I’m baaaack! It has been a BUSY few weeks here in Minnesota. “Wedding Season” is in full swing as well as vacation season, road construction season and now back to school season! I was hit by wedding bells (no, not literally) two weekends in a row and one of the weddings I had the honor of being a bridesmaid! Very fun but very busy. We did a lot of quick meals and even resorted to take-out despite my meal planning expertise (ugh, the pressure got to me, I had to give in!). Hey, we’re only human.
Now that this first wave of weddings are past us I can catch my breath and do some cooking before the next wave (3 weddings in September…) hits! After such a busy few weeks and a cold spurt here in Minnesota, I was craving a not-so-healthy-but-sorta-healthy comfort food: Fresh Artichoke and Spinach Dip. Yum. I had a ton of spinach leftover from one of the many wedding gatherings and instantly thought of my favorite dip. Usually, people use frozen spinach but fresh spinach is excellent to use in this recipe if it’s available. The spinach cooks down quite a bit, so you’ll need a good amount. The not-so-healthy part of this recipe will definitely be the sour cream and mayonnaise. There are no great substitutions that taste the same. Low fat versions of either work fine but please don’t use ‘fat free.’ Fat free tends to use more sugar and non-food ingredients to make it ‘taste’ like fat. Instead, control the amount you consume instead of trying to trick your body (trust me, your body will find out and it won’t be happy..). Ok, here’s the recipe:
Fresh Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Serves 8 (as an appetizer)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30-40 minutes
You will need:
1 (16oz) large container of fresh spinach, chopped
2 cans artichoke hearts, chopped
2 cans water chestnuts, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
½ lemon, squeezed
8 oz shredded parmesan or Italian cheese blend
Dash of cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 375
Chop spinach, water chestnuts, artichoke and onion and place in large bowl. Add sour cream, mayo and lemon juice and mix well (I used tongs). Make sure all of the spinach is coated. Add seasonings and mix again. Place in a small (9x9) baking pan or glass casserole dish. Cover the top with the shredded cheese.
Bake covered at 375 for 30 minutes. Turn oven up to 425 and bake uncovered for an additional 10-15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and slightly brown.