Recently Mr. Mom’s Kitchen asked me where it is, exactly, I “go” when I’m watching college football. The question came on the heels of my confession that I don’t actually watch a single play of a single game, even though my eyes  appear fixed on the field.

“I don’t know,” I said, “I just think about other things. I wonder if the cheerleaders are cold in those skimpy costumes. Or if the players ever pull each other’s hair when it sticks out from under their helmets. I think about how hard it must be to be a mother of a player when they take a beating on the field. And always, I plan what I’m going to eat at half time.”

This brings me to the topic of game day eating, one of the hallmarks of the American football  experience, whether you’re a die-hard fan, or, like me, use the time for quiet contemplation of the unique subculture that is college football. Because the game itself isn’t especially compelling for me, the food has to be. Problem is, typical game day eats aren’t in keeping with my interest in balance and moderation or my desire to avoid a food hangover. Consider the classics — onion dip, nachos, fried potato skins, and of course, artichoke dip — all high in calories and saturated fat. Paula Deen’s version of artichoke dip, for example, has two full cups of mayonnaise and an entire block of cream cheese in a recipe that serves three to four people.

Lighter Artichoke Cauliflower Dip

Enter this Hot Artichoke Dip makeover. I’ve scaled way back on the fat and calories and bolstered the dish by adding cauliflower. Combined with the artichokes, the recipe packs in four and one-half cups of vegetables.  Flatout flatbread is the basis for addictive homemade crackers that are ideal for scooping up the hot and tasty dip.  The Flatout crackers take about one minute to prep and then bake in the oven alongside the dip. Best of all, there’s no skimping on flavor here. The cauliflower pairs deliciously with the artichokes and Cheddar, so much so that your tailgating guests will never guess they are getting a lightened up spin on this game day classic.

Cauliflower Artichoke dip

 

Lighter Artichoke Cauliflower Dip
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Lighter Artichoke Cauliflower Dip with Flatbread Crisps

Switch up your game day eats with a healthy take on a classic artichoke dip. The recipe swaps in lighter versions of sour cream and mayo and adds a hefty serving of cauliflower into the mix. Baked Flatout flatbread crackers are ideal as a low-cal dipper. The whole hot and delicious mess makes for a better-for-you recipe that won't leave you with a food hangover once the football fun is done.

Ingredients

For the Dip

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing the baking pan.
  • 3 packed cups small cauliflower florets (about 1/2 medium head cauliflower)
  • One 14-ounce can artichoke hearts packed, in brine drained
  • 1/3 cup light sour cream
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoon minced chives
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup coarsely grated sharp Cheddar cheese, divided

For the Flatout Crisps

  • 3 Whole Grain Flatout Flatbreads
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin live oil
  • Kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a 4-cup baking dish with olive oil.
  2. Lay the cauliflower on a baking sheet and drizzle with the 2 teaspoons olive oil. Toss to coat. Roast until just tender and barely brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Put the cauliflower and artichoke hearts into a food processor with a metal blade and pulse several times to chop into small pieces, like a chunky spread. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the sour cream, mayonnaise, chives, Parmesan, and half the Cheddar. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and scatter the remaining Cheddar over the top.
  4. Bake until the dip is bubbling and the top begins to turn golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. If you want to brown the top further, set it under a broiler for a minute or two.
  5. While the dip is cooking, make the Flatout Crisps. Lay the Flatout flatbreads on 2 baking sheets. Drizzle the olive oil over the top of the flatbreads and use your hand to rub it over the surface. Sprinkle each one generously with salt. Put them into the 400-degree oven and bake until lightly brown around the edges, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes,and break into cracker-size pieces.
  6. As soon as the Dip is done, serve hot with the Flatout Crisps on the side.