Archive | July 2013

Gazpacho

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Soup is generally not something that we think about eating during the middle of summer. However, cold soups can be a refreshing treat during the midst of a heat wave and the preparation could not be easier. Gazpacho is a delicious way to eat a variety of vegetables in one sitting. Recent studies have shown that the spicy blend of tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, garlic and olive oil can help control blood pressure while also providing an abundance of nutrients. This recipe makes about 12 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato juice
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 dash Tabasco
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

 Preparation:

  1. Simply combine all ingredients in a pot and blend with an immersion hand blender or puree in batches in a regular blender.  Another option is to blend half of the mixture and leave half chunky.
  2. Adjust seasoning as needed and chill for 2 hours or up to overnight.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 75

Fat: 3.5g

Saturated Fat: 0g

Carbohydrates: 12g

Fiber: 3g

Protein: 7g

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Spinach Artichoke Dip

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This month’s recipe is a lightened up version of a classic party food. Spinach artichoke dip always feels like a guilty pleasure, as it should since it usual consists of mostly cheese and mayonnaise. However, with a little adjustment, the flavor can remain without the regret and the sluggishness that often follow too many scoops of dip from the hors d’oeurve table. By cutting down on the fat in the cheese and by substituting the mayonnaise for Greek yogurt, along with increasing the mount of vegetables and spices, the nutritional quality of this spinach artichoke dip can quickly increase. Feel free to add some fresh herbs, such as oregano or mint if you have them handy, and don’t be nervous if you think a little more Parmesan is necessary. This recipe leaves some room for added naughtiness. Serve hot with whole wheat crackers or vegetable sticks.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups of fresh spinach, tightly packed
  • 1 cup canned artichokes
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup low fat cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

1. Saute the onion in the tablespoon of the olive oil in a large pan at medium-high heat until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and continue sautéing for about another minute. Reduce heat to medium-low and wilt spinach a handful at a time. Add the artichokes and white wine and cook for about 2 more minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Increase the heat if needed.

2. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and incorporate the two cheeses, the yogurt and the lemon juice with a paddle. Season with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, onion powder and red pepper flakes.

3. Transfer to a small casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle more Parmesan over top if desired. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until hot.

Nutrition Info: Calories: 135 / Fat: 6g / Saturated Fat: 2g / Carbohydrates: 16g / Fiber: 3g / Protein: 6 g