September 23, 2011

Low-Sodium Spinach Leek Dip

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Just in time for the weekend football lineup (there are games on Sunday, right?) here’s the second of my low-sodium, super healthy tailgate treats.

And oh my goodies, is this one scrumptious.

But don’t think I’ve lost my sense of modesty. It’s still right next to my love of watching horrible reality TV with my mother (a.k.a never going anywhere).

No, no. The tastiness of this dish has nothing to do with me. I mean, I practically threw a bunch of delicious aromatics in a pan, mixed it with naturally tangy Greek yogurt, and called it a meal.

Truly, the magic comes from the ingredients themselves. Which, when treated just right, ooze and gush with silky scrumptiousness.

So do you have your salt-free chips ready? Or a spoon? Or a clean finger? Because in a little over an hour you’ll have a creamy, low-sodium spinach dip that can majorly compete with its salty counterparts.

(And it may actually come out on top)

Chow on, football fans. Chow on.

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 medium sweet white onions–peeled and sliced (4 mg per 1 medium onion)
  • 1 leek–bulb cut off, cleaned, and white/light green part cut in half and thinly sliced (18mg per 1 leek)
  • 4 loosely packed cups spinach (about 1 grocery store bunch), (24 mg per 1 cup)
  • 1, 6-oz container of FAGE Greek yogurt ,(60mg of sodium)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Pinch of chili pepper flakes to taste
  • Pinch of ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
*remember to read spice labels to make sure you are using salt-free spices
Directions:
In a medium-sized frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When ready, throw in your sliced onions. Allow them to cook and brown for 5 minutes. Then turn down the heat to low and let them caramelize for about one hour. Yes, I said hour. Trust me. Worth it. And you can do other things in your kitchen while your onions cook (like sun salutations or blanching the spinach). But be sure to stay close and check on those hot onions every ten or fifteen minutes, and stir so nothing gets stuck to the bottom.
At some point in that hour, bring a small pot of water (filled only 3/4 of the way) to a boil. Dunk your spinach leaves and stems in the pot for 2 minutes. And using a colander or large spider spoon, drain the spinach from the hot water. Run the spinach immediately under cold water until you can comfortably touch the spinach with your hands.
Are you comfortable? Great. Now you are going to squeeze the spinach and ring out all the water. Do it at least six times and then put the spinach on a cutting board. Grab a knife and don’t worry about being precise. You just want to chop all that spinach into ribbons or bits. Or ribbons and bits. Whatever you want. You are going to mix it all up with the yogurt and it will look like green vegetable confetti. Yum.
When your hour of onion cooking is up, DO NOT TURN OFF THE HEAT. Instead, throw your leeks in there and let them soften with the onions. Continue to cook for at least 15 more minutes and then take the onion-leek pan off the stove.
Once the spinach, onions, and leeks have cooled (about 15 to 20 minutes), place them in a mixing bowl with the yogurt and remaining ingredients. Stir, mix, and taste until it is to your liking–it should be bright and savory and diptastic.
Then refrigerate until game time and serve with toasted sodium-free tortillas, salt-free tortilla chips, or salt-free rice crackers.

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