Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Lighter Spinach & Artichoke Dip and Tips for Throwing a Healthier Super Bowl Party

Spinach and artichoke dip is one of my favorite snacks so of course it was a given for my game day line-up.  Although of course, me being me, I had to find a way to make it a little bit healthier!  For this version I use reduced-fat cream cheese and then Greek yogurt in place of the mayonnaise and/or sour cream that most recipes use.  But don't let that scare is still just as creamy and packed full of flavor!

Super Bowl parties typically have an abundance of food and unfortunately it's not known for being the healthiest of fare.  Believe it or not, it is possible to put out an appetizing spread while watching what you eat.  Chances are you will feel better the next morning too! *wink wink*  

I thought I would share with you a few of my tips for throwing a healthier party, not just for the Super Bowl, but any time of the year.
  • Have a fresh salsa and guacamole bar with tortilla chips in place of the potato chips and other dips.
  • For something sweet serve fresh fruit salsa with graham crackers or cinnamon pita chips.
  • Always put out a vegetable tray.  Instead of the standard ranch veggie dip, try hummus...a roasted red pepper one can add some spice!
  • Make vinaigrette-based pasta or bean salads in place of mayonnaise-based macaroni and potato salads.
  • Make your own homemade pizzas on crispy flat bread crusts loaded with lots of veggies.
  • Bake your favorite appetizers like chicken wings, breaded mushrooms, mozzarella sticks, etc. instead of frying them.
  • Mix drinks with sparkling water instead of soda or other heavy mixers and syrups.  Offer a variety of fruit juices and lemon/lime wedges for a splash of flavor.
  • Find lighter versions of your favorite dishes such as I did with the following recipe.

1 (3 ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese (or Neufchatel cheese)
2 (6 ounce) containers plain Greek yogurt
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups frozen spinach
1 (15 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375°F.   

Microwave the cream cheese for about 30 seconds to soften it and place in a medium-sized bowl with the Greek yogurt (drain liquid off top if necessary) and stir to combine.    

Add the Parmesan cheese and about 2/3 cup of mozzarella cheese.   

Defrost the frozen spinach in a microwave for about 60 seconds.  Before adding to the bowl, remove excess liquid by placing it inside cheesecloth or a coffee filter and squeezing gently.  

Add the artichoke hearts, sliced scallions, minced garlic, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper to the bowl and mix to combine.   

Transfer to a lightly greased baking dish and top with the remaining 1/3 cup of mozzarella cheese.  

 Bake for 25-30 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown.

**I made a batch of this and froze it in small containers for my sister-in-law to take to work.  She said it microwaved and reheated (multiple times!) very well!

DISCLAIMER: The content on this blog,, represents the thoughts, ideas, and experiences of its author and should be taken as such…with a grain of salt.  It is for entertainment purposes only and not intended to prevent, diagnose, or cure.  Before trying any new physical activity, dietary plan, supplementation, complementary and alternative therapy, or other wellness tip please seek the guidance of a qualified professional.

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