Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Artichokes and Avocado

Recipe provided by the California Avocado Commission

• 3 Tbsp STAR Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 2 Tbsp loosely packed fresh dill
• 1/2 lb orecchiette or small pasta, cooked, drained and cooled
• 1 large, ripe California Avocado, peeled, seeded and cut into
1/2” cubes
• 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in quarters
• 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, cut in half
• 1/2 medium hot house cucumber, cut lengthwise in quarters
and sliced
• 1 (6.5-oz) jar Cara Mia Marinated Artichoke Hearts, drained and
cut in half

Place olive oil, lemon juice and salt in a food processor or blender;
blend until creamy. Add dill and pulse just until incorporated.
Pour over pasta and toss to coat. Add remaining ingredients and
toss to combine.

Calories 300; Total Fat 19 g (Sat 2.5 g, Trans 0 g, Poly 2 g, Mono 13 g);
Friday, February 10, 2012

Artichoke and Penne Salad with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Dressing

Pesto Dressing

  • 1 cup (3 ounces) uncooked multi-grain penne
  • 4 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 jar (14.75-ounce) CARA MIA Artichoke Hearts Packed In Water, drained
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese; for garnish

For dressing, combine all ingredients in food processor and blend well. Set aside.

Cook pasta as directed on package; adding beans 7 to 5 minutes before end of cook time. Continue to cook until pasta is al dente and beans are just crisp-tender. Drain thoroughly. Stir in enough pesto to coat well. Set aside to cool. Finally, add drained artichoke hearts and one-half sliced onions; toss with remaining dressing. Store in refrigerator; warm to room temperature to serve.

To serve, turn into large lettuce-lined salad bowl or divide among lettuce-lined individual salad plates. Sprinkle with Parmesan and remaining green onions.

For plain pesto dressing, substitute 2 tablespoons pine nuts for tomatoes.
Thursday, February 2, 2012

Artichoke, Sun Dried Tomato Hummus

1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 15oz can chickpeas, drained
1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1 6.5 oz. jar of Cara Mia Marinated Artichokes
1 tablespoon Cara Mia Sun Dried tomatoes
1 tablespoons water
Olives and Spinach for garnish

Turn on the food processor fitted with the steel blade add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and process until the hummus is coarsely pureed. Taste, for seasoning, garnish and serve chilled or at room temperature with vegetables, crackers or pita.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Baked Artichoke Spinach Dip

This recipe is SO good your guest won't realize that it is lower and fat and calories than the traditional version!


10-ounce frozen spinach slightly defrosted
1 (14-ounce) jar Cara Mia marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
6 ounces (3/4 block) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
6 ounces (3/4 block) fat-free cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1 1/2 cups part-skim mozzarella, shredded
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, crushed (not minced)
6 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheeses with a potato masher. Add sour cream and mash more. Add spinach, mozzarella, artichokes, pepper, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of the parmesan. Stir everything until thoroughly combined.
Pour mixture into a 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan on top. Bake 30 minutes, or until parmesan is melted dip is all bubbly. Remove from oven and give it a minute or two to cool down. Serve with crackers, baked tortilla chips or baguette.
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About Me

Cara Mia
Cara Mia brand was started by an artichoke grower co-op in 1955, in the “artichoke capital” of the world, Castroville, CA. The co-op opened as a freezer operator with the intent of providing consumers another means to enjoy the edible thistle all year around. The venture proved so successful that a marinating line was added in 1958. Soon sales of the marinated produce far surpassed the frozen line as consumers enjoyed the proprietary marinade that dressed the tender leaves. The Borges Group acquired Cara Mia and its proprietary spice mix/marinade recipe in 2001. Today Cara Mia is the #1 selling brand of marinated artichokes. Look for them, and the other Cara Mia marinated vegetable items, in the Produce Dept.
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