Monday, April 1, 2013

Lightened-up Spinach and Artichoke Dip

The name implies that this could be healthy appetizer, I mean there are two types of vegetables…right? Well most of these dips are calorie bombs and the appetizer provides you with more than a meals worth of calories and a days worth of fat and sodium! If you order these while dining out, share with a large crowd and keep your portions small (1-2 Tbsp of dip)

By making it yourself you can select lower fat ingredients, adapt the portions, and add extra vegetables to lighten up this classic dip! You also have the choice to serve with healthier "dippers".
Tortilla chips are fried and will add on more fat and calories to the dish. This dip goes great with a cubes or slices of whole grain or sourdough bread or fresh, raw veggies!

Here are a selected few nutrition facts for chain restaurants…
Chili’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Tortilla Chips:
1,690 calories, 102 g fat (43 g saturated fat), 138 g carbohydrates, 37 g protein, 11 g fiber, 1630 mg sodium

Applebees Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Tortilla Chips:
1,390 calories, 87 g fat (22 g saturated), 109 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber, 19 g protein, 2680 mg sodium

Olive Garden Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Ciabatta Bread:
880 calories, 54 g fat (21 g saturated), 72 g carbohydrates, 10 g fiber, 25 g protein,1720 mg sodium

Lightened-up Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Makes 12 servings

14 oz can of quartered artichoke hearts, diced
1 package frozen spinach, drained and thawed
2 Tbsp low-fat mayonnaise
1 cup fat free sour cream
1/3 cup chive/onion light cream cheese
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp onion powder
Pepper and red pepper flakes to taste
½ cup part-skim mozzarella
1 small Baguette, sliced into ½ inch pieces (at least 24 pieces)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8” casserole dish with non-stick spray
  2. Combine all ingredients except mozzarella cheese and baguette in a large bowl.
  3. Scoop dip into the casserole dish and sprinkle mozzarella over the top.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top begins to brown*.
  5. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, place slices of baguette on baking sheet and cook for 5 minutes to crisp bread.
*In a hurry? Microwave in oven safe dish and place under broiler on high to melt and brown cheese.

Nutrition Facts: 2 Tbsp dip and 2 slices baguette
150 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated), 23 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 8 g protein, 250 mg sodium

(This recipe makes a much larger portion than is served in the restaurant and seemed unfair to compare because of differences in serving size.)

Enjoy in moderation!

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