Snow White Dip with Winter Crudités

Lite snow white dip and  colder weather veggies are the perfect way to encourage healthy during the holidays and still  spread holiday cheer.
The Recipe Redux  is once again playing their favorite game: Grab a Book and Cook! Members are challenged to pick a beloved cookbook, and turn to any page with combination of the numbers of the out going  year, 2016. Last time we played this game, I picked the trendy book, Plenty. But to today, I’m throwing it back to the eighties with the Frog Commissary Cookbook. Originally published in 1985, this cookbook was way ahead of its’ time, featuring a  multiethnic blend of foods and ingredients including many vegetarian recipes. Thumbing to  page 16 of the book, I found A Few Thoughts on Crudités. Taking my cue from their tips  including let the season be your guide and don’t overlook the the sophistication of an all green-and-white presentation With this inspiration, I’m sharing a lite snow white dip accompanied by winter crudité. If you have visions of sugar plums dancing in you head, now you can also have visions of fennel, broccoli, and cremini mushrooms, oh my!    I figured you were probably busy this week so  I kept this festive appetizer/snack easy to make; you can prepare in only 10 minutes.  ENJOY! Don’t forget to visit the links at the bottom of this post to see what my colleauges are smitten with.

What festive but healthy foods are you preparing this week?

Snow White Dip with Winter Crudités (8 -12 appetizer servings)

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients

    for the dip

    • 1 cup low fat mayonnaise
    • 1/2 cup lite sour cream
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon fresh parsely, chopped
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground course garlic sea salt
    • fennel fronds
    • pomegranate seeds

    for the crudite

    • 1 fennel bulb
    • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms
    • 1 head of broccoli

    Instructions

    for the dip

    Combine all ingredients in a small serving bowl. Stir. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving garnish with fennel fronds and pomegranate seeds.

    for the veggies

    1. Break broccoli into flowerets. Fill the bottom of a sauce pan with one inch of water. Bring to a boil. Blanch broccoli by adding to pan of boiling water  for 30 seconds. Transfer vegetables to ice water. Allow to cool and drain.

    2. Wipe mushrooms with a damp cloth to clean.

    3. Cut fennel bulb into strips.

    4. Arrange vegetables on a platter and serve with dip.

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    Lighter Broccoli Cheddar Soup

    Serve up comfort and joy with a lighter version of broccoli cheddar soup.LIGHTER Broccoli Cheddar SoupDisclosure: I am a member of the Cabot Cheese Board and receive free Cabot cheese mentioned in this post. I was not compensated for writing this post. Opinions are my own.

    I will survive, has become a familiar holiday mantra! It’s one I personally like because it implies lower expectations.  I know it sounds cynical.. bleak.. and gloomy, but when does anything ever work out exactly as planned? If you’re hoping for it, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.   My friend and colleague wrote about this in her healthy aperture blog post where she describes how she makes memories during the weekly grind. Regan makes a good point about being flexible with  your expectations.

    So taking Regan’s theme of making the most out of ordinary days, I am sharing a recipe that will bring comfort and joy to any day of the week. My lighter broccoli and cheddar soup is  lactose friendly, lighter than the traditional version, and is a source of fiber important for filling you up, not out.  I served it with a salad for an easy ‘Panera’ night in. May your days be merry and bright and your expectations be spot on!

    LIGHTER Broccoli Cheddar SoupLighter Broccoli Cheddar Soup

    serves 6

    by Diane Boyd

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup cooked brown rice
    • 2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
    • 1 cup nonfat Lactaid milk
    • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 leeks, whites only, chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 3 cups broccoli florets, coarsely chopped
    • fresh ground pepper, to taste
    • 1 1/4 cups Seriously Sharp Cabot Cheese, grated

    Instructions

    1. Add cooked rice and lactaid milk to blender and process until smooth.

    2. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add oil to pan and swirl to coat. Add leeks, saute 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook additional minute. Add broccoli ; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

    3.Add chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until broccoli is tender. Add rice mixture; simmer 2 minutes. stirring occasionally.

    3. Place 2 cups of soup in blender, process until smooth. Return to pan. Add pepper to taste and slowly add cheese, stirring until it melts. Serve immediately or refrigerate and reheat for later.

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