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Spinach artichoke dip is an all-time favorite whether you are making it as a snack, party-dish, or ordering it as an appetizer while dining out. This is one of those comfort foods that we often reach for this time of year, when winter just keeps dragging on. The name can also be deceiving, as it sounds pretty healthy. However, it is loaded with calories, fat and sodium. Below is a recipe-redo that offers some healthful substitutions.

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip


Kosher salt
1 10 -ounce bag baby spinach
1 cup packed fresh basil
1 cup canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
6 ounces low fat cream cheese
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 14 -ounce can artichoke hearts, drained, squeezed dry and finely chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 or 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
Baked tortilla chips, for serving

Preheat the oven to 450. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and prepare a bowl of ice water. Stir the spinach and basil into the boiling water and cook until bright green, about 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge in the ice water. Drain and squeeze dry, then roughly chop.

Puree the beans, cream cheese, garlic and chicken broth in a food processor until smooth, scraping the sides as needed. Transfer to a medium bowl and fold in the spinach and basil, artichokes, and parmesan. Add the cayenne, Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste.

Mist a deep 1-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Spread the dip mixture in the dish and top with 1/4 cup mozzarella. Bake until golden and bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm with baked chips.

Per serving (1/4 cup): Calories 70; Fat 2.8g (Saturated 1.7 g); Cholesterol 8.2 mg; Sodium 110 mg; Carbohydrate 7 g; Fiber 2.6 g; Protein 4.3 g

The Re-Do…

Beans are a nutritious, inexpensive and versatile ingredient. The beans in this recipe are being substituted for the mayo called for in your traditional spinach and artichoke dip. Beans offer some satisfying protein and heart healthy fiber. This recipe cuts way back on the cheese and opts for low fat cheese at that, which slashes the amount of calories, fat, cholesterol and sodium. Pair with some baked chips or whole wheat crackers and you’ve got a much better alternative to the traditional spinach and artichoke dip recipes.  

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