Today is National Chip & Dip Day. But before any dips hit your lips, check out these shockers, some need-to-know info, and an AWESOME all-new HG recipe...
Ditch These Dips...
Warning: Any food that requires another food as a utensil has the potential to be a diet disaster. Here are the worst ones we've uncovered
Macaroni Grill Shrimp & Artichoke Dip with Romano Croutons - Layers of assorted baked cheeses encrust the otherwise healthy ingredients: shrimp, artichokes and spinach. Once the plate's loaded up with greasy croutons, this dip tips the scales at 980 calories and 52 grams of fat. Yikes!
Chili's Skillet Queso - This frightening pile of cheesy goo and ground beef contains 670 calories and 53 fat grams and that's before you dip a single chip in it! When it comes to this skillet skip it!
Pizza Hut White Icing Dipping Cup - This dessert dip comes with the Hut's cinnamon and sugar dusted breadsticks. But just 2 teeny ounces of the sugary stuff contains 190 calories and 40 grams of sugar! And again, that's WITHOUT the sticks!
Ruby Tuesday Spinach Artichoke Dip - Hmmm with 332 calories and 20 fat grams, this dip doesn't look nearly as bad as the others. Oh wait, that's for just a quarter of the appetizer! Even with three friends chipping (and dipping) in, this is no way to start a meal.
Dip Dos and Don'ts
Some dip tips (so your pants don't rip!)
Salsas Score Big - Tomato-based dips, chunky veggie dips and veggie purees are the ultimate goal in guilt-free dipping. Just be wary of those boasting ingredients like spinach, broccoli, and artichoke that are really just skimpy servings of veggies drowned in cheese or cream sauce. Pico de gallo and baba gannouj are awesome options.
Cheesy Does It! - Any cheese-based dip is likely to contain hefty amounts of fat and calories. Fondues and quesos are red flags; resist 'em.
Bean There, Dipped That! - Bean dips are a middle ground in the dip world. They're likely to be higher in calories than veggie dips but are also full of filling protein. Just beware of ones with an oily streak, and dip sparingly.
Choose Your Chews Wisely - What you're dipping with is as important as the dip itself. Whenever possible, stick with raw or slightly steamed veggies. For homebound dipping, splurge on some baked pita chips or low-fat chips. You can even toss some low-cal pita bread in the oven at a high temp for crispy homemade pita wedges (this trick works GREAT with Western Bagel's Alternative Pita Bread!).
Mmm, this velvety veggie puree is full of flavor, thanks to the sweet nutty taste of roasted garlic. Enjoy it with veggies and toasted pita pieces, and even spread on sandwiches.
1 large eggplant (large enough to yield about 2 cups cooked flesh)
1 bulb garlic
1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt (thick Greek versions like Fage Total 0% work AWESOME!)
3 tbsp. dried parsley
1 and a 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice 1/4 tsp. salt
Optional: pepper, red pepper flakes, and additional salt*
Directions: Begin by preheating oven to 400 degrees. Remove excess papery skin surrounding the garlic bulb (but don't peel completely) and wrap bulb in tinfoil. Pierce eggplant in several places with a fork. Place eggplant in a baking dish sprayed lightly with nonstick spray. Place dish and foil-wrapped garlic in the oven and cook for 40 minutes (or until soft & tender), flipping eggplant halfway through. Remove eggplant and garlic from oven and allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle, peel garlic cloves and place them in a blender. Slice eggplant open and peel back skin. Measure out 2 cups eggplant flesh (score flesh with a knife to make it easier to scoop out) and place in blender as well. Add yogurt, parsley, salt, and lemon juice to the blender and puree until well mixed. If desired, season to taste with pepper, more salt, and/or red pepper flakes (for heat). Makes approximately 4 half-cup servings.
Celebrate Chip & Dip Day with these other excellent dips, too!
*Optional ingredients not included in nutritionals.
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