Can anyone else relate to OMG NEEDING A SUPER CUTE DRESS RIGHT NOW for a special occasion, be it a wedding, work event, or party, and not being able to find a single one that you love? Then finding yourself overwhelmed with all the adorable options in the middle of a dead social season? Why don’t I just buy the dress when I see it regardless of what fun, or lack of fun, I’ve got coming up on the calendar?
Could I BE asking you any more questions right now? I feel like the cartoon Cathy right now. #ACK!
Anyway, this is so me. I’ll wait until the day before an event then run around town like a wild woman searching for an appropriate outfit, come back with half a dozen options, make Ben give me his honest opinion about each one, disagree with all of them, then end up wearing something I already own.
Every. Single. Time.
Ay yi yi. Aaanyway, as I mentioned in my last post, the same can be said for party, holiday, and entertaining foods. I find truckloads of appetizer recipes when I’m not in need of ’em, then start a new search when I’m tasked with making a dish to share. With the holiday season already in full gear I thought this would be a perfect time to give you a couple appetizer options for holiday parties and get togethers.
On Wednesday I posted my effortlessly-elegant formula for creating a Cheese Platter For Entertaining, but if you want to go the hot and cheesy route, Skinny Cheesy Spinach, Artichoke, and Mushroom Dip, sponsored by Challenge Butter, is for you!
Most cheesy dips are absolute calorie bombs. I’ve polished off my fair share of ’em but when there’s a way to cut calories without sacrificing flavor, I’m all over it. In this skinny cheesy dip, 1/3 less-fat cream cheese is combined with plain Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise, which a lot of creamy dips call for, then accented with freshly grated parmesan cheese, garlic butter-sauteed mushrooms, chopped spinach, and hearty artichokes. The mixture is scooped into a baking dish, sprinkled with a Heavenly blanket of shredded mozzarella cheese, then baked until golden brown and bubbly.
Like a toddler’s lunch to a freshly mopped floor, I am inexplicable drawn to creamy, cheesy dips. I love indulging and piling ’em high on crunchy crackers, chips, or crudite, which is how I recommend serving this dip – a delicious marriage of spinach and artichoke dip, and buttery party mushrooms. That said, since Skinny Cheesy Spinach, Artichoke, and Mushroom Dip is lighter, I can indulge in a few more helpings than normal. It’s a win/win, really.
We’ve always got a few appetizers sitting out at my parent’s house on Thanksgiving to nibble on all day, and I’m definitely bringing this dip to share this year. Cheese + spinach + artichokes + mushrooms = total crowd pleaser. Plus, honestly, this dip is just as tasty at room temperature as it is piping hot!
PS: A note on gluten-free dips – just because this dip is gluten-free doesn’t mean the dippers are, so if you’re serving this with non gluten-free crackers or chips, make sure to scoop out a portion for the gluten-free friend/family member in your life so they can dip and enjoy without worry of cross contamination.
Start by combining 8oz 1/3 less-fat softened cream cheese, 4oz plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, 2 Tablespoons milk (any kind,) and 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt in a large mixing bowl. I love the fresh parmesan cheese in this dip as it gives it a deeply cheesy flavor. Basically I’m fresh parmesan’s #1 fan. I got to crack open an entire wheel of parmigiano reggiano at HyVee a few months ago with the Iowa Food and Family Project, which really turned my world upside down. Freshly cracked parmesan is actually creamy. It’s wild!
Next melt 2 Tablespoons Challenge Butter, which is made from just two ingredients – sweet cream and salt, whee! – in a large nonstick skillet. Add 8oz sliced mushrooms, 1 small shallot, season with salt and pepper, then saute until the mushrooms are golden brown and tender, 7-9 minutes. Add 3 cloves minced garlic then saute until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
As you know I detest mushrooms but Ben loves them to death, and the holidays are all about giving, so…I picked them out of my portion. If it wasn’t for the texture I would be alll over them. They smell unbelievably delicious sauteing in melted butter and garlic!
Meanwhile, squeeze 9oz frozen –> thawed chopped spinach in a clean kitchen towel. Add the thawed spinach to the center of the towel then squeeze out the excess water. You’ll be shocked at how much comes out.
Crumble the spinach into the skillet with the mushrooms then add 1 can roughly chopped quartered artichoke hearts, season with salt and pepper, and then toss until the spinach and artichokes are warmed through, about a minute.
Stir the mushroom mixture into the cream cheese mixture, taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary, then scoop into a nonstick sprayed 8×8 (or equivalent size) baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese then bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until the top is melted and golden brown. Serve with crostini, crackers, crudite, or tortilla chips!
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Skinny Cheesy Spinach, Artichoke, and Mushroom Dip
Gluten-free Skinny Cheesy Spinach, Artichoke, and Mushroom Dip is decadent yet lighter than traditional cheesy dips.
- 8oz 1/3 less-fat cream cheese, softened
- 6oz plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt (like Lawry's)
- 2 Tablespoons Challenge Butter
- 8oz mushrooms, sliced (I used baby portobellos)
- 1 small shallot, shopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper
- 1 can quartered artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
- 9oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed then excess water squeezed
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees then spray a 8x8 baking dish (or equivalent sized baking dish) well with nonstick spray and set aside. Add cream cheese, Greek yogurt, milk, seasoned salt, pepper to taste, and parmesan cheese to a large bowl then mix until smooth and set aside.
- Melt butter in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat then add mushrooms and shallots, season with salt and pepper, and then saute until mushrooms are golden brown and tender, 7-9 minutes. Add garlic then saute until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add chopped artichoke hearts and frozen spinach, season with salt and pepper, and then toss until warmed through.
- Add mushroom mixture to cream cheese mixture then stir until evenly combined. Taste then add more salt and pepper if necessary. Scoop into prepared baking dish, sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top, and then bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden brown. Serve with crostini, crudite, or tortilla chips.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.