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Forgo the usual cheese and crackers and surprise guests with this zesty dip at your next gathering. Leagues above a store-bought snack, this homemade treat brings fresh taste and sensible nutrition to any table. Unlike traditional cheese-based spreads, which pack in the saturated fat and calories, this week’s dip relies on reduced-fat cream cheese and an assortment of spices. It delivers taste that you – and your waistline – can appreciate.
(As always, for the very healthiest recipe choose organic products as much as possible)
Soak sun-dried tomatoes in hot water (enough to cover) for about 5 minutes. Drain well, reserving 3 tablespoons of the soaking liquid.
In a food processor, purée red peppers, drained sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, cumin, lemon juice, cilantro and scallion until smooth.
Add the cream cheese and purée again, adding enough of the reserved liquid to thin the dip to the desired consistency. Blend until smooth. Add the black pepper and hot sauce, if using, to taste.
Transfer the dip to a covered container and refrigerate up to 24 hours before serving. Bring the dip to room temperature before serving. Serve with assorted cut vegetables or whole-wheat pita bread.
Makes 8 servings (2 Tbsp. per serving).
Per serving: 80 calories, 3 g total fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 10 g carbohydrates, 4 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 380 mg sodium.
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