CHOCOLATE HUMMUS, SWEET CARAMEIZED ONION DIP & PEANUT BUTTER DIP

Holiday parties, football parties, and New Years buffets.  They are all around us. And at every one, there is a dip of some sort.  Fruit dip, chip dip, veggie dip, you name it, it’s there. 

Here are a few of my favorite dips.  And believe me, I don’t need a special occasion to eat any of these. 
The chocolate hummus is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.  My bean hating, hummus despising, 9 year old requests this all the time.  It goes with fruits, crackers or pretzels.  Did I mention this was amazing.

I am in love with onions so of course the caramelized onion dip has a special place in my heart.  I’ve made it several times and end up eating way, way too much.

The peanut butter dip is just pure joy. Sweet smooth and just perfect. 
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Chocolate Hummus
1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup splenda (or sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 – 4 tablespoons warm water

  • Mix everything in a food processor. Add water as needed for consistency.
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Sweet Caramelized Onion Dip
2 large sweet onions, chopped
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup fat free mayonnaise
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon fat-free cream cheese, room temp
1 tablespoon I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, light
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Heat butter in a large pan over medium heat on the stove. 
  • Once butter has coated the bottom of the pan, add onions, salt and cayenne pepper. 
  • Saute for 10 minutes, stirring often. 
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for additional 25 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are browned and caramelized. 
  • Add mustard and vinegar to the pan. 
  • Continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. 
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool. 
  • In large bowl, combine sour cream, mayo and cream cheese. Whisk until smooth. 
  • Add cooled onions to the mayo mixture and mix thoroughly. 
  • Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to combine. 
  • Serve with your favorite veggies or chips.
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Peanut Butter Dip
1/2 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt (I used lite n fit)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (I used peanut butter chocolate chips)
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon honey

  • Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and serve with apples, veggies or pretzels.  or just a spoon.
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TURKEY BACON ENCHILADAS

Need something to do with those turkey leftovers? 
I love this time of year. All the super cheap turkeys around. I’ll cook one up just to shred it for meals like this!  Enchiladas, soups, casseroles, potpies…tons of things to do with shredded turkey! 
…and of course the bacon makes it better!!

Smokey Bacon Enchiladas Recipe Adapted from Meg’s Cooking Corner

Filling:
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic; minced
5 cups cooked chicken breast; shredded
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
3 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
15 – 100 calorie whole wheat flour tortillas

Sauce:
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 1/4 cup sour cream
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
3 cloves garlic; minced
1/2 cup cooked crumbled bacon
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Topping:
5 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
1 green onion, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350,
 
In a medium sized bowl combine all sauce ingredients and stir to mix well. Set aside.
 
 In a pan sprayed with cooking spray, add onions and cook until onions are soft. Add garlic and cook for a couple more minutes. Remove to a large mixing bowl. To the onions, add chicken, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper, shredded cheese and 3/4 cup of the prepared sauce. Stir to mix.

Spoon 3/4 cup of the sauce into the bottom of the 9 x13 baking pan and spread evenly. Warm tortillas slightly until they are soft and flexible. Spoon 1/2 cup of the chicken filling down the center of each tortilla. Fold in the ends and roll up the tortillas. Place seam side down in the Dutch oven or baking pan. Spoon the remaining sauce over the top and top with cheddar cheese and green onions.

Bake in 350 oven for 30 minutes or until hot and cheese is bubbly.

We put 10 enchiladas in a 9 x 13 pan and then 5 of them in an 8 x 8 pan and froze the small pan. 

Total calories = 4500
15 servings = 300 calories per enchilada

2 Bacon Enchiladas = 600 calorie dinner

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HEALTHY CHICKEN TETRAZINNI

This is a hearty meal, though it’s very different from the chicken spaghetti my daughter-in-law makes with Velveeta and Rotel Tomatoes.  It may not taste as good as that, but it’s definitely better for me.

Here’s what you need:
Green onions, 1/2 cup chopped
Celery, 3 stalks, chopped
Mushrooms, (1) 8 oz. can sliced
Cream of Mushroom soup, 2 cans, 98% fat free
Chicken, 1 pound, cut into bite size pieces
Spaghetti noodles, 12 oz.
Olive oil, 1tablespoon
Cheddar cheese, 1 cup grated
garlic salt to taste
pepper to taste

Preparation:

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat.  Add chicken, green onions, and celery.  Cook until chicken is no longer pink.  Add mushrooms, salt, and pepper and simmer for five minutes.
  • While chicken is cooking, prepare spaghetti according to package directions.
  • Combine soup, spaghetti, and chicken mixture in a large casserole or lasagna pan.
  • Top with grated cheese.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.

Serves 6.
316 calories, 22 grams of carbs, 19 grams of fat, and 29 grams of protein.
Enjoy!

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CARAMELIZED ONION BREAD PUDDING

You should have seen my family’s faces when I informed them that I was making onion pudding.  They weren’t impressed.  Until of course they tried some.  Then they loved it! 
My husband needed a burger along with it as he thinks that all meals require meat.  I was perfectly happy with just this as a meal.  
I really can’t get enough of caramelized onions!  Pair that with zucchini and cheese and you have pure deliciousness!  This was one of my favorite meals.  We’ve had it a couple of times and it’s awesome!

Caramelized Onion Bread Pudding Recipe
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large sweet onions, sliced
1 zucchini (8 oz)
8 ounces Swiss cheese
1 cup egg beaters
2 cups milk, 1%
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 cups bread (about 12 pieces of 50 calorie bread)

  • Heat oil, add onions and cook for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are brown and caramelized.
  • Spray 13 x 9 inch glass pan with cooking spray, layer half the bread, half the zucchini and half the cheese and a little less than half the onions.  Sprinkle the rest of the bread and the rest of the zucchini.
  • In a large bowl, combine the egg, milk and spices. Pour over bread mixture. Place remaining onions over bread mixture. Cover with foil.  Bake 35 – 40 minutes at 350 degrees or until a knife in the center comes out clean. 
  • Sprinkle remaining cheese over top and bake 2 – 3 minutes longer until cheese is melted.

Total calories = 2152 calories
8 servings = 269 calories per serving

2 pieces Caramelized Onion Bread Pudding = 538 calorie dinner

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SLOW COOKED BUFFALO CHICKEN WRAPS

You want quick and easy?  You got it!
You want something super, duper tasty!  This is it!
This may be my new favorite meal.  It took very little effort and it was SO good!  I’ve actually made this several times and it seems to get better and better. 
My favorite is Frank’s buffalo wing sauce.  It’s a good flavor and it works perfect in this. 
I spooned a bit of light ranch over mine because I am a condiment junkie.  Hubs thought his was fine as it was.  Blue cheese would be good too.
Buffalo Chicken Wraps Recipe

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Franks Buffalo Wing Sauce
3/4 cup ranch dressing, light
10 – 100 calorie whole wheat tortillas
Lettuce

  • Place chicken and salt in the crock pot.  
  • Cover and cook for 6 – 7 hours on low.  
  • Remove chicken and empty crock pot of water. 
  • Shred the chicken and add back to the slow cooker.  
  • Mix ranch and buffalo wing sauce in a small bowl.  
  • Add the sauce to the chicken and stir.  
  • Serve on tortillas with lettuce.

Total calories = 2755 calories
10 servings = 276 calories per wrap

**I didn’t measure how much meat went on the tortillas but I THINK that we got 10 wraps out of this.

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STIR FRY BEEF & VEGGIES ~ Healthy Meals

Hi.  I’m back with a healthy meal to share.  Not only was it healthy, but it was quite tasty as well.
STIR FRY BEEF & VEGGIES
1 pound of stir fry beef, the leaner the cut the better, cut into trim strips.
1 red pepper, washed and sliced thin
1 green pepper, washed and sliced thin
1 tablespoon of olive oil 
3-4 cloves of garlic. 
1 bottle of your favorite stir-fry sauce
rice
  • Put a tablespoon of olive oil in the stir-fry pan and let it warm up.  
  • Add the beef and peppers.  
  • When the beef is almost cooked brown, press three or four cloves of garlic and stir into the mixture. 
  • Add the stir-fry sauce.  
  • Let this simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook your favorite brand of white or brown rice, about a 2-cup serving.
  • Serve the stir-fry beef and veggies over rice.  
  • Add a side.  We chose broccoli.
The entire stir fry dish with rice has a total of:
1,034 calories
48 grams of fat
240 cholesterol
438 of sodium
6 grams of fiber
54 carbohydrates
8 sugars
89 grams of protein
 Divide these numbers by the number of servings you will use, and you have a healthy, lowfat, low calorie meal.
We had 5 servings, so each of our servings came out to 207 calories and 9.6 grams of fat. 
This is a low sugar, low fat, low cholesterol, low carb meal.
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PUMPKIN PIE BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Butternut squash and pie.  Really, can you think of a better combination.  Well, peanut butter and chocolate are better but this is right up there!
There was no need for dessert after this meal. I totally felt like I was eating dessert. I ate a whole bunch and it was delicious!
Joanne cut her squash in half and roasted it with the spices on top.  This is probably much easier than peeling and dicing it.  I just enjoy eating it this way so it’s worth the extra effort. For me. 
The spice combination was perfect!  It was very sweet and flavorful!  I can’t wait to make this again!
Pumpkin Pie Spiced Butternut Squash Recipe 

2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 black peppercorns, ground (or just pepper)
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 large butternut squash (about 2 lbs)
2 teaspoon olive oil
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Mix the spices.  Peel and dice squash into small chunks.  Sprinkle olive oil on the squash and toss spices with the butternut squash. 
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until squash is tender.
Total calories = 500 calories
6 huge servings = 83 calories per serving
Saucy Meatloaf + 2 servings Pie Spiced Butternut Squash = 466 calorie dinner
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CHEESY CHIMICHANGAS

Cheese!  Cheese! Cheese! 
I don’t often indulge in cheese. Even though I do so love it.  I usually feel that you need a LOT of cheese in order for it to really taste good.  I don’t usually indulge in that many calories, I usually choose to flavor my food in other ways.
However, one does have to have cheese sometimes, right?? 
I tasted this before adding the cheese and after and it was delicious with the cheese.  It still has a lot of flavor and the cheese brings it out even more! 
These were plenty flavorful on their own but I used some of my tomatillo green salsa to put on it.  This made it even better!  Seriously, this was a fantastic meal!  Loved the leftovers the next day too!
Cheesy Chimichangas
Adapted from Food Snob

1 pound ground turkey
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
11/2 tablespoon cumin
1 can green chiles, 4 oz.
2 teaspoons oregano
1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chiles
1 can tomato sauce, 15 oz. (I only used about 3/4 of it)
1 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese, 6 oz.
10 – 100 calorie whole wheat tortillas

  • Cook the ground turkey and the onions together.  
  • When the ground turkey is done, add spices, chiles and tomatoes.  Let simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened.  
  • Turn off heat and add cheese and stir until melted. 
  • Put 1/2 cup of turkey mixture onto tortilla and roll and place seam side down in a pan. 
  • Spray tops with cooking spray and bake in oven for about 25 minutes at 400 degrees. 

Total calories = 2569 calories
10 servings = 257 calories per chimichanga

2 Cheesy Chimichangas = 514 calorie dinner

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Rotini with Eggplant Tomato Sauce

I don’t eat a lot of pasta.  But I LOVE roasting vegetables!
I also don’t cook with a lot of eggplant but I picked some up at the farmers market and this sounded excellent!
The vegetables smelled SO GOOD roasting in the oven.  I swear, I should just roast vegetables every day to make my house smell good.  Luckily I chose a cooler day so the house didn’t heat up to much.
This turned out so good!  I have a fairly small food processor so I was a bit afraid it wouldn’t all fit but it did.  It didn’t really take up too much room. 
I also chose to puree the pine nuts in the sauce rather than just sprinkle them on top. Either way works. 
The only thing I would do different would be to add a bit of onion. I just love onion and it just seemed like it needed to be there.
Rotini with Eggplant Tomato Sauce

1 medium eggplant, mine was just under 1 pound, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 pint cherry tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Pasta, I used Barilla Plus Rotini, 14.5 oz.
1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves, I used less
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • In a large bowl, combine the eggplant, cherry tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. 
  • Spread the vegetables out in an even layer on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Roast in the oven at 400 until veggies are tender and eggplant is golden, about 35 minutes. 
  • While the veggies are roasting, place the pine nuts in a small baking dish.  Place in the oven on the rack below the vegetables.  Roast until golden, about 8 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and reserve. 
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions.  Pour pasta into a large bowl. Reserve about 1 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.
  • Transfer the roasted veggies to a food processor. Add the torn mint leaves.  Puree the vegetables, mint leaves and pine nuts. Transfer the pureed vegetables to the bowl of pasta and add the parmesan.  Stir to combine, adding the pasta cooking liquid 1/2 cup at a time until the pasta and sauce is saucy. 

Total calories = 2218 calories
6 servings = 370 calories per serving

Pasta Rotini with Eggplant Tomato Puree = 370 calorie dinner**

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PINEAPPLE BLACK BEAN ENCHILADAS

Oh, the many forms of an enchilada. This is a vegetarian version that is simply delicious. I love the contrast of the pineapple and green chilies and they totally work together!

I frequently make meals in larger batches and freeze them. Enchiladas freeze great. You can make this in a 9 x 13 pan or do what I do and make it in 2 – 8 x 8 pans. This would give you 6 big enchiladas per pan which is perfect for my family. If you do decide to make rice with your enchiladas, save the rest of the pineapple juice to add to the rice instead of some of the water. I personally would rather eat 2 of these bad boys rather than rice, but to each his own.

 
Pineapple Black Bean Enchiladas
Cooking spray1 large onion
1 red bell pepper
1 can (20 oz) pineapple tidbits in juice, drained, 1/3 c. juice reserved
1 can (15 oz) Progresso black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (4.5 oz) Old El Paso chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese or Colby jack
1 can (10 oz.) Old El Paso mild enchilada sauce
12 whole wheat flour 8 in. – 100 calorie tortillas
  • Heat oven to 350.
  • Spray 9 x 13 in. pan with cooking spray or 2 – 8 x 8 pans.
  • Heat cooking spray and cook onion and pepper for about 4 – 5 minutes.
  • Stir in pineapple, beans, green chilies and salt.
  • Cook and stir until heated.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Stir in 1/4 cup cilantro and 1 cup cheese
  • Spoon and spread 3/4 tablespoon enchilada sauce onto each tortilla.
  • Spoon about 1/2 cup vegetable mixture over sauce on each.
  • Roll up tortillas, place in baking dish.
  • Mix 1/3 cup pineapple juice and remaining enchilada sauce.
  • Pour over top of enchiladas.
  • Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese.
  • Cover with foil, spray inside with cooking spray.
  • Bake 35 – 40 minutes, removing foil during last 5 – 10 minutes.

Total calories = 1625 calories
12 enchiladas = 236 calories per enchilada

2 Pineapple Black Bean Enchiladas = 472 calorie dinner

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