If there is one main theme of my blog, it would be that tasty food can pretty much always be pulled together without a special trip to the store.
On that note; I promised game day food this week and I shall deliver. However, Trader Joes were all out of sundried tomatoes (very rarely will I write anything negative about that store) so slight change of plan. I am serving spinach artichoke dip instead of the artichoke sundried tomato spread.
I love the concept of the flavors in spinach artichoke dip, but the traditional recipes are just too heavy and fat laden for me to enjoy. I've been making this version for a few years; Ellie Kreiger from the Food Network provided the base recipe; I usually like her approach to healthier eating.
However, it did need a little more cheese, greek yogurt and a touch of nutmeg to make it feel a bit less "healthy". It's a fine balance, after all it's still gotta taste good!
My other offering for today's Game Day planning is Chili. It's largely based on one of Jamie Oliver's versions that pulled of the Food network site years ago; the recipe is no longer listed. Anyway, I added a few more veggies, less chili pepper and I used ground turkey this time. The original uses ground chuck.
I always get asked about the chili when someone else tastes it and I think it's due to unusual ingredients and method; it's got a cinnamon stick and sundried tomatoes in it and he recommends you cut up your veggies etc in the food processor. Altogether this gives a smoother texture, which I like and an interesting depth of flavor. I also added more veggies and wine; notice the theme? I believe one cancels the other out, but it's a step in the right direction!
The Chili is freezable for about 3 months; I usually make a double batch (see photo) and feeze in family sized portions.
Spinach and Artichoke dip
|My 2 year old digging in|
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped or minced
1 (9 oz/ 255g) package of frozen artichokes, defrosted
1 (10 oz/ 283g) package of frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed of excess liquid
1 cup/ 250ml reduced fat or non fat sour cream or greek yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 cup/ 4 oz/ 115g reduced fat cream cheese
4 oz/ 115g shredded/ grated part skim mozzarella (or whatever good melting cheese you have)
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 375°F/ 190°C
- Saute the onions, over a medium heat, for approx 4-5 mins. Add the garlic and cook for a further 3-4 mins.
- While the onions are cooling, put the remaining ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the onions and pulse a further 4-5 times to mix.
- Transfer to a lightly greased baking dish (I used 4 large ramekins, or you could use one large 8" square baking dish)
- Bake for 15/20 mins until heated through but not browning on top.
2 medium onions
2 garlic cloves
1/2 lb/ 225g carrots (washed not peeled)
2 teasponns chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
sea salt and pepper
1 lb/ 455 g ground chuck (I used ground turkey this time)
7 oz/ 200g sundried tomatoes in olive oil
1 fresh red chile, deseeded (optional, swap in milder chile or omit)
2 (14oz/ 400g ) cans chopped tomatoes
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 glass red wine
2 (14oz/ 400g) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed well
- Place the onions and garlic and carrots in the food processor and chop.
- Using a deep heavy pan or dutch oven, fry up the onions, garlic and carrots in some olive oil until softened.
- Stir in the chili powder and cumin and cook for a further 2 mins.
- Add the meat and break up well. Cook until lightly browned
- Food process the sundried tomatoes (without the oil) and chile and add to the pan
- Add the tomatoes, cinnamon stick and wine.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 hour before adding the beans.
- Simmer for a further 1/2 hour then allow to sit and develop more flavor.
- Test and season as necessary at the end; depending on your tomatoes and beans, there may already be enough salt without adding more.
Enjoy with the usual toppings, rice, cornbread, tacos etc etc etc!