Appetizers/Small Plates

Poblano-Avocado-Yogurt Dip >> #MadeWithChobani

Roasted Poblano Avocado Yogurt Dip

Have you heard of the #MadeByChobani challenge that’s going around the food blogisphere?

Roasted Poblano Avocado Yogurt Dip

The task is fairly simple really– come up with a healthy recipe using Chobani® yogurt. But if you’ve been to my site before, you’re fully aware that I have never claimed to write “healthy” recipes. Remember the Holy Trinity of my kitchen?

Bacon, Butter, and Booze!

But it’s a new year and even I can try something new. So……….

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

Roasted Poblano Avocado Yogurt Dip

With the Super Bowl just around the corner, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to whip up a healthier appetizer to go along with all of those buffalo wings and pizza that will be consumed. And the recipe is incredibly easy too!

Roasted Poblano Avocado Yogurt Dip

I grabbed a poblano pepper (sometimes sold in the US as “pasilla”) and charred the exterior. Once peeled, I threw it in a food processor along with some avocados that are rich in potassium, fiber, and monounsaturated fat (“good fat”). Non-fat Plain Chobani® Greek Yogurt, cilantro, garlic and a few spices like cumin were also added to the party. The latter has been known to help with building your immunity and digestion.

Roasted Poblano Avocado Yogurt Dip

The end results?

A wonderfully creamy, beautifully rich, totally satisfying dip. Deeply flavored from the charred poblano and cumin & luscious from the yogurt and avocado.

I chose to serve this healthier dip with tortilla chips (all about balance, right?) but it would be great with sliced veggies or as a spread in sandwiches.

DEE-LISH!

But…I’ll get back to creating some kind of bourbon-bacon dip so y’all know it’s still me.

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Poblano-Avocado-Yogurt Dip
Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 large poblano pepper
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 large ripe avocados, roughly diced (about 3 cups)
5 ounces Non-fat Plain Chobani® Greek Yogurt, or other plain Greek yogurt of our choice
½ tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon cumin powder
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
¼ teaspoon black pepper
tortilla chips or veggie sticks of your choice

On your stove top range, char the poblano pepper on all sides. This can also be done under your oven broiler. Once charred, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes. This will help the skin loosen from the pepper. Once cooled, peel the skin from the pepper and discard along with the stem and seeds. Roughly chop the roasted pepper and place into the bowl of a food processor.

Pulse the poblano until it becomes fairly smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste and add additional kosher salt as needed. Serve with tortilla chips or veggies of your choice.

Enjoy!

 

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Sunday Family Dinner

Our Big Fat GREEK Sunday Family Dinner – OPA!!

June 2014 Sunday Family Dinner

As it turned out, the only Sunday we could have our June Family Dinner was on the same weekend of our big seester and B.I.L.’s wedding anniversary party………..

The same event that we were slated to cook/bake the entire menu as well as prep the decor and floral arrangements.

No big deal right? Good thing we’re robots.

June 2014 Sunday Family Dinner

 

But our monthly Family Dinners have become a tradition and I was determined to still make it happen without having to add any extra stress.

An easy, low-key menu was a must…..especially if we could prepare things in advance.

June 2014 Sunday Family Dinner

Enter Ina Garten to save the day!

I happened to catch an old episode of hers on TV where she was fixing up a Greek/Mediterranean spread to enjoy at one of her friends’ fabulous new homes. Nearly everything was made in advance and she just carted it over to the house when it was dinner time.

PERFECT!

June 2014 Sunday Family Dinner

And on another note, that woman has some pretty spectacular buddies in some amazing industries! Lighting specialists, florists, chefs, cheese makers,  vintners —I need to run in her crowd!!

But I digress….back to the food.

So with a loose Greek themed menu, we were off to the races.  For appetizers, we snacked on flaky, buttery, golden Spanakopita. I actually made them 2 weeks beforehand and stored them unbaked in an airtight container in the freezer. The day of our dinner as we sipped on chilled vino, I put them directly from the freezer into a preheated oven. 35 minutes later, our tummies were doing a happy dance.

 

June 2014 Sunday Family Dinner

As for the main menu, what’s easier than grilling? Especially if we can task the boys to do the grill work!

MAN LIKE FIRE. <insert curmudgeon caveman voice>

And since we were going Greek, we marinated chunks of lamb and chicken in Greek yogurt with tons of lemon juice, rosemary and garlic. The proteins bathed in the marinade overnight which I think helped to reduce any extra gaminess lamb is known to have as well as keep the meat tender.

Of course, the recipe is Ina’s and can be found here but I added about 1/4 cup of minced garlic to the recipe. No garlic?! Not me!

June 2014 Sunday Family Dinner

We served the chicken and lamb with an easy cucumber and fresh dill tzatziki sauce.

 

June 2014 Sunday Family Dinner

And how could we have a Greek outdoor feast without Pita Bread? Pita is something that is surprisingly easy to make (despite my first apprehension) and also can be made in advance. We ended up grilling the Pita to warm them but I think next time it would be better to toast them lightly in the oven because they got a tad crunchy for my liking. The recipe I used can from The Kitchn  can be found here.

I’d also be doing a disservice to the sis if I didn’t talk about the light Greek Salad she whipped up with feta, cucumbers, olives, fresh dill, tomatoes and red onions –it was our MUCH needed veggies!

 

June 2014 Sunday Family Dinner

As for dessert, we kept things relatively light –especially since we all inhaled a TON of desserts at the anniversary party the night before. So we opted for a simple Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta and topped it with a fresh fig & berries compote.

The panna cotta was a cinch to make and had similar tart flavors to Vietnamese yogurt. As for the compote, it was nothing more than cooking the figs, strawberries, and raspberries down with about 1/2 cup white wine, sugar and a bit of vanilla.

Truth be told, I was surprised how much I did enjoy dessert considering it was a last minute addition to the plate but it was  yuuuummmmmyy!

June 2014 Sunday Family Dinner

All in all, despite how crazy tired we were from the night before, Sunday Family Dinner was quite the success.

Lounging in the backyard, dangling our toes in the hot tub, sipping on vino, naps in the sun and good food with the family. The perfect way to spend a Sunday FUNday and nothing to it but a bit of work ahead of time.

Until next month – OPA!!!!!!!!!

June 2014 Sunday Family Dinner

This Month’s Family Dinner Menu

Cocktails: Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio
Appetizers: Spanakopita
Entrees: Grilled Lamb and Chicken Kebab with Fresh Dill Tzatziki Sauce, Fresh Pita Bread, Grilled Veggies, Greek Salad
Dessert: Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta with Fresh Fig and Berry Compote

Appetizers/Small Plates · Sponsored · Vegetables/Vegetarian

Mediterranean Spinach Artichoke Dip…and it’s a tad healthier!

Mediterranean Spinach Artichoke Dip

 

I LOVE Chips. Potato chips, tortilla chips, corn chips, taro chips…….I can’t get enough of them. So you can imagine my utter glee when I received a big box of TOSTITOS® Artisan Recipes™ Tortilla Chips as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program.

And what goes hand in hand with chips? DIP, of course!

 

Mediterranean Spinach Artichoke Dip

 

Spinach Artichoke Dip is definitely one of my favorites—though I rarely indulge in it. Most recipes are chock-full of mayo, sour cream and other dairy products. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE all those tasty things but they don’t necessarily love my hips! With bathing suit weather rapidly approaching, I wanted to create a version of this delish dip to compliment the TOSTITOS® that was a tad healthier and with a slight adaptation in flavor.


Mediterranean Spinach Artichoke Dip

 

I decided to go with a “Mediterranean” spin by adding sun dried tomatoes to the mix. Sun dried tomatoes pairs so well with artichokes and spinach that the addition made perfect sense to me.

To create a more figure friendly dip, I substituted two of the key ingredients with healthier alternatives. In lieu of the sour cream, I used nonfat Greek yogurt. Not only does the latter have a slew of health benefits but the texture provides a lovely creamy, thick texture that we like in our dips. I used an American Neufchatel Cheese in the place of cream cheese since Neufchatel is lower in fat and higher in protein. As for the mayo, I completely nixed it. The other ingredients provided enough creamy texture and flavor that it wasn’t needed.

This “healthy” dip worked really well with the grained tortilla chip. It was full of various textures and I had a clear conscience knowing that I cut out extra fat/calories without sacrificing the flavor.

If only I could make chocolate cake “healthier”…………..  🙂

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Mediterranean Spinach Artichoke Dip
Serves 8

Ingredients:

10 Ounces Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed and drained
8 Ounces Artichoke Hearts, finely chopped
5 Ounces Neufchatel Cheese, softened
½ Cup Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt, at room temperature
½ Cup Low Fat (or reduced fat) Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
2 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese, finely grated
¼ Cup Chopped Sun Dried Tomatoes (preserved in olive oil)
¼ Cup Shallots, finely chopped
2 Whole Garlic Cloves, finely minced
¼ Teaspoon Dried Thyme
¼ Teaspoon Paprika
1 Tablespoon Oil from the Sun Dried Tomatoes
Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, heat the oil from the sun dried tomatoes. Add shallots and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and dried thyme. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes before adding the spinach. Cook for an additional few minutes and then transfer all items into a large bowl.

Add Neufchatel, Greek Yogurt, Monterey Jack Cheese and paprika to the spinach mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Combine well. Lightly cover ramekins or other baking dishes with cooking spray. Spoon spinach mixture into the dishes and sprinkle the tops with Parmesan Cheese.

Bake for 20-25 minutes and then turn the broiler on. Broil the tops until they are golden brown. Serve with chips, bread slices, crackers, or vegetable sticks.