These easy recipes will help you lighten things up!
Amid the cheeseballs, cocktail meatballs, and pigs-in-a blanket, it’s nice to find something to snack on at a holiday party that you won’t regret eating the next day. These healthy dips from Consumer Reports’ test kitchen fit the bill.
Serve them with whole-grain pita or, ideally, sliced veggies. Try some less-than-usual options such as asparagus, baby artichokes, fennel, jicama, kohlrabi, and radishes along with the standard carrots and celery. Creamy and flavorful, these healthy dips are so tasty that your guests won’t even know they’ve been lightened up.
Note: All recipes can be doubled.
Caramelized Onion Dip With Chives
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound Vidalia onions, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup Greek nonfat yogurt
2 ounces Neufchatel cheese
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, salt, and pepper, and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are browned and caramelized. Set aside to cool.
3. Place the yogurt and cheese in a large bowl and mix well. Add cooled onions and chives, and stir until blended.
Makes 10 servings.
Nutrition information per 2 tablespoons: 45 calories, 2.5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 5 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 2 g sugars, 2 g protein, 75 mg sodium
Roasted Garlic and Red Pepper Dip
2 heads garlic
2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 8-ounce package Neufchatel cheese, softened
⅓ cup chopped, roasted red pepper
⅓ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
¼ cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1. Heat the oven to 400° F. Slice ½ inch from the top of each garlic head. Place garlic cut side up on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and wrap tightly in foil. Roast about an hour, until the cloves are soft, and set aside to cool.
2. Squeeze the cooled cloves from the bottom of each head into the bowl of a food processor. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the rest of the ingredients. Process until smooth.
Makes 16 servings
Nutrition information per 2 tablespoons: 80 calories, 6 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 4 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 1 g sugars, 2 g protein, 150 mg sodium
8-ounce package shelled,
ready-to-eat edamame (about 1½ cups)
⅓ cup cilantro leaves
1 avocado, peeled and chopped
⅓ cup reduced-fat sour cream
⅓ cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
¼ teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
1. Put the edamame in a food processor and pulse several times. Add the cilantro and pulse again.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and process the mixture until smooth.
Makes 16 servings
Nutrition information per 2 tablespoons: 50 calories, 3 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 3 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 1 g sugars, 2 g protein, 85 mg sodium
2 garlic cloves
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons water
1 19-ounce can chickpeas, drained
⅓ cup tahini
¼ cup olive oil
½ tsp salt
1. Blend garlic cloves, lemon juice, and water in a food processor for 30 to 60 seconds.
2. Add the chickpeas and pulse. Add half of the tahini and pulse again.
3. Add remaining tahini and purée. Keep the motor running and add the olive oil in a stream. Purée until smooth. Add more water if needed to reach the desired consistency. Stir in the salt.
Makes 16 servings.
Nutrition information per 2 tablespoons: 90 calories, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 6 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 1 g sugars, 2 g protein, 110 mg sodium
Greek Yogurt Dip
¾ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon chopped fresh dill
¼ teaspoon each, salt and pepper
Place all the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until well combined. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Makes 8 servings
Nutrition information per 2 tablespoons: 15 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 1 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 1 g sugars, 2 g protein, 80 mg sodium