Cranberry Praline Pecan Spinach Salad

Cranberry Praline Pecan Spinach Salad
inspired by friend, Megan

baby spinach
grape tomatoes
dried cranberries
praline pecans
log of goat cheese

In a salad bowl, place spinach.
Top with grape tomatoes, dried cranberries and pecans
Run a fork over the log of goat cheese to crumbe the cheese & top the salad.
Serve with your choice of dressing. (I recommend lemon poppyseed & raspberry pomegranate vinaigrette!)

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Warm Spinach Artichoke Dip

Warm Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 cup frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted

1 10oz package frozen spinach, defrosted
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
salt & pepper to taste
garlic powder
onion powder
1 brick cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cup italian cheese blend

Combine all the ingredients above and mix thoroughly.
Place in baking dish and bake for 20-23 minutes until warmed and bubbly OR place in mini crockpot to keep warm.
** I made this a day in advance and replenished my mini crockpot as needed.

Ham Florentine Appetizer Wreath

Ham Florentine Appetizer Wreath
recipe courtesy of Pampered Chef

2 8 oz packages refrigerated crescent rolls
8 oz thickly sliced deli ham, diced
1/4 c green onions with tops, thinly sliced
5 oz Swiss cheese, grated (1 1/4 cups)
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 t coarsely ground black pepper
2 plum tomatoes, sliced
1 egg, separated
1/4 cup almonds, choppedPreheat oven to 375° F.

Unroll crescents into 16 triangles. With wide end toward center arrange 8 triangles in circle. Arrange remaining 8 triangles in center matching wide ends. Seal seams.

Mix ham, green onions, 1 cup cheese, spinach, mayo and black pepper. Scoop filling over seams of dough forming circle. Arrange tomatoes in overlapping circular pattern over filling. Top with remaining cheese. Lift corners of dough over filling one at a time slightly overlapping to form wreath.

Beat egg white lightly; brush over dough. Sprinkle almonds over wreath.

Bake 25 to 30 min or until golden brown.

Spinach & Artichoke Appetizer Wreath

Spinach & Artichoke Appetizer Wreath
recipe courtesy of Pampered Chef

2 (8 ounce) packages refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 (14 ounce) can water-packed artichoke hearts, drained & chopped
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup diced bell pepper
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheesePreheat oven to 375*F. In bowl, combine artichokes, spinach, mozzarella cheese, feta cheese(or Parmesan, red bell pepper, mayonnaise, garlic and black pepper. Mix well. Set aside.

Unroll the 2 packages of crescent rolls onto work surface. Separate into 16 triangles in a circle on a large round pizza pan(or baking stone) with wide ends 3″ from edge of pan and points towards the outside. Points will extend off the edge of the baking stone or pan(depending on size).


Arrange remaining triangles in center of baking stone or pan; matching wide ends with triangles already in place Points will overlap in the center.


Using rolling pin, roll over seams of triangles where the wide ends meet, creating a smooth surface for filling. Do not seal center triangles.


Using an ice cream scoop, scoop filling evenly over dough in a continuous circle.


Beginning with the last triangle placed in center of baking stone or pan, bring point of triangle straight across filling.


Next, bring point of opposite outside triangle diagonally across point of previous triangle. The filling will show.


Repeat, overlapping points of inside and outside triangles to form a wreath. Tuck last end under first.


Brush top of wreath with egg white. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Sauteed Spinach with Bacon

Sauteed Spinach w/Bacon
original Joelen recipe

1-2 packages fresh baby spinach leaves

5 slices canadian bacon, diced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2-3 tablespoons butter
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth

In a saute pan, melt butter and saute garlic and bacon.
When bacon is crisp, add chicken broth and spinach; toss until it wilts.
Serve immediately.

Don’t Be a Dip…

I’m a snacker and love snack food & snack portions. One of my fave snacks are dips (preferably involving cheese) with something crunchy. However these days I’ve been trying healthier alternatives to our favorite foods without sacrificing flavor.

Rather than whipping up a spinach & artichoke dip to munch on for lunch, I decided to throw a little spin on it by using a healthier version of the dip to create a more substantial and healthier meal. So for lunch today, I made Spinach & Artichoke Chicken adapting this recipe for Spinach & Artichoke Dip. Rather than using as a traditional dip, I topped boneless, skinless chicken breasts with it and served it with a sauteed yellow squash, zucchini, mushrooms and tomato.


Here’s my recipe for Spinach & Artichoke Chicken:

1 cup thawed, chopped frozen spinach
1 1/2 cups thawed, chopped frozen artichoke hearts
6 ounces low fat cream cheese
1/4 cup low fat sour cream
1/4 cup low fat mayonnaise
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Breadcrumb Topping:
1/4 panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan

Boil spinach and artichokes in 1 cup of water until tender and drain. Discard liquid.
Heat cream cheese in microwave for 1 minute or until hot and soft.
Stir in rest of ingredients and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350.
On a baking sheet, place chicken and season with salt & pepper to taste.
Top each chicken breast with the spinach & artichoke mixture.
Combine the ingredients for the breadcrumb topping and sprinkle over the spinach & artichoke mixture.
Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until juices run clear.

Spinach & Oyster Loaf

The following recipe was prepared for my Chef Spotlight Dinner highlighting New Orleans chefs. You can read about it and get other recipes from the event HERE.

Spinach & Oyster Loaf
shared at the event by Robert
recipe can be found here

1/4 cup butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 cups finely chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1 cup heavy cream
2 dashes hot sauce
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt
3 cups fresh breadcrumbs
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup coarsely chopped and drained oyster

Preheat oven to 400°F and butter a loaf pan.

Melt butter in a large skillet, add onions, celery and garlic and cook over medium high heat, stirring until vegetables soften.
Add spinach, cream, hot sauce, nutmeg and salt.
Cook 5 minutes, stirring often.
Remove pan from heat, stir in bread crumbs, eggs and oysters, stirring until well mixed.
Spoon mixture into the prepared loaf pan.
Set pan in a larger baking dish and add about 1 1/2 inchs of boiling water.
Bake 45-50 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.