Caramelized Onion, Spinach & Artichoke Dip

The flavor of this savory, creamy dip beats any store-bought or restaurant variety by a long shot. Chock-full of vegetables, it is significantly lower in both calories and fat, too.
CaramelizedSpinachArtichokeDip_article

Photo: Yvonne Duivenvoorden

By Jeanette Hurt

Serves: 16
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 oz fresh spinach
  • 12 oz frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
  •  8 oz low-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 3 tbsp low-fat Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp chives, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1⁄8 tsp sea salt (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat nonstick or cast iron pan over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Spray pan with cooking spray and let heat for another minute. Add onion and sauté until caramelized, 5 to 10 minutes, stirring so that it does not burn. When onions are caramelized or golden brown, add garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. If the vegetables are on the verge of burning, mist with cooking spray. Add spinach and cook for 2 minutes or until just wilted. Remove from heat and let cool for 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Put artichoke hearts and spinach-onion mixture into a food processor fitted with a standard cutting blade. Chop for 1 minute. Add cream cheese, sour cream and yogurt, and whirl for about 2 minutes. Add Parmesan, chives, pepper, seasoning and, if desired, salt. Chop for another 2 to 3 minutes or until vegetables are finely minced and well blended into dairy mixture.
  3. Place dip in a 4-qt ceramic baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Remove from heat and serve on a trivet with sides of vegetables, whole-wheat crostinis and crackers.
Nutrients per 1/4-cup dip: Calories 35, Total Fat: 1 g, Sat. Fat: 0.5 g, Carbs: 5 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugars: 2 g, Protein: 2 g, Sodium: 90 mg, Cholesterol: 5 mg

Nutritional Bonus: Popeye had it right – spinach does make you stronger. Its extremely high content of vitamin K – 1 cup contains more than 200% of your recommended daily value (DV) – helps your body maintain healthy bones, as it activated osteocalcin, a protein in bones. Plus, the leafy green also contains high amounts of calcium and magnesium, both known bone builders.

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