Life after Bariatric Surgery Group Recipes of the Month – April 2019

Need to bring an appetizer or some food you know you can eat to a family gathering? Here are a couple of crowd pleasers that will also keep you on track.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Makes 16 servings

Note: Don’t be fearful of the secret ingredient – tofu.  It is crucial for adding protein, keeping the calorie count per serving down, and giving this dip its ultracreamy texture.


1 (14.5 ounce) can water-packed artichoke hearts, drained

8 ounces shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese

8 ounces shredded parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon hot sauce

8 ounces of silken tofu

2 cups fresh spinach (about 2 handfuls)

16 ounces low-fat plain Greek yogurt

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon seasoning salt


  1. Chop the artichokes into small pieces. Try using clean kitchen scissors to easily cut them into small pieces.
  2. In a large bowl, us a hand mixer on low speed to mix the artichokes, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, hot sauce, tofu, spinach, yogurt, garlic, and salt until well combined, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Before serving, heat the dip on the stove, in the microwave, or in a mini slow cooker until the cheese melts and the spinach is wilted. The time will vary depending on how you heat the dip.
  4. Serve with raw vegetables or whole-grain crackers.

Tip: This dip makes a huge batch – enough to feed a crowd.  Save leftovers and spoon over raw chicken breasts prior to baking them in the oven, making a tasty spinach-artichoke chicken dinner.

Nutrition per serving (1/4 cup): Calories 139; Fat 7g; Carbohydrates 6g: Protein 13g.

Recipe from: Fresh Start Bariatric Cookbook: Health Recipes to Enjoy Favorite Foods after Weight Loss Surgery.  Sarah Kent MS, RDN, CD.

Cauliflower mac and cheese on the brown wooden table, top view

Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese

Makes 8 servings

Note: Enjoy this tasty dish as a side or the main event.  It has the look and feel of pasta and can easily be made ahead of time to enjoy at a later date because it freezes well.


1 head cauliflower, broken into florets

1 cup low-fat cottage cheese

1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt

1 egg

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

2 ounces (1/2 cup) shredded aged white Cheddar cheese

2 ounces (1/2 cup) shredded Cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F
  2. Fill a medium pot one-third full with water, and place a steamer basket inside.  Bring the water to a boil over high heat.
  3. Add the cauliflower to the steamer basket, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to a gentle boil. Steam the cauliflower for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the florets are soft.  Alternatively, you can steam the cauliflower in the microwave for about 7 minutes.
  4. While the cauliflower steams, in a medium bowl, mix together the cottage cheese, yogurt, egg, turmeric, mustard, and garlic powder.
  5. Drain the cauliflower in a large colander, and gently mash it with a potato masher to drain out excess water.
  6. Stir the cauliflower pieces into the cottage cheese mixture. Add the cheddar cheeses and mix well.
  7. Transfer the cauliflower mixture to an 8-by-8-inch or 11-by-7-inch baking dish. Bake for about 30 minutes.  The cauliflower “mac” and cheese is finished when the edges begin to brown.
  8. Serve immediately.

Tip:  Try something with a bit more flavor – Gruyere, aged Cheddar, smoked Gouda, or Havarti.  By using a more flavorful cheese, you may find yourself more satisfied with a smaller portion of the finished recipe.

Nutrition per serving (1/2 cup): Calories 147; Fat 7g; Carbohydrate 8g; Protein 13g.

Recipe from: Fresh Start Bariatric Cookbook: Health Recipes to Enjoy Favorite Foods after Weight Loss Surgery.  Sarah Kent MS, RDN, CD.

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