Spotlight Recipes: Smarter Dips

Whether for a kid’s birthday party or having friends over to watch the game, dips are an easy to make crowd pleaser. Don’t let gobs of calories and fat weigh down your festivities – try our more figure-friendly picks.
Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip on a Wooden Place Setting

Photo by: Karl Juengel/Studio D ©Hearst Communications inc., 2009

Karl Juengel/Studio D, Hearst Communications inc., 2009

Whether you're cooking for a  kid’s birthday party or having friends over to watch the game, dips are an easy-to-make crowd pleaser. Don’t let gobs of calories and fat weigh down your festivities – try our more figure-friendly picks.

Recipes to Try:

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Spotlight Recipe: Five-Layer Mexican Dip

Pep up your next fiesta with this Mexican dip made with a bunch of healthy trimmings — beans, cheese, corn, avocados and a touch of spice.

Spotlight Recipe: Steamed Artichokes with Almond Saffron Dip

We love our artichokes here at Healthy Eats, but we know they can be a pain to prep. Use your extra time this weekend to try this steamed artichoke dish. Serve them as a side, appetizer or just a fresher snack in place of chips and dip.

Spotlight Recipe: Michelada

Want something more exciting than bottled beer for your game-day bash? If your friends are Bloody Mary fans, this Mexican cocktail might be a winner. Lime and hot sauce liven up the flavor without adding calories.

Spotlight Recipes: Granita

Dig in to these delicious frozen treats that are reminiscent of Italian ices. Granita’s are harder in texture than sorbets and contain less sugar. To make a granita, cook up a simple sugar (combo of sugar and water) and add flavors such as coffee, mint, juice and wine along with fruit. Once the mixture has begun to freeze (it takes about 3 hours), scrape the ice crystals every so often as they start to form. Once frozen, scoop and serve.

Spotlight Recipes: Gazpacho

Enjoy a refreshingly cool (and super healthy) soup this summer. Traditional gazpacho is a pureed mixture of fresh tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, onions, celery and cucumbers but don’t be afraid to get creative. Shake things up—blend a batch of watermelon, red pepper or white grape gazpacho instead.

Spotlight Recipes: Chutney

Chutney is a simmered-down or pureed combo of fruit (or veggies), spices and herbs. Instead of deep frying or drowning your fish, pork or meat in heavy sauces, opt for a tangy bite of chutney instead.

Spotlight Recipes: Hanukkah Menu

Each year for Hanukkah I serve up an Israeli-inspired dinner followed by traditional Hanukkah desserts. This menu is a big hit with all our friends (and http://blog.healthyeats.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=12333&message=1their kids).

Spotlight Recipes: Fruity Salsas

Use fruity salsas as an alternative to the classic tomato-based variety. Fruity salsas taste great as a topping to chicken, pork or fish.

Spotlight Recipe: Pasta Puttanesca

I got spoiled this summer, getting to come home and have access to fresh ingredients, a full kitchen and, of course, free time to cook. However, going back to school doesn’t mean we college students can’t still enjoy a good, healthy meal! Pasta is a good ol’ standby, but this year, ditch the buttered noodles or Ramen packets and try this easy dish – it’s sure to earn you an A from your roommates or friends. Make it in bulk you and eat for a few days. Capers, anchovy paste and arugula might not be usual pantry staples, but you shouldn’t have trouble finding them at the local supermarket.