Appetizers/Small Plates · Sponsored · Vegetables/Vegetarian

Mediterranean Spinach Artichoke Dip…and it’s a tad healthier!

Mediterranean Spinach Artichoke Dip

 

I LOVE Chips. Potato chips, tortilla chips, corn chips, taro chips…….I can’t get enough of them. So you can imagine my utter glee when I received a big box of TOSTITOS® Artisan Recipes™ Tortilla Chips as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program.

And what goes hand in hand with chips? DIP, of course!

 

Mediterranean Spinach Artichoke Dip

 

Spinach Artichoke Dip is definitely one of my favorites—though I rarely indulge in it. Most recipes are chock-full of mayo, sour cream and other dairy products. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE all those tasty things but they don’t necessarily love my hips! With bathing suit weather rapidly approaching, I wanted to create a version of this delish dip to compliment the TOSTITOS® that was a tad healthier and with a slight adaptation in flavor.


Mediterranean Spinach Artichoke Dip

 

I decided to go with a “Mediterranean” spin by adding sun dried tomatoes to the mix. Sun dried tomatoes pairs so well with artichokes and spinach that the addition made perfect sense to me.

To create a more figure friendly dip, I substituted two of the key ingredients with healthier alternatives. In lieu of the sour cream, I used nonfat Greek yogurt. Not only does the latter have a slew of health benefits but the texture provides a lovely creamy, thick texture that we like in our dips. I used an American Neufchatel Cheese in the place of cream cheese since Neufchatel is lower in fat and higher in protein. As for the mayo, I completely nixed it. The other ingredients provided enough creamy texture and flavor that it wasn’t needed.

This “healthy” dip worked really well with the grained tortilla chip. It was full of various textures and I had a clear conscience knowing that I cut out extra fat/calories without sacrificing the flavor.

If only I could make chocolate cake “healthier”…………..  🙂

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Mediterranean Spinach Artichoke Dip
Serves 8

Ingredients:

10 Ounces Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed and drained
8 Ounces Artichoke Hearts, finely chopped
5 Ounces Neufchatel Cheese, softened
½ Cup Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt, at room temperature
½ Cup Low Fat (or reduced fat) Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
2 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese, finely grated
¼ Cup Chopped Sun Dried Tomatoes (preserved in olive oil)
¼ Cup Shallots, finely chopped
2 Whole Garlic Cloves, finely minced
¼ Teaspoon Dried Thyme
¼ Teaspoon Paprika
1 Tablespoon Oil from the Sun Dried Tomatoes
Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, heat the oil from the sun dried tomatoes. Add shallots and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and dried thyme. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes before adding the spinach. Cook for an additional few minutes and then transfer all items into a large bowl.

Add Neufchatel, Greek Yogurt, Monterey Jack Cheese and paprika to the spinach mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Combine well. Lightly cover ramekins or other baking dishes with cooking spray. Spoon spinach mixture into the dishes and sprinkle the tops with Parmesan Cheese.

Bake for 20-25 minutes and then turn the broiler on. Broil the tops until they are golden brown. Serve with chips, bread slices, crackers, or vegetable sticks.

 

Breads

Focaccia with Caramelized Onion, Sundried Tomato & Rosemary

Focaccia with Caramelized Onion, Sundried Tomato & Rosemary

 

Remember that bread-baking kick I was on a few weeks ago?

Yup……still on it.

Told you I needed an intervention. 🙂

But in my defense, I think Focaccia could be considered almost “pizza-like”.

 

Focaccia with Caramelized Onion, Sundried Tomato & Rosemary

 

I stumbled upon this recipe from Cookin’ Canuck awhile back and was happy to give it a spin. Dara’s site is fabulous and chock-full of delish recipes! And this focaccia is no exception.

It came together quite easy and the flavors were well balanced.  I didn’t have any fresh tomatoes on hand and decided to substitute them with sundried tomatoes—a tasty alternative! Just be sure to allow the focaccia to bake for 2/3 of the cooking time before adding the sundried tomatoes—or else they’ll burn! And that is definitely No Bueno.

As for my bread-baking obsession, I assure you that it’s currently under control.

Well….temporarily at least. I am ALL out of yeasts. 🙂

 

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Focaccia with Caramelized Onion, Tomato & Rosemary
From Cookin’ Canuck

Ingredients:

1 Package Dry Yeast
1 Cup Warm Water
1 Teaspoon Honey
2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt, divided
1/2 Cup plus 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, divided
1 Large Onion, thinly sliced
1/2 Cup Sundried Tomatoes, sliced
2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary, needles removed from stem
1/3 Cup (packed) Parmesan Cheese, finely grated

In a medium bowl, stir together yeast, warm water, and honey. Let rest until yeast blooms and bubbles form on top, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour, 1/4 cup olive oil and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead until dough is smooth, 5 to 10 minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let rest in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Remove dough from bowl and press it into a lightly oiled 9- by 13-inch baking sheet until it touches the edges. Using your finger, poke holes all over the dough. Drizzle the dough with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Let rest until the dough becomes puffy, about 20 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add onion slices, cover and cook until onion is golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.

Top the dough with caramelized onions, rosemary, Parmesan cheese, and salt. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Bake for about 10-15 minutes and add sundried tomatoes. Return to the oven and continue baking until the focaccia is golden brown, about another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack. Cut into pieces and serve.