Monday, December 1, 2014

My New Favorite Meal - Spinach Artichoke Smothered Potatoes

I'm a sucker for spinach artichoke dip. When I learned that artichokes were one of the most nutritious things available at the grocery store, I didn't waste a minute; I whipped up a batch ASAP.
But there was a  problem - I normally eat this with tortilla chips, but all of that extra salt and questionable oils nagged at my health-foodie conscience. Then one night as the kids were begging for baked potatoes for supper, and I was reaching into the fridge for the sour cream, I saw the jar of dip standing next to it, and the lightbulb went on. This was the happy result (I use boiled potatoes now instead of baked, simply because they can be ready faster):
(No, I didn't photoshop that picture - my potatoes are purple! Why? Well, according to Jo Robinson in Eating on the Wild Side (which I reviewed here), purple potatoes are much higher in anthocyanins than white-fleshed varieties. (What are anthocyanins, you ask? "Anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid, a class of compounds with antioxidant effects. Found naturally in a number of foods, anthocyanins are the pigments that give berries, red onions, kidney beans, pomegranates, and grapes their rich coloring. In addition to acting as antioxidants and fighting free radicals, anthocyanins may offer anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer benefits." Click here for more of the science behind this claim.) Robinson also recommends not peeling your potatoes - not only do the skins contain 50% of the antioxidant activity in the entire potato, its high fiber content slows the digestion of starch and sugar, giving the potato a lower glycemic value. Of course, if your potatoes aren't organic, then by all means peel them - potatoes are among the most heavily sprayed produce on the market. In addition to eating the skins, she also recommends eating them with a type of fat (no prob with this recipe!) and chilling them for 24 hours after they've been cooked (oops- forgot that part tonight!) to further lower their glycemic index.)
(If you're interested, my potatoes are the All Blue variety - I bought my seed potatoes at Jung's in Steven's Point this spring.)

But enough about my purple potatoes, here's the recipe:  
Spinach Artichoke Dip
1 10-oz package frozen spinach
1 7.5-oz jar marinated artichokes, drained and chopped
1/4 cup butter
1 clove garlic (or more)
8 oz cream cheese
8 oz sour cream
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter and sautee onion and garlic. Add spinach and cook until heated through. Stir in other ingredients and heat to bubbling.
This can be made ahead, or simply spooned over your prepared potatoes. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

If your husband complains that there's no meat in this dish, feel free to add some bacon! I doubt he'd argue with that. ;)