Monday, December 23, 2013

brown butter salted caramel cookies

Made these for a work party -- they were great, but a little flat. Maybe a little more flour next time? But they looked pretty and tasted excellent.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose Gold Medal flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter, sliced
1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
1 cup caramel squares, cut into 1/4's

For rolling the cookies:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Sea salt, for sprinkling on top of cookies


1. In a medium bowl, Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

2. To brown the butter, heat a thick-bottomed skillet on medium heat. Add the sliced butter, whisking frequently. Continue to cook the butter until melted. The butter will start to foam and browned specks will begin to form at the bottom of the pan. The butter should have a nutty aroma. Watch the butter carefully because it can go from brown to burnt quickly. Remove butter from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the brown butter and sugars. Mix until blended and smooth. Beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and yogurt and mix until combined. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

4. Form the dough in a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. You can chill the dough overnight.

5. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Measure about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into balls. Flatten the ball with the palm of your hand and place a piece of caramel in the center of the dough. Wrap the cookie dough around the caramel, making sure the caramel is completely covered with dough.

6. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar. Roll the balls in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place dough balls on a large baking sheet that has been lined with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper. Make sure the cookies are about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle the cookie tops with sea salt.

7. Bake the cookies 8-10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. The centers will still be soft. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, or until set. Transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Morning Buns

ha! right?

This recipe (their title, not mine) was in the Sun back in July and it sounded perfect for a special occasion breakfast. K & T made these this weekend, though it wasn't even a special occasion. I just had the puff pastry dough burning a hole in my freezer and I thought about these every Sunday morning that went by for weeks. We marveled at the gooeyness. We exclaimed over the cinnamon nutty-toastiness. We were then an hour late to an actual special occasion (kid birthday party) and felt like we had a secret. I'm not even going to pretend this is a healthy recipe.

Butter or cooking spray for (pans)
1/2 C chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted and cooled [We used 1 C walnuts, toasted in the toaster oven]
1/2 C sugar
1 1/2 t ground cinnamon
1 t finely grated orange zest [lemon worked great]
1/4 t salt
1 package all-butter puff pastry, defrosted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Prep: Butter or spray a 12 cup muffin tin.

Mix: In a small bowl toss together nuts, sugar, cinnamon, zest and salt.

Fill: On a lightly floured work surface, unfold puff pastry to a rectangle. Scatter on nut mix, pressing gently.

Roll: Starting at one long edge, roll up pastry into a log. Slice crosswise into 12 pucks, each about 1-inch thick. Set pucks into muffin tin, twirl side up.

Bake: Slide into a 375-degree oven and bake until fully puffed and golden, about 30 minutes. Turn out. Eat while warm.

Chimichurri

Green condiment of delight. Like hari chutney or Afghani chatney or most any herb pesto, chimichurri makes many foods taste like a very special treat. It's great on a steak (traditional in South American cuisine) and I like it on fish, potatoes, sandwiches, mixed into hummus, etc. I make a batch, use a portion of it right away and freeze the rest into cubes and add it to various soups and stews or even guac. Say it: "chimichurri." Nice. Now go make it.

1 bunch cilantro (about a C) - mostly just the leaves but you'll blend it, so don't be too perfect about it
1 bunch parsley (about a C) - ditto
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
1-2 chiles/jalepenos (seeds removed)
1 t salt
2 T lime juice
a little water to get the blender going

Put all ingredients into a blender or food processor. Pulse to blend everything into a smooth, gorgeous, Elphaba-green sauce.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

quinoa breakfast cereal

I've been experimenting with this and have found a few different ways to make it. I find I generally prefer red quinoa to the plain stuff, too, because it seems to hold its texture better when you let it sit a few days.

Blueberry quinoa: Heat 1c frozen blueberries with a little bit of maple syrup, agave, or water until it's boiling. Remove from heat and stir in 2c cooked quinoa, plus a generous splash of something creamy -- milk or half and half. Serve with plain yogurt and chopped nuts on top, plus a drizzle of something sweet if desired.

Coconut quinoa: Cook quinoa with coconut milk instead of water (using the same proportions). Sprinkle with that really good flaked coconut, nuts, chopped fruit, etc.

Quinoa with nut butter: Pretty much what it sounds like. You can use the coconut-milk-cooked stuff for some creaminess, or stir in a little milk too. Sliced banana on top.

I also want to try this breakfast grain salad but haven't yet. Mm, grains.

Friday, August 16, 2013

salmon cakes with lemon yogurt sauce

I was looking for a way to use up some leftover salmon, and this fit the bill. I also did it with some of the precooked packaged salmon from Trader Joe's, and it worked well that time too.

Cakes:
  • 1 pound skinless salmon fillet, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, or one package of TJ's cooked salmon
  • 1/4 c panko [recipe calls for 2 (6-inch) pita rounds or 3 slices firm white sandwich bread, torn into small pieces]
  • 1/4 cup + a little more greek yogurt [recipe calls for mayo]
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • good shake of Old Bay
  • 1 t grated lemon zest
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Sauce:
  • 1 t grated lemon zest
  • chopped dill [optional, but a good idea]
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt [recipe called for whole-milk; I used 2% Greek]
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Mix cake ingredients together & form small-ish patties (mine made 8).

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. 

Cook salmon cakes, turning over once, until golden and just cooked through, 6 to 7 minutes total. 

Stir together the sauce & serve. Makes good leftovers, too.

crustless broccoli quiche

Based on this recipe.
  • 2 heads or 1 package (10 oz.) frozen broccoli florets
  • several scallions, white and green parts chopped 
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half (can use fat-free)
  • salt & pepper
  • dash of red pepper & nutmeg 
  • 3/4 c (3 oz.) shredded cheese (I used a mixture of cheddar & gruyere) 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the pie dish.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add broccoli; cook 1 minute. Drain well; transfer to a cutting board, and blot dry with paper towels. Chop coarsely.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, and spices. Stir in broccoli, scallions and cheese.

Bake until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.

Monday, August 05, 2013

quinoa salad with orange, fennel, and chicken

YUM. I never would have put this combination together if I hadn't been perusing this cookbook, trying to figure out more things to do with quinoa.

The original recipe calls for pancetta, which I left out but which would probably be delicious. It also wanted you to cook the fennel and I have no idea why, because it adds nice crunchiness when it's raw. And there was also some nonsense about putting a lemon in the fennel water that seemed entirely unnecessary.

(All that said, I really like this cookbook and am using it more than any other these days, and you can get it on Amazon right now for one (1) cent. Just one penny! Plus shipping, but still! You should buy it.)

Also, I just bought some red quinoa at TJ's, and I think it tasted the same but looked prettier than regular quinoa.

Vinaigrette:

3 T frozen orange juice concentrate
2 T red wine vinegar
1 T balsamic vinegar
3 T olive oil
1+ T spicy mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Salad:

3+ c cooked quinoa
1 bulb fennel, chopped into bits
2 oranges or tangerines, 1 zested, both peeled and chopped into bits
3 scallions, diced
about 2 chicken breasts, diced (would be a great use for leftovers, or you can be lazy like me and buy the TJ's delicious balsamic-marinated chicken, or you can be virtuous and cook it yourself)

Mix up the vinaigrette and set aside. Combine everything and mix well, then pour the vinaigrette over it. Taste to make sure you have enough salt and pepper. Sprinkle with feta or goat cheese if you'd like (we liked) and eat.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Rustic Strawberry Rhubarb Tart

Adapted from: PBS Parents

With a store-bought crust (I like TJ's), this comes together really quickly.  The original recipe called for salt in the fruit mixture (with the sugar and flour).  I tried that the first time I made this (last week) and I really didn't like it.  I still had some rhubarb from the farm share and the second pie crust from the package, so I decided to try again without the salt, and I like it so much better without the salt.  I used the graham crackers with the sugar on top (maybe they're cinnamon-sugar?) from Trader Joe's, and it was really good.  The graham crackers on the bottom help absorb any liquid that comes out of the fruit, keeping the crust crisp and adding an interesting flavor you wouldn't necessarily expect.  Obviously we liked this recipe, as this is the second batch in 2 weeks. 

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 3 cups strawberries, stems removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup rhubarb, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • One 9-inch unbaked refrigerated pie crust (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1/4 cup crushed graham crackers

Instructions
  • In a medium bowl mix the sugar, flour, salt, and allspice. 
  • Add the strawberries and rhubarb to the bowl and gently mix the fruit with the dry ingredients. 
  • Add the lemon juice and vanilla and mix the fruit mixture until all the dry ingredients have been absorbed by the liquid and fruit. 
  • Set the bowl aside so the strawberries can macerate while the oven preheats. 
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Lay the pie crust flat on top of the parchment paper.  Spread the graham cracker crumbs over the center of the crust leaving a 2-inch border around the edges. 
  • Mound the fruit mixture over the graham cracker crumbs. 
  • Fold the edges of the crust over the fruit, pleating the dough as you go and leaving the center exposed. 
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes until the strawberries and rhubarb are fork tender and the crust is golden brown.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken

From: Skinny Ms.

This was very quick to throw together in the crockpot.  I only used 1 can of diced tomatoes with juice (I missed the "2" part, apparently).  The final dish had a lot of liquid in it, which is fine because you can spoon it over rice or pasta, or soak it up with some tasty bread.  However, I think that this dish would probably also have enough liquid if you drained some or all of the liquid out of the tomatoes, too.   I thought this dish had a lot of flavor - very tasty!


Ingredients
  • 4-6 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (about 40 ounces), fresh or frozen
  • 2 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced (Not chopped)
  • 4 garlic cloves (I sliced them thinly)
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (for gluten-free use White Balsamic Vinegar which doesn't have caramel coloring)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp each: dried oregano, basil, and rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • ground black pepper and salt to taste
Directions
Pour the olive oil on bottom of slow cooker, add chicken breasts, salt and pepper each breast, put sliced onion on top of chicken then put in all the dried herbs and garlic cloves. Pour in vinegar and top with tomatoes.
Cook on high 4 hours for fresh chicken (or closer to 6 hours if chicken is frozen), serve over angel hair pasta or rice. 

Yields 10 Cups | Serving size: 1 Cup | Calories: 190 | Previous Points: 4 | Points Plus: 4 | Fat: 6g | Saturated fat: 1 g | Trans fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 53 mg | Sodium: 121 mg | Carbohydrate: 5 g | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 3 g | Protein 26 g

Monday, May 20, 2013

Slow Cooker Chocolate Chicken Mole


I am putting this on here because the flavors were amazing, though I will have to try again before I get the chicken right. My chicken was a little dry. I removed the cooked chicken to shred it. I mixed up the very thick sauce and added a little water to improve the texture. I added the chicken back into the sauce and combined everything together, It made delicious chicken quesadillas.

Source: Rubies and Radishes by way of Our Life in Food by way of friend and fellow lover of slow cookers, Michele.

Butter
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs chicken (Recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Mine turned out kind of dry, so I might try thighs next time.)
Kosher salt and black pepper

1 28 oz or 2 16 oz cans, fire-roasted tomatoes (note that this is a big can)
5 dried New Mexico chiles, stems and seeds removed and chopped into small pieces (I used a can of green chiles)
1/4 cup almond butter (oh yum -- so expensive and so delicious)
2.5 oz dark chocolate (the darkest)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Avocado, cilantro, and jalapeno, for garnish

(Note: I totally skipped steps 1 & 2 and it was apparent. I will continue to skip these and instead find a faster way to keep the chicken moist)
1. Add a pat of butter to a saute pan over medium heat. Saute the onions until softened, and then add the garlic. Stir to combine, and transfer the mixture to the slow cooker.
2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the saute pan, and brown on all sides.
3. Place the chicken in the slow cooker. Add the tomatoes, chiles, almond butter, chocolate, cumin, salt, cinnamon, and chili powder to the slow cooker. Mix everything together well, making sure that the chicken is nestled down under the sauce.
4. Cook for 4-6 hours on low. (Mine cooked for 8)
5. Serve garnished with avocado, cilantro, and jalapeno.

slow cooker carnitas cubanas

This is good in enchiladas, tacos, burritos, etc.


1 3-4 lb pork butt
4-6 citrus fruits, juiced - I like to use juice of a grapefruit, two oranges and a lime
1 t cumin
1 t chili powder
1 t onion powder
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t oregano
1/4 t cayenne
1/2 t salt
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper

Trim most of fat from pork cut but leave a little for flavor and cooking moisture.

Juice the citrus and pour into the ceramic vessel of slow cooker.

Mix spices together uniformly in a small bowl. Use fingers to pat the spice rub all over the pork until completely used up.

Set pork in citrus juice in slow cooker. Cook for 8 hours on low.

Shred pork and toss with liquid.

Vodka Sauce for Pasta

Annie's got this one just right.
I adjusted her version very slightly to simplify the tomato step.

1 (28 oz.) can whole tomatoes
2 tbsp. olive oil
¼ cup minced onion
1 tbsp. tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
½ tsp. table salt
¼ to 1/3 cup vodka
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup reserved pasta water, if needed
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil leaves
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

16 oz. dried pasta


Boil water for pasta. Cook according to taste/directions.

Pulse tomatoes and liquid in blender three or four times. (The quickest of button pushes)

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and mix just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the tomatoes and salt. Remove the pan from the heat and add the vodka. Return the pan to the heat and simmer briskly until the alcohol flavor is cooked off, about 8-10 minutes. Stir frequently and lower the heat if the simmering becomes too vigorous. Stir in the cream and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. (Take care not to cook the cream too long or the sauce will separate). 

Stir in the basil and adjust the seasoning with salt if needed. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

roasted red pepper sauce

We had this on pasta, but you could stick it on eggs or spread it on bread or eat it straight out of the container...

Ingredients:
  • 4 or 5 red bell peppers
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • salt & pepper
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • 2 T red wine vinegar or similar
Heat your toaster oven to broil and roast the red peppers, turning occasionally when the skin starts to pucker and brown.

After about 20 minutes, take them out and seal them in a lidded glass dish or a plastic bag. Let steam for 15 minutes.

Take them out of the bag and score each one with a knife to let out steam and extra water.

After they're cool, peel and seed the peppers.

Put everything into a cup and use your immersion blender to puree. Eat!

muesli

I love me some muesli. This recipe was a good starting place... I made some modifications below. Warning: It makes a TON -- J & I both ate it for breakfast several days in a row. 
 
The recipe thinks it only lasts 2 or 3 days, but I may or may not have eaten it an entire week after I made it and it was still fine.
  • 3 cups whole milk (I used low-fat)
  • 2 cups plain whole yogurt (I used some of TJ's vanana yogurt)
  • 1 cup apple, skin on, grated (2 apples)
  • 3/4 cup yellow raisins (I added some dried cranberries too)
  • 1 ripe banana, sliced (I skipped because I thought it would make the muesli go bad too quickly)
  • 9 tbsp cracked wheat or bulgar wheat (I used bulgar. warning: do not toast this... I stuck it in the toaster because I'd already mixed it with the next two ingredients, but it burned a bit.)
  • 9 tbsp rolled oats, toasted
  • 9 tbsp wheat germ, toasted
  • 1/4 cup honey (I skipped because the yogurt was sweet... but I do think this mixture needs a little sweetness to it or else it would resemble very hearty brick mortar)
  • 1/4 cup dates, chopped (6 dates)
  • 2 tbsp flax seeds, ground
  • 2 tbsp millet
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds or poppy seeds (I skipped this)
  • pinch of kosher salt (I skipped this too because it didn't make sense to me)
  • seasonal fresh fruit for topping (you don't really need this)
Stir everything together in a large mixing bowl. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Mango and Avocado Salsa

From: Gina's Skinny Recipes

I served this with the Salsa Verde Chicken and it was quite delicious.  Would also be good with fish or grilled chicken.  Maybe pork, too?
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1 plum tomato, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalepeño, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients and let it marinate in the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving


Crockpot Salsa Verde Chicken

From: Gina's Skinny Recipes

Recipes with 2 ingredients are about all I have time for these days.  I took this to a pot-luck at work today and everyone really liked it.  We had leftovers for dinner in the form of quesadillas.  I took her advice and tried Archer Farms brand from Target and we liked it.


Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs raw skinless chicken tenders
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp oregano
  • 1/8 tsp ground cumin
  • salt, to taste
  • 16 oz roasted salsa verde

Ingredients:Season chicken with garlic powder, oregano, cumin and salt and place in the bottom of the slow cooker. Cover with salsa verde, cover and cook HIGH 2 hours.
Remove chicken, shred with 2 forks. Remove 2/3 cup of liquid from the slow cooker, and discard (unless you want it over rice). Place shredded chicken back into the crock pot with remaining salsa, adjust seasoning to taste if needed and keep warm. Makes about 3 cups.

Friday, March 15, 2013

avgolemono & quick-ish coq au vin

H. and I are both kind of in love with Dinner: A Love Story, and we've made two recipes over the last few weeks that have floated our respective boats: avgolemono soup and quick-ish coq au vin. Game-changers!

chocolate cherry muffins

Adapted lightly from this recipe, which is genius.


1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c white sugar
1/4 c cocoa powder
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/3 c canola oil
1 egg
1/3 c milk (I used skim)
1 t vanilla
1/2 c plain yogurt (fat-free works fine)
1 c cherries, cut in half (I used those jarred morello cherries from TJ's)
1/2 c chocolate chips (more! I used chunks, and they were good.)

Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly oil a 12 cup muffin tin.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, mix the oil, egg, milk and vanilla together. Pour the wet into the dry and use a wooden spoon or spatula to gently stir everything together.

Fold in the yogurt, cherries and chocolate chips. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes clean.

Let sit in the tin for 5 minutes and then use a knife to loosen the muffins, remove from tin and let cool on a wire rack.

Makes 12 muffins.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

chicken stroganoff

You guys, I really love mushrooms. Sometimes I don't even recognize myself anymore...

A variation on this recipe.

One package boneless, skinless chicken breast
2T paprika
1 medium onion, diced
16 oz. pkg. of sliced, mixed baby bella and white mushrooms (you could even use more than this. mushrooms for everyone)
1/3 c white wine, sherry or vermouth
1/2 c stock (I used veg, could be anything)
2T tomato paste
1/4 c plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
1/4 c light sour cream (you could probably skip this, but it would be sad)
8 oz. egg noodles
a bit of chopped parsley


Heat a skillet with some olive oil and cut the chicken with scissors directly into it. (Fewer gross chicken dishes!)

Sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper, mix, and saute until cooked through. Remove from the pan and throw into a bowl.

Saute the onions and mushrooms, with a bit more oil if necessary, until everything gets nice and brown, about five minutes. Remove from the pan and throw into the same bowl as the chicken.

Somewhere in here, boil your egg noodles before you forget.

Add your alcohol and deglaze the pan, if anything is stuck. Let it cook for a minute and then add the stock and tomato paste. Cook until everything is dissolved together, then throw the chicken and mushrooms back in.

Turn up the heat and stir everything around. The sauce was supposed to thicken in this step; mine didn't (maybe because I skipped the flour from the original recipe), so I ignored it. Maybe yours will.

Turn the heat back down and stir in the yogurt and sour cream, and cook for a little while longer. Taste to see if you need more salt and pepper.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve over noodles.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash

adapted from:  Skinnytaste

Ok, so I looked at this recipe and then made a lazy version with different veg that I needed to use up from the CSA box.  So, basically I just baked one med-size spaghetti squash, scooped out the strand, put that in a bowl.  Then I chopped up some portobello caps and roasted those in the oven, and then added that to the squash.  Then I made a cheese sauce - didn't measure, just roux, milk, shredded cheese, pinch of aleppo pepper, a couple of twists of TJ's spice blend with sea salt, black pepper, onion and garlic.  Then I chopped up some baby swiss chard, threw it into the cheese sauce to wilt for a few minutes, and then I added the cheese sauce to the squash and mushrooms, and stirred the whole thing together.  That's where I stopped, but the original calls for baking the whole thing with some parmesan on top.  I'm sure that's even more delicious, but I didn't have the time or energy for that.  Anyway, here's the original recipe below, which is probably better than mine, but my version works, too. 


Ingredients:
  • 5 1/2 cups cooked spaghetti squash (from about 2 small)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1/4 cup flour (use 2 tbsp corn starch for gf)
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup fat free chicken broth (vegetable broth for vegetarian)
  • 8 oz Sargento 2% reduced fat mild cheddar
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups (about 4 oz) baby spinach
  • 1/8 cup grated parmesan
Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Cut the squash in half lengthwise; remove and discard seeds. Place squash on a baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 1 hour. Separate the strands of squash with a fork and place in a medium bowl; discard shells. Maintain the oven temperature.
Heat butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook about 2 minutes. Stir in flour. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring continually 3 - 4 minutes.Add milk and chicken broth and continue whisking, raising heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil and becomes smooth and thick, about 2 minutes stirring; season with salt and pepper.
Once it becomes thick, remove from heat, add cheddar cheese and mix well until cheese is melted. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, add cooked spaghetti squash and baby spinach, pour into a baking dish and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Bake until bubbly and golden 25 to 30 minutes.Makes 7 cups.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

baked spinach and artichoke dip

I didn't have the right ingredients for the skinny artichoke dip, so I tried Alton Brown's instead, with some significant alterations.

  • 1 package thawed, chopped frozen spinach
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 6 ounces light cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream (I used light sour cream)
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • some amount of shredded cheese (I used Parm and Romano) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • a few grinds of black pepper
Preheat oven to 350.

Put spinach and artichokes in a colander and squeeze out as much water as possible.

Put cream cheese into an 8x8 baking dish. Microwave for a minute or two, until soft. Stir in all other ingredients.

Sprinkle a bit more cheese on the top and bake until it's all bubbly and hot, about 20 minutes.