Archive for September, 2013

Healthier Caramelized Onion Dip

caramelized onion dip

I want to like Greek yogurt, I really do. I’d love to start each morning with a heaping bowl of super healthy 0% fat Greek yogurt drizzled in community fair trade honey and sprinkled with oaty granola. But alas, I’m just more of an eggs and turkey bacon or cream cheese slathered bagel kinda morning person.

I’ve tried, I really have. I’ve attempted to introduce the Grecian parfait in small portions. The first bite is always promising. I think, “Wow, this is easy!” By bite number 3 though, that tannic, sour, bland flavor gets the best of me and I end up wasting yet another ramekin of Greek yogurt. I know, I’m weak.

For every ounce of me that doesn’t like Greek yogurt, I like dip that much more. Guacamole, artichoke, eggplant, you name it. Most of all though, I love caramelized onion dip. The super creamy and oniony flavor tastes like heaven on a good old-fashioned Ruffle. The salty chips are addicting enough, but dipped in a bowl of mostly sour cream and butter saturated onions, there’s no helping yourself from downing the bag and cleaning the bowl.

onion dip recipe

In preparation for my recent Porchwarming Party, I set out to solve both of these problems, the first being my distaste for Greek yogurt and the second being my insufferable addiction to caramelized onion dip.

healthy dip recipe

So here you have it, Healthier Caramelized Onion Dip. Heads up, I couldn’t totally kick the sour cream out of the party. While plain Greek yogurt is sour and creamy, the sour cream ties everything together and ensures that your dip is more of a dip than a savory parfait. The result was a salty and sweet, creamy and tangy dip that is just as addictive as the standard recipe without all the regret and self-loathing.

easy party recipe

This dip (and the porch) were well received. I may not have knocked my addiction to caramelized onion dip nor my distaste for yogurt parfaits, but then again, I guess I wasn’t trying too hard.

the pantry raid

Ingredients (enough for 2-3 big bags of Ruffles or your favorite potato chip)

  • 2 large sweet yellow onions
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pinch granulated sugar
  • 3 cups 0% fat Greek yogurt
  • ¾ cup (full fat) sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

1. Cut the tops off your onions. Remove peel. Slice onions in half, pole to pole. Place flat side down on a cutting board. Slice into six sections, again, pole to pole. Separate onion slices from one another and set aside.

2. In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, melt butter over low heat. Once butter has melted. Add olive oil.

3. Add onions to skillet, tossing to coat. Keep heat low, and continue tossing and turning the onions for ten minutes.

4. Sprinkle a pinch of sugar into the pan to kickstart the caramelization process.

5. Continue tossing and turning onions, doing so every other minute, for thirty minutes. Onions are caramelized when they’ve turned brown and become extremely flimsy and small. Turn heat off and set aside.

6. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine yogurt and sour cream. Using a rubber spatula, add onions to bowl and stir vigorously. You should see that the color of the dip is beginning to turn a little brown.

7. Now, add the seasonings and soy sauce. Stir to combine. Taste your dip and decide if it needs more of any of your seasonings.

8. Once you’re satisfied with the flavor, place in the refrigerator for thirty minutes to an hour to allow flavors to meld. Serve chilled with your favorite potato chips.

greek yogurt caramelized onion dip

After School PB+J Smoothie

blueberry smoothie

Well folks, I made it. I’ve just begun my senior year of college. Only a few more months of endless reading and five hundred page term papers, and of the freedom to learn, explore, and make a fool of myself with very few ramifications. By now, I’m an old dog. I walk through the Emerson campus and recognize only a few bearded hipsters and vintage clad hipstresses. I’ve given up on getting to class twenty minutes early to score the best seat and on buying books on the first day of class. There’s a name for this situation I’ve wound up in. It’s called Senioritis, and it is very real.

Despite the part of me who just wants to get on with her life already, get a real job, and move to (insert major metropolitan city here), I’ve still got a soft spot for college and Boston and Emerson. Let me tell you, there’s nothing better than cracking the spine of a brand spankin’ new Moleskine academic planner. There’s nothing better than new pens and highlighters or back to school shopping or moving into the coolest apartment ever with all of your favorite people. By the way, that last one is the most exciting of them all.

Remember all that stuff I was saying about moving? Well, I did it. And believe you me, this really is the best place ever. I could go on and on about the stained glass windows, the chestnut wood floors, the exposed brick, the giant deck, et cetera, but that would probably bore you. Instead, I’ll talk about the kitchen.

Now I have to say, the kitchen isn’t the most functional. We’ve got a serious lack of counter space, which makes it difficult to do anything too elaborate. But fear not, we’re on the market for an island and we’ve got two kickass barstools who are anxiously awaiting its arrival. Despite this major flaw, the counter space we do have is made of shiny REAL granite, so say goodbye to that oh-so-drab beige linoleum counter at my last place. Our appliances are awesome, the fridge is huge, and my KitchenAid mixer is proudly displayed front and center.

Moving in with new people means that there are going to be some major changes around here. We’re talking a whole new haul of mix-matched plates and bowls and mason jars (literally, so many mason jars) with which to display various Pantry Raid creations. As my grandmother taught me, presentation is everything, so get excited for some mouthwatering photos. Plus, Matt has been signed up (by me) to be my live in photography coach, so try not to lick your computer screen.

peanut butter smoothie

As much as Senioritis is kicking my butt this year, I’m loving my new home and my new classes more than words can describe. And in honor of this back-to-school season, I’ve decided to unveil my take on a bagged lunch classic. While the PB+J Smoothie probably won’t hold well in your cubby, this is the perfect after-school special. With a sweet and (slightly) salty flavor, this smoothie is a tongue twister like no other. Not to mention, it’s super healthy for you too. You’ve heard my shtick about blueberries (antioxidants, blah blah blah) and might remember me blabbering on about almond milk (it’s vegan!), but the bananas, which are high in potassium, and the protein filled peanut butter make this smoothie a quadruple whammy.

Drink this smoothie after a tough day of classes, as a cure to Senioritis (kind of), or when you’re feeling a bout of childhood nostalgia coming on. To all of you who just started school, welcome back! And to all of you who wish you just started school, I’ll try not to complain too much.

Ingredients (makes 2 small smoothies or 1 large)

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • ¼ cup creamy salted peanut butter (I used Trader Joes’)
  • 2 cups low fat milk or unsweetened almond milk

1. Combine in a blender and puree until smooth. Serve immediately.

mason jar

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