Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year & A Recipe!

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday and a very Happy New Year! I truly hope all of you have a very happy, healthy, and prosperous 2010 ;) So I don't think I've mentioned it before, but I'm a huge Bethenny Frankel fan! She is my favorite on Real Housewives NYC and I really love her recipes!! I'm very into cooking - especially when you can cook healthy but still get the taste of unhealthy without all the processed, bad-for-you ingredients! Bethenny recently came out with a new cookbook called The Skinnygirl Dish, which I was anxiously awaiting after reading and loving her first book, Naturally Thin. The new book is excellent! Not only is it loaded with tons of fab, healthy recipes, but Bethenny also gives you tons of substitution options and lists them under each recipe for multiple ingredients! Now I could certainly do this with a lot of recipes in the books I already own, but who wants to sit there and actually take the time to figure out what else might work and possibly waste time and $$ trying it, only for it to turn into a major culinary mess?! Not me!

So we went to a NYE party at my Grandpops and I decided to try Bethenny's Guilt-Free Artichoke & Spinach dip. I served it with Tostito's baked Scoops and it was a huge hit! Everyone kept telling me how delicious it was as they all congregated around it, lol. So here is the written recipe, and you can also watch Bethenny's Video as well....

Guilt-Free Artichoke & Spinach Dip

by Bethenny Frankel
from The Skinnygirl Dish
Serves 6

~ 1 pkg (about 9oz) frozen artichokes, defrosted & drained
~ 1 pkg (about 9oz) frozen spinach, defrosted & drained
~ 1/4 c freshly grated parmesan cheese (not kraft!)
~ 1/4 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese
~ 1/4 c part-skim ricotta cheese
~ 8oz reduced-fat or soy cream cheese
~ 2 tb non-dairy or low-fat mayo
~ 1/2 tb lemon juice
~ 1 clove garlic, minced
~ 3/4 tsp salt
~ 1/2 tsp black pepper
~ 2 dashes tabasco sauce

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine all of the ingredients except 2 tb of the parmesan in a large bowl or food processor. Blend or pulse until mostly smooth, but leave some artichoke chunks for texture.

2. Pour the mixture into an ovenproof dish or casserole. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan. Bake for 20min, or until heated through and just starting to bubble. Let the dip sit for at least 10min. Serve warm with thin slices of baguette, raw vegetables, backed tortilla chips or crackers.

**Bethenny's Use-what-you-have Variations**

Variation 1: instead of frozen artichokes or spinach, try...
~ canned artichoke hearts, drained
~ fresh spinach
~ leaving either artichokes or spinach out and doubling the amount of the other

Variation 2: Instead of parmesan, try any other grated or shredded cheese

Variation 3: Instead of Monterey Jack, try any other crumbled or shredded cheese.

Variation 4: Instead of Ricotta, try...
~ part-skim cottage cheese, whipped or not
~ Silken Tofu

Variation 5: Instead of Cream Cheese, try...
~ Flavorful soft goat cheese
~ Feta
~ Blue Cheese

Variation 6: Instead of Mayo. try Greek Yogurt or plain soy yogurt

Variation 7: Instead of minced garlic, try...
~ 1/2 tsp garlic powder
~ 1/4 tsp garlic or other seasoned salt (reduce salt in recipe by 1/4 tsp)
~ 1/2 tsp onion powder

Variation 8: Instead of Tabasco sauce, try...
~ any other hot sauce
~ Dash of cayenne pepper
~ pinch of red pepper flakes

I really hope you all enjoy the recipe!!! I would highly recommend this book!

PS - this is not a paid review, I just really and truly love Bethenny's recipes ;)


  1. Yummm...I love me some spinach dip! :)

  2. I am going to have to check out her book and try this recipe...yum! I just wish I could drink as much as she does on the Real Housewives and stay skinny (I have to get skinny first). She is the best housewife (or non-housewife) on that show.

  3. Sounds great, thanks for the recipe :)