I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season, and Happy 2015!! As I’ve mentioned in some previous posts, I receive a ton of recipes emailed to me on a regular basis from various online sources, and saw one I wanted to try, especially since the big “Game Day” is approaching and I know people are always looking for new dishes to serve up at Super Bowl parties. The great thing about this recipe (by Pillsbury) is there are only five ingredients; well, really four… one is an optional garnish. The one thing I did differently from the original is heating up the dip. I tried it both cold and hot, and in my personal opinion, it’s much better when warmed. You can also add some shredded chicken, if desired.
- 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
- 4-5 oz. crumbled blue cheese
- 1 cup Yoplait® Greek 100 plain yogurt
- 3/4 cup Buffalo wing sauce
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions (optional)
- In large bowl, beat cream cheese and all but 2 tablespoons of the blue cheese with electric mixer on medium speed about 30 seconds or until combined.
- Add yogurt and wing sauce; beat 30 seconds longer.
- Transfer to serving bowl. Top with 2 tablespoons reserved blue cheese and green onions. Drizzle with additional wing sauce, if desired.
- For the heated version, follow steps 1 & 2, transfer to a greased casserole dish, and cook in a preheated 350° oven for approximately 35 minutes or until hot. Stir, then top with the reserved blue cheese and green onions.
- Serve with celery sticks, carrot sticks, cauliflower, broccoli, tortilla chips, or chicken strips.
Yields 16 servings
Last weekend, I stopped at my neighborhood Smart & Final for just a few things, and decided to pick up some frozen Cod. I typically prefer my fish to be fresh, but when in a pinch (or I’m being lazy), I’ll grab some frozen. I wanted something light, but flavorful so perused a bunch of recipes for both fish and different types of sauces. I like this Cod dish as it has some crunch on the top while remaining healthy since it’s seared quickly then baked. As for the yogurt sauce, I find it be a nice complement to the fish in terms of flavor points and adding some additional protein. I suggest making the sauce first (directions further down) so it’s ready when the fish is done.
- 2 (6-ounce) cod fillets
- Panko bread crumbs
- 1 egg, for egg wash
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 tbsp. grapeseed oil
- 1/4 lemon, juiced
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 sprig fresh thyme (or 1/8 tsp. dried thyme)
- Preheat oven to 400° F. Place the fillets on a sheet tray or rack so the fish can release its natural juices.
- Place the bread crumbs into a shallow dish.
- In a separate shallow dish, add 1 beaten egg. Season both sides of the fillet with salt and pepper. Once seasoned, brush the belly side of the cod with the egg. Dip the egg side into the panko bread crumbs.
- In a cast iron skillet, add grapeseed oil. Before placing fish into pan, make sure the skillet is very hot. Sear only 1 side of the fish (the side with the bread crumbs). Once the 1 side is seared, place the skillet in the oven for about 4-6 minutes until cooked. *If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, use a regular skillet, then transfer to a greased baking dish, and increase the time to about 10-12 minutes.
- Once the fish is cooked, flip it over and add the lemon juice, butter and sprig of thyme. Let melt and baste the fish with the juice.
- Remove from pan, place onto plate and top with sauce.
Chive Basil Yogurt Sauce
- 1/8-1/4 tsp. garlic powder, depending on your garlic preference
- A pinch of kosher salt
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- The finely grated zest and juice of a 1/2 small lemon
- 4 tsp. of dried parsley
- A small fistful (about 3 tbsp.) of fresh basil, stems removed, chopped
- A thumb-thick bundle of fresh chives, chopped (or approx. 1 tbsp. dried)
- 1/2 cup thick natural yogurt; use full-fat Greek yogurt if calories aren’t an issue
- 1 tbsp. good-quality light mayonnaise, such as Hellman’s (optional)
- Salt and milled black pepper
- Stir mustard, garlic, salt, lemon zest and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl, mix/mush well.
- Add parsley, then very finely chop the basil and chives, and add them to the bowl.
- Stir in the yogurt and mayonnaise (if using), and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Last month, I was invited to a pot luck party, and was trying to narrow down all of the yummylicious things I could bring that were easy to travel with, didn’t require reheating and would be a crowd pleaser. I decided on these little gems, and they were a hit… not a single one was left. Personally, I think dill adds a nice delicate flavor to the cream cheese mixture, and pairs incredibly well with salmon. The recipe I initially saw for these, called for using a loaf of sourdough bread, but I decided to use whole grain melba toast rounds which worked perfectly, and saved time from having to bake the bread. These tasty treats are incredibly easy to make and throw together in no time, and will be a huge hit with all who try them. If you want to cut down on carbs, or simply desire some variation, you can use cucumber slices instead of the rounds or crackers.
- 4 oz. smoked salmon
- 8 oz. package cream cheese
- 2 tbsp. Greek yogurt (or light mayo)
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp. dill leaves, finely chopped
- 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Dill sprigs for garnish
- Melba toast rounds, or crackers of your choice
- In a small bowl, combine all of your spread ingredients: cream cheese, greek yogurt, minced garlic, freshly chopped dill, lemon juice and salt & pepper. Mash it all together with a fork, and mix until well blended.
- Spread the cream cheese mix over the top of each melba toast round or cracker.
- Top with a piece of salmon and garnish with dill sprigs.
I stumbled across a couple of recipes for this dip on Super Bowl weekend, and being a lover of the infamous BLT, I just had to try it. I took things from both recipes I found, and combined them to make a scrumptious appetizer. I substituted Greek yogurt for sour cream to make this a tad healthier, and if you want to further reduce calories and fat content, you can cut the mayo in half to just a half of a cup, which will produce a bit thicker of a dip (but still yummy).
- 1 lb. bacon, cooked, drained, crumbled & divided
- 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup light mayonnaise
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 Roma tomatoes (or 1 large regular), seeded, chopped & divided
- 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
- 1 cup shredded iceberg or romaine lettuce
- Preheat oven to 350°F degrees.
- Set aside ½ cup crumbled bacon.
- Mix mayonnaise, greek yogurt, and cream cheese in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Crumble bacon into mixture and stir.
- Add cheddar cheese, green onions, garlic powder, and one tomato, mix well.
- Spoon mixture into a shallow dish or pie pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbling.
- Sprinkle chopped tomatoes, remaining crumbled bacon, lettuce and green onions over hot dip.
- Serve immediately with your favorite crackers or chips.
I’ve said it before, but in case you missed it… I LOVE sauces, and think they can take a dish to the next level. I made some baked fish last night (which was amazing, and will post soon), and knew I wanted some type of sauce to accompany/compliment it, so put on my creative thinking cap. I’ve been on a big avocado kick lately, and my fish recipe included lime juice, so I figured I’d whip up a sauce which included both, but also wanted it to be healthy. Thus, I used greek yogurt instead of mayo! The results were fantastic and added that little extra something to my dinner. This would be great on chicken, grilled steak, pork, fish and tacos.
Since I made this just for moi, I used half of an avocado, which still yielded enough for a few servings, but if you’re feeding four or more, I’d double the recipe.
- Half medium avocado, mashed
- 2 tbsp. lime juice
- 2 tbsp. nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- Salt to taste
- Mash avocado well with fork in a small bowl.
- Add remaining ingredients, mix well and chill covered in fridge until ready to use.
- Garnish with cilantro, if desired.
With summer quickly approaching, I’m doing my best to eat healthier without sacrificing flavor. I’ve been marinating chicken wings (yes, I’m baking them), and decided I wanted a blue cheese dip to accompany them this time, but know that packs a punch with fat and calories, so was on the hunt for a lighter recipe. I found quite a few using non-fat Greek yogurt, and went with the one I wanted to try, making a couple of modifications. I love that this is about half the calories of your traditional blue cheese dressing and the only fat comes from the blue cheese/gorgonzola. Blue cheese lovers rejoice!!!
- 2 tbsp. gorgonzola or blue cheese crumbles
- 1/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt (I used Fage)
- Juice of 1/4 small lemon
- 1/2 tbsp. white vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- Black pepper, to taste
- Pinch garlic powder
- Pinch onion powder
- Drizzle of honey or agave
- Combine blue cheese, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, Worcestershire and vinegar in a bowl and mix well.
- Add all seasonings and a drizzle of agave or honey and stir well with a fork.
- Serve with chicken wings, your favorite salad, veggies, etc.
The thickness of the dressing will vary depending on the brand of Greek yogurt you use. If necessary, add water (one tablespoon at a time) and stir until dressing reaches desired consistency.