Weight Watchers Spinach Dip ♥ | A Veggie Venture: Weight Watchers Spinach Dip ♥

Weight Watchers Spinach Dip ♥

Weight Watchers Spinach Dip, another Freestyle-Friendly recipe ♥ AVeggieVenture.com
graphic button small size size 10 A healthy veggie dip, my variation of the spinach dip from Weight Watchers. Fresh and bright! Full of healthy spinach! Great for Meal Prep. Low Carb. Low Fat. No surprise, this recipe is already Weight Watchers Friendly and I've updated it to be Freestyle Friendly as well! Vegetarian. Naturally Gluten Free. graphic button small size size 10

On warm summer nights, I love that "gathering moment" before supper. The meat is on the grill, the salad waiting in the refrigerator. In hand is a glass of something cold and wet, occasionally what my sister Adanna calls an "adult beverage". These few minutes bridge the day's busy-ness and the evening's relaxation.

So during the summer, I make one homemade veggie dip after another, some quick concoction that will last a few days, one celery stick at a time. This is my adaptation of the Feta & Spinach Dip from Weight Watchers. I've modified it some, starting with 8X the spinach and substituting first low-fat sour cream and then non-fat Greek yogurt for non-fat sour cream, which I find too gloppy and sweet.

Feta cheese is a brilliant addition to cream-cheese based dips, adding both moisture and "tang" that really revs up the flavor profile. Feta is also featured in this tzatziki-ish dip from Kitchen Parade, Cucumber Dip with Feta. If you like feta, you'll love these dips!

PORTION CONTROL for WEIGHT WATCHERS When we simply "dip" into a common dip dish, it's easy to lose track of how many points we consume. To carefully track points, portion out however many points you've allowed into your own 'dipping' plate, then "dip" to your heart's content!

COMPLIMENTS!
graphic button small size size 10 "This was delicious. I added chopped water chestnuts to make it more like the spinach dip recipe (full fat) I usually make." ~ Anonymous
graphic button small size size 10 "... it was a fave amongst the guests." ~ Hummus

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This recipe is so quick and easy that I'm adding it to a growing collection of easy summer recipes published all summer long ever since 2009 at Kitchen Parade, my food column. With a free Kitchen Parade e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!


RECIPE for WEIGHT WATCHERS SPINACH DIP

Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 2 hours, time for flavors to meld
Makes 3-1/3 cups (recipe easily halved)

Well-salted water to cover (about 2 tablespoons salt)
16 ounces fresh mature spinach (not baby spinach, see TIPS)

1/2 cup (4oz/112g) low-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
1/2 cup (112g) non-fat Greek yogurt (or low-fat sour cream or full-fat sour cream)
1/4 cup (2oz/55g) feta cheese
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup fresh chives
2 teaspoons lemon juice (or more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

CLEAN & COOK the SPINACH Bring the water and salt to a boil in a large pot or Dutch oven, filling it about halfway. Check the spinach, if it's gritty, it needs cleaning. Even spinach from a bag can be gritty, though some times it's not and you can skip the cleaning step. To wash the spinach, clean the leaves under running water, rubbing the leaves with your fingertips to detect and remove the grittiness. If the leaves are really gritty, let them soak in cold water for a few minutes, then rinse well until you can no longer feel the grit. To be sure, do a taste test. If the stems are really thick, cut them out and discard or compost; if they're quite tender, as I find in most bags of spinach, the stems can stay on. Drop the spinach into the boiling water, in batches if need be, and cook until just done but still bright green – again, a taste test helps. Use tongs to lift the greens out of the pot into a colander to drain, this lets you re-use the same water for the next batch or two. Drain well in a colander, press with the back of a spoon to release as much liquid as possible.

MIX the DIP Place the cooked spinach and the remaining ingredients in a food processor and process until light and fluffy and the spinach is evenly distributed.

CHILL Transfer to a refrigerator dish and refrigerate for a few hours before serving, this allows the flavors to meld.

ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
NO BABY SPINACH! Bags of baby spinach are convenient but the leaves are so tender, they're best for salads, not cooking. A better choice is fresh leaves of more mature spinach, some times found loose in grocery stores, also some times in large bags. (I love the three-pound bag from Sam's Club, also the two-pound bags at Walmart and St. Louis groceries.) I also wouldn't hesitate to use a bag of good frozen spinach for this dip.
THINK POPEYE! The Weight Watchers recipe calls for only 2 ounces of fresh spinach, this makes for something way more cream cheese-y, I love the fresh greenness that comes with a full pound of spinach. That said? A half pound makes for something plenty "green" (and for the record, that's what's in the photo). Popeye would love either one!
FREESTYLE ADAPTATIONS The Weight Watchers recipe calls for non-fat sour cream – this is a product I despise (it's too gloppy) and never have on hand. I do like low-fat sour cream and so used that when I first published this recipe in 2010. But! Non-fat Greek yogurt is freestyle-friendly so that's what I use now.
SUBSTITUTES Chard is a good substitute for spinach, so are other bitter greens, mustard, kale, beet, etc. Just be sure to cook the greens until they taste good and have a texture you like, the heavier the green, the longer this will take. No fresh chives? Substitute two or three green onions. Goat cheese and ricotta would make good substitutes for cream cheese.
ADDITIONS Add water chestnuts! This is a great suggestion from a reader, who's made the dip and added chopped water chestnuts to make it more like her usual full-fat spinach dip. The water chestnuts add bulk and crunch, with no added calories! GREAT idea!
SHOPPING TIP Watch for blocks of feta cheese, versus the expensive crumbles.



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8 comments:

I love that pre-dinner moment too! I do the same thing -- and always have a dip with veggies. This looks great, and great tip for portion control,

Alanna, you just had to send out a spinach dip, didn't you? Not entirely fair, you know. Will have to see if I can get ingredients together and give it a try. I am tired of grocery shopping at our local market (our 'fresh' produce seems to be very tired, the cukes are always or have been frozen and translucent), so it may have to wait until I get to the cities in two weeks.

This was delicious. I added chopped water chestnuts to make it more like the spinach dip recipe (full fat) I usually make.

Julia ~ You're welcome!

Cait ~ Good luck, you remind me how lucky I am to have such good produce so close.

Anonymous ~ Why thank you! And of course, what brilliance to add in the chopped water chestnut, for more bulk and good crunch. I'm going to add your tip to the recipe!

That's a great tip about portioning out your portion of the communal dip. I'm going to start doing that.

Am bookmarking this recipe... perfect for my diet.

MMMMMMMMM,...what a stunning & tasty dip!!

Looks so tempting too, Alanna!

I tried your recipe and it was a fave amongst the guests. I told them to visit your blog if they want to try more of your fabulous recipes. Cheers!

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna