Artichoke Basil Pesto

Artichoke Basil Pesto

My kids requested Artichoke Basil Dip for an appetizer the other night so I decided to take the remaining artichokes and make this Artichoke Basil Pesto.  If you like artichokes, basil and almonds, you’ll love this recipe. It’s great served as a side with fish, chicken, pork or seafood, and it only takes 5 minutes to prepare.

Spinach-Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese for “30 Days 30 Ways with Macaroni and Cheese

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When I was asked to come up with a recipe for a new twist on Macaroni and Cheese for Wisconsin Cheese and their upcoming “Macaroni Blog” I was so excited. They asked what type of cheese I wanted to use in my recipe, and I quickly said, “Fontina”. Since my three kids love Spinach-Artichoke Dip, I thought I would combine a simple macaroni and cheese recipe with spinach and artichokes making a comforting, creamy dish.

Here’s how: Start by boiling the noodles. Combine half-and-half, milk, flour, sea salt and pepper. Stir in spinach, artichokes and Fontina. Pour in a lightly greased 13-x 9-inch baking dish and top with panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and melted butter.  Bake in the oven and that’s it. This recipe is wonderful for a main or side dish. My kids loved it, and I think you will too!

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Easy Vegetarian One Dish Meal: Vegetarian Paella

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Thursday night I will be teaching a “Paella” cooking class preparing this dish: Vegetarian Paella. I will also be preparing Chicken Sun-dried Tomato Paella and Seafood Paella at Birmingham Bake and Cook in Inverness, Alabama at 6:30 p.m. Using a paella pan works great, but you can also use any large nonstick skillet. This paella recipe is really simple, fresh, economical and delicious. Feel free to add fish or chicken if you wish. This recipe has been adapted from the book“Paella Paella”.

Light and Scrumptious Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach-Artichoke Dip from Real Simple

Whether it’s a huge football game like tonight’s National Championship game, the Super Bowl, weekend entertaining or just for the fun of it, I love to make a hot Spinach-Artichoke Dip. Probably because my kids love to eat it! This is a lightened version that works great with light cheese, low-fat sour cream and reduced-fat mayonnaise. Processing it in the food processor contributes to its awesome texture. So, if you’re watching your weight right now and trying to keep your New Year’s resolutions, you can still enjoy this hot dip.

 

Low-Fat Spinach Artichoke Dip

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 35 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

2 cloves garlic

1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, excess liquid squeezed out

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise

1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese

1/2 cup shredded 2% milk cheddar cheese

1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Pita wedges or crudites, for serving

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes, or until onions are light-golden but not browned. Remove from heat and cool.

3. In the bowl of a food processor combine the artichoke hearts, spinach and next 7 ingredients. Process until smooth. Fold vegetable puree into sauteed onions, then spread into an 8-inch glass square baking dish or 9-inch glass pie plate which has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through. Serve with pita wedges or crudites.