Secretly Skinny Spinach Artichoke Dip
Yes, I have mastered the delightful creamy goodness of spinach artichoke dip with none of the guilt! My “secret” for making this dip light and healthy is … cauliflower. Yes, cauliflower. It sounds unlikely, but this versatile white vegetable that is so good at disguising itself as rice and potatoes … and it makes dreamy cream sauces. So, therefore (I thought) cauliflower should make for a wonderful creamy base for spinach artichoke dip that you could eat every day and still stay skinny and healthy. I am so freaking happy with this dip. I could eat it endlessly, every day, in total bliss.
Spinach artichoke dip is one of those appetizers that haunt me … I really really really love it. I order it at restaurants often, and am frequently disappointed. Spinach artichoke dip is typically loaded with fat and calories and has very few redeeming qualities, nutritionally speaking … and even with all that fat, sometimes the restaurants fail to deliver good flavor. I hate wasting calories on things with no flavor.
Well MY dip has it all … loaded with flavor, it has a garlicky cream sauce that envelops chunks of artichokes, spinach and bits of mushroom, sweet peppers and onion. I used both Greek yogurt and Greek cream cheese in place of mayo or sour cream, to ramp up the protein. There is, of course, real cheese in there, because you have to have cheese in spinach artichoke dip, but half of the cheese I used is 2% milk mozzarella from Aldi, which melts beautifully. A bit of smoked paprika and other seasonings step in to amp up the flavor.
Per oz. this dip has roughly 35 calories and 4 g of protein. It’s a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, iron and fiber too. You can enjoy it with chips, crackers or veggies. Personally, I really love to eat it as a mid-morning snack–it helps satisfy my snacking cravings early in the day.
- 1 teaspoon olive or avocado oil
- 1/2 cup onion, peeled & chopped
- 1/2 cup sweet bell pepper, chopped
- 4 oz. fresh mushrooms, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled & chopped
- 4 oz. Greek cream cheese (or Neufchatel)
- 6 oz. nonfat Greek yogurt
- Red Robin Seasoning (or your favorite seasoned salt) & freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup fat free half & half (or 3/4 cup milk)
- 1 cup roasted or steamed cauliflower florets
- 6 oz. jar of artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
- 3 cups (packed) fresh spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese made with 2% milk
- 1/2 cup freshly shredded parmesan or romano cheese
- A healthy pinch of each: smoked paprika, 21 Seasoning Salute (or Mrs. Dash) and red pepper flakes
- Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and garlic and saute until the onion is soft and translucent, seasoning to taste with RR seasoning & pepper. Stir in the cream cheese and yogurt and cook a little longer, stirring frequently, until the cream cheese is melted. Reduce heat to medium low.
- Meanwhile, roast or steam the cauliflower (if you steam it, use a towel to squeeze out some of the extra moisture), then put it in a handi chopper or small blender and blend with half of the fat free half & half and a couple spoonfuls of the creamy stovetop mixture until creamy.
- Stir the creamy cauliflower mixture into the pan, then stir in the artichoke hearts, spinach leaves and cheeses. Cook until the spinach is wilted and the cheeses are melted. If needed, add more fat free half & half or some of the juice from the artichokes if needed to thin the dip.
- Add seasonings to taste. Enjoy with tortilla chips, veggie dippers, pita crisps or crackers.
To roast the cauliflower: preheat the oven to 450 F. In a medium mixing bowl, toss the cauliflower with 1 teaspoon of olive or avocado oil, sprinkle with the seasonings of your choosing and roast for about 20 - 25 minutes or until the cauliflower is lightly browned and crispy in spots.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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