Spinach and artichoke spread

Who has time to cook this week? Between prepping Christmas and Hannukah dinners, cookie swaps, last-minute gifts, wrapping, school parties, work parties, and the million other things going on, dinner is probably low on the priority list. Another challenge is that, at least in our house, all of this holiday hoopla has thrown us off schedule, which makes feeding a toddler even more difficult. After all, an overstimulated and tired kid is a cranky, fussy mess.

So, this weekend I whipped up some spinach and artichoke spread and we've been eating it in a million different ways: As a dip with carrots and crackers, thinned out and made into a pasta sauce with roasted carrots thrown in, and with bread and tomato as a grilled cheese. I reduced the amount of cream cheese and cheese and increased the amount of spinach. It's been really convenient having something so versatile at our disposal and the variety keeps it interesting for M. I also feel good that he's getting a big shot of vegetables and protein. And did I mention that this is a no-cook recipe that comes together in the time it takes to blend the ingredients? VERY helpful when time is limited.

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Spinach and artichoke spread

2 oz cream cheese
1 cup Parmesan, Romano, or 4-cheese blend
1 can of artichoke hearts (or a heaping cup, 9 hearts, 8.5 oz)
2 medium garlic cloves
2 cups raw baby spinach, packed
3 oz shredded chicken (from rotisserie or leftover cooked breasts/thighs)
s/p

Yield: 18 oz

Put everything (raw spinach and garlic included!) in the food processor and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.