Let’s not talk about how long it’s been.
I have today a recipe inspired by a recipe. The original is a ridiculously rich, cheesy mess of a hot spinach and artichoke dip, made with butter, cream, and three kinds of cheese. My husband LOVES it, but it can’t be good for him, especially with the amount he eats. So, I made an attempt to “healthy-fy” it and this is the result, which also makes a very tasty and filling meal. The only downside of this recipe is that is takes 3 pots to make, but I’d like to think it’s worth it.
Also, if you haven’t tried quinoa, the South American ancient grain, this is an excellent introduction that plays off the nutty crunch, while covering it with something imminently familiar (cheese).
Spinach and Artichoke Quinoa
1 cup quinoa (well rinsed in a sieve)
2 Tbs olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups frozen spinach, warmed in the microwave and squeezed dry
1 can artichokes, quartered
1/2 cup milk
1/2 block cream cheese, cut into 1 in pieces
1/2 cup shredded cheddar (more for sprinkling)
1/2 cup shredded parmesan (more for sprinkling)
salt and pepper
Preheat Oven to 400.
Cook the quinoa by heating in a medium sauce pan with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 15 minutes, till the grain is soft and mostly translucent.
While the quinoa is cooking, in a separate pan cook the onions in the olive oil over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 more minutes till lightly golden.
Add spinach and mix to coat with oil. Add artichokes and cook for 2 min more. Slowly add the milk and allow to warm, then add cream cheese and stir well to combine totally. Add the two shredded cheeses and stir. Season to taste with hot sauce, salt, pepper. Add to the quinoa and mix thoroughly.
Pour mixture into a 9in pie pan, sprinkle with extra cheese, and bake in the oven until golden crust forms on top.