I thoroughly enjoyed our Thanksgiving holiday week. We loved up our college son and then said goodbye until he returns for Christmas break. We ate delicious, flavorful foods, we caught up with old friends, watched a lot of football and movies, and avoided the shopping rush like the plague. It was a time to give thanks for everything that is good in my life, and that’s a long list. Thanksgiving week is such a wonderful way to usher in the Christmas season, which essentially starts this week. We’re equipped with hearts full of gratitude which moves us to focus more on the true meaning of the Christmas season. It’s a time to share your time and gifts with those less fortunate than yourself. It’s a time to celebrate family and friends. It’s a time to say thank you to those who mean the most to you by hosting parties for company, friends and family.
Holiday parties are so fun. The food is such a big part of the celebration. We enjoy foods that we don’t normally eat at any other time of the year. I love parties that offer just appetizers. You can make a meal out of appetizers, but you have to be good about balancing all the food groups. A healthy way to get the party started is with dips for vegetables and whole grain crackers or breads. You’re going to love this healthy twist to an old party favorite. I use reduced-calorie cream cheese and mayonnaise, and cut down the amount of cheese but don’t hesitate to add more flavor with the Herbes de Provence and don’t forget the bacon. Everything is better with bacon!
- Artichoke Spinach Dip with Bacon
- 1/3 cup olive oil based mayonnaise
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp Herbes de Provence
- 2 (8-ounce) packages reduced-fat (1/3 less) cream cheese, softened
- 2/3 cup (about 2 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
- 5 center-cut bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
- 1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed
- Cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Place mayonnaise, garlic and cream cheese in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended and creamy. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, bacon, artichoke hearts, and spinach. Spread mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve with whole grain crackers and vegetables.
You might also like: