Ultimate healthified buffalo chicken dip (+few extras)

 
 
***Welcome Pinterest visitors!! So glad you liked my healthified buffalo chicken dip (it IS as good as it looks – maybe even better ;) ). I have lots of other juicy content on the blog so I hope you stick around and do a little digging. For other fun healthy appetizers, you may want to try roasted red pepper, tomato and anchovy crostini, tofu and mushroom lettuce cups, double tomato bruschetta or chipotle-lime two-bean hummus. And for something a little indulgent, the pizza monkey bread is always a HUGE hit! For more ideas, check out my favorite recipes page on top. Thanks again for coming!! :D ***
 

Onto the post…

Hi y’all (I’m currently in the airport on the way to New Orleans, so I’m getting myself in the mood). Happy Friday!! I am obviously in a great mood since vacation is just hours away. The weekend is just around the corner for you too, so I wanted to share a quick and easy recipe with you before I shut my computer down for a few days.

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Buffalo sauce. OMG, I love buffalo sauce. If I didn’t worry about killing my taste buds, I’d be totally cool with covering everything in it – breakfast, lunch and dinner. Something about how acidic and spicy it is. LOVE.

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Luckily, it’s football season so instead of bathing myself in it (gross + I don’t have anything to wear with neon orange Smile with tongue out), I can just show up to a football-watching party with a buffalo sauce covered concoction and be the most popular person in the room. Win-win. Smile

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A lot of buffalo chicken dip recipes call for canned chicken (eww) and butter (totally unnecessary). I came up with this on a whim the other day and it was the best buffalo chicken dip I’ve ever had. It’s not exactly health food but it’s just a little lighter.

Ultimate healthified buffalo chicken dip (serves a crowd)

  • 2 poached chicken breasts, shredded
  • 2 packages (8oz ea) neufchatel (low fat cream cheese), softened
  • 1 cup low fat sour cream
  • 3/4 cup Frank’s RedHot buffalo wing sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1.5 cups shredded reduced fat cheese (I used 1/2 mozzarella, 1/2 cheddar), divided
  • Baby carrots and pita chips for dipping

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven, or toaster oven, to 350*.

2. Mix all ingredients together, hold 1/2 cup cheese. The Kitchen Aid with a paddle attachment does an amazing job of creaming it all together. Super easy!

3. Transfer to 9×5 loaf fan (or another baking dish), sprinkle remaining cheese over the top.

4. Bake for 15 minutes.

4. Broil for 1-2 minutes to get the cheese extra golden on top.

Enjoy!!

Creamy, buffalo-saucy, cheesy. Dig in!

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For a few extra snacks, consider making the Eat, Drink and be Vegan two-olive sundried tomato hummus.

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And Trader Joe’s blueberry goat cheese is perfect for those craving something a little sweeter… or  those that may just be goat cheese obsessed Winking smile [I’m both!]

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This stuff seriously tastes like cheesecake. Crazy awesome!

One of my 2011 goals (btw, I should really look at those again) was get into sports watching. I may not be a die-hard football fan just yet, but I’ve got the game day snacks down for sure! Smile

Do you love buffalo sauce? Any favorite game friendly snacks?

*Last reminder about the Pomi giveaway. I’ll be announcing the winner on Monday.*

Healthy and Sane in the kitchen: making a week’s worth of meals in an hour

Hi guys! Long time no “speak.” I seriously have no idea where the time went since my last post [feeling totally back to normal btw!]. I’m sure I was doing something seriously awesome. Definitely!

SO, I’m currently on the Amtrak train to NY, where I’ll be spending the rest of the week (let me know if you want to meet up on Friday at some point!!). I originally told Adam about this business trip and the fact that I was going to stay over my sister’s for the weekend and he didn’t seem to be fazed by it… until he realized he was going to have to feed himself for 6 days! Ha!

He’s currently trying to be healthy so in order for him to avoid feasting on takeout every night (not good for our budget or his health), I told him I’d prep some stuff for him. I ended up being really happy with my super easy “meal plan” and thought I’d share it with you. This is how you make a week’s worth of food in just over an hour!

To make it that quick, you’ll need help though from your grocery store (I originally was going to roast the chicken myself and make homemade tomato sauce but we all know by now from my frequent absence from this blog that time is not typically my friend).

This is the stuff I picked up for the week:

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A roasted chicken from Whole Foods (just $9.99!!), broccoli, Applegate prosciutto, 1lb of 90% lean ground grass fed beef. I also had a jar of tomato sauce and a tube of polenta in the cupboards and some carrots, baby spinach and dying asparagus in the fridge. Wraps, burger buns, pasta, cheese and condiments are not shown here. We had them at home (you probably do too!) and they will come in handy during the “assembly stage” but not yet.

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I started by roasting some veggies. They make great sides for just about any meal!

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[Carrots were tossed with coconut oil, salt and pepper; asparagus and broccoli with EVOO, salt and pepper. 425* until nice and toasty… that’s about 15 mins for broccoli, 20 for asparagus and 30 for the carrots. Toss occasionally]

Then it was time to jazz up the tomato sauce. Jarred tomato sauce with extra red pepper flakes, baby spinach and roasted chicken – let the sauce simmer with the mix-ins for about 10 minutes.

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I also made some chicken salad (see below) and grilled the polenta rounds. Lastly that ground beef was made into some burger patties (to be frozen) [1lb beef with 2T ketchup, 1T Worcestershire sauce and 1/4t salt is my go-to burger seasoning – it makes the patties moist and flavorful].

Here we go – all done!

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Meal #1: Roasted chicken with roasted veggies and fried potatoes (from last night’s dinner)

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Meal #2: Pasta with tomato, spinach and chicken sauce (Adam will cook the pasta)

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Meal #3: Chicken salad [chicken, reduced fat mayo, light sour cream, pinch of cayenne pepper, lemon juice, s&p + carrots]

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Mix in sliced toasted almonds right before eating, wrap with tomato and avocado slices.

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Meal #4: Grilled polenta with tomato sauce and prosciutto

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This idea comes straight from Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Dinners cookbook. Actually the whole idea of repurposing a few ingredients for different meals (in this case chicken, tomato sauce and prosciutto) came from the book. Love Jamie and all his books!

Burger patties to be frozen and grilled on demand Smile

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Other meals… that Adam can handle on his own Winking smile

  • Prosciutto panini
  • Chicken/avocado/tomato sandwich

Roasted veggies for sides

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Snacks:

  • Baby carrots with hummus (Whole Foods jalapeno hummus is our my recent obsession)
  • Yogurt with homemade granola and organic blueberries (all washed, ready to eat)
  • Fruit (organic apples, pears and bananas in the living room platter)

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Oh and if you’re wondering what’s sneaking behind there in the photos… that would be parmesan thyme biscuits and maple walnut shortbread cookies I made over the weekend. No big deal Winking smile

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All together, ready for the fridge!

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I had one happy husband on my hands! Now he has to report back on how everything was. I better not see greasy Chinese in his online food journal! Open-mouthed smile

I need to do things like that more often even when I’m in town! What would you have made??

The popchips champion-chip finals

Remember my popnachos recipe? Thanks to your votes I was able to move on to the popchips champion-chip finals and this weekend I met up with the popchips team and Kristi (the other finalist) at the gorgeous Roche Bros supermarket in Wellesley to compete for the grand prize (see below).

I had no idea what to expect, how many people we’d be serving, where we’d be cooking, etc. but my eyes were on the prize (I get kind of competitive sometimes, what can I say). I shopped for my ingredients (seriously the store was gigantic and incredibly beautiful – it was kind of hard to focus because I wanted to just get lost browsing through millions of products)… and then it was game-time!

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I had a small toaster oven to work with, a tiny space one-cutting board wide (luckily I brought my own knife!) so it was a bit overwhelming at the beginning as I was trying to get into the grove of things.

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Kristi’s recipe was a little less involved – she was making chocolate covered popchips that required only 2 ingredients. They were delicious so she had customers voting for her recipe before I even had my first batch made!

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Luckily, 20 minutes in, I was on a roll. I was chopping, spreading, getting the crowd to taste and vote (!!!) and I was having a blast!

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Everyone really loved my nachos and Kristi’s chocolate covered popchips – many had a hard time picking a favorite since it was essentially dinner and dessert. Not an easy choice for sure!

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Working the crowds Winking smile

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This kid came back like 4 times… he was clearly a big fan!

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After a few hours we closed shop and it was time for the vote counts! I had a good feeling about it because I got really positive feedback on my recipe (and I was honestly happy with it myself and I’m a tough critic). I was still nervous though – I was competing with CHOCOLATE after all.

At the end… I WON! It was a close game – 34/29 but I was the winner of the champion-chip Open-mouthed smile The popchips judges decided that Kristi and I were both winners though so we both received $250. I also get a year’s worth of supply of popchips. Not bad for a day’s worth of work Winking smile [Adam is psyched!]

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Have you ever entered (and won?) a recipe competition? I had such a good time, I think I may try my hand at the local smaller scale competitions more often. This was so much fun!

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