Recipe: “Skinny” Taco Dip

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Hey, faithful readers! I would like to share a quick and easy recipe with you that has become one of my favorites. My fiancé Jenn and I have been making this healthier version of a cold taco dip for years, and it’s a sure-fire hit every time we bring it to a party, barbecue, or other bring-your-own appetizer gathering that we attend. You can find many different versions of this dip out there on the Web, but here, I’ll give you the basics and you can tweak it to your liking. What you’ll need is…

1- 8 oz bar of 1/3 less fat cream cheese

1- 16 oz container of low-fat or fat-free sour cream

1- package of low-sodium taco seasoning

1- 15 oz jar of salsa of your choice

1- 8 oz bag of low-fat shredded cheese (cheddar or Mexican/taco blend)

1 small bag of shredded Iceberg lettuce OR 1 heart of Romaine

Chopped olives or jalapeños (optional)

  1. First, mix together the cream cheese and sour cream in a medium or large mixing bowl. If you have an electric hand mixer, it will help, otherwise a large spoon and some elbow grease will do the trick. Leave the cream cheese out for a bit to soften it if you’d like.
  2. Stir in the taco seasoning. This is where your personal taste comes into play. Unless you really want the dip to have a kick, the whole packet of seasoning is not necessary. Start with half, mix thoroughly, and give it a taste.
  3. Add the salsa. Mild, medium, or hot, it just depends on how much heat you’re looking for. The mixture may seem a bit watery, but it will set after an hour or so in the fridge.
  4. Pour mixture into a small aluminum pan, or if you want to get fancy, empty it into one of your nice glass or ceramic baking dishes. After all, presentation is everything.
  5. Cover the dip generously with shredded cheese (you’ll end up using the whole bag). You can go for good old cheddar, or if you find a Mexican or taco blend, that will work just as well, maybe even better.
  6. Top with lettuce. A small bag of pre-shredded Iceberg saves time, but if you want to do everything yourself, grab a head of Iceberg or a heart of Romaine and dice it finely. Sprinkle it evenly over the top of the dip.
  7. Get festive and add chopped olives or jalapeños if that floats your boat.
  8. Cover with tin foil or plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for an hour or so before serving. The mixture will set and you’ll be good to go.
  9. Serve with chips of your choice. I usually opt for Tostitos Multigrain Scoops, probably erroneously thinking that the “multigrain” factor makes them healthier than they really are. This is supposed to be a “skinny” dip, remember? You can probably go to your nearest Whole Foods and pick up some sort of organic tortilla chips if you think it necessary.

If there are any leftovers (there shouldn’t be), they can survive in the fridge for a day or two, but I wouldn’t push it any longer. If you’re feeding a crowd, you can double the ingredients for a bigger batch. Enjoy!

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