Artichoke Dip Pasta

This pasta dish has all the things you love about artichoke dip and it’s vegan! Of course if that’s not your jam you can use regular cream cheese.

  • 6 oz pasta
  • 3 oz vegan cream cheese
  • 1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, reserve the marinate
  • 1/4 c pickled jalapeños
  • 1 bag baby spinach

Cook pasta according to package.

Combine cream cheese, artichoke hearts and jalapeños in a food processor and pulse till smooth, use marinate to thin as needed. Heat over low heat, add pasta and spinach cook until spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4.

Lime Cheesecake

I love cheesecake and adding lime juice gives it the perfect tartness.

Ingredients:
2-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 36 squares)
1/2 cup butter, melted
FILLING:
20 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 c sugar
1 c sour cream
3 tbsp flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup lime juice
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325.

In a food processor crush the graham crackers, then add butter and pulse to combine. Press into a 10 inch springform pan. Bake 10 minutes and set aside.

Best sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Add sour cream, beat till smooth. Add eggs, beat till smooth. Add remaining ingredients and beat till smooth. Pour into pan. Bake for 55 minutes until almost set.

Cool 10 minutes, the run a knife among the edge of the pan. Cool completely and refrigerate overnight.

Serves 10 – 12.

Blueberry Cheesecake


These are super easy and low fat. 

Ingredients:
8 oz light cream cheese
1 c Fat Free Greek Yorgurt
3 tbsp coconut palm sugar
1 c blueberries
1/2 c blueberry preserves, with no sugar
1/4 c toasted sliced almonds

In a mixer beat the cream cheese, yogurt and sugar until smooth.

Divide between 8 small desert bowl, spoon blueberry preserves over, then fresh blueberries and sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Chill for at least an hour.

Serves 4.

Guilt-Free Carrot Cake

20131110-051245.jpg

I love carrot cake and although carrot sounds healthy the cake past is not. This version swaps out the butter for yogurt and cuts back on the sugar for a moist and dense cake.

Ingredients:
10 oz grated carrots, minced in a food processor
1 1/4 c whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cardamom, optional
2 large eggs
2/3 c coconut palm sugar
1/4 c canola oil
1/4 c low-fat vanilla yogurt
8 oz low fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 c powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 TBSP milk
Coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 325. Spray a 9 inch round cake pan.

Combine flour, spices, baking soda and salt, set aside.

In a stand mixer, beat eggs, add sugar, oil and yogurt until light and frothy. Add flour mixture and combine. Stir in carrots.

Transfer to the prepared pan. Bake for 25 – 35 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then turn out on wire rack to cool completely.

Combine powdered sugar, cream cheese and vanilla, if too think add the milk.

Spread over cooled cake and top with coconut flakes.

Serves 10.

20131110-051305.jpg

Chocolate Sheet Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

20130901-043556.jpg

My baby turned 3 this week -sniff. His cake request was “light chocolate cake” as opposed the dark. So I looked for a sheet cake that was “light chocolate”. This recipe fit the bill, it appeared on about 40 different websites, the Pioneer Woman came up #1, so lets give her credit (she’s also a great food blogger)! I used a light cream cheese frosting that worked wonderfully and opted for a thicker cake so I used a 13×9 pan. This cake is very moist and most important of all – approved by the birthday boy. The non-birthday boy requested it for his birthday next month.

FOR THE CAKE:
2 c Flour
1 1/2 c Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
5 TBSP Cocoa
2 sticks Butter
1 c Boiling Water
1/2 c Buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Vanilla
_____
FOR FROSTING:
8 oz light cream cheese
4 TBSP Cocoa
1 teaspoon Vanilla
3/4 c Powdered Sugar

Preheat oven to 350 & spray your pan.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.

In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together. Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.

In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake for 20 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minute then you can flip out or allow to cool completely in pan. Frost when cool.

FROSTING:
Combine all ingredient in a food processor. Process until combined. Frost your cake.

20130901-043608.jpg

Smoked Salmon Tartine

20130604-130650.jpg

Now that I’m working from home most days of the week, I’m determined to make healthy and tasty lunches. Nothing beats an open faced sandwich also known as Tartine.

Ingredients:
2 oz smoked salmon
1 TBSP light cream cheese
1 slice multi-grain bread, toasted
Red onion, thinly sliced
Cucumber, thinly sliced
Capers
Cornichons

Spread cream cheese on bread. Top with salmon, onions, cucumber and capers.

Serves 1.

Artichoke Dip

20130602-073453.jpg

This recipe comes from Food & Wine Magazine and its a winner! I used light cream cheese and canned artichokes in water. I also used a lot less oil by opting for a non stick skillet.

2 large shallots—1 minced, 1 thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
14 oz canned artichoke hearts
1/4 c dry white wine
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 c shredded Gruyère
2 TBSP chopped parsley
1 1/2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 tsp Tabasco
1/2 c grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 c panko

Preheat the oven to 400°.

In a medium skillet, heat the 1 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the minced shallot and garlic and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the artichokes and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes; let the mixture cool.

In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese with the Gruyère, parsley, lemon juice, Tabasco and 1/2 c of the Parmigiano. Fold in the artichoke mixture and season the dip with salt and pepper. Scrape into a shallow 3-cup baking dish and smooth the surface. Sprinkle the panko and remaining Parmigiano on top. Bake for about 20 minutes, until heated through and lightly golden on top.

Meanwhile, in a non stick skillet, heat 1 tsp of olive oil until shimmering. Add the sliced shallot and fry over moderate heat, stirring, until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried shallot to paper towels to drain and cool. Sprinkle the fried shallot on top of the artichoke dip and serve with toast points and crudités.