How are you guys doing with your #55milesindecember? Have you gotten outside and enjoyed some fresh, crisp air and exercise?
I had to take yesterday off.
A.) It was raining most of the day, which meant a noon hour trek was out of the question. Coming back to the office looking like a frizzy, soggy rat just wasn’t in the cards.
B.) I bruised/”injured” my Achilles tendon a few months ago and, while it randomly bothers me and I usually just power through it, this week I noticed that it’s rather swollen. So, with the impending weather yesterday, I thought it’d be a good idea to give the tendon a little rest.
No, worries, I’ll back out this afternoon.
Don’t forget to follow me on instragram @alishagibb to see how I’m doing. Tag me in your IG posts so I can see how you’re doing, too and and use the #55milesindecember to share with everyone else. Everything is better together with a great support system!!!
In my time away from you I discovered a few recipes that are not only GOOD for you, but absolutely DELICIOUS!!!!
I don’t know about you, but all the holiday gatherings can be extremely overwhelming when it comes to trying to make the right choices on what we should and shouldn’t put in our mouths. For those of us trying to be extremely vigilant with our calorie intake and/or salt intake this season is a real pain in the TUSH! Last year I GAINED over 8 pounds just in the holiday season because I wasn’t paying enough attention to how much and EXACTLY what I was eating. Too many calories and WAY too much salt and ZERO exercise. By the time Christmas rolled around and I had indulged in MULTIPLE party foods I (HONESTLY) couldn’t fit into my jeans. I was ANGRY with myself for letting this happen. I had completely blown the good things I had done for my body and had to undo the damage.
This year I have vowed that I am NOT going to let that happen. I WILL continue to COMFORTABLY fit into my clothes AND learn now to enjoy the parties/gatherings eating in moderation and bringing HEALTHY foods/snacks for everyone to enjoy, all the while FOOLING the party-goers into thinking my good-for-you contributions are really NAUGHTY indulgences. (Envision me throwing my head back and cackling like the Wicked Witch of the West. “AH-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!”)
Today I’m going to share with you my first (and so far, FAVORITE) not-so-naughty treat. One of my co-workers makes a RIDICULOUS crock pot Artichoke Spinach Dip that she just throws together with some store bought Alfredo sauce, cheese, artichokes and frozen spinach. It’s ALWAYS one of the first things to disappear on our foods days. As much as I LOVE it I know that I can only have one or two chips worth because of the salt levels in the jarred sauce and the fat content. I mean…it’s Alfredo sauce…rich, creamy, decadent NAUGHTINESS!!!
Remember the skinny alfredo recipe that I shared with you? We’re going to kick it up a notch and make a SKINNY, HEALTHY and DELICIOUS version of my girlfriend’s dip. Trust me, this has been rough and tumble, burly cowboy APPROVED. I served it at a card party a few weeks ago and one of the pickiest dudes at the gathering bellied up to the crock pot. SCORE!!!!
I apologize for the crappy picture, but in my haste of getting this made for the party I ran out of time (and good light) to take a pretty picture of it. But this what it looks like.
Too Good But It’s TRUE, Skinny Spinach Artichoke Dip
1 tbsp olive oil
4 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 bag baby spinach chopped
1 1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1 jar artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
In a small mixing bowl combine cornstarch and chicken broth, whisking until any lumps are gone. Set aside.
In a large saute pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in chicken broth and cornstarch mixture. Bring the sauce to a simmer, whisking every few minutes. Allow to thicken slightly. Reduce heat slightly and add in Parmesan cheese and continue whisking until the cheese is completely melted. After the cheese has melted add the chopped spinach and artichoke hearts and stir until the spinach has wilted. Remove from heat and stir in the Greek yogurt. Mix until well blended and smooth. Add the mozzarella cheese and stir until melted. Salt and pepper to taste.
This can be transferred to a small crock pot to keep warm for serving. Serve with tortilla chips or pita chips. Reheats VERY well!!
The skinny: 1/15th of recipe = 1 serving
113 calories, 4g carbs, 6g fat, 10g protein, 413mg sodium and 1g sugar.
Of course you can substitute the fresh spinach with frozen if you have to, but I really prefer to use fresh everything when I can. Look at all the protein in that one serving!!!
The leftovers are EXTREMELY versatile! I doubled the batch when I made it not really knowing how much it would yield or how much would get eaten. I certainly couldn’t let it go to waste. I put two servings worth on top of a plain baked potato and added a 1/2 cup of fresh steamed broccoli and a few bacon bits.
Let’s just say the heavens opened up and the angels started singing. I was rendered speechless while I ate.
Don’t want to eat a potato? Barilla Pastas come in VEGGIE pastas now!!! APPLAUSE!!!
(Again angels singing!!!) As I like to say…. This pasta is just STUPID good!!! Grady tried it just plain (not knowing what it was) and thought it was ALREADY “dressed” with something. He loved it. It’s VERY flavorful and packs the same health punch as it’s whole wheat cousin WITH the added bonus of giving you a full serving of veggies!!! (Yes, I’ve already faked my kids out with it and they didn’t know a thing.) I topped some of this goodness with the leftover dip, added a few ounces of chicken breast and had an extremely filling meal.
So, there you go, a great dish you can take to any one of your holiday parties that you can feel GOOD about sharing and eating. I PROMISE you won’t be sorry.
Peace, love and dip de-LIGHT!!!!