Spinach and Artichoke Dip seems to be on almost every menu nowadays. It’s an appetizer I find hard to resist. It doesn’t matter to me if it is served with tortilla chips, toast points, fried bowtie pasta, crackers, bagel bites, or breadsticks. In fact, I have been known just to eat it by the spoonful! I almost always have spinach and artichoke dip leftover. For one, most portion sizes are so big. Second, my hubby always says he will split the appetizer, but his idea of splitting an appetizer is taking one bite– so I am “forced” to eat the rest or take it home. Don’t get me wrong, leftover spinach and artichoke dip is a good thing-a very good thing. Even just a tablespoon or two of leftover dip can make stuffed potatoes or a quick sauce when stirred into hot pasta along with a little pasta water. Have a little more leftover dip? You have four pot pies.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip Shrimp Pot Pie: I love delivering pot pies to friends who need a little lift. Remember Homemade Chicken Pot Pie? The weather here in South Louisiana is already steamy, so in the hotter months I opt for these lighter pot pies. One of my friends, who was on the receiving end of one of these pies last week, requested this recipe with the statement “Please don’t tell me I need leftover dip!” To her delight I gave her a simple substitution, just replace the leftover dip with cream cheese. Now there is no reason to pass up this recipe.
Who says reducing food waste can’t be fun? Decorate your pot pies with the pie crust scraps!
Put your TO COOK IS TO CREATE thinking cap on: Have leftover boiled shrimp or leftover rotisserie chicken? Just add it in the end. Don’t like shrimp? No problem, stir in cooked crawfish or crab to skillet before removing from heat. Want all veggies? Load it up with chopped eggplant, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Want to make the pies into hand-held pies? Put spinach mixture onto cut pie crust quarters, fold over, seal edges, place on parchment lined cookie sheet and bake until brown. If you are a cheeseaholic like me, you may want a layer of cheese on the bottom crust, too. Just sprinkle cheese on bottom crust before filling. Have some fresh herbs like basil or thyme? Add them. Like the old-fashioned spinach dip with water chestnuts? Add them, too. Think about what other leftover dip could be used to make a pot pie.
FOOD FUN: Have kids or grandkids who do not like spinach? Maybe it is time to pull up a good old Popeye cartoon. Many sources say that Popeye’s spinach powered strength “helped increase American consumption of spinach by a third’! Kind of makes me wonder what a cartoon hero could do for brussels sprouts??