Robin's Healthy Take: Three Party Dips

Make one of Robin Miller's three healthy party dips for your Super Bowl party, girls' night or award show party.
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With brand new TV programming and sports playoffs galore, January is clearly finger-food time.  This week, I’m featuring three of my favorite TV snacks. I love hummus, but I prefer it MY way, made with white beans instead of chickpeas. It’s creamier, higher in protein and fiber and lower in fat. An equal amount of traditional hummus has 95 calories (about the same as mine), but less than 2 grams of protein (mine has 5), less than 2 grams of fiber (mine has 5) and 6 grams of fat (mine has less than 3 grams). For the roasted red pepper dip, I added three cheeses: light cream cheese, pepper jack and Parmesan, and then I baked it in the oven to make it gooey and warm. It’s a knock-out for friends and family. The tapenade is a traditional olive dip/spread livened up with fresh parsley, bright lemon and the distinct flavor of anchovies (the anchovies don’t overpower the dip because they balance nicely with the two olive varieties and capers). Serve these at your next cocktail party, football tailgate or book club meeting, or spread any of them on bread, tortillas or inside pita pockets for a killer sandwich or wrap!

White Bean Hummus

Serve with whole wheat pita wedges and fresh vegetables (sliced carrots, zucchini, celery, cherry tomatoes).

2 (15-ounce) cans white beans (Great Northern or cannellini), rinsed and drained

1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
3 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

In a food processor, combine beans, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and cumin.  Puree until smooth.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon humus into a bowl and top with cilantro.

Makes 2 cups (serving size = 2 tablespoons)

Nutrition Info Per Serving
Calories: 92
Total Fat: 2.9 grams
Saturated Fat: <1 gram
Total Carbohydrate: 13 grams
Sugars: 0 grams
Protein: 5 grams
Sodium: 3 milligrams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Fiber: 5 grams
Warm Roasted Red Pepper Dip with Pepper Jack

Serve with baked tortilla chips, toasted bread and/or crackers.

1 cup chopped roasted red peppers
8 ounces light cream cheese
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped white onion
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, combine all ingredients but the parmesan cheese. Puree until smooth. Transfer red pepper mixture to a shallow baking dish and top with parmesan cheese. Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.

Makes 2 cups (serving size = 2 tablespoons)

Nutrition Info Per Serving
Calories: 67
Total Fat: 5 grams
Saturated Fat: 2.8 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 2 grams
Sugars: 1 gram
Protein: 3 grams
Sodium: 181 milligrams
Cholesterol: 15 milligrams
Fiber:  <1 gram
Olive Tapenade

Serve with whole grain crackers, toasted bread crackers or toasted whole wheat pita triangles.

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/2 cup pimento-stuffed olives
1/4 cup drained capers
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
2-ounce can flat anchovy filets in olive oil, drained
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree until almost smooth.

Makes 1 cup (serving size = 1 tablespoon)

Nutrition Info Per Serving
Calories: 40
Total Fat: 3 grams
Saturated Fat: 0.3 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 2 grams
Sugars: 0 grams
Protein: 1 gram
Sodium: 404 milligrams
Cholesterol: 2 milligrams
Fiber:  <1 gram

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Robin Miller is a nutritionist, host of Quick Fix Meals, author of "Robin Takes 5" and “Robin Rescues Dinner” and the busy mom of two active little boys. Her boys and great food are her passion. Check her out at www.robinrescuesdinner.com.

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