I love junk food.

LOVE.

Yeah, this is a healthy blog and I’m a healthy eater, but really my main goal in cooking is to take all the comfort “junk” foods of yore and try to make them as healthy as possible so I feel good about eating them. I am trying to single-handedly bring back nachos as a balanced meal, meatloaf as a veggie powerhouse, and I am trying to do the same with this spinach artichoke dip.

Yes, it has cheese. And mayo. But it also has more veggies than your average restaurant salad and nice punch of protein from no fat Greek yogurt.

Yes, you can dip it with chips, but you can also dip it with all the fresh veggies you can find.

So a little cheese, with no fat protein and a garden of vegetables??? Who said this was bad for you??

Exactly. I think you are finally coming to see the light.

 

Veggie Packed Spinach Arthichoke Dip
Throw all your garden veggies into this hot comfort food classic.

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Ingredients
1 10-ounch package of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 cup light mayo
1/2 cup Fat-free Greek Yogurt
1 package reduced fat cream cheese
2 large carrots, shredded
1 medium zucchini shredded
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 can water chestnuts, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 15-ounce can arthichoke hearts, chopped
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese OR feta
2-3 TB hot sauce
1 TB olive oil, plus more for greasing casserole dish

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 dg(F).
2. Heat olive oil in a medium sized frying pan. Add onion, garlic, carrot, zucchini, and red pepper. Saute until soft, 5-7 minutes.
3. Combine the following in a greased casserole dish or square baking pan: onion, garlic, carrot, zucchini, red pepper, spinach, artichokes, water chestnuts, mayo, Greek yogurt, cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, and Parmesan cheese. Top with feta OR cheddar cheese. Bake for 45 minutes until brown and bubbly.
4. Serve with tortilla chips and as many cut up fresh veggies as you can find. I particularly love: cherry tomatoes, carrots, celery, and broccoli.

Badger Girl Learns to Cook by Kimberly Aime http://learntocookbadgergirl.com/

 

 With all the yummy cheeses in this dip, you will not taste the veggies directly- you will taste sweetness from the carrots and pepper. You will notice the crunchy water chestnuts. I promise that you will not feel ‘cheated’ by this healthy version.

What are you some of your favorite ‘junk’ foods that you would love to see re-created as healthy? I would love a challenge this holiday season. Bring it on!

 

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