Posts tagged ‘garlic’

Spinach & Artichoke Dip

This morning my tummy is still recovering from yesterday’s Super Bowl celebration. Johnny and I didn’t do anything toooooo crazy, we just had our close friend and his lovely lady over for some snacks and good times.When our friends showed up an hour earlier than I expected I hurried my little self up to get snacks on the table as fast as possible.

In all my haste, I neglected to snap a single picture of the Creole Crab Dip I made (which was totally why the Saints won by the way 🙂 ) or the Spicy Boneless Buffalo Wings, or the Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Blondies. I couldn’t not share a recipe with you guys, though, so although this dip was not in last night’s repertoire, it IS in my repertoire of recipes and is absolutely divine.

Spinach and Artichoke dip is one of my favorite favorite snacks to get when I’m out to eat. It’s creamy and cheesy and the perfect companion to anything crunchy and dipable. When I finally decided I wanted to try and make it for myself at home I started searching through dozens of recipes. In all of my searching, I noticed that one of the main ingredients in just about every recipe I found was mayonnaise.

I. HATE. MAYONNAISE.

Don’t ask me why. I couldn’t really tell you. Aside from the fact that it’s absolutely awful for you, averaging at around 100 calories per tablespoon and having little to no redeemable nutritional value, something about the way it jiggles and stares at me and – ugh – it just really grosses me out. So I decided, forget you mayo and forget you recipes, I’m coming up with my own.

The recipe I’m sharing with you is all my own. I replaced the *shudder* mayo with nonfat yogurt to lend a creamy texture without all the fat and repulsiveness and I added some white wine to thin out the mixture while adding a lovely, more sophisticated zip to the dip. The red bell pepper was another touch of mine because I love the sweet crunch it adds to the finished dip and because it’s my recipe and what I say goes. Heh. 🙂

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

  • 1 package frozen, chopped spinach, defrosted and drained of all liquid
  • One 8-ounce package reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • One 6-ounce container nonfat yogurt
  • One 8-ounce jar marinated artichoke hears, drained and chopped
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • ½ of a small, red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or oregano
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. In a large sauté pan, add the spinach, cream cheese, yogurt, and artichokes. Over high heat, stir until the ingredients become a smooth mixture.
  3. Add the wine and allow to cook for about 5 minutes, until the mixture thickens.
  4. Add the bell pepper, garlic, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and parmesan. Mix to combine.
  5. Pour the mixture into a 9 inch pie plate or baking dish. Top with mozzarella and more seasonings if desired.
  6. Bake at 400° until hot and bubbly and the cheese is melted.
  7. Serve with carrots, celery, and homemade pita chips!

February 8, 2010 at 1:40 pm 2 comments

Sunday Brunch

After an insanely busy first week of school, I had the weekend to sleep in and recuperate. So of course, I slept until noon. Bwahahahahahaha!

Anywhosers, nothing makes me happier in the morning/afternoon than a delicious meal with my love bug. So I woke up, got my tush in the kitchen, popped on my new iPod (complements of the aforementioned love bug this Christmas – golly he’s the best) and I got to work.

What was on the menu, Jen?!” I know you’re all dying to know.
  1. Jiffy Corn Muffins. *Gasp* From a box?! Yes.  Because they are cheap and delicious and take all of seven seconds to mix up and bake.
  2. A fresh, hot pot of coffee.
  3. Fresh naval orange segments.
  4. A Caramelized Onion and Spinach Frittata.

Is your mouth watering yet? Don’t lie to me, I know it is.
And if for some insane reason it’s not, let’s take a look shall we.

Mmmmmmmmmmmm. Brunch.

You can’t tell me you don’t want some of that. I really insist you make this for yourself. Perhaps this weekend. You won’t be sorry. 🙂

Caramelized Onion and Spinach Frittata

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 large white onion, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 cups spinach, washed and dried
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup nonfat milk
  • ¼ cup italian cheese blend, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the onions. Season with pepper and italian seasoning.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and allow the onions to cook until a caramel color is reached and onions are soft. (This takes patience, as it can take about a half an hour for the onions to caramelize completely. It’s worth the wait.)
  3. Add the garlic and the spinach and allow it to wilt and reduce in volume.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs,milk, and italian cheese blend. Pour over the onion and spinach mixture. Raise the heat on the pan to medium high and allow the eggs to set for about 10 minutes, using your spatula to keep the sides loose.
  6. When the eggs are mostly set and the top still appears runny, sprinkle with reserved cheese and place in your preheated oven until the top is set and the cheese is melted and brown, about 7 minutes.
  7. Let the frittata cool for ten minutes before removing it from the pan.
  8. Slice into wedges and serve!

January 24, 2010 at 11:14 pm Leave a comment

Healthy Eats for New Years

So this time around, like every couple out there I’m sure, Johnny and I decided our collective New Year’s Resolution is  to exercise more often and eat healthier. Wish us luck!

We started running together this week, and I’ve been at it in the kitchen making healthy meals for us! I’ve got hard boiled eggs on hand for a quick breakfast or snack, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables in the refrigerator, and homemade pita chips that are absolutely to die for and a great partner for healthy dips like hummus!

The star players of last nights dinner were lean, protein packed pork with whole wheat spaghetti complemented by the flavors of metabolism boosting red pepper and exotic curry and sesame. I prepared a take out favorite with a twist that couldn’t have been simpler to make and was absolutely guilt free!

Curried Sesame Pork Lo Mein

  • 1 lb. lean pork chops, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic, divided
  • 2 teaspoons ginger (fresh or powdered),divided
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder, divided
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 lb. whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 package frozen, shelled edamame, defrosted
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Scallions for garnish
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cornstarch, soy sauce, and half of all the spices. Add the sliced pork and marinade for about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta to package directions. Drain, and stir in 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Set aside.
  3. Heat a wok or a large frying pan over high heat. Add about 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Add the pork, reserving any marinade in the bowl, and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Remove the pork from pan and set aside in the bowl with the reserved marinade.
  4. Add more oil to the pan if necessary and add the zucchini and peppers, stirring constantly, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove from pan and add to pork.
  5. Add a small amount more oil if necessary and add the egg to the pan, scramble.
  6. Add the pasta to the pan and mix it around well.
  7. Add remaining sesame oil and spices. Mix well.
  8. Add the pork, veggies, and reserved marinade.
  9. Add the edamame and remove from heat. Taste, and season further with soy sauce or spices as desired.
  10. Serve sprinkled with scallions and enjoy!

**Remember folks, this recipe is just a guideline!
Please feel free to use whatever spices and vegetables you like!
This recipe would be great with chicken or tofu too!
Whatever you choose to do will be equally delicious and healthy!
Make sure you let me know how your version turns out!**

January 14, 2010 at 11:17 pm Leave a comment

Jollof Rice – an African dish

To learn more about my friend, Manfred, and Ghanian food,
check out the newest food profile!
Want to try to make what you just saw at home?
Here’s the recipe!

Jollof Rice

  • 1 lb chicken wings
  • Lawry’s Black Pepper Seasoned Salt, about 2 tablespoons
  • 2 small red onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 15oz can chicken broth
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 fresh tomatoes
  • 1 hot pepper (jalepeño, serano, habenaro, whatever ya like!)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons shrimp powder
  • 1 8oz can corned beef
  • 4 cups rice
  1. Begin by pureeing 1 small red onion, 2 garlic cloves, and 1/2 the can of chicken broth in a blender.
  2. Season the chicken wings with the seasoned salt, and add the pureed onion and garlic. Place on a large baking sheet and bake at 400° for about 20 minutes.
  3. Add the can of tomatoes, the remaining garlic and onion, fresh tomatoes, and hot pepper into the blender and puree.
  4. Heat 1/2 c hot oil in a large pot. When the oil starts to ripple, carefully pour in the tomato mixture. Stir well  and add two tablespoons of shrimp powder. Stir to combine and let simmer 30 minutes. You may want to taste for seasoning.
  5. Add the can of corned beef to the pot, stir, and then add the prepared chicken wings. Stir to combine.
  6. Add the rice, stir, and cover. Cook for 30 minutes.
  7. After 30 minutes, remove the lid, stir, and cook 30 minutes more.
  8. Serve immediately and enjoy!

December 10, 2009 at 11:55 pm 2 comments

Chicken, Cauliflower, and Chickpea Curry

All last week I was absolutely hell bent on making a recipe I found for Aloo Gobi – curried cauliflower and potatoes.

I’ve never had it before.

As a matter of fact, I’ve never had Indian curry before at all.

Lately, though, I’ve wanted nothing more than to prepare a great big pot of it. I blame this in part on that fact that I’ve been  looking at pictures of curries on foodgawker and they were all so pretty . I guess my brain just associates pretty with tasty. Who knows?

Regardless,the other night I finally had time to prepare dinner. Aloo Gobi? But but but… I also found a Chicken Curry recipe that sounded equally delicious and easy to prepare.

I hate making decisions.

Why doooooo I have to chooose?!?!

Oh wait! I don’t! Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

As per usual, I am incapable of following a recipe and must, somehow, find a way to make a recipe (or two) my own. So that’s what I did. The result was a beautiful, creamy, spicy curry that I served with coconut cilantro rice.

Chicken, Cauliflower, and Chickpea Curry

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasted, cubed
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 serrano chili, diced fine
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger serrano. Cook until they begin to soften, about two minutes.
  2. Add the dried spices to the pot ,stirring rapidly, to form a thick paste.
  3. Add chicken and cauliflower. Stir and cook about two minutes more.
  4. Add tomato paste, coconut milk, chickpeas and yogurt. Stir well.
  5. Add lemon juice and bring mixture to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer 40 minutes, or until the cauliflower is soft and the chicken is cooked through.
  7. Serve with coconut cilantro rice!


*nom nom nom nom nom*

November 30, 2009 at 1:04 am 2 comments

An evening in Italy – sorta

The sensational aromas of garlic, tomato sauce and olive oil are still permeating in the air of my little apartment. Tonight’s meal was like a little trip back to Italy – sorta. (I say back because in the summer of 2008 I was privileged enough to take a two week Mediterranean cruise to Italy, Spain, France, Croatia, and Tunisia. It was an absolutely amazing trip! But lets get back to dinner, shall we…) My intention for tonight’s meal was a simple, traditional baked ziti. Yum. To my dismay, when I checked the pantry, all I had were farfalle (bowties) and spaghetti. LIGHTBULB! Spaghetti Pie!

I think one time I watched Giada De Laurentiis make a spaghetti frittata once, maybe that was my inspiration? Maybe I was just hungry. Either way, I decided to serve it was a lovely italian side dish – broccoli rabe. (more…)

October 3, 2009 at 12:08 am 5 comments


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