Explanations, Definitions and a Really Awesome Hot Artichoke Dip

by Cate on May 31, 2011

Healthy Artichoke Dip
On the way down the shore Saturday afternoon, Madeline slept nearly the whole way.  Nick did not.  From the third row of my SUV, he volleyed off questions faster than I could answer them.  He spoke so low that every time he had a question, I had to lower the radio.  I may or may not have done so with an exasperated sigh.  It could have had something to do with the timing his questions had with songs I really liked.  Or the fact that by the time we reached salty water and sea air, we had covered Daddy’s girlfriend and her clothing, if cancer is contagious, if we can get another dog and the differences between dating and having a boyfriend.  And everything in between.  Being a parent is mentally exhausting sometimes all the time.

The topic of dating someone versus them being a boyfriend or a girlfriend has come up a few times over the past week.  I’ve explained the difference.  For those approaching these fun topics with their own children, I went with “dating” is when you see different people and a “boyfriend or a girlfriend” is when you have decided to be exclusive.  That works, right?  It does here.

I didn’t think Madeline was really paying attention, and honestly, doubted the topic interested her.

I was wrong.

Last night over dinner, she pipes up with “Mom, can I ask you a question?”


“Is it ok if I date?”

Um.  I don’t know.  Who?

“Justin.”  (This is her, ahem, boyfriend at school)

You want to date Justin? (This is known as Stalling 101)


Well, what would you do on your dates?

“Go to the movies and stuff.”

It is really the “stuff” I am most curious about.  But I don’t think I want to know the specifics so didn’t press.

I guess it would be ok, but we should probably ask him and his mom.

Luckily, she decided that seemed reasonable.  I’m hoping she doesn’t think I’m serious.  About it being ok to date.  Or checking with his mom.  There are many moments that I look at her and scream silently inside my head, WHO ARE YOU?  This would have been one of those moments.

Nick, listening to the whole conversation, was in near hysterics on the floor.

For the record, Madeline’s grandmother said no to dating.

Now how ’bout some food?  There is no graceful segueway from our dating trials and tribulations to an awesome artichoke dip, so I’m not even going to try.  Hot artichoke dip is one of those things that I love but rarely eat.  Mostly because I don’t know enough people that like it to help me eat the whole dish.  And because I like it enough that if I can’t share it, I’d polish it off myself, clean eating or not.  What’s a girl to do?

Come up with a healthier version that offers up less guilt but doesn’t skimp on flavor. I first made this Friday night for dinner with The Neighbors.  I brought the leftovers down the shore and we polished it off before it even made it to the table.  The original version I made used half Greek yogurt and half low-fat mayo.  Loved it. I tried a second batch with all Greek yogurt and we ended up throwing it away after just a few bites.  So don’t go trying to make it even healthier.  We’ve done the research for you already.  As written below, it’s delicious, slightly tangy and hard to step away from.  Find some friends to help you do damage control.  You can thank me later.  I happen to like flowers.

Mostly Guiltless Hot Artichoke Dip
Recipe courtesy of Cate O’Malley

1 cup 2% fat Greek yogurt (I use Fage)
1 cup low-fat or Canola mayo (I use Hellmann’s)
1 14.5 oz can quartered artichoke hearts in water
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
whole wheat bread crumbs

Drain the artichoke hearts and chop in bite size pieces.  In a bowl, mix the yogurt, mayo, artichoke hearts and Parmesan cheese until well blended.  Put in small casserole dish (mine was a little smaller than 8×8) and top with thin layer of whole wheat bread crumbs.  Bake at 375 until the top is golden brown (about 30 minutes).  Serve with bagel chips or crackers.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Casey May 31, 2011 at 7:46 pm

That dip sounds yummy! I have an unhealthy version of it…….must try this one!


claire May 31, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Ha!!! Madeline is quite the character.


Karen May 31, 2011 at 10:20 pm

I am making that dip this week! Yummy.

My sister is a Nanny for 2 kids (ages 7 and 5) and they ask questions galore! I spend a lot of time with them and they prefer asking me stuff instead of their parents or my sister. The other day at the farmer’s market the 5 year old asked me how long he was going to be black. (The kids are bi-racial.) I responded, “Um. Pretty much forever buddy.” And said, “Well, I am not sure I like that.” People all around were looking at us a little funny.


Cate June 1, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Karen – too funny! That tv show wasn’t off-base, kids really DO say the darnedest things!


Aggie May 31, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Thank you for posting this dip! I need dip like this in my life…with Greek yogurt! Yum!


Sarah Caron May 31, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Healthy artichoke dip? You are my hero. Making this. Perhaps tomorrow.


Joanne June 1, 2011 at 5:21 am

Oh my god, I was in hysterics while reading this! Although, i had a boyfriend in elementary school also and we totally bought each other valentine’s day presents…but we also totally couldn’t stand the thought of even holding hands.

This healthy artichoke dip sounds fantastic! Perfect for the myriad of summer parties we’ll all be attending or throwing!


Kris #40 June 1, 2011 at 12:41 pm

What?! No feta in the dip? Not even lowfat? Looks so good though!

Love that conversation!


Cate June 1, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Dude – low-fat mayo and low-fat yogurt! no love?


Kris #40 June 1, 2011 at 12:42 pm

ps – Where’s the bonus photo?


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