Tag Archives: Roasted Red Pepper

Grilled Artichoke and Yogurt Dip

Hot and bubbling, straight out of the oven - yum!

Hot and bubbling, straight out of the oven – yum!

Wow! So many possibilities to get creative with this recipe, where to start?  At the beginning, I guess…  Our friends brought us a bag of grilled artichokes as a hostess gift the other night.  They looked yummy and the next day I decided to turn them into a healthy baked dip.  I did not have time to go to the store, so in true Creative Recipe fashion, I used whatever I had on hand.  I did not have mayo, which is the classic ingredient for a baked artichoke dip, but I did have fat-free plain yogurt (not Greek style), and I was going for healthy.  Searching online, I learned that yogurt can curdle a bit if baked at too high a temperature.  Absolutely does not affect taste.   There are tricks, according to my search, such as adding cornstarch to the yogurt or baking at a lower temperature.  But I wanted a nicely browned dip, and I’m a believer in just starting somewhere and changing one ingredient or technique at a time in the quest for perfection.  So I simply started with the yogurt, no thickener, a high enough oven to brown the dish and determined to note the results.  The flavors and texture were delicious, it browned beautifully, and yes…. the yogurt did curdle slightly.  Next time, I will add a thickener such as corn starch or rice flour to the yogurt to note that difference.  You could get very creative with some sautéed spinach and/or zucchini or summer squash to really load up the veggie quotient.  Here is the first go-round on this recipe and as you would expect, quantities are eye-balled:


1 bag grilled Artichoke Hearts, chopped (6 ounce bag) – These grilled hearts are certainly worth seeking out, but you could used canned artichoke hearts, drained and chopped.  There are also frozen artichoke hearts that may work, though I would recommend thawing and draining well first.


Roasted Red Peppers, chopped (hmmmm…. 1/2 cup or so?)

A few Celery tops, minced

Minced Vidalia Onion – about 2 tablespoons

Garlic – if desired (I omitted because the grilled artichokes were flavored with garlic.  If I used canned, I would add some garlic)

Fresh Lemon Juice – about 1 teaspoon

Dill Weed – 1 to 2 teaspoons, to your taste.  Basil would also be good, maybe tarragon or oregano, depending on your veggie choices.  Get creative!

Plain Non-fat Yogurt – approximately 1 cup

Cheese – I used a combination of shredded Parmesan, Goat Cheese and Feta Cheese – about 1 -1/2 cups.  Cream cheese would also melt nicely.  Get creative, but perhaps avoid cheeses that get too “oily” as they melt.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.


Place in an 8 x 8 square glass pan (I did not grease).  Top with some more Parmesan Cheese.


Bake, uncovered, approximately one hour or until browned and bubbly.


If you add veggies with a high water content such as fresh spinach or squash, I would recommend grating the squash and chopping the spinach.  Then sauté in a small amount of olive oil until the liquids that naturally leach out evaporate.  That way you will not have a watery dip.

Maybe some bread crumbs (gluten free or Panko) or potato chip crumbs would be good on top?  Just brainstorming…

This would be a great topping for a baked potato bar or veggie burgers – try the Quinoa and Black Bean Veggie Burger.  What creative ideas and variations do you have?

Grilled artichoke yogurt dip is a zesty, cheesy topping for these burgers.

Grilled artichoke yogurt dip is a zesty, cheesy topping for these burgers.



Marinated Sirloin Salad

Always a popular dish on a buffet!

During a visit to the Patagonia and Sonoita region of southern Arizona (ranch country), I ordered an entrée salad cleverly named “Cattle in the Pasture” – seared steak bites resting on a bed of mixed green lettuces, drizzled with a mustardy vinaigrette.  I was so enamored with the name that I set out to create my own version.  In the process, I got carried away with ingredients and finally arrived at this marinated beef dish with portabella mushrooms, red onions and roasted red peppers.  Besides topping mixed greens, it is perfect in a big shallow bowl on a buffet or salad bar and gives the meat eaters something hearty to dig into. It also makes a great hors d’oeuvre on crackers or flat breads (try it with goat cheese – yum!), or stuffed in a pita pocket for a hearty sandwich. 

The pita pocket - good too!

And then of course, back to my original goal – the entrée salad – I like to toss this with some roasted red potatoes halves and pile onto a hearty blend of mixed greens (arugula adds a nice spicy kick) for a stellar version of my own “Cattle in the Pasture” salad. 

 Ingredient List:

 Beef Sirloin Steak – approximately 2 pounds – cut into thin strips (1/2” thick or so)

MontrealSteak Seasoning – 2 Tablespoons (or your favorite steak seasoning)

Portabella Mushrooms – approximately 12 ounces sliced – Baby Bellas would work nicely, too

Butter – 2 Tablespoons (you could skip the butter and use only olive oil if you like)

Olive Oil – 2 Tablespoons

Roasted Red Peppers – I used 2 seven-ounce jars, drained and sliced

Red Onion – approximately 1 cup thinly sliced

Garlic – 1 clove fresh, finely minced, or 1 teaspoon freeze-dried Litehouse

DijonMustard -1 Tablespoon

Red Wine Vinegar – 2 Tablespoons

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 1/2 cup

Salt and Pepper to taste


 Toss sirloin strips in the steak seasoning.

 Melt Butter in sauté pan.  Sauté mushrooms, turning to brown both sides.  Remove from pan and place in bowl.  Drain liquid that accumulates. 

 In same pan, heat Olive Oil.  Sauté sirloin to desired doneness in small batches.  Remove from pan and place in large bowl.  Allow to cool.  Add sautéed mushrooms, roasted red peppers, and red onions to the beef and toss gently.

 In a small bowl, mix the garlic, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.  Pour over beef mixture and toss.  Season with salt and pepper if desired.  Can serve immediately or cover and refrigerate.