheese.

The biggest kid of my family (OK, my husband) loved the sandwich, so the Carnitas Pupusadilla is a winner in my house. If it is a winner in your eyes, please consider voting for my recipe in the challenge!

Carnitas Pupusadillas


Carnitas Pupusadillas (a.k.a. Triple Decker Carnitas Grilled Cheese)

 
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1 ounces queso fresco
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
¼ teaspoon freshly minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup Del Real Carnitas
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
¼ cup diced baby tomatoes
4 Del Real cheese and bell pepper pupusas
 

Place the corn in a microwave safe bowl with 2 tablespoons water.  Heat for 2 minutes, then drain and add to a food processor.  Blend the corn until smooth, then add in the queso fresco and blend until smooth.  Add the cilantro, garlic, and salt to the food processor and pulse until the cilantro is chopped and mixed in. Scoop the corn mixture into a large bowl, then add the carnitas, shredded cheese, and diced tomatoes and mix until well incorporated and the carnitas is distributed.

Place a paper towel on a microwave safe plate and place the pupusas in a single layer on the plate and microwave for 1 minute. Remove the pupusas from the microwave and evenly divide the carnitas/cheese mixture between two of the pupusas, spreading to near the edge in an even layer.  Place the remaining two pupusas over the carnitas/cheese layer making two sandwiches.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Gently place the sandwiches in the pan and grill for 1-1 1/2 minutes per side, flipping once, until sides are golden and cheese mixture is melted. Remove from the pan, cut in half and serve immediately.  Makes 2 adult size servings or 4 child servings.

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Parmesan Jerk Snap Peas

Parmesan-Jerk Sugar Snap Peas

Do you ever get in the doldrums about your vegetable side dish for dinner? Sometimes I think we forget just how easy it can be to whip up a fast, tasty, and – yes – fresh vegetable dish.  My Parmesan-Jerk Sugar Snap Peas are something I pulled together a few years ago, but I just hadn’t made them in a while.  The weather in Colorado is FINALLY getting nicer, and the more frequent blue skies and warm days has made me want to get my grill going and eat a wide variety of fresh veggies, which is why I thought this would be a good recipe to share.

Jerk seasoning is a pre-mixed spice blend that includes allspice and dried red peppers, and typically a few other spices such as cinnamon, brown sugar, green onion, garlic, or thyme to name a few.  The brand I have in my cupboard currently is Archer Farms (the Target brand). It adds a nice kick (and color) to the snap peas, which means you don’t need too many other ingredients to round out the flavor.  A bit of orange zest brightens the dish, and some freshly grated parmesan brings a creamy, and slightly salty balance to the jerk seasoning.

Parmesan Jerk Sugar Snap Peas

A quick boil to bring out the lively, green color of the snap peas and a toss with some olive oil and the seasonings is all you need to create the Parmesan-Jerk Sugar Snap Peas.  Once you try them, I’m sure you’ll be making them for snack time as well as dinner!

Parmesan-Jerk Sugar Snap Peas

Parmesan-Jerk Sugar Snap Peas


Parmesan-Jerk Sugar Snap Peas

8 ounces fresh sugar snap peas
1/2 teaspoon orange zest (~ zest from 1 large navel orange)
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon jerk seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
 

Place the snap peas and 2 cups of water in a 3 quart sauce pan.  Place on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil, then boil for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain, then place the sugar snap peas in a large bowl.  In a separate, small bowl, stir together the orange zest, grated Parmesan cheese, and jerk seasoning.  Pout the olive oil over the snap peas and stir to coat, then sprinkle the Parmesan mixture over the snap peas and stir until they are evenly coated. Makes 2-3 servings. Serve immediately. 

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habanero watermelon skewers

Habanero Watermelon Skewers

Move over caprese skewers, a new, hotter appetizer is in town.  These Habanero Watermelon Skewers are just as easy and fun as their cousin. I happened to find hot habanero cheese at the grocery store this week and I was wondering how to work it into a dish.  It turns out this particular brand is super spicy so I wanted to balance the heat with some cooler ingredients.  Seeing the untouched, seedless watermelon on my counter, an idea started to form.  What if I created Habanero Watermelon Skewers?

The idea of blending cheese and watermelon might seem unusually, but it is actually a great balance of sweet and salty.  I have tried – and loved – this watermelon, feta, mint, and pepper salad from bhg.com. It seemed logical that another cheese + watermelon combo could be just as tasty.

watermelonSkewer5

So I tried it.  Instead of basil, mozzarella, and tomato found in a caprese skewer, I used fresh oregano, hot habanero cheese, and watermelon.  It is a wonderful balance – the pepperiness of the oregano and sweet, juiciness of the watermelon are a good partner to the spicy cheese.  These Habanero Watermelon Skewers are sure to be a talked about item at your next gathering – just make sure that if some of your guests prefer a more mild spiciness that you heed the note listed in my recipe, below.

watermelonSkewer3

 

Habanero Watermelon Skewers

3 to 6 ounces of hot habanero cheddar cheese slices (* see note)
2 ½ cups seedless watermelon cubes (1inch x 1 inch x 1/2 inch), ~ 20
0.25 ounces fresh oregano
20 appetizer skewers
 

Cut the cheese into slices (see note, below). Place the watermelon cubes on a tray, then place a slice of cheese on top of each, and evenly divide the oregano leaves between the appetizers.  Place an appetizer skewer through each stack, anchoring the pieces together.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

*note: The pictures use 6 ounces of hot habanero cheese, cut in 1 inch x 1inch x ~¼ in slices (5 rows lengthwise, 2 rows widthwise, and thickness cut in half).  The brand I used (Lucerne) was pretty hot, so if you prefer less heat I would recommend cutting the slices in half (1 inch x ½ inch x ~¼ inch) and centering on the watermelon.

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Spinach and Goat Cheese Steel Cut Oat Risotto

Spinach and Goat Cheese Steel Cut Oat Risotto

I’ve mentioned before that I love when I can use a premixed spice blend as a time saving measuring in my cooking. That is one of the reasons I enjoy the Healthy Solutions Spice Blends Blogger Challenge.  I get my creative cooking thinking cap on and experiment with a new spice mix, with the goal of creating a recipe that blends healthy eating with tasting great while upholding the low salt and low sugar goal of the spices. Challenge accepted!

spiceblends.com

Out of the 16 different blends offered by Healthy Solutions Spice Blends, I chose to use the Encrusted Haddock (which is a mix of garlic, celery, onion, and dried cranberry) since I felt it could be used in a wide variety of dishes. While I think this spice mix would be great for both chicken or seafood, I chose to make a meatless dish as my entry – Spinach and Goat Cheese Steel Cut Oat Risotto.

Spinach and Goat Cheese Steel Cut Oat Risotto

As compared to an Arborio rice risotto, steel cut oats are a much healthier choice. Steel cut oats pack a fair amount of protein, fiber, and iron per serving, making them a great meat substitute for a meal.  I was also able to keep my Spinach and Goat Cheese Steel Cut Oat Risotto true to the theme of low salt/low sugar by using an unsalted boxed stock.  When I surveyed the grocery store most of the unsalted box stocks had only 40-70 mg of sodium per 1 cup, which is well below the cut-off for low sodium items.  Similarly, goat cheese falls into the category of low sodium. See – eating healthy CAN still taste great.

Spinach and Goat Cheese Steel Cut Oat Risotto

Much like an Arborio rice risotto, I ladled stock into the steel cut oats, letting the stock get absorbed before the next addition.  Once all the liquid had been absorbed and the oats were tender-chewy, I stirred in the fresh spinach, Encrusted Haddock seasoning, red onions, pecans, and goat cheese. Simple, yet a healthy, impressive, and satisfying dish. Enjoy!

Spinach and Goat Cheese Steel Cut Oat Risotto


Spinach and Goat Cheese Steel Cut Oat Risotto

4 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 cup steel cut oats
Zest and juice of 1 lemon (juice is equivalent to ¼ cup lemon juice)
2 ounces fresh baby spinach
1 ounce pecan bits
¼ cup diced red onion
1 tablespoon Healthy Solutions encrusted haddock seasoning
4 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumbled
Chopped parsley for garnish, if desired
Additional lemon zest for garnish, if desired

 

Heat the chicken stock in a medium sized sauce pan and keep warm. Add the steel cut oats to a large sauce pan (~ 3 quarts), add one ladle of the warm stock and heat over medium heat.  As the stock is absorbed, add another ladle of stock, stirring frequently.  Repeat until all the stock has been added to the oats, adding the lemon juice with the last bit of stock.  Once the stock and lemon juice have been absorbed and the oats are tender and chewy (about 20-30 minutes), remove from the heat. Next, stir in the spinach until wilted, about 1 minute.  Then stir in the lemon zest, pecans, red onion, Healthy Solutions encrusted haddock seasoning, and goat cheese until well mixed. Transfer the Spinach and Goat Cheese Risotto to two serving bowls, sprinkle with parsley and additional lemon zest if desired, and serve.

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Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Skinny Spinach and Artichoke Dip

With the Super Bowl just around the corner, many of us are thinking about what finger food to serve as we gather friends to watch the big game.  An easy go-to is a spread of chips and dip, but all too often this poses a big threat to the renewed resolutions to eat better in the New Year. Why not add a few slimmed down favorites? For example, my Skinny Spinach and Artichoke Dip.

One of my favorite ways to trim down a recipe is with cottage cheese instead of a high-fat content item such as mayonnaise or sour cream.  For example, I have blended it and used it in my 4 State Cheddar, Bacon, and Kale Hash Brown Casserole, and I use it to substitute for ricotta in my lasagna.  I can’t wait to try cottage cheese in these tropical smoothies  created by Wicked Noodle (don’t they look spectacular?) and of course I often use it in dips, such as this one.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

I have used my food processor to puree the cottage cheese until smooth, and then I stir in some chopped up artichoke, spinach, and shredded pepperjack cheese to give the dish some kick. A bit or parmesan is sprinkled on top to give it some extra color and flavor.  A mere 30 minutes in the oven produces a warm Skinny Spinach and Artichoke Dip that is just as satisfying as the higher calorie versions.  Only with this recipe you won’t feel guilty if you scarf down a third of the bowl by yourself (like I did).

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip 4

I’m sure the color scheme of my photos didn’t escape you – how could I not put in a vote of confidence for the local Broncos?

Spinach and Artichoke Dip


Skinny Spinach and Artichoke Dip

24 ounce low fat cottage cheese
1 cup drained artichoke hearts canned in oil
8 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and well drained
4 ounces shredded  pepperjack cheese
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
½ cup grated parmesan
Bread, crackers, or chips for serving

Preheat oven to 350 °F.

Blend  the cottage cheese in a food processor until smooth, and pour into a large dish.  Next pulse the artichoke and spinach in the food processor until small pieces are formed. Stir the artichoke, spinach, hot pepper cheese, and Worcestershire sauce into the cottage cheese until well blended. Pour the dip into a 1.5 quart ceramic dish, smooth the surface of the dip and sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top in an even layer.  Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and parmesan begins to brown.  Serve with rye cocktail bread, or chips as desired.

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