Go-To Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Combine an 8-oz package of room-temperature low-fat cream cheese, ½ cup chopped spinach (thawed frozen or cooked), and one 6-oz jar of marinated artichokes, drained. Reserve the marinade. Pulse all ingredients in a food processor while slowly pouring in half of the reserved artichoke marinade.Blend until smooth. Taste and season.
Asian Lettuce Wraps
Rinse and pat dry Romaine lettuce (if packing for lunch, store with a damp paper towel in a bag or clear wrap), 1/3 cup shredded or chopped protein: chicken, beef, cooked shrimp, or fried tofu – tossed with 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce, and 1/3 cup broccoli slaw mixed with 1 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar. Other ingredients can be added: cooked soba or rice noodles, toasted sesame seeds, or stir-fried vegetables.
Veggie Burgers or Meatballs
In a food processor purée half of a 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed. In a large bowl, combine ¼ cup cooked quinoa, the bean purée, the remaining whole beans, ½ cup corn (thawed frozen or cooked), ½ cup panko breadcrumbs, 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, dash of salt, ½ tsp chili powder, ½ tsp ground cumin, 2 garlic cloves finely minced, dash of pepper, and 1 Tbsp lemon juice. Mix and form 8 small patties or about twice as many meatballs. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes to firm.Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet and cook until golden, about 6 minutes per side.Other vegetables that can be added or substituted: ½ cup cooked spinach or kale, grated carrots, ½ cup cooked broccoli, or wild mushrooms.
Summer Roasted Tomato Soup
Preheat oven to 450°F. Wash, core and cut 2½ lbs mixed color, variety and size seasonal tomatoes into halves. Spread the tomatoes, 6 peeled garlic cloves, and 2 small sliced yellow onions onto a baking tray. Drizzle with ½ cup of olive oil.Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until caramelized. Transfer all to a large stock pot.Add 3 cups vegetable stock, 2 bay leaves and 4 Tbsp unsalted butter. Bring to boil, then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.Purée the soup with an immersion blender. For a creamy soup add ¾ cup heavy cream. You can add fresh chopped basil or thyme. For a bit of protein add sliced, cooked turkey sausage or bacon. (Store in freezer-safe pint containers.)