One of my indulgences when I go out to eat are appetizers. Order me some nachos, potato skins, mozzarella sticks, you name it if it is under apps, I will want to eat it! But one of my all-time favorites is Spinach and Artichoke Dip. Who can say they don’t like those yummy veggies combined with gooey cheese, it’s heavenly. Of course the dip doesn’t exactly fall into the healthy column.
When my friend Val came to visit from NYC, instead of going out like normal 20-somethings on a Friday night, her, my roommate Sarah and I decided to stay in, drink way too much wine, and make a supposedly healthy version of Spinach and Artichoke dip that she found for dinner.
To start, pre-heat the oven and saute the rinsed spinach until wilted.
When the spinach is done, toss in a colander and let drain/squeeze out some of the excess water.
While the spinach is draining, in a large bowl combine the various cream cheeses with a potato masher and add in the sour cream. Toss in the mozzarella, artichoke hearts, garlic and some of the Parmesan, and stir to combine everything.
Then toss in the spinach.
Mix everything together and place in a 1 1/2 quart baking dish, spreading out evenly. Top with the remaining Parmesan.
Toss it in the oven for about 30 minutes, until the cheese on top is brown and crispy and the inside is gooey and melty.
I am happy to report that this recipe might be one of my new favorite things! It has all the cheesy goodness of spinach and artichoke dip, with about half the guilt. It was so delicious and would be the perfect appetizer to bring to/serve at a game-watching party or even a dinner party. It is that good that people might overlook that it is not the classiest of apps.
My roommate and I have also decided that when one of us has a bad day, the other is required to run to the store and grab all the ingredients, plus a bottle of wine, so we can eat our feelings when we get home. Not exactly healthy to eat the whole thing, but ya know, emotionally it might just do the trick!
10 oz bag of spinach, stems removed and torn into bite-size pieces
6 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
6 oz fat-free cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups part-skim mozzarella, shredded
14 oz can artichoke hearts, quartered and drained
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 tbsps Parmesan cheese, shredded and divided
Pre-heat oven to 350°
Rinse torn spinach in a colander, leaving a little bit of water on the leaves
Saute spinach in a large sauce pan until wilted
Drain spinach in a colander, squeezing out excess water
In a large bowl, combine cream cheeses using a potato masher
Add in sour cream and mash in
Stir in mozzarella, artichoke hearts, garlic and 2 tbsps Parmesan
Pour mixture into 1 1/2 quart baking dish and spread out evenly
Top with remaining Parmesan cheese
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until Parmesan on top is crispy and the cheese is bubbly.
Remove the dip from the oven and let sit for a few minutes.
Serve with pita chips or tortilla chips.