Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

I love the artichoke. Related to the thistle or not, it is one tasty veggie. For most of the year, I rely on the convenience of canned artichoke hearts. Using canned artichokes is quick and easy, and allows me to choose recipes highlighting the ingredient without a moment of hesitation. But artichoke season is coming up ... and I'm getting ready.

To get into the mood for artichokes, I decided to make this dip for a little Oscar soiree we hosted last Sunday. Neither M. nor I are THAT into the Oscars, but it seemed like a good excuse for a little party. I've made this dip many times before. It works well as is, but higher fat cream cheeses can be substituted without affecting the result. I usually add the whole box of frozen spinach, figuring that if a little spinach is good then more is definitely better. Enjoy!

Spinach-and-Artichoke Dip
From Cooking Light Magazine, September 2000

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) block fat-free cream cheese, softened
1/2 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1 (13.5-ounce) package baked tortilla chips (about 16 cups)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, sour cream, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, and next 6 ingredients (2 tablespoons Parmesan through spinach) in a large bowl, and stir until well-blended. Spoon mixture into a 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella and 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Serve with tortilla chips

Yield: 5 1/2 cups (serving size: 1/4 cup dip and about 6 chips)

CALORIES 148 (30% from fat); FAT 5g (sat 2.9g,mono 1.5g,poly 0.5g); PROTEIN 7.7g; CHOLESTEROL 17mg; CALCIUM 164mg; SODIUM 318mg; FIBER 1.5g; IRON 0.6mg; CARBOHYDRATE 18.3g

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