There is just nothing better than sitting on a porch overlooking the sand, the Palm Trees, and the Beach at Sugar Beach. But it is possible to make great even better - add some Food and Rum Drinks!
And here's a quick and easy - not to mention good for you - recipe that makes relaxing and watching the water roll in and out even more fun!
Warm Spinach & Artichoke Dip - Source: Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter - Feb 2013
** Nutrition highlights: Artichokes provide fiber, vitamin C, folate and magnesium. Low fat cottage cheese (key ingredient alert) reduces the fat in traditional mayonnaise. Serve the dip with Whole-Wheat Pita Chips or Whole-grain crackers - or my new favorites - Fire-roasted Tomato Whole-Wheat Crackers (available from several brands).
To make the Dip (Yield is 12 servings, 1/4 cup each):
3 tsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
6 cups spinach - trimmed, washed and dried
1 can (14 oz) of artichoke hears - drained and rinsed
3/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese
2 Tbsp low-fat mayonnaise
2 tsp Dijon mustard (I love Dijon Mustard)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (aren't you glad you have a kitchen?). Coat a baking dish with cooking spray - or more fun - make individual dipping pots for each guest.
2. Heat 2 tsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, cook, stirring often, until softened and just starting to turn golden, 2 to 4 minutes. Add spinach and garlic, cook, stirring until spinach has wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat
3. Place artichokes, cottage cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, salt and black pepper in a food processor; process until smooth. Add spinach mixture and Parmesan; pulse just until blended. Scrape artichoke mixture into prepared baking dish.
4. bake, uncovered, until heated though, 25 to 35 minutes. Add pita chips for last 8 minutes of cooking. Remove dip and chips from the oven and Drizzle remaining 1 tsp oil over top of the dip. Serve hot.
Whole-Wheat Pita Chips: Cut 4 whole-wheat pita breads into 6 triangles. Separate each triangle into 2 halves at the fold. Arrange, rough side up, on 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Sprinkle lightly with olive oil cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees until crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Makes 48 pita crisps.
Key to the experience - take Dip, Crisps, Good Friends, and a Rum Drink - sit on the porch at Sugar Beach in St. Croix - and be on top of the world.