As a Dietitian I never want to bring horribly unhealthy items to holiday parties, baby showers, or bridal showers but the veggie tray never really gets eaten so I improvised with these two recipes that may not be the healthiest but did at least include artichoke, spinach, and tomatoes which all have health benefits. These recipes were not time-consuming and they were a complete hit at the baby shower I went to today! I had minimal leftovers to bring home with me and I received many compliments.
Side Note: I did use reduced fat crescent rolls, low fat mozzarella cheese, and low fat cream cheese to reduce the saturated fat and calorie content of the spinach artichoke recipe.
Links to recipes:
Spinach: regarded as a “functional food” due to its diverse nutritional composition, which includes vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and bioactives that promote health beyond basic nutrition. Phytochemicals and bioactives found in spinach are able to scavenge for reactive oxygen species that cause damage to cells and cause inflammation as well as curb food intake by inducing secretion of satiety hormones.
Artichokes: considered high in fiber (7g of fiber per artichoke), lower in calories (60 calories per artichoke), contains vitamin K, folate, and considered a good source of magnesium and vitamin C. New research is pointing to artichokes having anti-carcinogenic properties as well.
Tomatoes: contain the largest amount of lycopene (the carotenoid responsible for the red-pink color of tomatoes) than any other food source, lycopene has been shown to reduce the risk of certain types of cancers and ncreased plasma lycopene levels have been associated with reduction in cardiovascular disease and mycordial infarction. Other studies are pointing to tomatoes in prevention of gingivitis and osteoporosis (the list goes on). The fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and choline content in tomatoes contribute to a healthier heart too!