Saturday, September 12, 2015

A Classic Revised - Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach. One of my favorite foods. It's brimming with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that fight cell damaging free radicals. Spinach artichoke dip has been one of my favorite appetizers. Unfortunately, spinach is often combined with high fat counterparts, alfredo sauce, mayonnaise, cream cheese, sour cream, full fat cheese, making this beloved dip a nutritional nightmare.

Over the years, I've perfected my recipe for a slimmed down version of this loved favorite and over the years it has become a classic hit. This dip has 3 secrets... nefuchatel cheese, greek yogurt and a stand mixer.


Neufchatel cheese is similar to cream cheese, but with a lower fat content.  Tasted side by side, the difference is undetectable. Neufchatel cheese is located in the grocery store in the cheese section with the cream cheeses. Greek yogurt adds a thick and rich mouth feel without adding extra fat and packs a punch by providing probiotics and protein. It's a nutritional powerhouse.


The stand mixer. The final secret. It takes away the work of stirring, but also blends the dip so it's super smooth, allowing the flavors to melt into each other. Don't have a stand mixer? Try a hand held or a good old fashioned spoon and bowl. Your dip will be less smooth, but will still be delicious.


If my kitchen walls could talk: Want to spice things up? Add in sliced jalapenos or poblanos to add a kick to this dip. You can further lower the fat content by using fat-free cream cheese, but I can't guarantee the results. If you need a vegan adaptation, try using Tofutti cream cheese and Daiya mozzarella to top - let me know how it works!

Skinny Spinach Dip 

Ingredients

16 oz neufchatel cheese
1 cup non-fat plain greek yogurt
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
14 oz canned artichoke hearts, chopped 
1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 ts black pepper
1 tbsp minced
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 shredded parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip neufchatel cheese and greek yogurt until smooth on low. Add spinach and artichokes, stir until combined.
2. Add 1 cup of mozzarella, black pepper, minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Continue stirring until combined.
3. Spray a stoneware baking dish with cooking spray or a paper lined with olive oil. Add spinach artichoke mixture, smoothing with a spatula until even layer is achieved.
4. Top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Bake for 30-40 minutes until top is golden brown. Serve with organic tortilla chips.



Until next time,

L

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