Monthly Archives: January 2012

Layered Bean Dip

Dips are usually a necessity for game day and in the middle of winter, what’s better than a baked, warm dip? This Layered Bean Dip will appeal to vegetarians and meat eaters alike. It has layers of refried beans, black beans, sour cream, salsa, and Mexican cheese and baked until bubbly. This recipe calls for reduced-fat cream cheese, sour cream and cheddar cheese but obviously you can use whatever full-fat ingredients you want (I mean, at a party, who cares?!).

If you are heading to a friend’s house, this is an easy dip to assemble at home and bake later. Serve this with corn chips, tortilla chips, baked chips or pita chips (I made my own pita chips out of leftover whole wheat pitas cut into small wedges and baked for 10 minutes at 375°F). Kids will surely love this too!

The ingredients:

Mix the refried beans and drained black beans in a bowl.

Spread bean mixture at the bottom of an 8×8 or 8x6x2 baking dish.

Top bean mixture with sour cream.

Layer on a cup of your favorite salsa.

Sprinkle Mexican cheese over the salsa and cover in foil.

Bake in a 375°F oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Serve with your favorite chips.

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light Magazine

Buffalo Chicken Cheese Bites

The Super Bowl is this coming weekend and even though my team isn’t playing, I’ll still be watching and wanting to munch on snacky-snacks. So, I’m dedicating this week to munchies, appetizers, and snacks that you can enjoy on Super Bowl Sunday!

Most people love buffalo chicken so these Buffalo Chicken Cheese Bites are a perfect bite to serve guests or to take to a friend’s house for the big game. I made these spicy, cheesy, crunchy apps with chopped precooked chicken but rotisserie chicken or chicken breasts will work as well. The chicken is mixed with buffalo sauce, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and scallions and rolled in layers of flour, egg, and bread crumbs. These bites were baked to help save some calories but they could easily be cooked in a skillet with some oil for a crunchier coating. I loved the light, slightly crispy coating and the creamy, oozy filling of these bites. Serve these with your favorite blue cheese or ranch dressing. I guarantee they’ll be a hit!

The ingredients (I forgot the scallions):

Chop up the chicken into small pieces and place in a bowl with the buffalo sauce, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and scallions. Mix well.

Place 1/2 cup of the flour onto a plate, 1/3 cup of the bread crumbs on another plate, and the eggs into a shallow dish. Using a small cookie scoop or spoon, scoop chicken mixture into the palm of your hand and roll into balls. (If the mixture doesn’t stick together, try adding some more cream cheese – I used an extra ounce of cream cheese). Roll each ball into the flour first, then the egg, then the bread crumbs and place on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. Add more flour and bread crumbs to the plates as needed.

Bake for 20-25 minutes in a 350ºF oven.

Additions: None

Omissions: None


  • 1/3 Less-fat cream cheese
  • Reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • Panko bread crumbs

Overall Rating: Love It


Enlightened Egg Salad Pitas

I’m a sucker for hard-boiled eggs. Whether it’s deviled eggs or egg salad sandwiches, I’m all over it. Eggs were a big source of protein for me when I was a vegetarian and egg salad was a staple for me. But, as we all know, any kind of “salad” sandwich – egg salad, chicken salad, pasta salad – usually means tons of mayonnaise and tons of calories. So, I was intrigued when I came across Shape Magazine’s Enlightened Egg Salad Pita. Sounds light and lovely, right?

This recipe uses a tablespoon of light mayonnaise and two tablespoons of fat-free plain Greek yogurt which keeps this salad creamy. I have to say that I enjoyed the yogurt in this and didn’t feel like I was missing out on any flavor. But I have to say that I don’t think they got the measurements of the spices right. I’m not a huge salt fan and this was extremely salty to me. Also, I like curry but I think that a little less would have been a lot more. Overall, this had too much curry and too much salt. A little less of both and I think this would have been a much better sandwich. I usually add cayenne to my egg salad so I didn’t mind the flavor of the curry here since I’m used to a little extra something mixed in. But I might experiment with this recipe since I like the addition of the yogurt. If I can get it just right, this will be a mighty fine egg salad sandwich!

The ingredients:

Place eggs in a small pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and cover. Allow to sit for 11-12 minutes. Cool in ice water.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine light mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, curry powder, salt, and pepper.

Add in onion, celery, and chives (I omitted the onion and celery).

Peel the eggs, rinse, and discard the yolks from two eggs.

Chop the remaining eggs and add to the yogurt mixture.

Serve in a pita with greens and cucumber slices.

Additions: None


  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers


  • Spinach for baby greens

Overall Rating: So-So

Source: Shape Magazine

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