My gals pals and I had our Fantasy Football draft the other night.
Three years ago, we thought “heck, wouldn’t it be fun to make our own Fantasy Football team and pick all of our players based on 1) cuteness 2) level of hot body’ness?” Well, let’s just say that this strategy didn’t get us too far in terms of winning anything. But, it was a great excuse to sit by the T.V. every Sunday hooting and hollering alongside the men – although we were hooting and hollering at tight camera shots of bums and other body parts vs. touchdowns and field goals.
Last year, it got a little more competitive – my friend Erin took over the roll of commissioner. By day, Erin is this cute little CPA who works for the IRS – on Sunday’s during football season though, she’s a crazed, football-jersey-wearing maniac that screams at the television and sits with her legs open staring intently at the television holding her breath to see what the next play brings (ok, maybe I’m exaggerating at the sitting w/ her legs wide open part – everything else is 100% true!). With Erin as commissioner, we started to take things a little more seriously, and really started to care about more than how long Tom Brady’s hair had gotten or if the camera’s shot to our favorite celebs in the stands during games. We actually like, paid attention – and made changes in our roster every week – and like, kind of knew what was going on!
And this year’s draft was a nail biter, probs the most stressful hour and a half that I’ve had in a while. While we may be ladies Monday through Saturday, on Sundays, the claws will be out. But we need sustenance to keep ourselves going during hours and hours of football watching.
Delicious food goes hand in hand with football season – chilli – wings – dips of all kinds – which is what we have today! I’m a huge Spinach dip lover, so this is a Skinny version of a great Sunday Funday snack, made with Kale and Feta Cheese (you could easily use spinach too, I just wanted to shake things up a bit) and homemade pita chips! I am OBSESSED with the Josephs© line of sandwich wraps. They have pita bread, wraps and lavash that are all only 2 WW points each! And, they made amazing home made pita chips!
Kale & Feta Dip with Homemade Pita Chips
*yields about 1 cup of dip and 16 pita chips – serving size is 1/4 cup of dip and 4 pita chips
For Kale & Feta Dip:
4 cups chopped kale
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup fat-free cream cheese
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup fat-free feta cheese
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp. grated parmesean cheese
salt and pepper to taste
For Pita Chips:
Non-stick cooking spray
2 whole Josephs Pita Breads
(the large size, not the smaller sandwich size ones)
Salt and Pepper
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) In a medium sauce pan, sautee minced garlic and chopped kale over medium heat until it shrinks to about 1/2 it’s original size.
3) Place cooked kale in a large mixing bowl and add cream cheese, sour cream, feta and lemon juice and mix until combined. Add salt and pepper as needed.
4) Place in an oven-safe baking dish and sprinkle grated parmesean cheese on the top. Cook for about 10 minues, or until bubbly.
5) Slice the pita breads into 8 triangles (16 total). Spray with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in oven about 5 minutes on each side, until chips reach desired level of crunchiness.
TOUCHDOWN! A delicious dip, that can be served hot or cold, that is only 3.5 WW points per serving. So if you were so preoccupied with the action and ate the whole thing by mistake, it wouldn’t be so bad!
Have a great Labor Day weekend everyone 🙂
Pizza is one of my favorite things in life, and always has been. I would like to actually shake the mans hand who invented this ingenius creation of sauce, cheese and crust. Really – I might hug him (or her). It’s always a crowd pleaser – you can eat it plain – you can add toppings – you can make it thick – you can make it thin – you can make it circle – you can make it square. There’s really not much that you CAN’T do with it! It may be one of the most versatile foods ever.
A few years ago for my birthday, Dave’s mom bestowed upon us our very first pizza stone and I never knew how much a slab of stone could change someone’s life until this moment. We would make pizza on a cookie sheet or basic pizza pan, and it always tasted good. But the stone – the stone! OMG! Then we started to experiement with different crusts, finding one that was our favorite, and then Dave started getting really fancy doing things like ‘priming the dough’ to make it rise perfectly and have the perfect balance of crispiness and softness, the way the professionals do it. Our version of ‘priming’ involves sticking the dough in a trashbag submerged in warm water in the sink for about a half hour – I’m sure there are better ways to do it, but if you’re in a time crunch it works very well! Otherwise you can just leave the dough out for a few hours, and let it get big and puffy (very professional terminology here :)) It really does make a difference!
We love the basics – margharita, pepperoni, maybe a meat lovers if we’re feeling adventurous. But this idea for a new kind of pizza came to me, inspired by this great recipe I got from Picky Palate for Spinach Dip Bread Bowls. YUM. Perfect appetizer for anyone looking for a new one to throw into the rotation. I decided to swap out the Spinach with Kale and use the dip as the ‘sauce’ for the pizza (sounds sinful I know) and then Dave suggested adding yet another twist to this already seemingly twisty pizza – big chunks of crispy pancetta. Yes. We went there. And it was awesome.
Kale and Krispy Pancetta Pizza
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 Cups Kale, coarsely chopped
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
3 oz softened cream cheese
1/2 Cup light sour cream
2 Tablespoons fresh shredded parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon Garlic Salt
1/8 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ball of your favorite pizza dough
4 slices of pancetta, cut 1/4″ thick, chopped into small pieces
4 – 8oz Shredded mozzarella cheese
(it’s really your preference – the ‘sauce’ is pretty rich, so you may not want to use as much cheese as you typically would with a regular pizza – or maybe you would! to each his own!)
1) Preheat oven to 500 degrees
2) Prepare your dip: Heat 2 tbsp oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir 2 cups of the kale until wilted, about 3 minutes then add garlic, cook and stir for another minute then turn heat off. Place cream cheese, sour cream, cooked kale and garlic, parmesan cheese, garlic salt, salt and pepper into a medium bowl. Mix until well combined. Set aside.
3) Heat the other tbsp. of oil in the same skillet you prepared the kale in over medium heat. Cook the chopped pancetta in the skillet until crispy (about 3-5 minutes depending on how small it’s chopped) At the very end, right when the pancetta is about done, take the other 2 cups of chopped kale and place in the skillet with the pancetta, allowing it to wilt just a little (about a minute) It will cook more in the oven while the pizza is baking.
4) Assemble your pizza: roll out your pizza dough and place on the stone (or baking sheet). Layer the kale dip, then the shredded cheese, and then the kale/pancetta mixture on the top. Cook in preheated oven for about 10 minutes until cheese becomes golden on top.
Wowie Wow Wow Wow. Good stuff guys! The kale and the pancetta worked so well together – kale can be a little bit on the bitter side, but the saltiness of the pancetta really balanced the bitterness out. And the creamy kale dip base was such a yummy departure from your standard red sauce. So good!
I think even Popeye would swap his spinach for kale and put it on a pizza – that’s how good it was.