Spinach Artichoke Dip

FullSizeRender-3-300x291A flavorful dip leaves a lasting impression on guests during a season of potlucks and social gatherings. Spinach artichoke dip is a yummy classic. Most people who dislike artichokes, do enjoy spinach artichoke dip for its flavor and creaminess.
The holiday season is notorious for fattening and high-calorie foods. Additionally, the snacky aspect of dips makes them easy to overeat. This recipe is low-fat and high-protein thanks to the substitution of Greek yogurt and white beans, while being just as delicious.

 

 

Ingredients (Makes 3 cups of dip)

  • 4 cups spinach
  • Approx. 4 cups artichoke hearts (2 cans of artichoke hearts), chopped if large
  • 4oz. low-free cream cheese, soft
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1 medium jalapeno, finely diced
  • 1 cup, plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup, Parmesan cheese
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 T. fresh basil

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large pan, and sauté onions and garlic. Once the onion is translucent, add artichokes, jalapenos, and ½ tsp. salt.
Cook for approximately 5 minutes until the artichokes are soft. Add spinach, and cook until wilted. In a food processor, blend white beans and cream cheese until smooth.
Remove from processor to a medium sized bowl. Add Greek yogurt, Parmesan, spices, and ½ tsp. salt to the bowl as well. Mix in the artichokes and spinach, and pour into a casserole dish. Cover with foil, and bake for approximately 25 minutes. Uncover and broil for another 5-8 minutes until golden.

I loved how this recipe turned out. It hits the spot just like your favorite restaurant dip, while replacing some of the high-fat ingredient. With healthy twists on classic favorites, indulging during the holidays may be good for your health.
Good luck, and Happy Holidays!

 

MadeleineMadeleine Wirth
Madeleine is a junior Dietetics student at James Madison University. Her interests include community nutrition and sustainable food systems. She enjoys experimenting with whole foods and preservation techniques, as well as exploring ways to educate people on adequate nutrition. Madeleine also enjoys the outdoors, running, and swim coaching children in the summertime. She is actively involved with the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank and the JMU Student Government. After graduation from JMU, Madeleine hopes to pursue a dietetic internship, obtain the Registered Dietitian credential, and educate children and families on the affordability, accessibility and importance of fresh, whole foods.

Turnip Puree

IMG_2990-300x300Is anyone else getting a little bored with roasted vegetables? It seems to me that every simple recipe for root vegetables calls for salt, pepper, and an oven preheated to 350.
Don’t get me wrong, I love quick fixes and simple seasonings… but my taste buds have been needing a change!
Well, my palate found exactly the change it was looking for, as well as the inspiration for this recipe, from Harrisonburg’s Bella Luna.
The local wood-fired pizzeria Bella Luna served a lovely specialty dish: cured pork belly, sautéed spinach, and pickled carrots over a turnip puree… a refined twist on classical fare bursting with contrasting flavors and textures! I was surprised at how perfectly the simple turnip puree complemented the heartiness of the salty pork.
Previously, I had only enjoyed turnips roasted and certainly never cooked with them; but after trying Bella Luna’s pork belly over the turnip puree, I had to give them a shot.
My creative little recipe for mashed turnips and parsnips is probably a bit different from what you may be used to. Turnips and parsnips are starchy vegetables; similar but less starchy than potatoes. They have about a third of the carbohydrate content of regular white potatoes, making them a candidate for a lighter substitute in a mashed potatoes recipe. The result is less fluffy, but certainly just as flavorful. Root vegetables such as turnips, parsnips, carrots, and potatoes often appear in cultural Irish and Scottish cuisine due to their compatibility with the climate of the country. Perhaps a root vegetable mash like this one will find its way to your table on St. Patrick’s Day; a good idea can never come too early!

Here’s my recipe – a delightful way to explore new cooking techniques and discover a fondness for turnips! During the winter months, turnips and parsnips are in-season. You will find them in the produce section.
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Ingredients

(yields 3-4 servings)
16oz., turnips, peeled and diced (approx. 2 medium turnip roots)
8 oz., parsnips, peeled and diced (approx. 2 medium parsnips)
2 tbsps., unsalted butter
½ tsp., fresh thyme
½ tsp., ground white pepper
¼ tsp., garlic powder
Salt and pepper added to taste

Directions

Peel and chop turnips and parsnips. Add to a large pot of water, and bring to a boil. Cover partially, and cook for about 20 minutes until fork tender. Drain the vegetables, and transfer to a food processor or blender. Blend to desired consistency.
To make the recipe go a bit further, you could certainly add a few potatoes. I tried to keep this recipe minimal by avoiding too much unnecessary fat and preserving the natural flavor of the vegetables. Certainly these mashed turnips served with a hearty meat or substituted for mashed potatoes in a meal ensemble are perfection.
Good luck, and happy cooking!

 

MadeleineMadeleine Wirth
Madeleine is a junior Dietetics student at James Madison University. Her interests include community nutrition and sustainable food systems. She enjoys experimenting with whole foods and preservation techniques, as well as exploring ways to educate people on adequate nutrition. Madeleine also enjoys the outdoors, running, and swim coaching children in the summertime. She is actively involved with the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank and the JMU Student Government. After graduation from JMU, Madeleine hopes to pursue a dietetic internship, obtain the Registered Dietitian credential, and educate children and families on the affordability, accessibility and importance of fresh, whole foods.

Ginger- Garlic Kale with Mustard Roasted Potatoes

FullSizeRender-4-300x296Every time I walk inside the Food Co-Op, I peruse the colorful array of fruits and vegetables. I’ve been eyeing Lacinato or “dinosaur kale” for a while now and considering ways to cook with it. Read more