As luck would have it, for this month’s Secret Recipe Club, my assignment was to cull a recipe from Delicious Existence, a lovely healthy-living blog that touts several tasty-looking vegan and vegetarian dishes. We all know “vegetarian” doesn’t instantly equal low-fat – sorry, tis the truth – but thankfully in Danielle‘s world it does. So when I stumbled across her Artichoke Dip, I knew I had found just the base I was looking for.
Since I don’t subscribe to a vegan, raw or vegetarian lifestyle, I made a number of tweaks to the recipe – I was facing a challenge after all. I added part-skim mozzarella and cream cheese (low-fat, of course) and used fat-free plain yogurt in lieu of sour cream and mayo. I also added spinach a) to increase my intake of greens and b) to add more body to the dip.
The verdict? Phenomenal. You’d never know this was a lighter take on the real thing. In fact, my bacon-loving better half didn’t have a clue.
Healthier Spinach and Artichoke Dip
5-oz clamshell of fresh baby spinach – $3.00
8-oz block of reduced fat cream cheese, softened to room temp – $1.69
1 cup (8-oz) fat-free plain yogurt – $1.78
1½ cups part skim mozzarella, shredded – $2.79
14-oz can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped – $2.99
Plenty of freshly ground black pepper – stock
1 teaspoon oregano – -stock
3 cloves of garlic, mashed – stock
2 Tablespoons + a ¼ cup of shredded parmesan cheese, divided – $1.75
Grand total assuming “well-stocked” kitchen: $14.00
Cost per serving: $1.40
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Roughly chop the spinach, rinse in a colander then saute in a large skillet over medium heat until wilted. Strain away any excess water. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon to combine the yogurt and cream cheese, blending really well until nice and creamy. Add the spinach, mozzarella, artichokes, pepper, garlic, oregano, and 2 TBS of parmesan – make sure thoroughly combined.
4. Scoop the dip into a baking dish or 10-inch cast iron pan. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of parmesan over top and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the dip is bubbling and the parmesan is starting to turn a little golden. Remove from oven and serve with pita crisps, chips or crackers.