Garlicky Spinach-Artichoke Dip, trimmed down to size

I have traded in yesterday’s shorts and t-shirt for sweatpants and a sweatshirt, and am secretly craving a nice soup for dinner over the tuna burger and coleslaw combo I have on tap instead. Because of this, I can’t find it in my heart to tell you about some no-bake meal that weather of past days encouraged. No, today you get a warm, oven-lovin’, comforting Spinach & Artichoke dip – one, I might add, that will bring you comfort with much less guilt.  Don’t worry, it’s still plenty creamy and cheesy – you see, I make a lot of modifications and talk a lot about “less guilt,” but these recipes never sacrifice the flavor. I will never eat a supersized-but-low-fat brownie that tastes like dirt, but if I can find a purely indulgent yet ultimately sinless version of that chocolate square, I’m going to go with that over the full-fat, full-sugar original. Never compromise your ability to enjoy the food you eat.

The original recipe for this dip came from Healthy Green Kitchen, and I roughly quartered/halved it (hence the “roughly” – bad habit of cooking by a whim), then added some onion, mushrooms, and spinach. Instead of bread (though it took every bone of self control in my body), I dipped raw broccoli florets into it, which was actually an excellent decision in the end. It helped lighten up the meal and offset the richness of the dip, and although I was a little broccoli-ed out by the end of it and certainly full, I didn’t feel totally weighed down by the food I had just eaten. I would recommend this dip to anyone, and think that it would make just as great of an appetizer as it did a main dish for me. Who knows! If this weather keeps up, you might even consider serving it on Father’s Day. I sure wouldn’t mind having a taste of this fantastic dip again…

One Year Ago: The Future of Farming*

Garlicky Spinach & Artichoke Dip, adapted from Healthy Green Kitchen
Yield: 3-4 main, 6-8 appetizer servings

The Ingredients
28 ounces artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained
¾ cup chopped onions
1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
4 cups loose-packed spinach  1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan, divided
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
smoked paprika or cayenne pepper, to taste
crusty bread or crudite, for serving

The Method
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, roughly chop the artichoke hearts and mix with everything except the paprika or cayenne and 2 tablespoons of the parmesan. For a smoother dip, puree these ingredients in a food processor.

Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and sprinkle with the reserved parmesan. Cover the dish with foil and place in the oven until heated and bubbly, roughly 20 minutes. If desired, you can uncover for the last 5 minutes to promote browning across the top layer. Once finished, removed from the oven and sprinkle with the paprika or cayenne, and serve alongside vegetables or bread.

*For anyone not following me on Twitter, last night I watched The Future of Food, a documentary akin to Food, Inc. Although at times repetitious of concepts found in Food Inc, I found the documentary to be engaging and interesting, overall. For more information and a free online copy of the documentary, check out the Official Website.

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