Friday, January 17, 2014

Kale Artichoke Dip

Marion is starting their process to become a "Blue Zone". This means we have been chosen as a site where we will strive to live longer, better lives by making improvements in schools, grocery stores, restaurants and other areas in the community. This is very exciting for me as I often work with all of those.

This week I helped with a family fitness night and discussed how to identify winter produce. This may seem like an easy task to some, but there are so many kinds out there that are overlooked. For example, when was the last time you cooked rutabaga or broccoli rabe (also known as rapini)? These kids did a great job at guessing the fruits and vegetables and were very excited to take the produce home to try (which, of course, made me proud!).





One of my favorite Blue Zone foods is kale. I know this is a very "dietitian" food because it is extremely good for you, but it also can taste delicious if prepared the right way. I've had customers beg for kale salad recipes once they've actually tried it.

I found this kale artichoke dip recipe on the Blue Zones website and just had to make a version. Pair this dip with fresh cut veggies and better-for-you snacks like Beanitos (which have a good amount of protein and fiber) and Way Better Snacks which have heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Happy snacking!

1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

2. Add kale and cook until slightly wilted, about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, cover and cook 1 minute longer.



3. Transfer mixture to a food processor. Pulse 3 or 4 times and set aside (you decide how chunky you want it).

4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the kale mixture, Greek yogurt and cheese.


5. Add the artichokes, water chestnuts and green onion and stir to combine.

6. Add the lemon zest and juice as well as the spices and stir again. Adjust seasonings as needed and serve.




Kale Artichoke Dip
Makes 2 cups

All you need:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch kale, stemmed and torn into small pieces
1/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth (or dry white wine)
2 cups plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 (13.75 oz.) can whole artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
1 (4 oz.) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
2 green onions, sliced thin
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Pepper, to taste

All you do:
1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
2. Add kale and cook until slightly wilted, about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, cover and cook 1 minute longer.
3. Transfer mixture to a food processor. Pulse 3 or 4 times and set aside (you decide how chunky you want it).
4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the kale mixture, Greek yogurt and cheese.
5. Add the artichokes, water chestnuts and green onion and stir to combine.
6. Add the lemon zest and juice as well as the spices and stir again. Adjust seasonings as needed and serve.

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