Pizza Dip

Any time I make this dish, I get numerous requests for the recipe.  It is a true crowd pleaser. What could be better? Pizza, but in a dip! Make this and please the folks at your next get together.  ~Kathy

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Ingredients: 

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

¼ tsp. onion powder

12 – 15 pepperonis, chopped

½ c. pizza sauce

1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

2 T. sliced black olives

1 green onion, sliced

Instructions:

Combine first four ingredients in a small bowl. Spread into a small baking dish. Top with chopped pepperonis, pizza sauce, cheese and black olives.

Bake at 350˚ for 15-20 minutes, until heated through and bubbly around the edges. Top with green onions.

Serve with garlic bagel crisps or garlic parmesan pretzel crisps.

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Spinach Artichoke Dip

If you’ve been looking for the perfect spinach artichoke dip, look no further. This one is rich and creamy with the just right flavor ratios.  It’s the roasted garlic that really puts it over the top. Share with friends at your next gathering or just make a small batch to enjoy for dinner. If you have a crowd, just know that it will go quickly! ~Robin

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Ingredients:

1 head of fresh garlic

7 oz. frozen* or fresh** spinach (usually comes in a 10 oz. package but I just divide after I thaw it)

1 14 oz. can of artichokes (in brine, not oil; my brand of choice is Reese) drained and chopped (I like bigger chunks but do what suits you)

1 10 oz. container of alfredo sauce (I like Classico Roasted Garlic Alfredo)

1 c. shredded mozzarella, plus a bit for topping

1/3 c. grated parmesan, plus a bit for topping

1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened

Tortilla chips, pita chips, or mini-toasts for serving

Instructions:

*For frozen spinach, once thawed, wrap the spinach in a dark colored tea towel (to prevent staining) and squeeze the excess water out into the sink.  If using fresh, cook and drain liquid.

**For fresh spinach, julienne first and set aside before you roast the garlic so the edges aren’t overly moist. You do not want your dip to have a green hue.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place garlic on a double layer of foil, drizzle with a little olive oil, and close tightly.  Bake about 20 minutes or until soft; remove from heat and open foil, being careful not to burn yourself on the hot oil or garlic.  Once it is cool enough to touch, peel garlic skin away and squeeze the garlic cloves directly into a medium sized bowl; then mash garlic with a fork. Soften cream cheese in the microwave, then combine with garlic using a fork. Add spinach, artichoke hearts, alfredo sauce, and cheeses; then mix well.

Place in an 8” x 8” baking dish, then lightly sprinkle a bit more mozzarella and parmesan on top and bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.  Broil for up to five minutes after baking if the top hasn’t yet caramelized.  Watch carefully during broiling to avoid burning.

Serve immediately with your favorite chip or mini-toast.

Fiesta Salsa Dip

Kathy tried this recipe at her baby shower, and we recreated it to enjoy many times over. It’s a summer sensation all year long.  Healthy, filling, and full of flavor. It’s great as an appetizer, over grilled chicken, or as a meal on its own. Plus you can eat it on a chip; how can you go wrong?

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Ingredients:

6 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can white corn, drained

1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

1 jalepeno, seeded and finely chopped (optional–do more if you like a kick)

1 clove garlic, pressed or finely minced

¼ teaspoon lime zest (optional)

3 avocados, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice

½ cup of fat free Zesty Italian dressing (bottled, not powder)

Salt to taste

Instructions: 
Combine all ingredients well except the last three. Add lime juice and Italian dressing; then gently fold in avocado. Cover and chill.  Serve with tortilla chips.  

Weight Watchers info.:  

Old SmartPoints plan: 7 SmartPoints per cup

Freestyle plan:  2 SmartPoints per cup

This recipe makes 10 servings.