Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Creamy Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Tenacious Transformation: Creamy Spinach-Artichoke Dip
Spinach and artichokes are two of my boyfriend's absolute favorite veggies. Throw some cheese in there and its a solid bargaining chip to get some work done around the house! I've personally had some pretty incredible dips over the years, but I always find myself feeling so guilty for ingesting all that fat and calories. With March Madness in full swing and tons of tailgating and viewing parties already ensuing, a great way to avoid overloading on calories is to make this made-over luscious and still just as delicious dip! Everyone will love you not only for showing up to the party with a fabulous homemade appetizer but also for helping to watch their waistlines for them!

What you'll need:
  • 1 pkg of frozen chopped spinach, thawed, and patted dry
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup of low fat sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cup of shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup of shredded 2% white cheddar cheese
  • 2 packages (16 oz total) of low fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoons of hot sauce (Tabasco, Crystal, Texas Pete, etc...)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt 

Recipe: Makes one 9 in round pie baking dish or 1- 1 1/2 quart square baking dish
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine 1 cup of mozzarella, 1/2 cup white cheddar, 2 tablespoons of parmesan, garlic, hot sauce, sour cream, cream cheese, artichokes, spinach, salt and pepper, in a large bowl until well blended.
  3. Spoon into baking dish and cover with remaining parmesan and mozzarella cheeses
  4. Bake for about 30 minutes or until top is bubbly and golden brown. 
  5. Enjoy with tortilla chips and a side of sour cream and salsa!

Tenacious Tips:
  • The key to this recipe is to thoroughly drain the spinach and artichokes. If you don't this recipe falls flat on flavor and has a strange consistency with the added moisture. 
  • You can omit the hot sauce, but my boyfriend loves things with a little spice and the sauce adds just enough flavor and heat.
  • One of my very few favorite chain restaurants (yes I know I said chain) Houston's serves their dip with a side of salsa and sour cream and I love to get all three onto one chip for the perfect bite! Otherwise, this dip is perfectly wonderful on its own. 
  • I prefer Snyder's all natural white corn tortilla chips, but there are tons of good organic and all natural varieties out there. I try to stick with white corn for this recipe because I think the yellow corn is too coarse and over powers the delicate creaminess of this dish.

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