Friday, January 29, 2010

Spinach Artichoke Dip

This is my very favorite Spinach Artichoke dip and I have made this yummy version too many times to count; it is so savory and full of spinach. I like to bring it to parties because it is healthy and a crowd pleaser (perfect for super bowl parties). Adapted from Rachel Ray Magazine, this version doesn't have mayonnaise or sour cream, which you will never miss because a roux is used as the thickening agent to create a smooth and satisfying accompaniment to your favorite dippers (I like carrot sticks and whole grain baguette.) Enjoy!

Spinach Artichoke Dip
Adapted from Rachel Ray Magazine
6 Servings (or more...)
2 10 oz boxes chopped frozen spinach

2 T butter

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 Sm onion, finely chopped

2 T fresh thyme (LD: optional)

2 t lemon zest (LD: optional)

2 T flour

2 C chicken broth

1/8 t nutmeg

1 13.73 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1 c grated Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese

1 c shredded mozzarella cheese


1. In a microwaveable bowl, defrost the spinach in the microwave from 6-8 minutes. Drain the spinach and wring dry

2. In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for about another minute. Stir in thyme and lemon peel (optional). Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
3. Increase the heat to high and cook, whisking often, until thickened until thickened, 6-8 minutes.
4. Stir in the spinach, artichokes, and half of the Parmigiano-Regiano and mozzarella cheeses. Transfer the mixture to a casserole dish and sprinkle the remaining cheeses on top.
5. Preheat the broiler. Broil the dip until bubbly and lightly browned, about 3 minutes.

Enjoy!! I prefer this dip hot right out of the broiler. Dipping suggestions? Whole grain baguette, carrot sticks, celery sticks, pita chips.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A little indulgence...

I think that this has been a sucessful week of healthy posts.  So, I would like to end the week with an indulgent book recommendation, the much talked about: My Life in France by Julia Child.  I love Julia Child, I think that she is so real and relatable and I loved this memoir.  It is an easy read and it will make you want to catch the next flight to France to enjoy lots of wine and French food!

So cute.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Nutrition Inspiration

I think that everyone needs a little encouragement to stay dedicated to a healthy lifestyle.  When I need a boost of encouragement I look to the following sources:

Ellie Krieger

She is a nutritionist who knows that it is a brutal world out there for healthy eaters.  I love her show Healthy Appetite on the Food Network, but it hasn't been playing recently. (Bring back Ellie, Food Network!!) But, she has a website and many of her recipes can be found here.

Ahh, I love her positive approach to nutrition :)

Dr. Andrew Weil

I also really enjoy Dr. Andrew Weil's view on food and wellness.  He is a huge proponent of integrative medicine and believes that food can be healing and pleasurable.  His views are not for everyone and maybe should be taken with a grain of salt, but his website provides lots of good information that is updated every Monday with a few new articles.  Oh, and I also highly recommend his book, Eating Well For Optimum Health: The Essential Guide to Bringing Health and Pleasure Back to Eating which I re-read often and use a reference.

Respect the beard

Heidi Swanson

For healthy recipe inspiration, I turn to  I have used so many of her recipes that turn unusual healthy ingredients into approachable and delicious vegetarian dishes.  Recipes that I have in regular rotation include: the best pizza dough using white whole wheat flour, a delicious healthy cookie recipe that uses almond meal and mashed bananas as its base, oh and I love her unfussy apple cake recipe which I posted about in August using stone fruit.  Also, her book Super Natural Cooking, is a great reference full of her beautiful photos.


Phew!  That's all I have for today.  Let me know what your favorite healthy inspiration sources are!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Edible Communities

Have you heard of the Edible Community publications? These free magazines are available in most cities and they celebrate local, fresh food each season.  I first discovered Edible Austin when I lived in San Antonio and now that I'm in Dallas, one of my favorite local food resources is Edible Dallas and Fort Worth.  The best part about these publications is that they are locally owned, so each Edible has a unique flavor!  Available at places like Farmer's Markets and Whole Foods.

Check out to see if your city is Edible!

Monday, January 18, 2010

I love Body Step!!

So...have you heard of Les Mills?  They are this awesome company based out of awesome New Zealand and they create the best most challening group fitness classes! I discovered Les Mills classes when I was working at my sedentary desk job right out of college, and they kept me from going stir-crazy in that period of my life. Fast forward almost 3 years later and I am still a Body Step addict and also I became an Instructor myself!!

If you are looking for a way to get back into shape, stay motivated, or just to have a little fun, check it out; they have a classes all around the world at all different gyms and there are classes for everyone!!

Healthy Habits

All week long I am going to be posting healthy tips and inspiring resources!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Frustration and Gratitude

I am currently in the midst of job searching and I am completely frustrated with the lack of available jobs in this crazy economy. 

But, I am also very thankful for all that I do have and my heart goes out to those in need, especially in the midst of the disaster in Haiti.

image via

The Red Cross is accepting donations (as are the many other organizations that are lending a hand as well).

Friday, January 8, 2010

"It takes a community to sustain a small farm..."

image via

Local and community farming is a great emerging trend that could help solve a lot of the food issues that we face today.  But, it takes more than dedicated farmers to produce local food; "to have a truly local food system, we also need local butchers, bakers and millers, local truck drivers, local grocers, and a community that supports them in all their efforts."   Check out this article, which makes me want to open a local grocery store!!