Staying Faithful!

As the end of January approaches this week, please do not forget about those goals you made first of January! You set specific goals because they stand out as aspects of your life that are important, even if they have dwindled by the wayside these past few weeks. Revisit them, revise them if needed—but never give up on them! Post them around your house; write them with dry erase on your bathroom mirror. Plan for a terrific tomorrow!  Expect that you will achieve greatness and your actions will have a positive impact on your goals. Make everyday count and keeping looking to the future remembering that God has an AMAZING plan for you!  Stay faithful with those goals you set January 1st, 2013! You can do it! Start right now!

“For I know the plans I have for you…plans to plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” --Jeremiah 29:11  

A goal that most of you may have this year is to eat a little bit healthier, to swap out some for just-as-tasty but definitely more waist-flattering alternatives. A little insight: making “skinny” versions of your favorite recipes is easier than you think! Since this Sunday is Superbowl, a day for community as well as dining, try some of these recipe transformations to help you along on your journey for a transformed life!

Photo from The Yummy Life

Healthy Spinach & Artichoke Dip

  • 2 cans artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 1 package frozen spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat 2% Greek yogurt
  • 1 (8 oz) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened and cut in 1/2" cubes
  • 1 (8 oz) block fat-free cream cheese, softened and cut in 1/2" cubes
  • 1 Tbsp cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Drain the artichokes and roughly chop them. Mince the garlic. Thaw, drain, and squeeze the spinach dry. Cut the cream cheese into chunks. In a large bowl, stir together everything; reserving half of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Spoon mixture into 1-1/2 to 2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle top with remaining cheeses. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and golden.

Fresh Baked  Pita Chips

  • 4 fresh whole wheat pitas
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Heat an oven to 450°F. Using a pizza cutter, slice the pitas into 8-12 triangular wedges. Tear the two halves of each wedge apart. Working in batches toss 25-30 wedges at a time with 1/2 Tbsp olive oil and a few grinds of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Arrange the wedges in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes, then flip the chips and bake for an additional 2 minutes until golden brown.

Mozzarella, Cherry Tomatoes & Basil Skewers

Arrange little skewers with marinated mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and basil – drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar! Delicious!