Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Give Artichokes A Chance!

As I sit here typing, I can smell onion rings. Someone has brought fried onion rings into my personal space and I have to say, I don’t appreciate it. I’m starving right now. It’s weird because I have basically the same routine every day. I especially stick to the same process during the work week. I have the same thing for breakfast and I have lunch at the same time every day. Some days I’m perfectly fine with my routine but some days, I feel like I could gnaw my arm off. Today is one of those days.

This weekend was nice and eventful as usual. I did a lot of cleaning, eating food and hanging out with my family and friends. Luckily, I was able to squeeze in a lot of couch/bed/chill time on Sunday so that was nice. Since Friday, I also made a recipe to discuss…

This yummy dish was Skinny Artichoke Dip. I served it up with the Special K Cracker Chips that I told you about awhile back. You know, artichokes are a funny looking vegetable that most people assume that they don’t like. I have to say…I would never even lay eyes on an artichoke until the hot, cheesy artichoke dips started popping up in restaurants. I figured if something was smothered in different cheeses and mayo and then baked, it couldn’t be bad. This is also how I started eating spinach. Needless to say, my tolerance for artichokes has grown significantly. I wouldn’t say I’m at a place where I would eat them alone but I’ve had them in dips, pasta and on pizza and they add a nice, interesting flavor. Having said all of that, I thought I would try making a low fat version of a hot artichoke dip. This dip couldn’t really be much easier. All you do is mix chopped artichokes and onions with light mayo, non-fat greek yogurt and salt and pepper. You put it in an oven safe dish, top with bread crumbs, spray the top with olive oil non-stick spray and then bake for about 20 minutes. The dip had GREAT flavor but would have been a bit more creamy with all of the fat it normally has mixed in. This dip would be a nice, low-fat alternative for a party…I would definitely recommend it.

I mentioned having the same things every day above and I have to admit, there are many things that I go back to over and over again…bagels, Moe’s, hash browns (the shredded kind are yummy and low in calories if you cook them in a skillet with cooking spray), chicken noodle soup and many other things. I have a lot of “go to” foods because I search for things low in calories that I like and when I find that rare item that tastes good and is good for you, I tend to eat a lot of it. On the other hand though, I go through phases with all of these foods and once I get burned out, I begin the hunt for new foods. There are new, low fat snacks and pre-made meals coming out every day so it’s REALLY important if you are dieting to have variety. When I was on the Atkins diet awhile back, I ate so much turkey and pepper jack cheese that I thought I would vomit in someone’s face if I ever had to have it again. I also went through the same thing with orange Jello and light whipped cream. I know that anyone out there who has ever dieted knows exactly what I mean. So, don’t be afraid to branch out. Take a Saturday morning when you don’t have anywhere to be and really search the aisle’s, look at the label and find new and different things. I always try to share new discoveries so if you ever have a new snack or meal that you would like to share, please feel free to do so. One of the WORST dangers of busting a diet is getting in a rut so make sure that doesn’t happen…try new food, new veggies, new spices!!!

That public service announcement was brought to you by Heather.

Have a nice week! Bye!

“I find I'm so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.” Red-The Shawshank Redemption

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