Looking through my arsenal, it appears that I don’t have many recipes for side dishes. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I either don’t make a side or just steam/roast some veggies or throw together a simple salad. But those get pretty boring really quickly so it was nice to try something different for a change.
I spent a lot of time poring over the recipes from my assigned blog for the Blogger’s Choice swap but kept coming back to this one. I always order creamed spinach pretty much whenever it is offered as a side at a restaurant. It’s not the healthiest choice, hiding nutrient-packed spinach amongst all the cheese and heavy cream, but I was thrilled to have the chance to make it a wee bit better for you, hopefully without sacrificing the taste.
And it didn’t disappoint. Although I have to admit I cheated just a little bit. I served this alongside pan-fried bacon wrapped chicken (coming soon to the blog) and used the same skillet with some of the remaining bacon grease and pan juices to prepare it. Other than that, I didn’t stray too far from the recipe. I substituted 32 oz. of fresh baby spinach for the frozen chopped, doubling the amount of spinach to boost the nutrition factor and because 16 oz didn’t look like it was going to be enough once it was chopped.
- 32 oz. Fresh Baby Spinach
- 1 Tbsp. Butter
- 2 Shallots, minced
- 1 Clove Garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. Flour
- 1 1/2 Cups 2% or Skim Milk
- 2 Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese, shredded
- 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
- 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
- 4 oz. Garlic and Herb Boursin Cheese
Add the spinach to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until chopped.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 4-5 minutes.
Add the flour to the skillet and whisk until combined. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly. Add the parmesan, pepper, nutmeg and Boursin and stir until smooth, then add the spinach and stir until combined. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
The Jey of Cooking | http://www.thejeyofcooking.com
This week, my friend Sarah over at A Taste of Home Cooking is celebrating her SIXTH Blogiversary! In honor of the occasion, she asked six blogger friends to make one of her recipes and guest post on her site. I am thrilled to be a part of that group.
I chose to make Sarah’s Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes. It was an easy choice considering they are by far the most popular recipe on her site. To see what we thought of them (hint: YUM!) and to get the recipe, head on over to A Taste of Home Cooking.
And don’t forget to wish Sarah a happy sixth blogiversary!
In this week’s swap, we revisited pasta dish. I was thrilled when I received this one from Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks since I don’t have anything like it in my repertoire! I was even happier when I realized just how easy this recipe is. Lasagna is typically time consuming with a ton of ingredients and is all together a pain in the butt to make, but this one took less than an hour from start to finish! And it was super tasty to boot.
One of my great food loves is spinach artichoke dip, so I decided to add artichokes to the mix and I’m glad that I did. I also used whole wheat lasagna noodles in an attempt to up the health factor, but next time I think I’ll stick to regular old lasagna noodles. I also decided to try baking the individual rolls in muffin tins, and while it worked fairly well, I thought they didn’t get enough extra sauce that way, but luckily I had enough leftover to serve over the top.
Spinach Artichoke Lasagna Rolls – slightly adapted from Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks
- 12 Lasagna Noodles
- 1 8 oz. Package Reduced Fat Cream Cheese
- 1 10 oz. Package Frozen Spinach, thawed and drained
- 1 14 oz. Can Artichoke Hearts, quartered
- 2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- 3 Cups Alfredo Sauce, divided
- 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. Oregano
- 1/2 Cup Roasted Red Peppers, chopped
- 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
Preheat oven to 375. Spray a muffin pan or baking pan with cooking spray.
Cook and drain the noodles, then set them individually on waxed paper to prevent sticking.
In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, spinach, artichokes, 1 cup mozzarella, 1 cup alfredo sauce, garlic and oregano. Mix well, then spread evenly on top of each noodle. Sprinkle with the roasted red peppers.
Roll the noodles up tightly and place into the muffin tin (or baking pan, seam side down). Top with remaining alfredo and mozzarella and sprinkle with parmesan.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until heated through.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m a sucker for artichoke dip (I mean, who isn’t, really?). But add sweet, succulent crab to the mix and it just takes it waaay over the top.
When I first saw this dish on Confections of a Foodie Bride, I knew I had to try it. Her photo alone had me drooling all over my computer screen! I loved the addition of the fresh pico de gallo, it was a great contrast to the warm, creamy dip. My only regret is that after I went to bed, the Husby didn’t put the leftovers in the fridge. Sigh, it would have been great in an omelette the next morning. It would also be a great snack while watching that big football game that’s happening this weekend. This one is definitely a keeper!
Baked Asiago Crab and Artichoke Dip with Pico de Gallo – slightly adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride and the Culinary Reserve Warm Crab and Artichoke Dip recipe from the side of the can of Premium Handpicked Crabmeat
For the dip:
- 1 8 oz. Block Cream Cheese
- 1/2 Cup Mayonaise
- 1/2 Cup Fat-Free Greek Yogurt
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. Fresh Thyme, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. Fresh Chive, chopped
- 1 tsp. Baking Powder
- 1 Egg
- 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
- 1 Bunch Green Onions, chopped, white and light parts (save dark parts for the pico)
- 1 1/2 Cup Asiago Cheese, grated
- 1 14 oz. Can Artichoke Hearts, chopped
- 8 oz. Lump Crab Meat
For the pico de gallo:
- 2 Roma Tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1/4 Cup Red Onion, chopped
- 1 Jalapeño, seeded and chopped
- 1 Handful Cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 Cup Green Onion, chopped, dark parts only
- Squeeze of Lime Juice
- Salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 425.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl with a hand mixer), beat together the cream cheese, mayo and yogurt until smooth. Add the garlic, thyme, chive baking powder and egg and mix again until combined. Add the white and light parts of the green onions, lemon juice and 1 cup asiago cheese, and stir to combine. Fold in the artichokes and crab meat.
Transfer to a large casserole dish and spread evenly. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 25 minutes, until the dip is golden and bubbling.
While the dip is baking, prepare the pico de gallo by combining all ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerating until ready to serve.
Top the dip with the pico de gallo before serving. Serve with “Scoop style” tortilla chips.