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Puckering Pickle Dip

Reduced-Fat Pickle Dip

This dip is absolutely amazing! Serve it up with baked chips and this low-fat, creamy, crunchy, pickle dip is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Give it a try, you will not regret it!

Serves 5-10.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1 packet dry vegetable soup mix (Lipton or Knorr)
  • 1 cup dill pickles, chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tsp hot red pepper flakes

 

In a large bowl, combine the sour cream, cream cheese, dry vegetable soup mix, pickles, dill and red pepper flakes. Stir well to combine. Refrigerate the dip for 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving.

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Majorly Delicious Middle Eastern Food.

Old Jerusalem (www.oldjerusalemrestaurant.com) is an Old Town favorite of ours. Located on Wells Street, Old Jerusalem was opened in 1976 and serves authentic Middle Eastern cuisine. They are family owned and operated and when I’m there I feel like I’m in someone’s house being served from their personal kitchen. The food is fresh and delicious and the service is great. Below are some of our favorite dishes to order.

Combination Vegetarian Platter: An assortment of hummos (a blend of chick peas and tahini), baba ganouj (a blend of eggplant and tahini), tebouleh (cracked-wheat salad with scallions, tomatoes, and parsley; all diced and seasoned with lemon and olive oil), Jerusalem salad (diced tomatoes, cucumber, and parsley dressed with tahini and olive oil) and falafil (deep-fried patties of ground chick peas and vegetables.) This platter is great, because you’re able to taste little bites of everything. Gareth and I typically order this as an appetizer to share. The falafil is my personal favorite 🙂

Hummos with Shawirma: A blend of chick peas and tahini dressed with sautéed shawirma (slices of roasted lamb and beef) served with Lebanese bread. This is Gareth’s usual order here. The pairing of the meat and hummus creates a great flavor. The meat is not as salty or greasy as some shawirma meat can be; it’s much lighter and is freshly prepared.

Greek Salad with Chicken: A mixture of lettuce, onions, feta cheese, olives and tomatoes; served with Lebanese bread. This is my favorite salad to get. The chicken is grilled fresh and the salad is light and tangy. I love it!

Excellent Egg Rolls.

These egg rolls are so much fun to make! You can purchase the pre-made egg roll wraps in the produce section of your grocer and fill them with any ingredients you desire. Below are a few concoctions that I tried out. They are delish!

To make the egg rolls, simply place the desired ingredients in the bottom right corner of the wrap. Then, fold the bottom right corner over the ingredients. Fold in the top right and bottom left and then roll upwards. When it is completely wrapped, use a small amount of water to seal the top. If you want to indulge, you can brush the egg roles lightly with olive oil to give them a little extra crunch and flavor. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes (flipping the egg rolls over after ten minutes.)

Barbecue Chicken & Avocado Egg Roll

Ingredients:

  • egg roll wrap
  • reduced-fat shredded cheddar
  • avocado
  • barbecue sauce
  • rotisserie chicken meat, shredded

Asian Shrimp & Cabbage Egg Roll

Ingredients:

  • egg roll wrap
  • sliced cabbage
  • green onion
  • cooked shrimp
  • store-bought sweet chili sauce or other Asian sauce

Spicy Pepperoni Pizza Egg Roll

Ingredients:

  • egg roll wrap
  • turkey pepperoni
  • tomato sauce
  • jalepenos
  • reduced-fat shredded mozzarella

Peanut Perfection.

Spicy Sesame-Peanut Noodles With Shrimp & Snap Peas.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package whole-wheat linguine
  • 1/2 cup Smart Balance peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 cups frozen shrimp, thawed & de-veined
  • 1 cup cole-slaw cabbage mix (green & purple sliced cabbage)
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas, halved
  • 1/2 cup green onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, shredded
  • 2 tbsp Sriracha sauce (Asian hot sauce)
  • 1 tbsp hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp dried, crushed ginger
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic

-To make the sauce, combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, 1 tbsp of sesame oil, rice vinegar, ginger, Sriracha, red pepper flakes and garlic in a food processor and blend for about 20 seconds.

-In a large pan, heat 2 tbsp of sesame oil on medium heat and add the sugar snap peas, shredded carrots and 1/2 cup of the cole-slaw cabbage mix. Cook the vegetables for about 15 minutes until they begin to brown. Lower the heat, then add in the green onion and shrimp. Continue to cook on low heat for about 10 minutes.

-Cook the linguine as directed on the box to al dente. Drain the excess water and add the pasta in with the vegetables and shrimp. Pour the sauce over the pasta and vegetables and toss to mix. Add in the remaining 1/2 cup of cabbage coleslaw mix to add a crunch.

Salata Mexicana.

Taco(less) Salad With Ground Turkey, Avocado & Tomato

This is my version of a taco salad…minus the taco! This is a great salad because it’s filling and full of bold, Mexican-influenced flavors that really satisfy. It’s low carbohydrates, too! This salad is so good, you won’t even miss the taco!

Serves 2-3.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of romaine lettuce
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat three-cheese  blend
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/8 cup sliced jalepenos (fresh or jarred)
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce (preferably Frank’s Red Hot)
  • 1 pack reduced-sodium dry taco seasoning
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the ground turkey and cook for about 15 minutes until the turkey is lightly brown and cooked through. Use a spatula to make sure the meat is broken apart into small pieces. Add in the dry taco seasoning, 1/4 cup of water and the hot sauce and mix well. Turn the heat off and allow to cool slightly.

Plate the lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, jalepenos and sour cream and add a heaping spoonful of the ground turkey mixture on top. Sprinkle the cheese over the salad so it melts with the heat of the turkey meat.

Comforting Carbonara.

Baked Whole-Wheat Linguine Carbonara

Carbonara is a traditional Italian pasta dish that is made with eggs, parmesan cheese, pancetta and peas. It traditionally has A LOT of parmesan cheese, so to cut down the use of it, I used lower-fat creamy ingredients in combination with a smaller amount of parmesan to get the cheesy flavor. To cut down on other fat and cholesterol, I used an egg substitute instead of whole eggs. I kept the pancetta in the dish because, while indulgent, it is what really brings the most flavor to the dish. This pasta is the ultimate wintertime comfort food!

Serves 6.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package whole-wheat linguine
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup diced pancetta
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella (for topping)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (1/4 for sauce, 1/4 for topping)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • splash of white wine
  • garlic salt/black pepper

In a large sauce pan, heat 1 tsp of olive oil on medium heat and add the pancetta. Cook the pancetta for about 10 minutes or until browned and crispy. Reduce the heat and add just a splash of white wine to de-glaze the pan. Then add the skim milk, sour cream and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Keep the heat on low, this mixture can simmer but should not boil.

While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta al dente as directed on the package. After the pasta has cooked, drain all of the excess water and add it back into the same pot. Immediately, while the pasta is still hot, add in the egg substitute and stir very quickly. The heat of the pasta will cook the eggs, but you need to stir quickly so they don’t scramble.

After the pasta is mixed with the eggs, add the pasta into the sauce. Add a dash of garlic salt and black pepper. When the pasta is evenly coated in the sauce, put the mixture into a greased baking dish. Top the pasta with the remaining parmesan cheese and the shredded mozzarella and bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until browned and bubbly.


Hot Potato.

Cheesy Baked Buffalo Potatoes

These potatoes are seriously amazing. If you like spicy and if you like potatoes, these are for you. These potatoes taste sinfully creamy and cheesy, but there is actually no butter or cream in them- AND believe it or not, they are actually low-fat! Mmmmm!

Serves 3-5.

Ingredients:

  • 10 small Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot (or less if you don’t want it as spicy)
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
  • garlic salt

Boil the potatoes in a large pot for about 15-20 minutes or until soft. Drain the excess water and cut the potatoes into smaller pieces. Add the chopped potatoes into the food processor and blend until they have become a smoother consistency, but don’t blend too much, it’s best if there are still some small pieces of potato. After the potatoes have been blended, add them back into the pot and stir in the sour cream, mozzarella, Frank’s Red Hot, chives and a dash of garlic salt. Put the mixture into a greased baking dish and top with a small handful of the mozzarella. Put in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.