Dips Everyone Loves: Part 1 Spinach + Artichoke // Babaganoush

My family knows me for a few signature dishes that I always bring to our events that often take place at the cottage. Many of these dishes are so easy to make, so I thought I'd share them with you and them. These are recipes you've seen before. But I have perfected these over the years making them healthier and tastier.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

This is a favorite appetizer at many restaurants. Unfortunately, at a restaurant, this dish is usually really unhealthy and often poorly made. Sometimes this dip starts out as a 'puck' from the freezer that's defrosted in the microwave after a game of hockey on the kitchen floor if the restaurant is sketchy. So why not make a more delicious, healthier version at home or take it to your next potluck event?

I start out 2 cups of fresh pre-washed spinach, 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, 2 cups extra old white cheddar cheese, a healthier brand of mayonnaise (or make your own), freshly squeezed lemon juice and sea salt. That's it! I chop up the spinach and the artichokes and shred the cheddar cheese (you can add some asiago cheese here too for a sharper flavour). I usually use about the same amount of cheese and artichokes but add a bit more spinach. I add these ingredients to a 9" oven safe dish and almost fill the whole dish. Then, add about two Tbsp of  mayonnaise and squeeze on some lemon juice. The amount of mayo and lemon juice should be just enough to coat all of the ingredients. Add some sea salt to taste, mix well and then spread the mix down flat and cover with more cheddar cheese. Put this in the oven at 375 and let cook until it's bubbling and the cheese starts to brown on top.

Use one cup of cheese mixed in and then 1 cup sprinkled on top.


This one is tasty too! Store bought varieties often contain lots of oil and dairy. I'm not sure why because the magic of this traditional middle eastern dip is in it's simplicity. Take two eggplants and cook them in the oven whole at 400. Once they start to get a bit mushy, flip them over and poke with a fork to avoid a messy explosion. Once they are very well cooked, they will be browned and look a bit deflated. Take them out of the oven, let them cool and peel back the skin. Scrape all of the eggplant insides into a blender. Add 2 to 4 (or more) cloves of crushed fresh garlic, 2 Tbsp of tahini, some lemon juice and some sea salt (to taste). Blend until smooth. Then add just one or two drops of liquid smoke (not too much! A little goes a long way). Blend, chill and serve.

In a few days I'll post more dip recipes, my 7 layer dip, my guacamole and my hummus recipes.

I hope you had a great long weekend!

♥ Andrea ♥

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