I get these crazy cravings all the time. Sweet, savory, salty, all of the above. I don’t even have the excuse of being pregnant, and still they come, these persistent, insistent little hankerings that won’t let up. It usually goes something like this:
CRAVING: I NEED a grilled cheese RIGHT NOW!
BODY: Oh hell yes you do.
MIND: You absolutely do not NEED a grilled cheese.
CRAVING: RIGHT NOW!
MIND: Wait an hour, craving will go away.
CRAVING: Yeah, still here. Grilled cheese.
MIND: Okay, wait till tomorrow. It will go away.
CRAVING: Don’t count on it.
BODY: Oh god, all I can think about is grilled cheese.
MIND: Fine, eat your damned grilled cheese.
I’m inundated with these feelings daily. Truthfully, MIND wins 90% of such battles, but sometimes I can’t help but get drawn into whatever CRAVING is proposing. Case in point, a couple weeks ago the need for spinach artichoke dip hit me like a truck. This was a weird one. It’s not something I’ve ever made or even order, so it really felt like it came out of left field and I mentally checked on when I last got my period. I blew it off that night, but found myself pinning dip recipes for days. Realizing this was not going away, I decided to think of a way to get this off my back and maybe try to make it a little more healthy. Out went the cream cheese, sour cream, and mayo. In came a simple, 4-ingredient mixture: tons of baby spinach, some artichoke hearts, a relatively small amount of goat cheese, and some parmesan. The first iteration was a butterflied and stuffed chicken breast, but it was messy and a pain in the butt to butterfly. So I decided to make some simple pan-seared breasts, top it with the spinach artichoke mixture, throw some extra parm on top, then stick it under the broiler for a few.
Out came a craving-stomper of a dish, but damn, the mixture was so good that I can’t wait to make it as a party dip. I was sneaking spoonfuls the whole time I was cooking. Sometimes cravings turn out to be a really good thing.
Spinach Artichoke Dip Chicken
• 5oz package fresh baby spinach, chopped
• 1/2 14oz can of artichoke hearts, chopped
• 1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles (more if you want it creamier)
• 1/4 cup grated parmesan + extra for topping
• Dash garlic powder (optional)
• Red pepper flakes (optional)
• Tiny bit of olive oil
• 4 small chicken breasts, cooked, pan-seared
• s&p to taste
Set broiler to high and adjust rack so it’s right underneath.
In a skillet, heat up about 1/2 a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Or just spray some olive oil, enough to cover the pan. Dump in the entire package of baby spinach and sauté until wilted. Add the artichoke hearts, goat cheese, and parmesan. Mix until melted. Season to taste. A little garlic powder and pepper flakes would go real well here, but not necessary. I didn’t use any and it turned out deliciously.
Arrange the cooked chicken breasts on a sheet pan. Top with a heaping spoonful of the spinach artichoke mixture. Sprinkle some more parmesan on top. Stick under the broiler until golden and bubbly, 2-5 minutes. Keep an eye on it, broiling has a habit of going from not done to burnt in a couple seconds.
Serve with a side salad dressed in a simple balsamic vin.