Posted in Appetizers, Bake, Easy, Side Dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Hot – Artichoke and White Bean Spread

Hot Artichoke and White Bean Spread

This is a great spread for company. Serves some hot Italian bread on the side and you are sure to have a hit on your hands!

Serves: 8

Estimated calories per serving: 100

Fat grams: 3

Preheat oven to 375o


1 teaspoon oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 (15 – 16 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese

1 cup baby spinach

1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained

/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped

¼ cup parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat skillet on medium low heat and spray skillet with cooking spray and oil.  Add onions and sauté until the onions are golden and about to brown. Add garlic and sauté for another minute or less.
  2. Transfer onion mixture to a food process and add beans and ricotta cheese.  Process until smooth.
  3. Add the artichoke hearts, beans, basil, salt and pepper and process until the mixture is a smooth paste.  Add Parmesan cheese and spinach and pulse, on and off, until mixed evenly.
  4. Spray oven safe bowl with cooking spray and scoop dip mix into bowl.  Sprinkle with a little additional Parmesan cheese on top (optional).
  5. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until the cheese is melted and the top is golden.
Posted in Appetizers, Beef, Grilling, Vegetables

Memorial Day Weekend Entertaining – Part III of IV

Tonight’s recipes include Cucumber Yogurt Dip with grilled Flat bread and

Asian Marinated Grilled Steak.

Enjoy your BBQ while keeping weight management goals in check!

Cucumber Yogurt Dip

Prep time: 10 minutes

Refrigeration: overnight

Estimated values per serving:

Calories = 124                                              Fat = 3 grams

Serves 8


½ European cucumber – seeded and grated

4 ounces low fat cream cheese – softened

½ cup fat free Greek yogurt

2 cloves garlic – minced

Salt to taste

4 Large pita breads

  1. Remove excess water from cucumber by placing it in a double layer of paper towels.  Twist the ends of the paper towel over the sink to allow the cucumber water to drain.
  2. In a bowl, fold in the cucumber, cream cheese, yogurt, garlic and salt.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or overnight).
  4. 5 minutes before serving, grill pita bread on the BBQ, cut into 8 wedges per pita and serve with chilled cucumber dip.

NOTE: if you cannot find flatbread, pita bread works just as well.

Asian Marinated Grilled Steak

Serves 6

Prep time: 10 minutes + overnight marinating

Cook time: 10 – 15 minutes

Estimated values per serving:

Calories = 340                                              Fat = 8 grams


1/3 cup soy sauce

1 cup rice wine vinegar

3 tablespoons brown sugar

½ teaspoon liquid smoke

1 clove garlic – minced

¼ cup scallions – chopped

2 tablespoons ginger – minced

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

2 pounds London broil

1 tablespoon corn starch


  1. Whisk soy sauce, oil, vinegar and sugar in a bowl to dissolve sugar.  Add liquid smoke, garlic, scallions, ginger, red pepper flakes, and sesame seeds.  Combine with steak, cover bowl with wrap and marinate overnight.
  2. Remove steak from bowl and reserve marinade.
  3. Grill steak for about 7 minutes on each side or until cooked to your liking.
  4. Transfer marinade to a sauce pot, whisk in cornstarch and cook on medium heat until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly (about 5 minutes).
  5. Cut steak across the grain and pour cooked marinade on top or serve on the side.
Posted in Appetizers, Side Dishes, Tips/Hints, Vegetables

One more note…

I will be on vacation starting tomorrow so I am not sure how much I will be able to blog but I’d like to leave you with a timely recipe. If you are going to or hosting a Super Bowl party this weekend and want to bring or serve guacamole dip, this is a fabulous recipe that I used during the summer at our BBQs. My friends didn’t even know I substituted ingredients:

Guacamole Dip
Serves 6 -8

1 cup peas
½ cup chicken broth
1 Avocado – pit removed and skin peeled and cut into chunks
¼ cup fat free Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic – minced
Juice of 1 lime
1 pkg. Sugar substitute
Sat & pepper to taste
1 jalapeno – minced (can substitute 1 teaspoon of hot sauce)
¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped fine

1. Cook peas with chicken broth in a pot and bring to a boil. Cook for about 1 minute and strain and rinse peas in water.
2. Add peas to food processor and puree for about 30 seconds, until smooth.
3. Add avocado, yogurt, garlic, lime juice, Sugar substitute jalapeno (or hot sauce) and cilantro and puree until smooth.
4. Empty into a bowl & serve with baked tortilla chips.
NOTE: It may be necessary to stop in between to scrape down the sides to ensure the guacamole is consistently smooth.
Happy Cooking and enjoy the game!!