Thursday, February 4, 2010

Surviving the Super Bowl...Part 1: Gluten Free Spinach Artichoke Dip

There should be a day on the calendar when people can have an excuse to plop themselves down in front of the TV for some mindless entertainment and eat non-diet food until they want to pop. Maybe one day a year, yeah, that's the ticket. People, I give you Super Bowl Sunday. I personally love Super Bowl Sunday, and since I used to work in marketing, I love it for the commercials, not the football. I love that companies give it their all for that huge audience and really crank out the good stuff for us. Kind of like the NBA playoffs...it's when you get the good stuff after the so-so all season.
ANYWAY, some of us are lucky and have friends with theater rooms and caterers and leather LaZBoys who invite us over to watch the game with no cares at all. I have no such friends, but there's gotta be someone out there who does. Some of us just hang with our families and want to eat something extra sinful because you never know what "wardrobe malfunction" will come up and you may need to burn some extra calories by gabbing about it afterwards. Some of us just need an excuse to use the new baking dish we got for our birthdays from a cute friend. I love finding expensive French cookware at TJ Maxx. It seems like cheating!
In any case, there's going to be some eating going on this Sunday, and navigating the waters of gluten free snacking can be tricky if you're not careful. Some no-no's: Nacho Cheese Doritos. Velveeta. Twizzlers. Pringles. Dipping sauces for fruits and veggies, unless you can see the packaging to read the ingredients. Chili con Queso from Chili's. The list could go on and on. However, we practice looking on the bright side on this blog, so whether you are staying at home or going to a party at someone else's house, it's a good idea to have a few gluten free Game Day recipes up your sleeve so you can be sure there's something you can eat during the game. And I'm not talking about carrot sticks and a fruit tray. I'm talking something you need a sturdy chip for, something you need your sleeve to wipe your whole face with afterwards, something that Jenny Craig strenuously objects to. Here is one of my favorite sinful dishes that, despite the addition of several vegetables, still could use a policeman to guide you in your portion control. You can whip this up in half an hour and take over to your neighbor's house on game day without batting an eye. People will drool over it and think you're such a good cook that they'll invite you back next year. Caution: skipping meals to be able to eat these calories may be necessary.
Gluten Free Spinach Artichoke Dip
1 pkg thawed and drained chopped spinach
1 cup gluten free mayonnaise, like Best Foods
2/3 cup sour cream, like Meadow Gold or Harmon's house brand
1 cup freshly grated parmesan
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small tomato, diced
1 can of artichoke hearts, (6-8) drained and coarsely chopped, like DeLallo brand

Press the spinach in paper towels to remove the very last bit of water. Add to a large mixing bowl along with all other ingredients. Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, until golden and bubbly and heated through. Serve with corn tortilla chips.


Happy eating and watching!





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