Snacktime: Spinach and Artichoke Dip

The first item on my cooking to-do list for Thanksgiving Day was to make a batch of spinach and artichoke dip. I decided to veer from the traditional recipe a bit, since its nutritional content in terms of calories and fat is a little scary. Instead of using sour cream and multiple logs of cream cheese, I opted to use Greek yogurt and neufchatel cheese. The resulting dip is admittedly a little dry, but still quite tasty.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip (printer-friendly version)
makes about four cups

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
8 oz neufchatel cheese, softened
1 ½ cups part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
small jar quartered artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed, and chopped
10 oz package chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1/4 cup finely grated pecorino romano cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
3. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Saute the chopped onion and garlic until lightly browned and softened, about five minutes. Once cooked, remove from the heat.
4. In a large bowl, stir together the Greek yogurt, neufchatel cheese, 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella cheese, cayenne pepper, oregano, and black pepper.
5. Add in the cooked onions and garlic and stir to combine.
6. Stir in the artichoke hearts and thawed/drained spinach.
7. Spoon the dip into the prepared baking dish.
8. Top with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Then finely grate about 1/4 cup of pecorino romano cheese over top.
9. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and the top is lightly browned.
10. Serve hot with baked pita chips or cut up veggies such as carrots or celery.

 (adapted from this recipe)