Speedy dips and last-minute spreads

November 13, 1994|By Eating Well Magazine United Feature Syndicate

These sure-fire dips and spreads are great to have in your entertainment arsenal. From the classic Hot Artichoke-Parmesan Spread to the ubiquitous Black Bean Dip, these low-fat noshes amid the holiday surfeit will make your guests grateful -- and you, too, for how quickly they are put together.

Serve tortilla chips with this lively dip. Fresh-baked low-fat chips have a more pronounced corn flavor than store-bought.

To make your own, lightly brush corn tortillas on one side with corn oil and sprinkle the oiled side with salt.

Cut the tortillas into 8 wedges and arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet.

F: Bake them at 400 degrees until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.

Black Bean Dip

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 16-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup prepared salsa, hot or mild

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a food processor, combine black beans, salsa, lime juice, cilantro and cumin. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

24 calories per tablespoon: 2 grams protein, 0 grams fat, 4 grams carbohydrate, 19 milligrams sodium, 0 milligrams

cholesterol.

*

Buttermilk and horseradish add tang to this simple dip that even children will love; serve it with an array of colorful crisp vegetables.

Creamy Herb Dip

Makes about 1 cup

6 tablespoons low-fat cream cheese, softened

3 tablespoons buttermilk

3 tablespoons chopped fresh scallions or chives

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or parsley

1 1/2 teaspoons prepared horseradish or more to taste

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Put cream cheese in a small bowl and gradually stir in buttermilk until smooth.

0$ Add scallions or chives, dill or

parsley and horseradish, mixing well.

Season with salt and pepper.

13 calories per tablespoon: 1 gram protein, 1 gram fat, 1 gram carbohydrate, 38 milligrams sodium, 2 milligrams cholesterol.

*

The combination of ginger, garlic and jalapeno brings out the sweetness of roasted red peppers; serve with low-fat sesame crackers and crudites.

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Makes about 1 cup

1 7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, rinsed and patted dry

1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped

1 1-inch-long piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped

1 scallion, sliced

2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 teaspoons rice-wine vinegar or cider vinegar

1 teaspoon honey or sugar

3 to 5 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs (1 slice bread)

In a blender or food processor, combine roasted red peppers, garlic, ginger, jalapeno peppers, scallions, soy sauce, vinegar and honey or sugar.

Process until smooth. With the motor running, add bread crumbs, a little at a time, until the dip is thick and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings.

5 calories per tablespoon: 0 grams protein, 0 grams fat, 1 gram carbohydrate, 36 milligrams sodium, 0 milligrams cholesterol.

*

Peppery greens and garlic enliven a creamy white bean puree;

serve with crostini or bread sticks, strips of

red bell pepper and black and green olives.

Tuscan White Bean Spread

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 16-ounce can white beans, such as great Northern or cannellini, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons olive oil, preferably extra-virgin

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh arugula or watercress

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a food processor, combine beans, oil, thyme, lemon juice and garlic. Process until smooth. Transfer the bean puree to a small bowl. Stir in arugula or watercress. Season with salt and pepper.

34 calories per tablespoon: 2 grams protein, 2 grams fat, 4 grams carbohydrate, 1 milligram sodium, 0 milligrams

cholesterol.

*

This update of a holiday entertaining classic delivers all the rich flavor with far less of the usual fat. Serve with pita crisps or toasted slices of French bread.

Hot Artichoke-Parmesan Spread

Makes about 1 1/3 cups

1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

-- of cayenne pepper

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place artichoke hearts in the center of a clean kitchen towel; gather up the ends and twist firmly to extract all the moisture. In a food processor, combine the artichokes, 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, garlic, lemon zest and cayenne pepper. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Season with salt and black pepper.

Spread the mixture in an even layer in a small oven-proof gratin dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese and bake for 15 minutes, or until the top is golden. Serve warm.

35 calories per tablespoon: 2 grams protein, 2 grams fat, 2 grams carbohydrate, 98 milligrams sodium, 4 milligrams cholesterol.

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