heaven is a healthy spinach artichoke dip….

Spinach artichoke dip is one of my all-time favorite appetizers. It’s piping hot, creamy and cheesy – and often served with tortilla chips or some sort of bread product (carbs, yay!), so what’s not to like? In a nutshell, it is divine.

It is also so very unhealthy. As I was perusing recipes for this delicious dish, I was surprised to see that mayo is in most of them. Really? I hate mayo. Seriously hate it. So much I had to use italics.

And while I wanted to have spinach dip while enjoying the premiere episode of good, quality television (ahem, Bachelor Pad – don’t judge), I didn’t really need to get my arteries all clogged up while doing so.

So I stumbled across the infamous Cooking Light variation. It looked good – really good….but then I found an even better one. The perfect spinach artichoke dip recipe that didn’t leave me feeling fat and bloated just reading the ingredient list. This recipe from Serious Eats, which uses less cheese than the CL version, is as healthy as you can get for a cheesy dip. Plus, it’s full of fresh spinach, which was a big plus for me, since I had some in fridge and I needed to make it in a hurry.

People tell me that football season is starting soon (I don’t do sports, sorry), so this may be a terrific lower-fat option for game day! Plus, no mayo. Ick.

It tastes awesome. Heavenly. Fantastic. And it was quick enough to throw together once you tear up your spinach and take out any big stems. The whole crushing garlic thing with a knife was new to me, so that was super exciting. I actually watched this video to get an idea of what I should be doing.

Anyhow, I would’ve never known this was a healthier version, to be honest. My guests devoured it while we mocked our reality TV contestants – and then we all came back for seconds. I had thirds – again, don’t judge!

It makes a lot. Enough for a small get-together. The only thing is that the ingredients aren’t exactly cheap. I never knew how much canned artichoke hearts cost…yowza! I already had the spinach, garlic, spices, shredded cheeses and sour cream on-hand. The rest was still pretty pricey. Get it on sale and you’re golden!


Mixing the ingredients together.

Ready to go into the oven!


Dig in! Sooo good.

So, here’s the recipe (from Serious Eats):

INGREDIENTS

10-ounce bag fresh spinach (I used much less ’cause that’s all I had – was still good!)
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 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, crushed (not minced) (first time I ever crushed garlic by hand!)
6 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese, divided

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Tear spinach into bite-size pieces, removing any thick stems. Rinse in a colander, leaving a little water on the leaves. In a large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven, sauté the spinach over medium heat until wilted. Drain in the colander, pushing a little of the extra water out.
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. (Mine took probably another 10-15 minutes longer!) Remove from oven and give it a minute or two to cool down.
Serve…and enjoy. I can’t wait to make this again!


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