Go green with a dip and dessert the whole family will love

MILWAUKEE -- There a lot to celebrate today -- not only is it National Artichoke Day -- Saturday is St. Patrick's Day. Registered dietitian Erica Cleven joins Real Milwaukee with recipes to celebrate both days with your whole family.

Artichoke and Spinach Dip
Makes 12 servings
Ingredients

  • 1 package (8 ounces) Neufchatel cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained & chopped
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • Sliced vegetables, whole wheat baguette slices, whole wheat crackers, or pita wedges

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a small baking dish.
2. In a medium bowl, beat the Neufchatel cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan and Romano cheeses, mozzarella cheese, garlic, basil, salt and cayenne pepper until blended.
3. Squeeze the spinach to get the water out or it can make your dip runny.
4. Add artichokes and spinach to cheese mixture.
5. Transfer to the greased baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned and the cheese is all warm and gooey.
6. Serve with sliced raw vegetables, whole wheat baguette slices, whole wheat crackers or pita wedges.

Kids:

  • Grease dish
  • Measure ingredients
  • Use mixer
  • Open can
  • Squeeze water out of spinach

Adults:

  • Help with electric mixer
  • Help open can
  • Take dish out of oven

Minty Mini Cheesecakes
Makes 10 mini-cakes
Time 20 minutes plus 1 hour standing time

Ingredients

  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) Neufchatel cheese
  • 1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure mint extract
  • Natural green food coloring
  • Whipped cream, for topping
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, for topping

Equipment:

  • Measuring cups
  • Food processor
  • Measuring spoons
  • 10 medium ramekins
  • Rubber spatula
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Electric mixer

Directions
In large mixing bowl, beat Neufchatel cheese, yogurt, syrup and mint extract with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add green food coloring one drop at a time until desired color. Divide mixture evenly between ramekins. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Kids:

  • Measure ingredients
  • Use mixer
  • Spoon mixture into ramekins
  • Sprinkle chocolate chips

Adults:

  • Help with food coloring