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October 2003 Issue
Skinny Dipping
by Ronda L. Halpin
Table of Contents | Single-page view

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When it's time to get together for the big game -- on the couch or at the tailgate party -- there's always a place for dips. Whether it's a hot cheesy dip for nachos or a creamy seafood dip for pieces of bread, it seems that our favorite dips always seem to incorporate descriptions like "rich", "creamy" or "gooey" ... and while that may make our mouths water, it's not very good news for our waistlines!

So, rather than put a damper on the festivities, it's time to see how we can take advantage of healthy ingredients to make some dips that are good for you too. Some are healthy by design and others have gotten a healthy re-design. And, of course, a "skinny dipping" menu wouldn't be complete without some thoughts on what to use for dipping. Think you're limited to raw veggies? Think again! But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Let's begin with ...

The Dips


Layered Taco Dip

This pretty dip replaces fatty refried beans with a delightful combination of black beans and goat cheese. Giving up all the fat in traditional refried beans means you can enjoy the flavor that the goat cheese brings to the dip without any guilt! Cover the avocado layer thoroughly with the other layers so it doesn't discolor.
  • 1 (16 oz.) can black beans -- rinsed and drained
  • 2 oz. goat cheese
  • 1 tsp. taco seasoning
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 T. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 c. bottled salsa -- choose your favorite variety
  • 1 c. fat free sour cream
  • 2 T. bias sliced green onions
  • 2 T. sliced black olives
Place the black beans in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the goat cheese and taco seasoning and process again until smooth. Using a plastic spatula, spread the mixture evenly on the bottom of an 8-inch square serving dish (or another dish with similar volume).

Rinse the food processor container. Peel and slice the avocado into one inch pieces and place that, the lime juice and salt in the food processor. Process the mixture until smooth and spread over the black bean mixture.

Pour the salsa of your choice evenly over the avocado mixture. Spread the sour cream over the salsa and sprinkle the top with the green onions and black olives. Serve with tortilla chips.

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes


Creamy Seafood Dip

Using low and no fat products in combination with a high fiber ingredient like beans makes this dip tasty with a great texture.
  • 1/2 c. white beans -- rinsed and drained
  • 1 c. plain fat free yogurt
  • 1/4 c. low fat cream cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves -- minced
  • 1/3 c. catsup
  • 2 T. prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 c. salad shrimp
  • 1/2 c. chopped crabmeat
  • 2 T. sliced green onions
Combine the beans, yogurt, cream cheese, garlic, catsup and horseradish in a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl and fold in the shrimp, crabmeat and green onions. Serve with cut vegetables and small bread rounds.
  • Yields: about 3 cups
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes

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