Lightened Up Spinach & Artichoke Dip

IMG_7320

Last week I was lucky enough to host a healthy cooking webinar for the fantastic group of people at Next Step in Boston. A non-profit charity founded by the late, great Paul Newman, ‘Next Step’s year-round programs provide in-person support, education and resources for young people coping with chronic life-threatening diseases during their transition to adulthood.’

If you’re interested in learning more about this fantastic charity, visit their site, and maybe consider donating some of your time or funds to this worthy cause.

We made this lightened up version of the classic spinach artichoke dip, and it was a hit all around. Perfect for the holiday season, this appetizer is quick, delicious, and can be made ahead and baked whenever you need it. Greek yogurt and skim cheeses stand in for the usual mayo and sour cream, and the addition of kale sneaks in some extra nutritional power. But don’t worry, nobody will be the wiser! Serve this dip as a starter this holiday season, and feel free to double it if you’re expecting a crowd. If you have any leftovers, consider layering them with lasagna noodles and your favorite tomato sauce for new twist.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 of a 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry (should yield about 1 ½ cups)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
  • 5 leaves kale, stems removed and leaves finely chopped
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, 1 tablespoon reserved
  • 1 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon reserved
  • 1 (8-ounce) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt and pepper, to taste
  • Carrots, tortilla chips, and/or crackers, to serve

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 500, or broil.
  2. In a medium size sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil, onion, and garlic and cook until starting to soften and turn golden, about 5-7 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add the spinach, artichoke hearts, and kale, and stir well. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until everything is warmed through and the kale is wilted.
  4. Transfer your mix to a large bowl, and mix in the mozzarella cheese, Greek yogurt, Parmesan cheese, and cream cheese until well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and transfer to an oven-safe baking dish.
  5. Smooth the top of your dip, and top with the reserved mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Broil in the oven for 3-4 minutes, until the cheese is melted and golden brown in parts. Watch the dip carefully, as the line between deliciously golden brown and indelibly burnt is a fine one under the broiler!
  6. Serve your dip with carrots, tortilla chips, and/or crackers. Also good cold the next day, and great as a sandwich spread!

IMG_7316

Leave a Reply