Easy Mediterranean Dip

This delightful summer appetizer is perfect for any occasion. This is such a quick and easy appetizer that everyone will be sure to love…or even if you are snackin’ alone. The best part about this is that it’s healthier than most delicious dips.  Your guests will be surprised when they go in to dip because there is a hidden layer of the seasoned cream cheese on the bottom, that pairs so well with the hummus. You can serve this dip with a pita chips, or you can also bake your own. So dip in to this recipe!
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Easy Mediterranean Dip

Easy Mediterranean Dip

This healthy 2 layer dip is loaded with fresh Mediterranean flavors!

Ingredients

1 8 ounce package of whipped cream cheese (this makes it fluffy, you can also use regular or reduced fat cream cheese)

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp Italian Seasoning

2 cloves of garlic; minced

1 1/2-2 Cups of prepared hummus (I used Trader Joe's Mediterranean Hummus because its my favorite)

1 cup cucumber; chopped

1/2 cup Kalamata olives; chopped

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup tomatoes; chopped

1/4 cup green onions; sliced

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, and garlic and mix with an electric mixer until combined.
  2. Spread the cream cheese mixture on a serving dish/platter evenly with a spatula. Spread the hummus on top of the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle the cucumbers, olives, feta cheese, tomatoes, and green onions on top. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving, then serve with pita chips and/or fresh veggies!
http://kathrynskitchenblog.com/2015/08/easy-mediterranean-dip/

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Wilted Spinach and Garlic Quinoa Salad

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I am always looking for easy salads like this to make for lunches. I love love looovee spinach and I’ve recently been cooking with quinoa because its perfectly satisfying when you want something hearty and filling.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion; chopped
2 garlic cloves; chopped
1 bunch spinach (about 3 cups); chopped
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth or water)
1/4 cup parsley; chopped
1/4 cup dill; chopped
salt and pepper
1 lemon or lime (juiced and zest)
1 cucumber; seeded, cut in half, and cubed or sliced
2 roma tomatoes; chopped
Optional:
1/4 cup feta cheese (crumbled)

Steps:
1. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil in a pan. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.

2. Add the spinach and cook until it becomes wilted.

3. Add the quinoa, vegetable broth, parsley, dill and season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the quinoa is cooked, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and squeeze with a splash lemon/lime juice and mix in cucumbers, tomatoes, and feta cheese(optional).

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Summer Watermelon with Mint & Feta Cheese

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I recently just starting eating this treat and it definitely makes me feel like summer is here..well almost. There is nothing better than a cold watermelon right out of the fridge on a hot sunny day. The combination of the 3 flavors go together so perfectly its amazing to say the least!

All you need:
Sliced watermelon
Fresh mint; coarsley chopped
Feta Cheese

Sprinkle mint and feta cheese all over fresh watermelon and enjoy! Easy perfection.

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Lemon Kale Gem Salad

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I have been wanting to make this since the beginning of the year. My fiance and I went to San Francisco for New Years with some friends and we stopped at this little cafe on the way there. Everything they had looked delicious and so fresh, I just knew it was going to be great. I ordered their zesty kale salad and I couldn’t believe the powerful flavor it had. It was just a salad so I wasn’t expecting it to be anything special or anything..but I was wrong!  I couldn’t figure out how they made their dressing and how to make the kale leaves tender. Luckily I did some research, and added my own flare to this salad. Another healthy tip to remember is..the more color you eat, the better. Taste the rainbow!

Ingredients:
4 cups chopped kale; remove ribs
2 lemons
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup dried apricots; chopped
2 Tbsp dried cranberries
1/4 cup roasted almonds
1 cup bell peppers; chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes; cut in half
1/4 cup feta cheese

Steps:
1. In a large bowl add kale, and squeeze the juice from 2 lemons (watch out for the seeds), then drizzle olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for 2 hours. This will make the kale leaves softer and easier to eat…it also adds in all the zesty flavor!

2. Once the salad is ready to be topped, just start sprinkling your toppings! This can be fun, use your imagination and use the fresh ingredients you love. That’s why I called it a “gem” salad because I used all my favorite salad toppings. The possibilities are endless so be creative!