Dip recipes cut calories, not flavor


by By KATHY MANWEILER / Wichita Eagle


Posted on December 5, 2008 at 5:25 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 21 at 1:15 PM

Dips are popular fare, but many are filled with empty calories - for example, sour cream, cream cheese or mayonnaise spiked with seasonings.

STEVE BROWN/Wichita Eagle
From top: Tomato-Feta Dip, Spinach-Parmesan Dip and Crunchy Crab Dip

Just 2 tablespoons of some dips contain more than 100 calories and 10 grams of fat, so even if you dip vegetables instead of chips, calories can stack up fast.

But healthier options can give you flavor along with vegetables and protein.

Here are three favorites adapted from Cooking Light.

Fresh basil, garlic and shredded Parmesan add punch to the Spinach-Parmesan Dip. Light sour cream tastes better than yogurt. You can have 1/4 cup for 62 calories and 5 fat grams.

The Tomato-Feta Dip is delicious with toasted French bread. A touch of olive oil enhances the taste and texture.

A -cup serving contains 65 calories and 5 fat grams.

Cooking Light's Crunchy Crab Dip includes fat-free sour cream and fat-free Thousand Island dressing, but light sour cream and reduced-calorie dressing add a lot more flavor for just a few extra calories. A -cup serving has 72 calories and 3 grams of fat.

1teaspoon olive oil
3garlic cloves, chopped
teaspoon salt
1(10-ounce) package fresh spinach
cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
1/3cup block-style 1/3 -less-fat cream cheese, softened
1/8teaspoon pepper
1/3cup light sour cream
cup freshly grated Parmesan

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saut one minute. Add salt and spinach and saut three minutes. At first, the spinach will seem to overflow in the skillet, but keep stirring. It reduces in volume as it wilts. Place spinach mixture in a colander and press until moisture is drained from spinach.

Put spinach, basil, cream cheese and pepper in a food processor and process until smooth. Spoon spinach mixture into a medium bowl and add sour cream and Parmesan. Cover and chill.

Makes 2 cups. Serves 8.

PER SERVING:Calories 62 Fat 5g Cholesterol 10 mg Sodium 227mgFiber3g Carbohydrates 2 g Protein 3 g

cup light sour cream
1/2cup block-style 1/3 -less-fat cream cheese, softened
1cup finely chopped celery
1/4cup minced fresh chives
cup reduced-calorie Thousand Island dressing
teaspoon salt
8ounces fresh crabmeat

Combine sour cream and cream cheese in a large bowl and stir with a whisk until smooth. Stir in celery, chives, dressing and salt. Gently fold in crabmeat.

Makes about 3 cups. Serves 12.

PER SERVING:Calories 72 Fat 3 g Cholesterol 22 mg Sodium 269mg Trace fiberCarbohydrates 1 g Protein 4 g

1teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1tablespoon olive oil
teaspoon red pepper flakes
2garlic cloves, minced
1(14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, drained
4ounces crumbled feta cheese
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Combine first five ingredients in a bowl. Sprinkle feta cheese evenly in a small, shallow baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with tomato mixture. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve with toasted bread slices.

Makes about 2 cups. Serves 8.

PER SERVING: Calories 65

Fat 5 g No cholesterol

Sodium 369mg Trace fiberCarbohydrates 2 g Protein 2 g