Party Dips on the Lighter Side

by Sue Taggart

Holiday eating can really pack on the pounds. There’s no reason not to eat the foods you love—in moderation of course—just be careful around the buffet table! Cocktail time too can be filled with high fat, high calorie munchies that all too often we overindulge in. So, we lightened up on an all time favorite, dips!

We tried out three really easy and very tasty new recipes for your holiday entertaining:

•          Kale Dip

•          Green Olive and Pomegranate Dip

•          Eggplant and Greek Yogurt Dip


1. Kale Dip:

This is the easiest dip ever. Mix together equal amounts of steamed, chopped kale and low fat ricotta cheese (1or 2 cups depending on the crowd). Put into a shallow dish and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Bake at 425 degrees until the top is golden brown. Serve with toasted crostini or crackers.

2. Green Olive and Pomegranate Dip:
Great to serve with cocktails, perfect with pitta chips, or even as an accompaniment to roasted vegetables—very simple and something a little different.

Makes 3 cups

½ cup             toasted walnuts

2 cup              briny green olives, pitted and chopped

1 cup              pomegranate seeds

3 Tbs               honey

3 Tbs               finely chopped fresh tarragon

3 Tbs               extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbs               red vine vinegar

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake the walnuts until toasted about 10 minutes, cool and chop. Mix all the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper to taste. The dip can be refrigerated for 2-3 days. Serve at room temperature.

3. Eggplant and Greek Yogurt Dip:
For the garlic lovers, this is like a baba ghanoush but lighter as there’s no tahini. The fresh herbs make it wonderfully aromatic. Serve with pita chips, thin crispy crackers or crudités.

Makes 1½ cups 

1                      eggplant 1¼-1½ lb

2                      large shallots, peeled and halved

3                      large garlic cloves

1Tbs                extra virgin olive oil

½ cup             plain Greek yogurt

2 Tbs               fresh lemon juice

1 Tbs               fresh minced parsley

2 Tbs               each of fresh minced cilantro and mint

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Roast the eggplant under a broiler until softened and charred, 12-15 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to a baking dish, add the shallot and garlic, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast I the oven for 35 minutes or until tender. Allow to cool. Scrape the eggplant from the charred skin and drain in a colander for 10-15 minutes. Mince the garlic and shallots—transfer to a small mixing bowl, stir in the eggplant, yogurt, lemon juice and herbs. Season to taste. Put into the serving bowl and garnish with fresh cilantro.

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