This creamy and flavorful dip is perfect for your holiday gathering or any time of year because it's good for you too!
As a dietitian, when it comes to special foods my family enjoys at the holidays, it seems most people think all I want is salad or broccoli. Oh contraire! While I do enjoy all things green, I, like you, also love all the food of the holidays.
The holidays bring back so many fond food memories for me. I'm actually pretty thankful that home cooked food is a part of so many great experiences I had as a child. My mom and I made either Christmas cookies or gingerbread houses every year and I really treasure these memories. It's so fun to watch her now passing these traditions on to the Grands.
Among the many things I also remember are always having shrimp cocktail on Christmas Eve, a delicious sweet bread on Christmas morning, and an amazing carrot cake for Jesus' birthday cake.
While our family still continues to make many of these foods, some traditions have changed. As my brother and I got older, our family started enjoying eating out for Christmas Eve dinner. In Ft. Lauderdale, one of our family's favorite restaurants for Christmas Eve dinner is Houston's and they have the most amazing spinach and artichoke dip. It's a must-get appetizer for us. Now, when I think about getting all together as a family for a special holiday meal out, I immediately think of the many wonderful meals we shared at Houston's that started off with spinach and artichoke dip.
Nowadays, going out to eat together at the holidays is a lot trickier because our family has grown from 4 people to 10 (with 4 of those members being 4 or younger). So when the challenge for The Recipe Redux this month was to share a recipe redo from a favorite holiday food memory, I knew I wanted to create a healthier spinach artichoke dip that we could all enjoy at home. (Yes mom, I volunteer to make this over the holidays.)
My goal for this redo was to keep the creaminess and flavor but reduce the overall calories, all while secretly make this full of health promoting ingredients. This dip is creamy with rich flavor (thanks to Cabot Greek yogurt and Alpine Cheddar) but also full of amazing super food power thanks to the protein content, fresh spinach, avocado, marinated artichoke hearts, fresh garlic and smoked paprika.
So whip up this dip (even make it ahead and freeze it) for the holidays but also feel great about enjoying it any time of the year! I can't wait to share this with my family.
I hope you can create some wonderful memories around this favorite dip, just like we do every year. Happy Holidays!
Holiday (& Healthy) Spinach Artichoke Dip
1 1/2 cups reduced fat plain Greek yogurt (I prefer Cabot)
4 cups chopped, fresh spinach
1 cup shredded Cabot Legacy Collection Alpine Cheddar
1 12 oz jar marinated and quartered artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
1 Hass avocado, seeded and mashed
1 clove of fresh garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon each salt and fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Position oven racks in the middle of the oven.
- Fold together all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Spread into a shallow 1 1/2 - 2 quart baking dish (or 3 small oven safe ramekins).
- Bake for 12 minutes, until warmed through and top is slightly browned. Serve immediately with your favorite tortilla chip, crackers, or bread.