Fresh Spinach Dip (lower salt)

I like spinach dip, but I never liked the texture using frozen spinach. Using fresh spinach is fantastic. I also wanted to ditch the Ranch dressing mix to try out making a lower salt version. This could be spiced up any way you like–even add salt if you’re not trying to cut back on it. Or if you like the usual spinach dip recipe, I think fresh spinach would be great in that, too!

Fresh Spinach Dip

  • Servings: 6-12
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 8 ounce bag fresh spinach (I used baby)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayo (I used Kraft with olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash Zesty Garlic Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Pepper

Fresh Spinach DipChop the spinach. This will take the most time. Chop in small batches and chop as fine as you can. You’ll have some bigger pieces but don’t worry. It adds texture. Put the chopped spinach in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl mix all the other ingredients until well mixed. Taste and adjust seasonings if you like.

Add sour cream mixture to the spinach and stir until everything is well mixed. Makes about 3 cups.

Tips
Let sit in the fridge for a couple of hours to let the flavors incorporate.

Serve in a Kings Hawaiian bread bowl. Or make little dip sandwiches with the hawaiian bread buns.

Mix this dip with some cooked pasta for a different take on pasta salad.

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Veggie Pasta Salad

Veggie Pasta Salad

  • Servings: 12-15
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 2.5 cups dry macaroni
  • 12 ounces fresh green beans cut into 3rds
  • 1 red bell pepper diced (or any color)
  • 1 medium onion, diced (or use green onions)
  • 1 can black olives (I used reduced sodium)
  • 1 1 can dark red kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup Mayo with olive oil

Veggie Pasta SaladCook macaroni according to package directions. Add beans the last three minutes of cooking time. Rinse under cold water and drain thoroughly.

Mix the macaroni and veggies. Add the vinegar, mayo and olive oil. Mix well.

Tips
This makes a LOT. Great for a potluck. It can easily be halved.

If you don’t like a mayo style salad, this tastes just as good by increasing the oil and vinegar and using that as the sole dressing. Much lighter that way I think. You could even use a bottled oil and vinegar dressing.

This is fairly low in sodium, and half of it comes from the mayo! The whole recipe has 3228mg of sodium, and 1524mg of it is from the mayo.

Nacho Average Taters

I whipped up these tasty taters today! In the recipe I’ll list what I did to get the ones shown, but really, you can use your imagination with these. This batch is surprisingly low salt–I didn’t add salt but you certainly can if you want to!

Nacho Taters

  • Servings: sixish
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Lawry’s seasoned pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 green onions, chopped including green parts
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Nacho potatoesSlice your potatoes how you like. I used a wedge cut–about 8 wedges per potato. I think they’re easier to eat that way. Place potatoes in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high for 15 minutes or until just barely fork tender.

Drain potatoes and toss with the olive oil and seasonings. Spread out on a foil-covered cookie sheet. Sprinkle on the chopped onion followed by the cheese (so the cheese keeps the onions from burning).

Bake at 350F until cheese is nice and browned–about 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle with a little more cheese if you like. Serve with sour cream or other condiments if desired.

Tips
You could use any toppings you like on these. Some cooked black beans might be nice. Or some bacon or cooked crumbled ground beef. Likewise you can change up the seasonings to suit your taste.

Yummy Baked Apples

These are so easy!! They taste like Apple Crisp without all the slicing and layering!

Yummy Baked Apples

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 2 apples cut in half and cored
  • 4-1/2 tablespoons butter (or margarine) melted
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup oats (I used old fashioned)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • dash of cinnamon if you like

Baked ApplesMix everything but the apples together. Top the apple halves with the mixture. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes or until the topping is brown.

Tips
I baked these in a table top convection oven. If you use a regular oven increase the time to about 30 minutes or until topping is brown. If you use a small toaster oven the time might be less.

Garbanzo Bean Snack

Garbanzo Bean Snack

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 4 cups cooked garbanzo beans
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Zesty Garlic Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Lowry’s Seasoned Pepper

Drain and dry beans. Toss with olive oil and remaining ingredients. Spread on cookie sheet and bake at 400F until beans are crunchy–about 20 minutes or so. Cool completely.

Garbanzo bean snackTips
You can use canned beans for this. Since I was trying to get rid of salt, I cooked my own in the crock pot. I cooked a whole pound, used 4 cups for the recipe and put the rest in the freezer for later.

You can use whatever seasonings you like. If you enjoy a salty snack, perhaps add some salt. You could exchange taco seasoning for the other seasonings. Or maybe some Italian seasoning. The possibilities are many!

Make sure to bake the beans long enough. You want them to be really crunchy. They still taste ok if you don’t, but they get kind of mealy when they cool. The beans will shrink a lot and be nice and brown.