Dip, Baby, Dip

Try nutritionist Keri Glassman's heart-healthy Super Bowl Sunday recipe.

Super Bowl Sunday may get all the press, but this weekend also kicks off American Heart Month. And because Ferris Bueller needn't have the monopoly on aging well, it's a good excuse to switch standard chip-and-dip fare for heart-healthier options.

While there are many things we can do to keep our hearts in the best possible shape (see: exercise, whole grains), focusing on the right superfoods shouldn't be overlooked. Spinach is packed with antioxidants including vitamins A, C, E and the phytonutrients carotenoids, lutein, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin. Research tells us that antioxidants prevent the build-up of LDL ("bad") cholesterol on artery walls, which is crucial in the fight against heart disease. Spinach also contains potassium and magnesium, minerals that work to lower blood pressure, another risk factor for heart disease. Not bad for an ingredient that, when raw, contains only 7 calories per cup.

This Sunday, whether you're throwing the party or bringing something to share, forego cream cheese and mayo-packed options for this lighter dip. Just don't be surprised if it disappears by halftime. (Print a pdf of the recipe.)

Yogurt, Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Ingredients:

1 (10 oz.) bag fresh spinach
½ c. plain greek yogurt
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
¼ tsp. salt
⅛ tsp. ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°.  Spray 9-inch glass dish with cooking spray.

2. Boil a pot of water and add spinach for three minutes until wilted. Drain and remove spinach.

3. In a large bowl, beat together yogurt, parmesan cheese and garlic.

4. Stir in spinach, artichoke hearts, salt and pepper.

5. Transfer mixture to 9-inch baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes until hot and browned.

6. Serve with raw vegetables.

Nationally recognized nutrition expert and author Keri Glassman (@KeriGlassman) is the founder and president of Nutritious Life, a nutrition practice based in New York City, and Nutritious Life Meals, a meal-delivery service.