Tapas: Hummus & Spinach Artichoke Dip

Tapas: For when you want dinner to feel like an endless snack.

They are a great meal for someone who loves to graze like me. But they also make perfect sustenance for movie marathons or a spread for a social gathering where you want to mingle and eat without having to worry about table settings and silverware. Just dip and munch. Again and again and again.

Now some of you might associate tapas with bits of meat, fish and vegetables swimming in oil, but I promise there is another healthier and equally satisfying way to do it!
Tonight, I only made hummus and spinach artichoke dip, because it was just the two of us home on a Sunday night, but for bigger groups I throw in rosemary roasted potatoes wedges or honey-curry chicken. The options are endless and as I make other tapas I'll be sure to add the recipes for those as well.



15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Juice 1 lemon (approx. ¼ cup)
2-3 T. Tahini

1 garlic clove
2 T. olive oil
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cumin
2 T. water
Paprika and chopped parsley for garnish

Combine tahini and lemon in blender or use immersion blender and a pot. Mix until smooth. Scrap sides and add olive oil, garlic, cumin and salt. Mix until smooth and scrap sides again. Add and mix the chickpeas in two batches. Add water and blend again until the consistency is smooth. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with paprika and parsley. Serve with toasted bread, pita bread, crackers or chopped veggies.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Canola oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves
8 oz. can water chestnuts, diced
200 gram frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, excess liquid squeezed off
6 oz. artichoke hearts, packed in water, chopped (approx. 1 cup)
500 g cottage cheese
200 g reduced-fat cream cheese
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Add oil to a nonstick pan on medium heat. Sautee the onions stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until they become translucent. Add garlic and continue to cook until the onions star are golden. In food processor or using an immersion blender and pot, blend the spinach, artichoke, cheeses, red pepper flakes, onion and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Fold in water chestnuts. Either return to pan and heat until mixture begins to bubble OR transfer into a 8-inch glass baking square or 9-inch glass pie and bake at 375F (175C) for 15 minutes. Serve warm or cold with toasted bread, pita bread, crackers or chopped veggies.

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