Sunday, February 12, 2012

Artichoke Spinach Dip

A favorite late night snack in my family is Artichoke dip. Fairly simple and extremely tasty, the only down side is the time it takes to cook. But, fear not! I have a short cut, thanks to my Mom, that I will share.  This recipe is adapted from the original one to reduce the number of calories, fat and salt typically found in Artichoke Dip.

For a basic recipe you only need 4-5 items. I usually don't use spinach in my artichoke dip (a) because I'm not the biggest fan of its cooked taste and (b) the recipe can sometimes make the dip into a Spinach-Artichoke, heavy with spinach, very little artichoke, all smothered in cheese. Sounds delicious (yes), but there's a smart way to make this. But I was wanting to umph this recipe up. So I added just a bit. The first recipe is the original recipe. The second in my healthier recipe!

(1) Original (makes 15 servings at 144 calories per serving)
1 cup mayo
1 cup parmesan
1 can of Artichoke Hearts
1 can diced green chiles

NOW, Here's what I did...

(2) Healthier (makes 15 servings, but I decided to divide it into 10 serving (so you get more) at 46 calories per serving)
1 can of Artichoke Hearts (drained- thoroughly-, squeezed and chopped... remove the stems)
1/2-1 cup frozen spinach thawed and completely drained*
1/2 cup mayo, low fat/olive oil
1/2 cup greek yogurt/low fat**
1 cup parmesan
1 clove garlic, minced or smashed

Heat oven to 350˙. Mix everything together in a bowl. Place into a casserole dish. If you want to speed up the process, microwave the mixture on a low power for about 3 minutes so it's already warm. Then bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, until the top has browned. Serve with tortilla chips, bagel chips or crackers!

*Make sure you drain ALL the water out of both the artichokes and spinach or the dip will become watery.
**By using a greek yogurt, you reduce the amount of extra watery substance often found in yogurt, making the dip creamier and thicker rather than soupy.

Here is a comparison of nutritional facts. FYI: Both recipes make the same amount of dip. By replacing 1/2 cup of the mayo with 1/2 of yogurt (preferably greek) you reduce the amount of calories about 3/4!!!!! WOW! By using a light or lower fat Mayo, it also decreases the amount of fat, sodium and calories in the recipe. This recipe also increases the amount of protein, compared to the original recipe, and increases the fiber (slightly). Here are screen shots of the original and healthier Nutrition Facts.  Happy Cooking and Eating, my friends!!!

Original Recipe

Healthier Recipe

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