Crudites Platter with Real California Milk Dipping Sauces

This holiday season, get your vegetable and dairy fix with Real California Milk dipping sauces! I know it’ll be a favorite at my holiday get-togethers.

Do you ever walk by the produce stands at farmers’ market and wish you could buy ALL of the vegetables? That is a problem I have a little too often.

Eyeing some of my favorite items like romanesco, watermelon radishes, and endives, I know it wouldn’t be ideal to incorporate all of them all into a single recipe, like say, pasta, or even in a traditional salad.

But I have a solution for all of your vegetable lovers out there - crudites! Crudites are a simple raw vegetable platter eaten by the French as an appetizer, typically with a dipping sauce. How healthy is that?

On a recent visit to Farmers’ market, I was inspired to finally buy all of the vegetables I wanted because I could easily serve them as crudites and pair them with two Real California Milk dipping sauces. Both with sour cream, but one with Dry Jack and one with cottage cheese. All amazing products from my home state that make for the easy, tasty, and convenient snacks!

After prepping the veggies on a Sunday, my husband and I had a full platter of healthy snacks to finish up by Wednesday. Thanks to the delicious Real California Milk dipping sauces, we thoroughly enjoyed eating raw vegetables between meals. Three to four servings of vegetables per person, per day = no problem! Amazing considering only 9% of Americans eat enough veggies.

Equally as cool as getting in my veggies, my husband and I were certainly getting in our recommended servings of dairy per day. Did you know that the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend three servings of dairy foods each day?

That’s because dairy is nutrient-rich and when consumed as part of a healthy diet, it may help prevent diseases like osteoporosis, hypertension, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Note: one serving = 8 oz of milk, a 6-8 oz container of yogurt, or 1 ½ oz. of natural cheese.

So while Real California Milk dairy is tasty, fast, and convenient, it can also help you be your healthiest self! Not a bad combo of nutritional benefits in my opinion! So what are you waiting for? Dive into your Real California Milk dairy this holiday season!

Crudites Platter with Real California Milk Dipping Sauces

[Sponsored]

Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 8

Ingredients

Zesty Dry Jack Dipping Sauce
⅓ cup Real California Dry Jack cheese, grated
¾ cup Real California sour cream
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 anchovy, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Arugula & Cottage Cheese Dipping Sauce
½ cup Real California cottage cheese
¼ cup Real California sour cream
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
2 oz arugula
¼ cup chives, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Crudites
3 rainbow carrots, peeled, cut into ½-inch thick sticks
1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 small head romanesco, cut into florets
1 endive head, trimmed, leaves separated
2 zucchini, sliced lengthwise, ¼-inch thick
½ lb green beans
½ lb snap peas
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 small watermelon radish, sliced ¼-inch thick lengthwise, cut into quarters
1 bunch red radishes
1 bunch green onions, light and dark green parts, trimmed

Directions
Add all ingredients of Real California Milk Dry Jack Dip to a food processor. Blend until smooth. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste if desired. Add dip to a medium bowl. Set aside.

Prepare Real California Milk Arugula & Cottage Cheese Dip by adding all ingredients to a food processor. Blend until smooth. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste if desired. Add dip to a medium bowl.

Add dipping bowls to the center of a large platter. Arrange crudites around bowl until visually pleasing! Enjoy!


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Real California Milk Charcuterie Board

Say cheese! I am a BIG fan of Real California Cheese! As a Californian, I am proud to partner with Real California Milk to promote local cheese artisans who have perfected the art of cheesemaking.

I eat cheese in everything from salads, to sandwiches, and tacos because it’s not only delicious, but it is also a nutritionally rich way to add calcium, protein, and minerals that help support strong bones and a healthy body. One of my favorite cheesy meals is actually the most simple: a charcuterie board! I built this charcuterie board with three amazing Californian cheeses: a dry jack, a blue cheese, and a triple creme cow’s milk cheese.

With any charcuterie board, I recommend selecting your favorite Real California Cheese first - check for the Real California Milk label! Then I recommend heading to the deli for charcuterie with a mix of textures, such as cured ham, pate, or salami. After, take a stroll down the produce aisle and select what’s in season! Finally, finish off your board with condiments like pickles, jam, and honey.

This week, Black Mission figs, raspberries, and strawberries were off the charts delicious, so I had to add them to my board. Boy did they pair well with the cheeses!

Visit the Real California Milk website’s Product Locator to find out where you can by artisanal cheeses made in California! 

Real California Milk Charcuterie Board

[Sponsored]

Time: 10 Minutes
Serves 2-4

Ingredients

Real California Cheeses
2 oz Real California Milk dry Monterey Jack cheese, cut into small slices
2 oz Real California Milk blue cheese, crumbled
2 oz Real California Milk triple creme cow’s milk cheese, sliced into wedges

Charcuterie
2 oz Italian prosciutto, sliced thin
2 oz milano salami, sliced thin
2 oz duck liver mousse

Fruit and More
4 fresh Black Mission figs, sliced in half
4 large strawberries, sliced
1 small handful raspberries
2 tbsp blackberry jam
4 caperberries
Small baguette, sliced

For Garnish
Fresh sage leaves
Fresh rosemary
1 tsp honey

Directions
Arrange cheeses, charcuterie, fruit, jam, caperberries, and baguette slices on a cheese board. Garnish with fresh herbs. Spoon honey over fruit and cheese, if desired. 

Mix and match fruit, cheese, and charcuterie with baguette slices. Enjoy!


If you loved this recipe, you will love my recipes for  Easy Chicken and Blue Cheese Salad, The Real Deal Greek Salad, and Beet Rueben Sandwich!

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Low-Carb Loaded Cauliflower Soup

When you think about summer meals, I bet you don’t always include soup on your menu. Soup can actually be the perfect meal for when there are cooling patterns in the temperature that leave us hungry for a warm and comforting meal. This is what the week of 4th of July looks like here in the San Francisco Bay area.  

I love cauliflower soup because cauliflower paired with bacon is the perfect blend of comforting and fresh. They’re a dynamic duo that’ll leave you wanting more, but also feeling good about yourself - and your waistband!

I am a huge advocate for the ‘all foods fit’ mentality towards eating, but as a Registered Dietitian, some clients, especially those with glucose intolerance, need to watch their glycemic index closely. Many studies show that low-carb diets can be beneficial for individuals with type 2 diabetes, particularly those suffering from blood sugar dysregulation and insulin resistance.    

Incorporating low carb/high healthy fat meals into your diet can also greatly increase satisfaction.  Where some people go wrong with high fat diets is that they forget to include nutrient dense foods like vegetables. Cauliflower is the perfect way to add some extra nutrients without sacrificing flavor.  

Cauliflower is also a great vegetable because it is high in fiber, antioxidants, and choline. Choline is mostly made in the liver, but many Americans lack the extra choline needed from diet to help healthy brain development, muscle movement, and liver function.  

Throw this together for your next summer dinner, and you won’t be disappointed. If you’re not ‘low carbing’ it up, try pairing with a side of crusty bread.  The best is day old sourdough. YUM! 

Low Carb Loaded Cauliflower Soup

Time: 40 Minutes
Serves 4


Ingredients

10 slices thick-cut bacon
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp butter
2 large heads cauliflower, cored, cut into ½-inch florets
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 small bunch chives, roughly chopped


 
Directions

In a large unheated skillet, lay out half of the bacon slices without overcrowding too much. Cook bacon slowly over medium-low heat, flipping the bacon occasionally to allow browning on all sides. Pan-fry until crispy, about 8-12 minutes, and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining bacon. Allow to cool, and then chop into ¼-inch pieces.
 
In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir butter until melted. Add cauliflower florets and pour over broth. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender. Allow soup to cool slightly and then add whipping cream.
 
Using an immersion blender, blend the soup to reach your desired consistency, from very smooth to slightly chunky. Stir in ¾ of the bacon pieces and 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese. Adjust seasonings to taste.
 
Garnish soup with remaining bacon, cheese, and top with chives. Serve immediately!
 


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Fusilloni Pasta with with Tomatoes, Cauliflower, Arugula, and Salami

I like pasta made of all different shapes and sizes. But recently, I’ve really been digging whole-grain pasta. We’ve all had whole-wheat spaghetti in the past that was terrible, right? Well, I'm happy to report that the pasta world has come a long way as far as innovating ways to make one whole-grain noodles healthier and tastier. 

I made this delicious dish with khorasan kamut, which is delicious with a slightly nutty taste, but still has the same buttery bite you expect from any other fusilloni. Kamut is actually really interesting because it’s nicknamed “King Tut’s Wheat,” since it was found in his tomb according to an ancient legend. Or maybe it’s just interesting to me because I also happen to have a degree in history! But no matter, people have been eating it for ages and it’s cool that it’s getting a revival in this day and age.

Nutritionally, kamut has more protein than modern wheat, and according to one study, if you replace kamut with modern wheat, it may reduce your risk for heart disease by lowering total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and other inflammatory markers. Whether or not you’re willing to replace your grains with kamut because of one study, it’s still interesting to try out! Diversifying the types of foods you eat is always a good thing, and pasta is no exception. 

Fusilloni Pasta with with Tomatoes, Cauliflower, Arugula, and Salami

Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 6

Ingredients
1/2 head large cauliflower, cut into 3/4-inch florets
3 medium roma tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 oz hard salami, finely chopped
3 tbsp fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
16 oz fusilloni pasta
5 cups baby arugula, about 5 oz
1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided

Directions
Preheat oven to 425F. 

In a large mixing bowl, add cauliflower, tomatoes, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. 

Transfer cauliflower mixture to a foil-lined baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 10 minutes. Add salami to cauliflower mixture with sage and garlic. Stir and continue roasting for 10-15 minutes, until cauliflower is golden brown. 

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add fusilloni and cook according to package directions, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water, and return pasta to pot. 

Transfer cauliflower mixture to the pasta with arugula and 3/4 cup parmesan cheese. Stir in enough of the reserved pasta water to moisten and season with salt and pepper.

Divide pasta between bowls and serve immediately, garnished with remaining parmesan cheese.